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Posts Tagged JF 17 Thunder

In the eyes of the beholder by Tariq A. Al-Maeena

In the eyes of the beholder

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Tariq A. Al-Maeena

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following my article a couple of weeks ago in which I complimented the Pakistani cricket team for snatching victory from the jaws of defeat against their formidable arch-rivals India, I received a couple of comments that left me puzzled.

One was from a Westerner while the other critic was an Asian. The gist of it was essentially dressing me down for complimenting what they both termed as a “failed state”. They both individually felt that there was not much to Pakistan’s credit to mention, and perhaps that was why I praised their team’s victory.

But let’s take a closer look at this country before we rush to judgment. Pakistan has been listed among the next 11 countries that along with the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have a high potential of becoming among the world’s largest economies in the 21st century.

In the last five years, Pakistan’s literacy rate has grown by 250 percent, the largest increase in any country to date. According to a poll organized by the Institute of European Business Administration, from 125 countries, Pakistanis have been ranked the “fourth most intelligent people” across the globe. The Cambridge exams of both A and O levels have been topped by Pakistani students and this is a record yet to be broken. The world’s youngest certified Microsoft Experts, Arfa Kareem and Babar Iqbal, are from Pakistan. The seventh largest pool of scientists and engineers come from, you guessed it, Pakistan. The fourth largest broadband Internet system of the world is in Pakistan.

Pakistan is the first and only Islamic country to attain nuclear power. It is also notable for having some of the best-trained air force pilots in the world. The country’s missile technology is one of the best in the world. The country has produced a large quantity of various types of missiles since it has become a nuclear power. It also boasts of the sixth largest military force in the world.

In cooperation with China, Pakistan has produced the PAC JF-17 Thunder aircraft, a lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). The JF-17 can be used for aerial reconnaissance, ground attack and aircraft interception. Its designation “JF-17” by Pakistan is short for “Joint Fighter-17”.

It has also constructed the world’s largest warm-water, deep-sea port situated on the Arabian Sea at Gwadar in Balochistan province. Tarbela Dam is the world’s largest earth-filled dam and second largest dam overall. The Karakoram Highway, connecting China and Pakistan, is the highest paved international road in the world. The Khewra Salt Mine, the second largest salt mine in the world is in operation in the Punjab region of Pakistan. The world’s largest irrigation network is present in Pakistan. It serves 14.4 million hectares of cultivated land. The irrigation system is fed by water from the Indus River.

Land of some of the oldest civilizations (Indus Valley and Mohenjo-Daro), Pakistan is a multilingual country with more than 60 languages spoken. It is the sixth most populated country in the world and the second-most populous Muslim-majority country. It also has the second-largest Shia population in the world. The Edhi Foundation, a non-profit social welfare program in Pakistan, founded by Abdul Sattar Edhi in 1951 runs the world’s largest ambulance network. The country also boasts of the world’s youngest civil judge, Muhammad Illyas.

Pakistan is one the biggest exporters of surgical instruments in the world. About 50 percent of the world’s footballs are made in Pakistan. Nestle Pakistan is one of the largest milk processing plants which generate large revenue every year.

Among its natural wonders, Pakistan has the highest mountain ranges in the world. The world’s second highest and the ninth highest mountains, K2 and Nanga Parbat respectively, are in Pakistan. The Thar Desert is among the world’s largest sub-tropical deserts. The world’s highest polo ground is in Shandur Top, Pakistan at a height of 3,700 meters.

In 1994, Pakistan became the first country in the world to hold four World Cup titles tournaments in different mainstream sports simultaneously. The sports included cricket, hockey, squash and snooker.

The Lonely Planet, a global tourist guide, has listed Pakistan as being tourism’s “next big thing for more years than we care to remember. But world media headlines always send things off the rails.”

