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Analysis: PAF's Fighter Modernization Roadmap (Part-1)

Blue Marlin

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There are a few issues. The PAF is looking to replace a lot of fighters by 2020, so to do that it would have to ramp up JF-17 production to the maximum possible. There are risks with that strategy. For one thing, it is expensive, even more so than picking up EDA F-16s (without upgrading them).

There is also a second aspect as well, and that is the fact that the lifetime production of JF-17s for PAF will reach 250-275, but it would do so in the form of many different blocks, each in accordance with the era's technologial trends.

For example, the PAF might stock up on lots of old F-16s from now until 2020, but it may simply replace those old F-16s with new variant JF-17s (e.g. Block-IV, Block-V, etc) as they become available. In other words, JF-17 production will not stop after 2020, nor will it be the end with Block-III, we're going to keep seeing JF-17 in new forms and variants for a long time, even in the 2020s and 2030s.

These new JF-17s would be considerably more advanced and capable than the Block-I and Block-II because they would incorporate the technology of the day as well as developmental changes. By extending the production of the JF-17 into a long-term and gradual process, the PAF would be able to make the most out of its up-front investment, control costs, as well as keep developing the JF-17 platform.

I honestly believe that after 2020, we will see a massive re-design of the JF-17, something akin to what the Super Hornet is for the original Hornet, or the Block-52+ is to the original Block-5, or the Gripen NG to the original Gripen.
yes a lot of fighter are to be retired and we know what they will be replaced with, the jf-17 as is intended.
more f16's? well i dont know, i highly doubt it, but if your actually paying for it then maybe, but if its subsidized then it will be very hard. but there is something that does not stack up. when it was first proposed last year janes quoted a Pakistani official saying the new jets will be more advanced then the blk 52's. the new jets are the exact same. or is he on about another deal we dont know about? i shall let your imagination take you for a ride.

as for the numbers and the block's? i think its 50 jets per block, but it's not gospel and i can be wrong. but 5 block's of 50 is quite a good estimate. and i would assume a reworked version would be arriving beyond 2020. remember they used the f16 model on the jf-17 with the block's and the ab variants are different for the c/d variants [structurally speaking/as well as technically too]

Not talking about another 4th Gen plane, even it does it will be purely for increasing numbers , as many people say J-10's wont be adding any significant Capabilities to our Existing JF block 2 , or F-16 A/B blocks . what i am suggesting that why not do some back door diplomacy to at least try for Su-35 ? recently Russian's sell it to China , despite China and Indian sore relationship, so selling 1 sqs to Pakistan will not make much of a difference , as Indian are all set to buy Rafale , and i am pretty sure there will be a follow up order by IAF of Rafale to make the numbers increase to 50+ .. off course we cant match Indians by Quantity but dedicated sq such as Su-35 for Naval strikes , with 11 Subs with AIP + CM will give goose bumps to IN , and they will think 200 times before they think of a blockade ..
in any way case , Su-35 can be diverted to over Karachi , thanks to their range, they fly as Air Superiority in case we need them .. F-16's Medium , JF light and Su-35 High end Flankers make perfect sense ..
not gonna work. forget the j10 and the su35.
china and russia do huge amounts of business and that alone would be enough justification to ignore india. the rd-93 engine is Russian and india wanted to stop the engine being used on the jf-17 for Pakistan. but Russia was not selling engines to Pakistan they were selling them to china who sold them on to Pakistan. now Russia dropped is self imposed arm embargo on Pakistan they can sell the rd-93 directly to you removing the middle-man thus saving money.
to put it quiet bluntly, who would Russia pick from either china or india as a economic partner?
ok lets say [hypothetically] Pakistan wanted the su-35, its possible but they need cold hard cash. Russia cant afford to give a loan or give an incentive. Pakistan is not stupid nor desperate to get the su-35.
 

Quwa

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yes a lot of fighter are to be retired and we know what they will be replaced with, the jf-17 as is intended.
more f16's? well i dont know, i highly doubt it, but if your actually paying for it then maybe, but if its subsidized then it will be very hard. but there is something that does not stack up. when it was first proposed last year janes quoted a Pakistani official saying the new jets will be more advanced then the blk 52's. the new jets are the exact same. or is he on about another deal we dont know about? i shall let your imagination take you for a ride.

as for the numbers and the block's? i think its 50 jets per block, but it's not gospel and i can be wrong. but 5 block's of 50 is quite a good estimate. and i would assume a reworked version would be arriving beyond 2020. remember they used the f16 model on the jf-17 with the block's and the ab variants are different for the c/d variants [structurally speaking]
Most additional F-16s would have to be used (via Excess Defence Articles program or cheap third-party purchases) in order to fit within the PAF's budget. According to Usman Shabbir on PakDef, the Jordan F-16 deal cost Pakistan $75 million in total, i.e. a little less than $6mn per fighter.

