In a potential dogfight with Indian fighter jets, the Chinese-supplied Pakistani JF-17 could be easily shot down.
When Pakistan and China first signed a contract for the production of the JF-17 fighter jet, the deal was seen as a “groundbreaking” joint venture that could challenge India’s premier fighter jet.
Although the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) already has a large fleet of JF-17 Thunder, the agency is still planning to add another line of Chinese-made jets, the J-10C.
Earlier this year, some news appeared that Pakistan was ready to receive 36 J-10C semi-stealth generation 4.5 aircraft from China, but so far there has been no official confirmation about that.
The Organization for Strategic and International Studies (HSIA), an independent think-tank, in July 2021 posted on its Twitter account that “Pakistan is expected to receive 36 J-10Cs in the end of 2021”.
However, there have also been reports of Pakistan being dissatisfied with its existing JF-17s due to engine inefficiencies that China has not yet resolved.
Dissatisfaction with the JF-17 fighters may be the reason why Pakistan considers buying a new fighter model from China.
As the delivery of French-made Rafale jets to India is nearing completion, the need to upgrade the PAF’s fighter fleet must have been carefully calculated by Islamabad to create a balance of power in the region. South Asia region.
While Pakistan and China have yet to officially announce an agreement to buy a new J-10 fighter jet, a prominent Pakistani senator has questioned the fighter.
Dr. Afnan Ullah Khan wrote on Twitter that he “didn’t understand the logic” behind Pakistan’s purchase of the J-10C, the latest variant of the J-10 series that has been in service with the Chinese Air Force since 2018.
Congressman Khan said that Pakistan already has the same aircraft like the J-10 (referring to the F-16). Meanwhile, the J-10C is not “as good as the Rafale”, which is in service with the Indian Air Force.
I don’t think the J-10C is as good as the Rafale. We should have invested this money in enhancing the capabilities of the JF-17.”
Pakistan has shared many of its problems with the JF-17 fighter jet. The RD-93 engine fitted to the JF-17 emits black smoke that can make it an easy target for the enemy in the event of a close-air combat.
In a potential dogfight with Indian fighters, the JF-17 could easily be shot down.
Although China is well aware of the problems related to the engine and tries to upgrade it, in reality, it cannot access spare parts and other help from Russian manufacturers.
China is currently building its own Guizhou WS-13 Taishan engine to replace the Russian RD-93 engine. However, that is still a long dream, leaving the Pakistan Air Force in a very precarious position.