Pakistan to arm fighter jets with Chinese missiles

Published: November 18, 2010
JF-17 fighter jets performed in China. Photo: NNI

JF-17 fighter jets performed in China. Photo: NNI

BEIJING: Pakistan has confirmed it will buy Chinese missiles and flight systems to equip its 250 JF-17 Thunder jet fighters as it seeks to deepen military cooperation with Beijing, state media said Thursday.

Rao Qamar Suleman, air chief marshal of the Pakistan Air Force, told the Global Times newspaper Chinese radar systems and SD-10 mid-range homing missiles would be used on the fighters co-developed by the two nations.

“PAF has no plans to install Western devices and weapons on the aircraft for the time being,” the newspaper quoted Suleman as saying.

Pakistan may also buy up to four Chinese surface-to-air missiles, as it seeks stronger cooperation with China to help upgrade its armed forces, Suleman told the China Daily in a separate interview.

He made the remarks on the sidelines of the annual Zhuhai Air Show now under way in southern China.

Chinese defence experts played down the comments, saying any cooperation did not target any country and did not compare with deals adopted during a visit to India this month by US President Barack Obama, the China Daily said.

Among the deals struck during Obama’s trip was a preliminary accord worth 4.1 billion dollars for India’s air force to buy 10 C-17 transport aircraft from US aviation giant Boeing.

Pakistan had initially planned on arming its JF-17 fighters with missiles made by French firm Thales SA in a deal reportedly worth 1.2 billion Euros ($1.6 billion).

But French officials confirmed to AFP in April the deal had been put on hold without explanation. The French daily Le Monde reported that it was cancelled to avoid damaging relations with Pakistan’s nuclear rival India.

China is a strong ally of Pakistan and Islamabad draws heavily on Beijing for its defence and infrastructure needs.

Pakistan’s air force has a fleet of Chinese aircraft, including F-7PGs and A-5s, but also US-built F-16s and French Mirages. The medium-tech JF-17 or Thunder jets, manufactured jointly with China, are a recent addition.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • vasan
    Nov 18, 2010 - 4:57PM

    Is this going to be done using the money given as mililtary aid by US (during the Strategic meet) or going to be done using the money given as alms by Japan or Saudi or other European countries. Nice way to spend precious foreign exchange when Pakistan is still to recover from flood lossesRecommend

  • A Suhail
    Nov 18, 2010 - 5:25PM

    I hope these missiles are not like other chinese products which stop working after a year.Recommend

  • Iqbal Khan
    Nov 18, 2010 - 6:12PM

    Chinese technology is totally worthless and piece of trash !!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Nov 18, 2010 - 6:36PM

    if only pakistan worked on its education, skills and business to develop its infrastructure it wouldn’t need to go for aid from anyone – the way of the mullahs is towarsd slavery,dstruction, death and we pakistanis need to wake up and educate our population not in battery farm mullah producing madrassas but schools that give real educationRecommend

  • Muhammad Kamran Khan
    Nov 18, 2010 - 6:40PM

    We are with you PAFRecommend

  • Nov 18, 2010 - 6:55PM

    how exactly are we paying for this?Recommend

  • Nov 18, 2010 - 7:44PM
    Nice comments guys. We have to keep a trade off between our resources, our security needs and our relation with China. China is more reliable ally of Pakistan though. Pakistan should back it instead of USRecommend

  • Babruk
    Nov 18, 2010 - 8:44PM

    this is ridiculous. we are dying of hunger, poverty. country needs schools, hospitals, jobs and our armed forces are having shopping sprees. For God’s sake, stop being obsessed with India. If i had the power, i would send the whole army to home. believe me, we are better without them. Recommend

  • Fazal Karim Malik
    Nov 18, 2010 - 8:49PM

    For existence as independent and sovereign nation, any cost is worth it. PAF has history of inductions of systems which are the best in the market and it has proven record of its performance. Let us confide in the PAF’s leadership for its decisions.Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Nov 18, 2010 - 10:02PM

    @Fazal: “For existence as independent and sovereign nation, any cost is worth it.”.

    As an Indian, I will tell you, yes, it is in India’s interest to see a weakened BUT stable and united Pakistan. A weakened Pakistan is VERY necessary for quelling and finishing off the basically MUSLIM Kashmir “freedom” movement for good and integrating it totally in India ( removal of article 370 that prevents other Indians from owning land in Kashmir). THAT IS IT.

    Threats to Pakistan’s existence as an independent nation IS NOT FROM India. India is NOT INTERESTED in UNDOING PARTITION.

    Just as India should be VERY VERY wary of its relation with US, Pakistan should be careful of the dragons embrace. China is not helping Pakistan out of the goodness of the heart, but is merely using Pakistan as a “hedge” against India.

