English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

In competition with India, Pakistan buys 25 Chinese J-10C fighter jets

The China-made J-10C fighter jet (Photo: China Military)

Pakistan has bought 25 Chinese multirole J-10C fighter jets, equal to a full squadron, which will be displayed before VIP guests on March 23, Pakistan's national day.

Pakistan's Interior Minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told journalists in Rawalpindi on Wednesday that Pakistan has purchased a full squadron of 25 all-weather J-10C aircraft in response to India's purchase of Rafale aircraft. He said that the aircraft will be inducted into service as early as March 2022.

The J-10C, is the latest and the most modern version of the Chinese jets, was part of the joint exercise between the two countries held in December 2020. Pakistani experts took a good look at the jets during the 20-day exercises, called the Shaheen-IX joint air exercises.

Though Pakistan has a fleet of US-made F-16s, comparable to the French Rafale, it was looking for a new multirole all-weather jet in response to India's Rafale purchase from France.

Pakistan also has over 100 Chinese JF-17 fighters–currently the mainstay of its air force. The JF-17 are co-produced by Pakistan and China.

The Pakistani media had been reporting the country's intention to procure the Chinese jets for the last many years. In mid-December, Senator Afnan Ullah Khan, from the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), had said that he did not “understand the logic behind buying J-10C”, as Pakistan already possessed a fighter in a similar class as the J-10.

Afnan Ullah Khan even said that the J-10C was not as good as the Rafale.

However, experts believe that the J-10C has electronically scanned array radar (AESA) which provides enhanced situation awareness and is capable of firing the very-long-range PL-15 air-to-air missile. Also, it can carry a heavier payload of weapons and is more agile than the JF-17 fighter, which the PAF currently operates.