Pakistan confirms purchase of Chinese jets to counter India’s Rafale plane

Pakistan confirms purchase of Chinese jets to counter India’s Rafale plane

Pakistan’s military confirmed on Wednesday that it is acquiring J-10 multi-purpose fighter jets from China in response to the buildup of rival Indian air forces.

“This is a step to upgrade our air force fleet and get the best possible technology available because we know what kind of technology is being acquired in the other [Indian] “Army spokesman Major General Babar Iftikhar said at a press conference.

The J-10 is a single-engine fighter jet that has reportedly been in use by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) since 2005.

Iftikhar spoke just days after Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad revealed the purchase of the Chinese jets at a public event, saying they will serve as a counterbalance to the deployment of French Dassault Rafale jets in India.

India’s contract to buy 36 of the French fighter jets was first announced in 2015. Indian Defense Minister Ajay Bhatt told reporters in late July that 26 of the jets had been delivered, and that the rest were expected by the end of 2021.

“Our adversary is continually acquiring state-of-the-art equipment under one pretext and another. Any conventional imbalance in this region is very dangerous, ”warned Iftikhar. “That is something that is going to lead us to a race to acquire more equipment.”

The army spokesman declined to say how many of the planes will be purchased.

Last week, Ahmed told reporters that a full squad of 25 Chinese J-10 jets will take part in the Pakistan Day military parade on March 23. The interior minister said the J-10 overflight ceremony “will be conducted by Pakistan Air Force in response to Rafale.”

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Pakistan and India have fought three wars, two over the disputed territory of Kashmir, since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.

China has not officially commented on the sale of planes to Pakistan.

Recent Israeli media reports said the J-10 jets are believed to be based on technology developed by Israel Aircraft Industries in the 1980s before it halted the project a few years later due to rising costs.

American-made F-16 fighter jets form a crucial part of the Pakistani Air Force fleet and are seen as a counterweight to the Rafale jets that India has purchased from France.

But analysts say Islamabad’s often strained ties to Washington in recent years have led the South Asian nation to increasingly rely on its close ally China to increase Pakistan’s defenses.

Iftikhar said Wednesday that negotiations were also underway with China to acquire new Z-10 attack helicopters. “Hopefully we can get some helicopters from there,” he said.

The general confirmed the scrapping of Pakistan’s 2018 deal with Turkey to purchase 30 T-129 combat helicopters. “On the deal with Turkey, we have made progress,” Iftikhar said when asked if the contract was still intact.

The T-129 helicopter gunships are powered by a US-made engine, and the US refusal to grant engine export licenses to Turkey led to the cancellation of the $ 1.5 billion deal.

The Pakistani air force fleet also contains JF-17 single-engine fighter jets produced jointly by Pakistan and China.

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