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Project Azm: Pakistan to Develop 5th Generation Fighter Plane

Pakistan has announced plans to develop and produce 5th generation fighter plane, according to media reports. It's part of Pakistan Air Force's highly ambitious Project Azm that includes building Kamra Aviation City dedicated to education, research and development and manufacturing of advanced fighter jets, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and weapon systems.

Pakistan's JF-17 Jet Fighter

Human Capital:

Development of a new advanced fighter is a wide-ranging effort that will encompass building human capital in a variety of fields including material science, physics, electronics, computer science, computer software, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, avionics, weapons design, etc etc.

Air University:

Pakistan Air Force's Air University, established in 2002 in Islamabad, will add a new campus in Kamra Aviation City. The university already offers bachelor's master's and doctoral degrees in several subjects. Pakistan Air Force Chief Sohail Aman told Quwa Defense News that the campus will “provide the desired impetus for cutting-edge indigenization programs, strengthen the local industry and harness the demands of foreign aviation industry by reducing … imports and promoting joint research and production ventures.”

Defense Exports:

Air forces of about a dozen developing nations are buying and deploying Pakistani made aircrafts. The reasons for their choice of Pakistan manufactured airplanes range from lower cost to ease of acquisition, maintenance and training.

Pakistan started developing defense hardware for imports substitution to reduce external dependence and to save hard currency. Now the country's defense industry is coming of age to lead the way to high value-added manufactured exports.

Pakistan Super Mushshak Trainer Aircraft

Nigerian Air Force is the latest to announce purchase of Pakistan made Super Mushshak aircraft after the United States' refusal to sell to Nigeria, according to American periodical Newsweek.  Nigerian Air Force chief Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar was quoted by the Nigerian media as saying that "Pakistan has accepted to sell ten trainer airplanes. And that is why the Pakistan Chief of Air Staff is coming for the induction ceremony which is going to take place in Kaduna".

Several other countries are in the process of making decisions to purchase aircraft from Pakistan. A report in Pakistan's Express Tribune newspaper says that Turkey has decided to buy 52 Super Mushshak trainer aircraft.  The Tribune also reported that Azerbaijan may buy a couple of dozen JF-17 Thunder fighter jets jointly developed by Pakistan and China.

Along with exporting existing hardware, Pakistan is continuing its efforts to enhance the capabilities with new versions. For example, fighter-jet JF-17’s Block III is expected to open up new opportunities for Pakistani defense exports.

The new JF-17 Block III will be a twin-seat trainer version with advanced Active Electronically-Scanned Array radar and mid-air-refueliling probe. It will use new composite materials to increase its performance, besides addition of other updates in cockpit and weapons’ pods, according to Pakistani media reports.

Pakistan's Defense Industry Collaboration With China, Turkey:

Growing defense collaboration between China and Pakistan irks the West, according to a report in the UK's Financial Times newspaper.  The paper specifically cites joint JF-17 Thunder fighter jet, armed drone Burraq and custom AIP-equipped submarines as examples of close cooperation between the two nations.

More recently, Pakistan has also begun to collaborate with Turkey in developing arms. In particular, Pakistan has been mentioned as a prospective partner in the TFX, Turkey’s next-generation fighter effort.

Pakistan's bitter experience with the unreliability of its cold war allies as weapons suppliers has proved to be a blessing in disguise. It has forced Pakistan to move toward self-reliance in production of the weapons it needs to defend itself from foreign and domestic enemies.

It all started back in 1965 when the US and its western allies placed an arms embargo on Pakistan during war with India. The bitterness grew stronger when the US forced France to cancel its contract to supply a breeder reactor to Pakistan in 1974 soon after India conducted its first nuclear test.

Khushab Nuclear Reactor:

Fortunately for Pakistan, the French had already given Pakistanis scientists drawings and specifications before canceling the breeder reactor contract. Work on Khushab reprocessing plant stated in 1974 when Pakistan signed a contract with the French company Saint-Gobain Techniques Nouvelles (SGN). In 1978, under U.S. pressure, France canceled the contract. Pakistan then proceeded to indigenously produce its own nuclear breeder reactors at Khushab. Four such reactors are now operating to produce plutonium for Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. Having done its first nuclear test in 1998, Pakistan now has a large and growing nuclear arsenal it needs to deter any enemy adventurism against it.

Babar Cruise Missile:

Since MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) prevented Pakistan from acquiring delivery vehicles from other countries, the country had to develop its own ballistic and cruise missiles to carry nuclear weapons.