Perhaps my critics too have been unfairly influenced by media headlines. I urge them to take a second look at this country before they rush to judgment. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

— The author can be reached at talmaeena@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter @talmaeena

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Azerbaijan’s Growing Military Cooperation With Pakistan By Fuad Shahbazov

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Azerbaijan’s Growing Military Cooperation With Pakistan

 

 

Azerbaijan and Pakistan have a unique political relationship that has surpassed territorial boundaries and geographical distances. Pakistan was among the first states to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence following the 1991 Soviet collapse. Today, Pakistan is the only country that has not established diplomatic relations with Baku’s main foe, Armenia. The bilateral strategic cooperation between these two countries embraces the economic, cultural, political, and especially defense fields. Taking into account their close ties, the current level of military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Pakistan needs to be emphasized. While Azerbaijan’s defense industry has strategic relations with various countries, Baku has been seeking ways of expanding military cooperation with Pakistan in particular over the last years.

Given the Pakistan’s status as a nuclear power, combined with its dynamic military muscle, military cooperation can be seen as another fundamental building block of the bilateral relationship. The two countries signed a defense agreement in May of 2003, which allows Azerbaijani military staff, in particular special force units, to take part in annual military drills along with Pakistani armed forces. As a part of the agreement, Azerbaijani naval personnel participated in the biggest Pakistani-led multinational exercise, AMAN-2013, held in March 2013 in the Arabian Sea. In addition to this, Pakistan and Azerbaijan are planning to hold bilateral military exercises, according to comments from Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his official visit to Azerbaijan in October 2016.

Beyond joint exercises, military and defense cooperation between Azerbaijan-Pakistan takes the form of continuous dialogue in high-level meetings, as well as military agreements such as the military cooperation agreement that was signed in February 2014 in Islamabad. The same document was updated in 2015 and 2016, during the Working Group Meetings in Baku and Islamabad, respectively.

 

Azerbaijan, which has been locked into a long-term bloody conflict with Armenia for more than a decade, considers the further development of its defense industry as a main priority. Baku, which enjoys Pakistan’s full diplomatic support with regards to the conflict, is also looking to Pakistan as a source of military hardware.

Azerbaijan is eyeing the JF-17 Thunder (also known as the FC-1 Xiaolong), a multi-functional aircraft that was jointly developed by Pakistan and China. Although Azerbaijan has expressed interest in importing the JF-17, no formal deal has been reached yet. Nevertheless, the Pakistani Ministry of Defense was invited to demonstrate the JF-17 at the 2016 Azerbaijan International Defense Exhibition (ADEX-2016) for the first time. During the exhibition, Minister of Defense Industry Yavar Jamalov repeatedly showed interest in importing new fighter jets. In the same year, Azerbaijan’s First Deputy Prime Minister Yaqub Eyyubov attended the International Defense Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS), where he reiterated his government’s interest in buying new aircraft. Currently, the Azerbaijan Air Forces operate mainly MiG-29, Su-25, and MiG-21 aircraft.

The JF-17 aircraft had been produced as an affordable and modern replacement to French-made Mirage III and F-7 interceptors. Pakistan had long been trying to find countries to buy the JF-17 in order to reduce the per-unit cost the Pakistan Air Force pays. Thirteen countries have so far expressed interest in purchasing the JF-17 aircraft, including Azerbaijan, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Algeria and Sudan. As The Diplomat has noted previously, “the lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat jet, jointly developed by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and China’s Chengdu Aircraft Corporation, sells at an attractive price point, with a unit cost of just around $15-25 million.” According to Pakistani media, in addition to the JF-17, officials in Baku may also seek to purchase MFI-395 Super Mushshak trainer jets.

The main reason driving Pakistan-Azerbaijan politico-military cooperation is the fact that Baku is still dealing with an unresolved territorial conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Azerbaijan’s government does not try to hide the fact that it wants to muster all possible backing in order to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In the case of Pakistan’s own territorial dispute with India, Baku “fully supports the settlement of the Kashmir problem based on the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council,” as President Ilham Aliyev said during a joint press conference with Sharif in Baku.