    ( And yep, before you say sour grapes, I will admit – China is much ahead of India in most spheres. )

    Anyway, enjoy your new purchase. Recommend

  • Pakistani born in Europe....
    Nov 18, 2010 - 10:14PM

    I dont understand u people! All u who are against the army! You guys really dont understand wht is going on in your area do u! All other world natoins are building up their arsenal. India Is getting a free pass from the west to purchase all the weapons they need. You know there is a reason for this. There is a reason the Saudis, Turks, Israelis and most other asian nations are buliding up their arsenal. You people really dont understand history do u and the significance of Pakistan in the “new” asia. Your country has been waging war for the last ten years and you people dont understan why Pak Army is spending money on arms? Recommend

  • Cautious
    Nov 18, 2010 - 10:39PM

    Is this the Pakistan who is begging for money to help the flood victims? Is this the Pakistan that says it doesn’t have the money to pursue the Taliban in the trial areas?

    Perhaps the donors to Pakistan should wake up – better yet perhaps the voters in Pakistan should wake up.Recommend

  • Nov 18, 2010 - 10:49PM

    @Babruk:YOu are not wrong. Since Independence we have been obsessed about defense instead of economy and we still pay the cost of this flawed strategy. Military budget is a great burden especially at such critical timez…..

  • Irfan Ali Shujah
    Nov 19, 2010 - 12:10AM

    With our precious resources and money we need to build infrastructure of our basic needs e.g education, health.. But on the other side its a need of the time to have a strong armed forces.
    We are proud of our forces.Recommend

  • Haris Chaudhry
    Nov 19, 2010 - 4:03AM

    Fazal Karim Malik: For existence as independent and sovereign nation, we need to cover our naked and provide education to our illiterate, protect the vulnerable from suicide bombers and improve our economy….
    We dont need to get armed to our teeth to make a statement of our sovereignty. Sovereign and proud nations build strong and powerful institutions, infrastructure and societies – not strong missile and nuclear bombs.

  • Maulana Diesel
    Nov 19, 2010 - 6:28AM

    if it was up to me I would not buy any arms from the West!Recommend

  • Nas
    Nov 19, 2010 - 6:57AM

    We need to follow turkey and rein in on our army and finish its hegemony. The present plight of Pakistan is due continuous bleeding of resources by our army who continue to use Kashmir as a hedge to maintain their supremacy at the expense of starvation of millions.Recommend

  • Singh
    Nov 19, 2010 - 7:47AM

    It is time to go on begging again on name of flood or war on terrorism. Where is pride. Money for Arms, but no money for education or development. suger Rs130.00/ Kg.
    good thinking, keep the light On on war machine. Time will not far away when Pakistan name will figure in history refrence page. Carry On this bravdo. Keep dreaming to wipe out India. that is called seikh chilli ke haseen sapaney.
    No point of saying anything about wisdom.
    More Arm
    More terrorism
    More More More money.Recommend

  • S.Haque
    Nov 19, 2010 - 12:05PM

    No wonder we are in the mess we see ourselves in today. Recommend

  • Nouman
    Nov 19, 2010 - 12:44PM

    You know what, even if they do not go for these purchases the money will still not go towards health, education and welfare needs but instead to fill up the corrupt stomachs.

    So I say, yes go for these purchases, at least it will play its role in strengthening our defense needs.Recommend

  • Pakistan One
    Nov 19, 2010 - 7:21PM

    I hope they work when they are needed, not like other Made in China stuff which either doesn’t work at all or has very short life.Recommend

  • jawwad
    Nov 19, 2010 - 8:04PM

    People who r sayin tht they ll send the whole army home, I guess are not aware of the external threats…..n tht if they r sleepin tight in their warm cozy beds carelessly at nights is all becoz of the profesional military men who keep up at night so tht u may njoy ur sleep…….n nw if they r goin for sm purchases….wts so bad about it???? Which country in dis world is nt doin this????? N for those who think pakistan keeps on begging in frnt of da world for flood victims n stuff……let me remind them that even da so called superpower america is in an official debtor of china…owin a debt of much more than 50trillion dollars…….so I request all da pakistanis to plz stop havin a complex ideology abt urslves….either make da chang or if u cnt then plz stop critisizing……..Recommend

  • Tauseef Akbar Bajwa
    Nov 20, 2010 - 11:42AM

    Had all valued readers read news regarding CHINA’s high commad clearmessage to High Powered US Mission saying that “PAKISTAN IS OUR ISRAEL”?Recommend

  • Nov 20, 2010 - 9:01PM

    @Tauseef: That was a nice comment though, and it was a blow on US’s face, wasn’t it? Don’t you agree?

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