The story of Babar Cruise Missile development is particularly interesting. It is believed that Pakistani engineers learned the technology by dismantling and studying a US Tomahawk cruise missile that fell in Pakistani territory when President Bill Clinton fired these missiles to target Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

JF-17 Thunder Fighter:

The development of JF-17, a modern highly capable and relatively inexpensive fighter jet, is the crowning achievement to-date of the Pakistan-China defense production cooperation. It's being deployed by Pakistan Air Force with Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) on recently rolling out the 16th Block 2 JF-17 aircraft for PAF's 4th squadron. The latest version is capable of launching a variety of nuclear and conventional weapons ranging from smart bombs and air-launched cruise missile Raad to anti-ship missiles.

Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) got its start decades ago by setting up maintenance facilities for advanced fighters like French Mirage and US F-16s and by manufacturing Mushshak and Super Mushshak trainer aircraft. It is now also building JF-17s as well as a variety of drones, including combat UAV Burraq being used in Pakistan's war against militants in Waziristan.

Nuclear-Capable AIP Submarines:

Pakistan is expanding and modernizing its underwater fleet with 8 additional AIP-equipped submarines. Four of these subs will be manufactured in Pakistan.  These will reportedly be custom versions of Yuan class diesel-electric subs with additional wider tubes from which cruise missiles can be launched. A key requirement for  these submarines is to be stealthy—and the AIP-equipped Yuan class is indeed very quiet. The trick is in the submarine’s air-independent propulsion fuel cells, which provide power under the surface as the diesel engines—used for running on the surface—rest and recharge. Though relatively limited in range, this system is quieter than the nuclear-powered engines on American and Russian submarines, which must constantly circulate engine coolant.

Arms as Pakistan's Cottage Industry

Pakistan has a long history of arms manufacturing as a cottage industry. The dusty little town of Darra Adam Khel, only a half-hour drive from Peshawar, reminds visitors of America's Wild West. The craftsmen of this town are manufacturers and suppliers of small arms to the tribal residents of the nation's Federally Administered Tribal Areas who carry weapons as part of their ancient culture. The skilled craftsmen of FATA make revolvers, automatic pistols, shotguns and AK-47 rifles. Until five years ago, the list also had items such as anti-personnel mines, sub-machine guns, small cannons and even rocket launchers. Pakistani government has forced the tribesmen to stop making heavy assault weapons to try and prevent the Taliban and Al Qaeda from getting access to such weapons.

Pakistan's arms industry has come a long way from making small arms as a cottage industry in the last few decades. The US and Western arms embargoes imposed on Pakistan at critical moments in its history have proved to be a blessing in disguise. In particular, the problems Pakistan faced in the aftermath of Pressler Amendment in 1992 became an opportunity for the country to rely on indigenous development and production of defense equipment.

Pakistan's Military Industrial Complex

The country now boasts a powerful industrial, technological and research base developing and manufacturing for its armed forces a wide variety of small and large weapons ranging from modern fighter jets, battle tanks, armored vehicles, frigates and submarines to armed and unarmed aerial vehicles and high tech firearms and personal grenade launchers for urban combat. Some of these items were on display at IDEAS 2014, the 5-day biennial arms show held November 2014 in Karachi, Pakistan.

Praise by Vice Chief of Indian Army:

General Sarath Chand, the Vice Chief of Indian Army, has been quoted by the Indian media as saying:  “I would even go to the extent of saying that Pakistan probably has a better industrial base, as far as defense production is concerned, than our country. In fact they export defense equipment abroad, definitely more than what we are doing.”

Summary: 

Pakistan has announced plans to develop and produce 5th generation fighter plane as part of the country's Air Force's highly ambitious Project Azm that includes building Kamra Aviation City dedicated to education, research and development and manufacturing of advanced fighter jets, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and weapon systems. It's a recognition that the country can not be truly independent and have real national security unless it can develop and manufacture the arms it needs to defend itself. Pakistan is just starting to do it but it has a very long way to go. Pakistan is also beginning to export defense hardware to developing nations.  Pakistan is recognizing the need to develop significant human capital and build a vibrant economy to make progress on this front.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan-China Defense Industry Collaboration Irks West

Pakistan's Aircraft Exports

Pakistan Navy Modernization

IDEAS 2014 Arms Show

Pakistan Defense Industry

Silicon Valley Book Launch of "Eating Grass"

Pakistan's Human Capital

Pakistan Economy Nears Trillion Dollars

Pakistan's Sea-Based Second Strike Capability

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Comment by Riaz Haq on August 8, 2017 at 4:24pm

#Nigeria President unveils five Super Mushshak aircraft bought for Air Force from #Pakistan - Premium Times Nigeria

http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/239590-osinbajo-unveil...