Despite differences between their militaries and defense industries, Azerbaijan-Pakistan military cooperation makes a significant contribution in terms of regional security. Both countries are concerned about border security and the growing threat of global terrorism.

With Azerbaijan having apparently seriously rekindled its interest in purchasing JF-17 Thunder aircraft, it’s likely that in 2017 a significant deal will be reached. Beyond that, Azerbaijan is looking to start the joint production of small firearms, guided munitions, and anti-tank missiles. Even though the Azerbaijani defense industry was established in 2005, it has shown significant development over the past decade. The country does manufacture the well-known Istiglal sniper rifle, which has been used by Pakistani special forces since 2012.

There is no doubt that Pakistan will try to make additional inroads into the defense market of Azerbaijan, as it is economically and strategically important for Pakistan to find new means to export aircraft, missile systems, tanks, and other kind of military vehicles. In this, Azerbaijan will be a willing partner.

Fuad Shahbazov (@fuadshahbazov) is Expert Adviser at the Baku-based Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Azerbaijan Republic

 

Credits Photo:Courtesy-https://i.ytimg.com/vi/fXyglz6PoaA/maxresdefault.jpg

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Pakistan enters the New Silk Road by Pepe Escobar

Unknown-37

 

 

Pakistan enters the New Silk Road

April 24, 2015
By Pepe Escobar

Now how do you top this as a geopolitical entrance? Eight JF-17 Thunder fighter jets escorting Chinese President Xi Jinping on BOARD an Air China Boeing as he enters Pakistani air space. And these JF-17s are built as a China-Pakistan joint project.
Silk Road? Better yet; silk skyway.
Just to drive the point home – and into everyone’s homes – a LITTLE further, Xi penned a column widely distributed to Pakistani media before his first overseas trip in 2015.
He stressed, “We need to form a ‘1+4′ cooperation structure with the Economic Corridor at the CENTER and the Gwadar Port, energy, infrastructure and industrial cooperation being the four key areas to drive development across Pakistan and deliver tangible benefits to its people.”
Quick translation: China is bringing Pakistan into the massive New Silk Road(s) project with a bang.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry, also on cue, stressed that Pakistan would be in the frontline to benefit from the $40 billion Silk Road Fund, which will help to finance the Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road projects; or, in Chinese jargon, “One Belt, One Road”, that maze of roads, high-speed rail, ports, pipelines and fiber optics networks bound to turbo-charge China’s LINKS to Europe through Russia, Central Asia and the Indian Ocean.
The Silk Road Fund will disburse funds in parallel with the new Asian Infrastructure INVESTMENT BANK (AIIB), which has already enticed no less than 57 countries. China’s assistant foreign minister, Liu Jianchao, has not delved into detailed numbers, but he assures China “stands ready to provide financing.”
So no wonder Pakistani media was elated. A consensus is also fast emerging that China is becoming “Pakistan’s most important ally” from either West or East.
Beijing’s CAREFULLY calibrated commercial offensive mixing Chinese leadership concepts such as harmonious society and Chinese dream with a “win-win” neighborhood policy seduces by the numbers alone: $46 billion in investment in Pakistan ($11 billion in infrastructure, $35 billion in energy), compared to a U.S. Congress’s $7.5 billion program that’s been in place since 2008.
The meat of the matter is that Washington’s “help” to Islamabad is enveloped in outdated weapons systems, while Beijing is investing in stuff that actually benefits people in Pakistan; think of $15.5 billion in coal, wind, solar and hydro energy projects bound to come ONLINE by 2017, or a $44 million optical fiber cable linking China and Pakistan.
According to the Center for Global Development, between 2002 and 2009 no less than 70% of U.S. aid was about “security” – related to the never-ending GWOT (global war on terror). As a Pakistani analyst wrote me, “just compare Xi’s vision for his neighbors and the history of AMERICA in Latin America. It is like the difference between heaven and hell.”
That “X” factor
At the heart of the action is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), whose embryo had already been discussed when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Beijing in the summer of 2013. The economic corridor, across 3,000 km, will LINK the port of Gwadar, in the Arabian Sea, not far from the Iranian border, with China’s Xinjiang.
China is already in Gwadar; China Overseas Port Holding Company is operating it for two years now, after helping to build the first phase. Gwadar formally opens before the end of the month, but a first-class highway and railway linking it to the rest of Pakistan still need to be built (mostly by Chinese companies), not to mention an international airport, SCHEDULED to open by 2017.
All this action implies a frenzy of Chinese workers building roads, railways – and power plants. Their security must be assured. And that means solving the “X” factor; “X” as in Xinjiang, China’s vast far west, home to only 22 million people including plenty of disgruntled Uyghurs.
