Pak to arm JF-17 fighters with Chinese missiles

Pakistan may also buy upto four batteries of the Chinese SAM missiles.

Last Updated: Nov 18, 2010, 14:10 PM IST

Beijing: Pakistan will buy Chinese
air-to-air SD-10 missiles and avionics to arm its 250 JF-17
Thunder fighter fleet, the country`s air force chief has said,
amid signs that the French had spurned offer to equip them.

"Islamabad is seeking to deepen military cooperation with
Beijing", Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman Chief of the
Pakistani Air Force told the `Global Times` revealing that his
country may also opt to acquire other advanced defence missile
systems including Chinese Surface to Air Missiles (SAM)
systems.

Pakistan has opted to go in for full Chinese armament
systems for the jointly developed fighters and Suleman
currently on a visit to China told the paper that the advanced
active radar and homing middle-range missile developed by
China, called the SD-10 will become the standard Beyond Visual
Range (BVR) weapon of the JF-17.

"PAF has no plans to install western devices and weapons
on the aircraft for the time being", Pakistani Air Force Chief
said.

`Global Times` quoting unnamed sources claimed that the
French consortium has withdrawn from a reported 1.2 billion
euro contract to supply radars and missiles for the first wave
of 50 JF-17 fighters, after pressure from India.

French sources had reported that a joint bid had been
made by French aeronautic company ATE along with Thales Group
and MBDA.

The paper said that Pakistan may also buy upto four
batteries of the Chinese SAM missiles.

The Pakistan Air Force Chief is currently on a visit to
China to attend the Zhuhai Air Show now underway in southern
China, where the JF-17s were a major attraction.

The SD-10 (ShanDian-10) is a radar guided air-to-air
missile developed by China in 2002. The Red Air Force has
inducted these missiles in 2007 and the ones being supplied to
Pakistan would be the missiles first exports.

SD-10 is said to be a variant of Italian Aspide missiles
supplied to China in late 80s.

Pakistan Air Force has a big fleet of Chinese made
fighters including F-7PGs and A-5s. The medium technology
JF-17 or Thunder jets manufactured jointly with China are a
new addition to PAF.

PTI