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday in Kaduna unveiled five Super Mushshak trainer aircraft acquired by the federal government to boost the capacity of Nigeria Air Force personnel in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the five aircraft are among the 10 acquired by the government from Pakistan.
Mr. Osinbajo, who was represented by Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, said Nigeria would welcome more support from friendly nations in its efforts to mow down Boko Haram insurgency.
“I will not fail to mention that the decision to acquire the Super Mushshak aircraft from Pakistan has greatly promoted the existing bilateral relationship between the two sister countries.
“It is our hope that we will continue to have the support and collaboration of other friendly nations, especially as we continue to combat insurgency and other security challenges in our country.”
The Acting President, who also witnessed the graduation of 16 young student pilots from 401 Flying Training School, for the first time in 30 years, pledged that the administration would continue to invest in the country’s air arsenal.
He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had two years ago pledged to build the capacity of the armed forces to effectively address Boko Haram insurgency and other national security threats.
“These achievements are a demonstration of the commitment and visionary leadership of the administration,’’ he said.

Mr. Osinbajo stressed that the administration had remained committed to its desire of ensuring a peaceful country.
“This has been a major security policy thrust of this administration.
“We have since embarked on qualitative training and acquisition of new platforms and other supporting equipment for the Armed Forces and security agencies.
“We have also sanitised the procurement process of military hardware with a view to eliminating corruption and inefficiency.
“I make bold to say that we have achieved remarkable savings and infused quality into the system.
“This has contributed in no small way to the acquisition of these new aircraft without any encumbrances.
“It is now your responsibility to make good use of the aircraft as we await the delivery of the last batch by the end of the year.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 10, 2017 at 7:31am

India to finalize fifth-gen fighter deal

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2017/08/09/india-to-finalize-fifth-...

India is going ahead with the acquisition of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft with Russia after an internal committee of the Ministry of Defence recommended that the purchase of the aircraft will duplicate India’s plan to develop a homegrown advanced medium combat aircraft, according to an MoD official.

“The internal committee, headed by retired Indian Air Force Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman, after studying technical parameters, has recommended India to acquire the Indo-Russian FGFA,” the MoD official said, referring to the fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

On the road ahead, the official said, a final agreement between India and Russia will be prepared that will pave the way for the release of over $5 billion toward India’s share to develop the FGFA

A preliminary development agreement was signed in 2010 between Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation and India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, or HAL, when India paid its 50 percent share of $250 million toward initial development cost.

“A firm order of 108 will be put in the final draft of the agreement being prepared,” said an IAF official.

India and Russia have yet to finalize the work share for the production and technology transfer.

“Defence Research and Development Organization has been involved regarding the work share and transfer of technology, whereas the IAF is involved in finalizing the operational requirements and the number of fighters,” said Daljit Singh, retired Indian Air Force air marshal and defense analyst.

“The involvement [of both Russia and India] is huge in the FGFA program, wherein HAL will be doing many systems like flight controls, avionics with inputs of DRDO and other establishments,” said the MoD official.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 12, 2017 at 10:04pm

T-90S tanks crash out of military games after engine troubles. via

The Indian Army has crashed out of a 19-nation military competition after its Russian-origin T-90S main-battle tanks broke down due to mechanical snags in the grueling sport, even as the armoured fighting vehicles from Russia, China, Belarus and Kazakhstan raced ahead to enter the finals.

The Army swears by the T-90S "Bhishma" tanks, which are being licensed-produced in India after the first 657 of them were imported for Rs 8,525 crore from Russia from 2001 onwards, though the DRDO accuses the force for cold-shouldering the indigenous Arjun tanks.



Sources said both the main and reserve T-90S tanks, shipped by India for the Tank Biathlon in the International Army Games at the Alabino ranges in Russia, developed "engine problems" after performing "exceedingly well" in the initial rounds of the competition.

"The fan belt snapped in the first tank. The reserve tank was then deployed for the race but its entire engine oil leaked just two kilometres before the end...it could not complete the race. It was sheer bad luck that led to the Indian team being disqualified," said an officer.
 
China, incidentally, has fielded its indigenous Type-96B tank in the competition, which includes firing on the tanks on the move by machine guns and anti-tank projectiles at a 2-km range while they negotiate rugged obstacles. Russia and Kazakhstan have deployed T-72B3 tanks, while Belarus has a modernized T-72 tank. The four are now competing for the top honours.
 