Beijing-based analyst Gabriele Battaglia has detailed how Xinjiang has been addressed according to the new guiding principle of President Xi’s ethnic policy. The key idea, says Battaglia, is to manage the ethnic conflict between Han Chinese and Uyghurs by applying the so-called three “J”: jiaowang, jiaoliu, jiaorong, that is, “inter-ethnic contact”, “exchange” and “mixage”.
Yet what is essentially a push towards assimilation coupled with some economic incentives is far from assured success; after all the bulk of Xinjiang’s day-to-day policy is conducted by unprepared Han cadres who tend to view most Uyghurs as “terrorists”.
Many of these cadres identify any separatist stirring in Xinjiang as CIA-provoked, which is not totally true. There is an extreme Uyghur minority which actually entered Wahhabi-driven jihadism (I met some of them in Masoud’s prisons in the Panjshir valley before 9/11) and has gone to fight everywhere from Chechnya to Syria. But what the overwhelming majority really wants is an economic shot at the Chinese dream.
The Pakistani counterpart to Xinjiang is Balochistan, inhabited by a little over 6 million people. There have been at least three different separatist factions/movements in Balochistan fighting Islamabad and what they call “Punjabis” with a vengeance. Former provincial minister Jaffar Khan Mandokhel, for instance, is already warning there will be a “strong reaction” across Balochistan to changes in the corridor’s routes, which, he says, “are meant to give maximum benefit to Punjab, which is already considered the privileged province.” Islamabad denies any changes.
The corridor is also bound to bypass most of the key, northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Opposition political star Imran Khan – whose party is on top in Khyber – has already condemned it as an injustice.
Beijing, for its part, has been very explicit to Islamabad; the Pakistani Taliban must be defeated, or at least appeased. That explains why since June 2014 the Pakistani army has been involved in a huge aerial bombing campaign – Zarb-e Azb – againt the Haqqani network and other hardcore tribals. The Pakistani army has already set up a special division to take care of the corridor, including nine battalions and the proverbial paramilitary forces. None of this though is a guarantee of success.
Karakoram or bust
It will be absolutely fascinating to watch how China and Pakistan, simultaneously, may be able to keep the peace in both Xinjiang and Balochistan to assure booming trade along the corridor. Geographicaly though, this all makes perfect sense.
Xinjiang is closer to the Arabian Sea than Shanghai. Shanghai is twice more distant from Urumqi than Karachi. So no wonder Beijing thinks of Pakistan as a sort of Hong Kong West, as I examined in some detail here.
This is also a microcosm of East and South Asia integration, and even Greater Asia integration, if we include China, Iran, Afghanistan, and even Myanmar.
The spectacular Karakoram highway, from Kashgar to Islamabad, a feat of engineering completed by the Chinese working alongside the Pakistan Army Corps of engineers, will be upgraded, and extended all the way to Gwadar. A railway will also be built. And in the near future, yet another key Pipelineistan stretch.
Pipelineistan is linked to the corridor also in the form of the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline, which Beijing will help Islamabad to finish to the tune of $2 billion, after successive U.S. administrations relentlessly tried to derail it. The geopolitical dividends of China blessing a steel umbilical cord between Iran and Pakistan are of course priceless.
The end result is that early in the 2020s China will be connected in multiple ways practically with the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Large swathes of massive China-Europe trade will be able to avoid the Strait of Malacca. China will be turbo-charging trade with the Middle East and Africa. China-bound Middle East oil will be offloaded at Gwadar and transported to Xinjiang via Balochistan – before a pipeline is finished. And Pakistan will profit from more energy, infrastructure and transit trade.
Talk about a “win-win”. And that’s not even accounting for China’s thirst for gold. Balochistan is awash with gold, and there have been new discoveries in Punjab.
New Silk Road action is nothing short than frantic. The Bank of China is already channeling $62 billion of its immense foreign exchange reserves to three policy banks supporting New Silk Road(s) projects; $32 billion to China Development Bank (CDB) and $30 billion to Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM). The Agricultural Development Bank of China (ADBC) will also get its share.
And it’s not only Pakistan; the five Central Asian “stans” – rich in oil, gas, coal, agricultural land, gold, copper, uranium – are also targeted.
There’s a new highway from Kashgar to Osh, in Kyrgyzstan, and a new railway between Urumqi and Almaty, in Kazakhstan. We may be a long way away from the new high-speed Silk Rail, but trade between, for instance, the megacities of Chongqing or Chengdu in Sichuan with Germany now moves in only 20 days; that’s 15 days less than the sea route.
So it’s no wonder a “special leading group” was set up by Beijing to oversee everything going on in the One Road, One Belt galaxy. The crucial action plan is here. Those who’re about to go silk, we salute you.

