PAF’s New Lethal Punch

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PAF’s New Lethal Punch


The Pakistan Air Force formally inducts J-10C multi-role combat aircraft

If you want peace, prepare for war. This centuries old Latin saying holds true even in the 21st century. Despite all the politically correct lip-service paid to the cause of peace, international spirit of brotherhood, justice, and fair play, it is the policy of might is right which practically works even in these modern times. Therefore, every country needs to prepare as best as it can to defend its frontiers and keep an eye on the enemy and its offensive preparations.

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) despite its resource constraints remains in a league of its own – always keeping abreast with the rapid technological advancements both through local innovation and production as well as equipping and modernizing itself with close coordination and cooperation of friendly countries.

The Induction of the J-10C fighter aircraft this Friday March 11, 2022 is a step in the same direction, reflecting Pakistan’s close coordination with its all-weather friend and ally – the People’s Republic of China.


Chinese Dragon


This state-of-the-art combat aircraft — formally known as Jian-10 — is often referred to as the ‘Vigorous Dragon’ and stands out as the top-of-the-line indigenously built multi-role fighter aircraft, developed at the Chengdu Aircraft industry, which is part of the Chinese Aviation Complex (CAC).

Notable features of the J-10C in Chinese service, include an infrared search and track and laser rangefinder dome in front of the cockpit and a glass cockpit with a wide-angle holographic head-up display. The characteristic fixed diverterless supersonic intake introduced on the J-10B is retained, while the radome accommodates a new AESA radar. The radar is used in conjunction with the same active-radar-guided PL-15 air-to-air missiles as already acquired for the PAF’s latest JF-17 Block III jets. These potent missiles feature a dual-pulse motor that gives them an impressive range.

The Chinese flying dragon is not just seen as a match but considered better than the French twin-engine Dassault Rafale, which have recently been acquired by India.



The structure of the aircraft was based on a tailless delta (triangular planform) wing, foreplanes and a sweptback vertical tail. There are two fixed fins on the underside of the body near the tail. The size and design of the J-10 is similar to that of the Israeli Aircraft Industries Lavi fighter aircraft, which itself is derived technology from the US F-16 aircraft. With its more modern design, the J-10 is capable of improved take-off and has better low-speed handling than the F-16.




The J-10 has 11 external weapon hardpoints. The outer wing carries air-to-air missiles, infrared homing short-range air-to-air missile and medium-range air-to-air missile. The aircraft can be armed with laser-guided bombs, antiship solid rocket powered missiles, land attack and anti-ship turbojet-powered missiles and anti-radiation missile. A 23 mm cannon is installed internally on the port side of the forward section of the fuselage above the nosewheel.



The aircraft can be fitted with a forward-looking infrared and laser target designator pod, which supports deployment of laser and satellite navigation guided weapons.




The single-seat fighter aircraft has also been developed in a two-seat variant as a trainer aircraft and as an electronic warfare aircraft with a zero-zero ejection seat in its cockpit. The first flight of the two-seat variant was completed in 2003. The aircraft has a digital fly-by-wire flight control system and hands-on throttle and stick on which the pilot has every control for combat incorporated into the two handholds. Cockpit displays include a helmet-mounted weapon sight, a wide field of view head-up display and one full-colour and two monochrome liquid crystal multifunction displays.



The J-10 fighter aircraft is powered by the AL-31 turbojet engine supplied by Saturn Lyulka. The aircraft carries a maximum of 4,950 litres of fuel, comprising 3,180 litres in the wing tanks and 1,770 litres in the fuselage tanks. A fixed refuelling probe for in-flight refuelling is installed halfway up the forward port side of the fuselage and just forward of the pilot. Additional fuel can be carried in auxiliary tanks on the centreline under the fuselage and on the innermost pair of the three sets of wing hardpoints.



Landing gear

The aircraft is equipped with tricycle-type landing gear. The nose unit has twin heels and retracts rearwards and the main units retract forward. The aircraft has a drogue parachute for landing.



The J-10 can fly at a maximum speed of 2,327 kilometres per hour at high altitudes and has a service ceiling of 18,000 metres. The range and combat radius of the aircraft are 1,850 kilometres and 550 kilometres respectively. The aircraft weighs around 9,750 kilometres and has a maximum take-off weight of 19,277 kilometres.




Prime Minister Imran Khan attended the induction ceremony of the new aircraft as the chief guest at Minhas Airbase Kamra. Federal Ministers Asad Umar, Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Fawad Chaudhry, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong and other officials attended the ceremony along with the Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the special invitation of Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmad Babar.

Prime Minister Imran Khan in his speech emphatically pointed out that a sovereign country can only remain sovereign when it can defend itself.

“A message went to the entire world after Pakistan’s response to the Balakot attack that we have full capability to defend ourselves,” the premier said while referring to the Indian intrusion which received a befitting response from the PAF.

Prime minister also praised the PAF’s No. 15 Squadron for expediting the induction of the J-10C aircraft in a record time.


He said that when the US-built F-16s were inducted in the PAF some 40 years ago, the entire nation celebrated and now Pakistan is strengthening itself again. “There was an attempt to create an imbalance in the region, but the induction of the fighter aircraft has again created an equilibrium,” he said referring to India’s French built Rafale aircraft.

“The induction of modern J-10C fighterw will not only improve the country’s defense system but will also help address the security imbalance being created in the sub-continent,” he said. “We are confident that if anyone makes an aggressive move against Pakistan, it would be retaliated by the armed forces with full force.”


A reliable partnership

This is not the first time that Pakistan has collaborated with China to modernize its armed forces. The two countries have a long history of closely working together on defence matters.

In the recent past, China and Pakistan collaborated on the JF-17 Thunder fighter jets which are produced at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex with assistance from the Chinese Aviation Complex. This collaboration resulted in successively more capable versions of the aircraft, the ultimate result of which is that latest Block III model which features a new active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, a helmet-mounted display, and the beyond-visual-range (BVR) missile capability also found in earlier versions. Aside from the production of and deliveries of the J-17, Pakistani pilots have also been trained in using the J-10 during several joint training sessions between China and Pakistan, called the Shaheen series.


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