The T-90S tanks are the fulcrum of the Indian Army's "shock and awe" armoured battle plans. The force has 63 armoured regiments with around 800 T-90S, 124 Arjun and 2,400 older T-72 tanks as of now.
 
After the first 657 T-90S tanks were imported, the Avadi heavy vehicles Factory under the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) is progressively "producing" 1,000 more tanks with Russian kits. In November last year, the defence ministry had approved the procurement of 464 T-90S tanks from the OFB for Rs 13,448 crore to add to the 536 tanks ordered earlier.
 
The DRDO remains upset+ that the Army has not yet ordered upgraded Arjun Mark-II tanks after inducting the first lot of 124 Mark-I variants, stressing the indigenous tanks did better than the T-90S tanks in comparative trials in 2010.


The Army, however, contends that the 62-tonne Arjun, with its excessive weight and width, has poor operational mobility and flexibility. It has also launched a hunt for a "future ready combat vehicle (FRCV)" to meet its requirements after 2027.
Comment by Riaz Haq on August 31, 2017 at 10:05am

#US denies #Turkey permission to use #F16 pilots from #Pakistan to train #Turkish Air Force pilots. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-refuses-to-send-f-16-training-p...

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has been trying to increase the number of its jet pilots after the Air Forces were hit by dismissals carried out after the failed July 15, 2016 coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

During the thwarted coup, 25 coup pilots flew with F-16 jets and 11 of them bombed strategic sites.

After the thwarted coup, it was revealed that a significant number of followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fehullah Gülen were in the Air Forces Command and 1,752 personnel were dismissed with state of emergency decrees. 

According to official numbers, between 300 and 350 of those dismissed were warplane pilots and as a result the ratio of number of seats and the number of pilots decreased to 1/0.8, when it should be 1/1.5. 
The F-16 jets of American firm Lockheed Martin constitute a majority of Turkey’s warplane fleet with 240 jets. 

The government, which has been focused on measures that would increase the number of jet pilots, is searching for F-16 trainers abroad. Pakistan was the only country to accept Turkey’s request. 

However, the U.S. objected to Pakistan sending F-16 jet pilot trainers to Turkey, based on the agreement that U.S.-origin equipment’s purchase, sale, maintenance and training between third countries needed approval from Washington. 

Upon the prevention of Pakistani trainers from coming to Turkey, Ankara renewed its request from the U.S. 
According to information obtained by daily Hürriyet, the Pentagon has once again rejected Ankara’s request, saying “there is no program regarding training pilots abroad.”

“If you send your F-16 pilots to the U.S., we can train them here,” the U.S. response read, while Ankara insisted on pilots receiving treatment in the bases in Turkey and in their own geographical conditions. 

The fact that a majority of U.S. jet pilots are on active duty against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria is reportedly among the reasons why Washington is reluctant to send pilots to Turkey at present.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 4, 2017 at 9:52am

PAKISTAN ASPIRES FOR CPEC-DRIVEN AVIATION INDUSTRY GROWTH

http://quwa.org/2017/09/03/pakistan-aspires-cpec-driven-aviation-in...

In a one-day symposium – titled “CPEC vis-à-vis Opportunities for Aviation Industry and Way Forward” – the Government of Pakistan, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) and members of the private sector collectively expressed hope that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would spur growth in Pakistan’s aviation sector.

The Daily Times (Pakistan) compiled a report outlining the thoughts and aspirations of each symposium participant, which included the Federal Interior Minister Dr. Ahsan Iqbal, the PAF Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Sohail Aman and other leading officials and industry representatives.

Short-term objectives center on guaranteeing the security of CPEC projects. In this respect, the PAF had outlined its success in building a capable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) element for providing situational awareness for all relevant parties, including its sister services the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Navy. The PAF had also expressed confidence in its ability to counter asymmetrical threats through precision-guided airstrikes. It is also committed to providing search-and-rescue support.

The panel’s long-term aspirations echoed earlier government sentiments, namely of channeling projected economic growth from CPEC to effect industry gains. In this case, it is aviation.

PCAA Additional Director of Air Transport International Regulation Syed Muzaffar Alam projected that air travel in Pakistan will see an additional three million passengers in the next three to four years. Alam believed that this growth will present opportunities for growth in Pakistan’s commercial airline sector, be it new airlines or expanded ground support providers. In relation, PAF Air Vice Marshal Razi Nawab, the Deputy Managing Director of the Shaheen Foundation, stressed that investment be made in raising new maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) entities and airlines in Pakistan to support growth in air travel.

Interior Minister Dr. Ahsan Iqbal called for developing Pakistan’s aviation development and manufacturing sectors, particularly through “Technology Intensive Clusters” at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in Kamra. He also advocated for research and development, joint-ventures and public-private partnerships.