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IDEAS 2014: Nigeria ‘close to signing up’ for JF-17

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IDEAS 2014: Nigeria ‘close to signing up’ for JF-17

02 December 2014

Nigeria is close to signing up for one or two squadrons of JF-17s, according to Pakistani officials. Source: IHS/Patrick Allen

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is close to finalising an order for the purchase of one or two squadrons of the JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft co-produced by Pakistan and China, a senior Pakistani Ministry of Defence official told IHS Jane’s on 2 December.

Speaking at the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) 2014 in Karachi, the official said the NAF finalised its recommendation for the purchase of 25-40 JF-17s after NAF chief air marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu visited Pakistan in October. AM Amosu’s engagements in Pakistan included a visit to the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) at Kamra, north of Islamabad, where the JF-17 is manufactured.

So far, the PAC has produced 50 Block 1 JF-17s and began work on another 50 Block 2 variants in late 2013. Pakistan Air Force (PAF) officials have told IHS Jane’s that a Block 3 variant is being planned. While the JF-17 has PAF capability plans, it has so far failed to find an export customer.

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PAF officials have described the JF-17 Block 3 as a fourth-generation-plus fighter, a term that is used to describe Western aircraft such as Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 60s, the Saab Gripen, Eurofighter Typhoon, and Dassault Rafale, among others.

Western officials have previously said that a first successful export of the JF-17 holds the key for the programme’s long-term sustainment. Potential export customers mentioned as likely candidates for the JF-17 have included Egypt, Nigeria, Myanmar, and Venezuela.

Senior PAF officials have promoted the JF-17 as costing much less than comparable fighters produced by Western manufacturers. 

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PAKISTAN TO SELL 5-7 JF-17 THUNDER THIS YEAR

 

 

PAKISTAN TO SELL 5-7 JF-17 THUNDER IN 2014

OSIMINT (16JUL11) Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra

According to a report in The Nation, Pakistan has decided to export the Chinese co-developed aircraft, the JF-17 Thunder by sometime next year.

The export of the aircraft is part of greater push to increase defense exports including Pakistani ordnance and Pakistani-built helicopters, Minister of Defense for Production Rana Tanveer said while briefing the press.

Various media outlets have suggested that talks are already under way with Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Qatar, and other friendly countries.

