PAK Seeks Chinese FC-31, Eyes Joint Production to Replace Aging F-16s

PAK Seeks Chinese FC-31, Eyes Joint Production to Replace Aging F-16s


ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is accelerating its modernization drive with Chinese-built fighter jets at the forefront.

This ambition is underscored by a recent video showcasing the FC-31, a fifth-generation fighter, confirming Pakistan's interest in the aircraft.

Beyond Purchase: Aiming for Joint Production​

Sources indicate that Pakistan's plans extend beyond a simple purchase. The PAF, in collaboration with China, aims to establish joint production of the FC-31 within Pakistan before the 2030s. This could potentially utilize the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), known for manufacturing the JF-17 fighter jet.

Replacing the F-16 Fleet​

The FC-31 acquisition is intended to replace Pakistan's aging fleet of around 60 American-built F-16 A/B MLU-15 fighters. While the exact number of FC-31s to be procured remains undisclosed, estimates suggest Pakistan is targeting an order of approximately 100 units.

Countering India's Rafales​

PAF's focus on modernization gained momentum under Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu.

This push led to the recent addition of 25 Chinese J-10CE fighters – a strategic acquisition aimed at countering India's deployment of 36 Dassault Rafale jets.

However, this procurement has faced scrutiny, with allegations of corruption and limited transparency.

Ambitious Goals: A Fifth-Generation Force​

The PAF's vision for the coming decades is ambitious, with a goal of transitioning to a solely fifth-generation fighter jet fleet by 2050. This raises questions surrounding the future of Pakistan's relatively new and capable JF-17 fighters.

Retiring Legacy Aircraft​

Alongside new acquisitions, the PAF plans to retire several aging aircraft. This includes over 100 Mirage-III/V fighters, veterans with over five decades of service, and the Chinese-origin F-7P (a MiG-21 variant) still operating within PAF ranks.

A Fleet in Transition​

Overall, the PAF aims to replace or retire approximately 200 aircraft in the next ten years, with the J-10CE and FC-31 taking up the mantle.

Lingering Uncertainties​

While Pakistan's air force modernization drive is undeniable, questions remain. The details of the FC-31 joint production agreement and the long-term role of the JF-17 program require further clarification.

Additionally, the allegations surrounding the J-10CE procurement cast a shadow over these ambitious efforts.
 
Joint Production or Green Paint ....... Beggaristan Going for Cheap alternative against KHAAN which may b over 100 Mn$ & what about azm ..............Look like it is dead project.
Absolutely No worries, everything happens for good, at least Now IAF and MOD will get ashamed and think about 5th gen aircraft instead of deciding to spend $300Mln to purchase a 4th gen antique tech platform.
 
It's good news for India, the more Pakistan imports is better for Indian Defence. Only thing is we shouldn't fall in the same trap and end up importing foreign jets. Yes, defence PSU's like HAL need a rap for lethargy but still doesn't justify importing weapons. I think agressive publicity of FC-31 itself is a ploy by Pakistan to push India into buying F-35 or Russian 5th gen jets. It's better to invite western manufacturers such as Boeing and Dassault to have full scale manufacturing in India as a secondary production line for global demands.
 
Without any kind of wasting time, lndia should import fighter jets from abroad.
It will be better for lndia to buy Boeing F15 EX fighter jets.
 
Pakistan is living loan to loan. But they want to buy new aircraft. Let's see, just how much bailout will IMF give.
 
Joint Production or Green Paint ....... Beggaristan Going for Cheap alternative against KHAAN which may b over 100 Mn$ & what about azm ..............Look like it is dead project.
Good for us.. why get excited then .. as its going to be a dead project.
 
This air force should be rename 2nd Chinese ai force
We should not waste our energy on it.. as nothing is going to work.. All is Chinese junk & useless eqpt; Their Navy, Air Force, Missiles & Armor.. all are junk & we can destroy all of it in one day.... Yes;
 
More cheeni toys for 24x7 tracking by our military satellites to be taken out by our S-400 SAMs the moment they take off.
Yes, its good news for us.. We have S-400s; We will shoot down all their missiles, planes etc by our imported S-400 SAMs; and Yes, we will track them thru our many Sats .. them Pakis only have 4 Mily Sats above us. Those Chins Sats dedicated for Pakis use only.
 
Pakistan is living loan to loan. But they want to buy new aircraft. Let's see, just how much bailout will IMF give.
Sir, pls don't mind, but you have no idea what Pakistanis are doing. They have all the money they want for Defense... 100% of their money is for Armed Forces, rest of expenses for civilian use is borrowed-loans..; I M F has nothing to do with Pakistanis Defense requirements. We are ruled by Parliament & our Armed Forces follow orders from Parliament, but Pakistanis Parliament is ruled by GHQ-'Pindi; thru their proxy, the Parliament-Senate bunch... which follow orders from G H Q ;
 

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