The participating stakeholders proposed raising a joint working group comprising of representatives from the Government of Pakistan, the PAF, PCAA, the private sector and academic institutions to steward the objectives discussed at the symposium.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 14, 2017 at 7:19pm

#Pakistan plans to produce small commercial #airplanes for 10 to 30 passengers. #DubaiAirshow

https://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/aviation/pakistan-to-soon-sta...

Pakistan will soon start producing commercial aircraft for the domestic and international markets, said a senior official.

Air Marshal Ahmer Shahzad of Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) told Khaleej Times in an interview that they are looking at producing commercial aircraft with 10 to 30-seat capacity both for executive and non-executive passengers.

“As economic activity picks up with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, we require fast and efficient air transportation to fulfill domestic requirements. We’re also eyeing international requirements in the Middle East and Central Asia,” Shahzad said on the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow 2017.

The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex is a Pakistani aerospace, defence, aviation contractor and military corporation producing aerial systems for both military and civilian usage.

Pakistan has put up a pavilion at the Airshow, displaying its Super Mushshak and JF-17 Thunder as well as advanced avionics and electronic equipment. The Pakistan Air Force is participating with the JF-17 Thunder. One light fighter aircraft has been put on static display while another takes part in the daily airshow. In addition, Pakistan is also displaying its technological prowess in advanced avionics and electronic components and production potential at the Airshow.

Shahzad said work on the commercial plane project is expected to start soon.

Commenting on competition in the commercial aircraft segment, Shahzad said: “We’ve produced the Super Mushshak and it’s being sold successfully despite competition. If we make it [commercial aircraft] cost-effective, with sustained logistics and maintenance, it is going to be attractive to international customers.”

The aircraft will be produced at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex’s headquarters in Kamra.

Shahzad revealed that Pakistan is going to resume production of more advanced unmanned aerial vehicles too.

Replying to a query about expectations of orders for the JF-17 Thunder and Super Mushshak, the PAC chief said they’re looking for new markets in the Middle East and Far East.

“There are a number of potential buyers for Super Mushshak — which is used for training purposes too. We are fulfilling the requirements of the Pakistan Air Force and are capable of manufacturing aircraft for exports too. Right now, our annual production for JF-17 is 20 aircraft.”

The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex has already signed deals with Turkey, Qatar, Nigeria and Azerbaijan for aircraft export orders.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 5, 2017 at 5:20pm

 

Pakistan’s largest Olympiad ‘AirTect ’17’ to be conducted by Air University in Islamabad

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/12/05/pakistans-largest-olymp...

Air University Vice-Chancellor Air Vice Marshal (retd) Faaiz Amir announced during a press conference on Tuesday that Pakistan’s largest technical and scientific Olympiad “Airtech’17” will be held at the main campus of Air University from December 7-10.

The Olympiad would include 26 technological competitions as well as other value-added events like an AirTech conference, embedded workshops, a national photography competition, project expo, an aeromodelling show, an air techno-show, bonfire, sky lantern show and more.

Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman will deliver his keynote address as chief guest on the occasion of AirTech’17 Conference.

“AirTech’17 is designed to serve as a platform where a fair and competitive environment will be provided to young students to design, build & present technical solutions and perform innovative tasks in respective fields by utilising their creative skills blended with their scientific academic knowledge and technical capabilities”, the Vice-Chancellor said during the briefing.

While talking to media, Students Affairs Deputy Director Ms Fazaila Ali Qazi said that the chief guest would deliver his keynote address on “leadership, education & society development” on December 7. It will include various topics related to robotics, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. Furthermore, student competitions will be held on the second day and would be divided into five key categories – robotics, mechanical, electrical, computer sciences and applied sciences.

A “TechnoShow” will be held on day 3 of the Olympiad. The show will include events like “AirBot”, “Robo War”, “Quadro Show” and “Robo Dance”. As a secondary activity, a workshop on international scholarships will also be held on the occasion. On day 4 (Sunday), a tremendous Air Show will be presented over F-9 Park in Islamabad. The Project Expo will also be held on the concluding day, followed by a sky lantern show.

A number of industry leaders, decision-makers and professionals are invited to appreciate students’ efforts and to identify opportunities to collaborate with students and discuss future prospects

AirTech’17 aims to enhance and polish the conceptual, analytical and practical skills and expertise of youth, with the intention of cultivating and nurturing their talent, thus enabling them to envision themselves to be the future of a dynamic and technologically advanced Pakistan.

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