The PAC JF-17 Thunder, or CAC FC-1 Xiaolong, is a light-weight, single engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed by the Pakistani Air Force, the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and the Chengdu Aircraft Industries Corporation of China.

Pakistan has reportedly manufactured between 42-45 aircraft thus far, though sources vary in their count.

However, Pakistan may have more of these aircraft than is often reported. China announced it would export 50 improved JF-17 with upgraded electronics after the death of OBL.

While no news regarding their delivery has been made public, an additional dispersal area with 8 new aircraft shelters was constructed between 2011 and 2012 at PAF Peshawar, an airfield where JF-17 are actively deployed.

JF-17_Parked_Armed

JF-17 Thunder fighters unveiled in Dubai Airshow

Date : 14-11-2011
JF-17 Thunder fighters unveiled in Dubai Airshow
DUBAI, Nov 13 : Pakistan Air Force is participating in Dubai Air  Show-2011, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister of UAE, Sheikh Muhammad Bin Rashid Al-Makhtum, on Sunday. Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force also attended the inaugural ceremony along with a large number of delegations from different countries including Air Chiefs of a number of Air Forces, said a press release. Later, the Air Chief also addressed the press conference regarding the participation of PAF in Air show. JF-17 Thunder, K-8 and Super Mashak aircraft of Pakistan Air Force along with the PAF contingent comprising PAF pilots and technicians are participating in Dubai Air Show.

The impressive JF-17 (Thunder) jointly co-developed (by PAF & CATIC), and co-produced by PAC (Pakistan Aeronautical Complex) and CATIC (China Aero-technology Import Export Corporation) has been put up for static as well as aerial display in the Air Show.

Pakistan Air Force has inducted JF-17 in its fleet and with the co-production in full swing the aircraft are rolling out from Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra.
The JF-17 Programme has been a success story since its inception in 1998. Developmental work on the aircraft commenced in the year-1999 and detailed design was finalized in September, 2001.
After flight testing, a Small Batch of 08 aircraft was produced in year-2007 and finally serial co-production of the aircraft started in Pakistan in the Year-2009. So far PAF’s two Squadrons have been equipped with JF-17s,while the third is planned to be raised by beginning next year.

JF-17 made its debut at Farnborough Air Show in 2010, when two JF-17s flew all the way from Pakistan to Farnborough, UK.  At Farnborough, the aircraft attracted intense focus of visitors and international media.  
Four months later in November 10, three JF-17s flew over to China to participate in Zhuhai Air Show, where the aircraft made its first ever aerobatics display. In June 11, three JF-17s participated in aerobatics and static display in 100-years Celebrations of Turkish Air Force.
At present, JF-17 aircraft stands prominent in its own class of fighters. In the present environment, when defence budgets are shrinking and Air Forces face difficulties in affording modern combat aircraft, JF-17 offers a highly cost effective solution with cutting edge capabilities.
In the shape of JF-17 aircraft, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and CATIC offer a cost- effective, highly potent, multi-role combat aircraft which is capable of meeting the challenges of present and future Air Power employment.
The JF-17 Thunder is an all weather, multi-role, light combat aircraft that has the potential to be the main stay & work horse of any Air Force.  The design of JF-17 aircraft is based on modern concepts of aerodynamics.
The aircraft is equipped with a digital fly-by-wire flight control system that gives it the agility in all regimes of the operational flight envelope. The JF-17 has a complete glass cockpit, excellent man-machine interface and modern self-protection suite, which enhance combat potential and survivability of the aircraft.  
The JF-17 is equipped with fourth generation avionics systems, wide range of conventional and smart weapons, long range glide bombs, Beyond Visual Range & short range Air-to-Air missiles, Anti-Ship missile and Air-to-Surface missiles.  
The aircraft requires remarkably short lengths of runway for take-off & landing, which offers flexibility of aircraft operations at short air strips.
Shortly, the aircraft will also have Air-to-Air refuelling capability, which will further enhance its combat potential and employment options.

29 October 2013 

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