Pakistan Air Force has inducted six J-10C fighter jets today at a ceremony held at Kamra Air Base. The country’s Prime Minister Imran Khan attended the ceremony along with other military and civilian officials. China’s Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong also attended the ceremony.
Earlier, PAF received 6 fighter jets from China, an early batch of jets arrived at Kamra Air Base while more to follow later.
“The J-10C is a 4.5-generation medium-size fighter jet that is more powerful than the JF-17, a lightweight fighter jet jointly built by China and Pakistan that is now in service with the Pakistan Air Force,”.
As per Shi Hong, Executive Chief Editor of the Chinese magazine, Shipborne Weapons
“The J-10C is also significantly more powerful than the old US-made F-16 fighter jet of the Pakistan Air Force and can rival the Rafale fighter jet that recently entered service with the Indian Air Force,”. “Pakistan’s J-10C will not replace the JF-17, but form a combination, leading to higher combat capabilities,” Shi said.
The J-10C is equipped with an active electronically scanned array radar and an upgraded cockpit, as opposed to previous variants of the J-10, the J-10A, and J-10B. It carries a more diverse arsenal of armaments, including the PL-15 air-to-air missile, which has a range of more than 107nm (200km).
Air Commodore Kaiser Tufail, a former pilot, explained while talking to Gulf News Correspondent Sana Jamal the reason for acquiring J10 along with JF-17 aircraft.
“There’s a concept in air force called ‘high-low mix’ which means a mix of a smaller number of expensive and extremely capable aircraft (high) along with a large number of cheaper yet lethal fighter jets (low).” The low-cost and lightweight fighter JF-17 “is the workhorse of Pakistan Air Force which we will have in large numbers. But PAF would also require a smaller fleet of high-end fighters like J-10C which is the most capable yet affordable,” he said, citing the example of the US Air Force that considered the F-16 as a low-end aircraft to augment the F-15 air superiority.
In addition to the J-10C, Pakistan’s other military branches have also recently commissioned advanced Chinese equipment. For example, the navy received the first Type 054A/P frigate, and the army acquired the HQ-9/P air defense missile system, a sign of deepening defense cooperation between China and Pakistan to counter the regional security threats.