Used F-16s acquired from the U.S. via EDA can be had for even less, the PAF would just pay for transit, cleaning, etc. This is if you don't upgrade the fighters, if you put them through service life-extension plans (SLEP), then you could add up to $10 million per unit. Factor in MLU or CCIP (to bring them onto par with the Block-52+ in terms of radar and avionics), then add another $20-25mn a unit.
 

rockstar08

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not gonna work. forget the j10 and the su35.
china and russia do huge amounts of business and that alone would be enough justification to ignore india. the rd-93 engine is Russian and india wanted to stop the engine being used on the jf-17 for Pakistan. but Russia was not selling engines to Pakistan they were selling them to china who sold them on to Pakistan. now Russia dropped is self imposed arm embargo on Pakistan they can sell the rd-93 directly to you removing the middle-man thus saving money.
to put it quiet bluntly, who would Russia pick from either china or india as a economic partner?
ok lets say [hypothetically] Pakistan wanted the su-35, its possible but they need cold hard cash. Russia cant afford to give a loan or give an incentive. Pakistan is not stupid nor desperate to get the su-35.
the things are improving between Pakistan and Russia .. again no one is asking them to chose us over India , you talk like a India here .. Mil-35 , direct sell of RD-93, and even SAM's were on table.. the only problem was money as people can think off right ? what if both Russia and Pakistan wants to keep things low as possible in order not to piss of India ? in coming 4 years you will be seeing some major defense deals between India and west .. some are like pi8 done already , nuclear reactors , artillery , Rafale and what not ..
Russian does need to recover the cost they will be losing the money , imagine the billion Russian lost in case of Rafale .
Pakistan can save up, Chinese will still be buying Russian stuff unless their own products are well matured .. and it wont take much time .. China is self sustaining very fast . once China become self sufficient and more good in Jet's , you can guess whom PAF will look for ? again Russian can make some money but they are loosing it ..
Russian are not stupid to not just say bye to coming dollars , and a strategic ally like Pakistan in the region .. Indian role in Afghanistan is almost over, they are desperately trying to put their influence over TTP to create disturbance , but the Dialog process between Taliban , US and allies , now include Pakistan and China ..
Russia are not scared of Indian that they will lose, india needs russia more than Russian needs india
 

Blue Marlin

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Most additional F-16s would have to be used (via Excess Defence Articles program or cheap third-party purchases) in order to fit within the PAF's budget. According to Usman Shabbir on PakDef, the Jordan F-16 deal cost Pakistan $75 million in total, i.e. a little less than $6mn per fighter.

Used F-16s acquired from the U.S. via EDA can be had for even less, the PAF would just pay for transit, cleaning, etc. This is if you don't upgrade the fighters, if you put them through service life-extension plans (SLEP), then you could add up to $10 million per unit. Factor in MLU or CCIP (to bring them onto par with the Block-52+ in terms of radar and avionics), then add another $20-25mn a unit.
eda would bypass congress so it's an easy route to take. and would be reflective of the rose program with the mirages, where they purchased used jet's and brought them up to spec. so its a good idea. do the usa have c/d f16's spare? also note european f16's are very very old and are too old to be procured as the air frame is different somehow as i was told. the dutch are retiring 61 f16 am/bm's heck even the danish are retiring 60 f16's too and don't forget Norway. if they can be purchased dirt cheap and are air worthy, then your looking at a winner here. BUT for "coin" only, (don't forget to include the aim-120's) :enjoy:

the things are improving between Pakistan and Russia .. again no one is asking them to chose us over India , you talk like a India here .. Mil-35 , direct sell of RD-93, and even SAM's were on table.. the only problem was money as people can think off right ? what if both Russia and Pakistan wants to keep things low as possible in order not to piss of India ? in coming 4 years you will be seeing some major defense deals between India and west .. some are like pi8 done already , nuclear reactors , artillery , Rafale and what not ..
Russian does need to recover the cost they will be losing the money , imagine the billion Russian lost in case of Rafale .
Pakistan can save up, Chinese will still be buying Russian stuff unless their own products are well matured .. and it wont take much time .. China is self sustaining very fast . once China become self sufficient and more good in Jet's , you can guess whom PAF will look for ? again Russian can make some money but they are loosing it ..
Russian are not stupid to not just say bye to coming dollars , and a strategic ally like Pakistan in the region .. Indian role in Afghanistan is almost over, they are desperately trying to put their influence over TTP to create disturbance , but the Dialog process between Taliban , US and allies , now include Pakistan and China ..
Russia are not scared of Indian that they will lose, india needs russia more than Russian needs india
i like your enthusiasm which is fine. but i just disagree with it. BUT to replace the 50 mirage-5's in the navy? then yes.
heck everyone is so busy talking about the air force you forgot the navy! :mad: wont be the first time :azn:.
 

rockstar08

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eda would bypass congress so it's an easy route to take. and would be reflective of the rose program with the mirages, where they purchased used jet's and brought them up to spec. so its a good idea. do the usa have c/d f16's spare? also note european f16's are very very old and are too old to be procured as the air frame is different somehow as i was told. the dutch are retiring 61 f16 am/bm's heck even the danish are retiring 60 f16's too and don't forget Norway. if they can be purchased dirt cheap and are air worthy, then your looking at a winner here. BUT for "coin" only, (don't forget to include the aim-120's) :enjoy:


i like your enthusiasm which is fine. but i just disagree with it. BUT to replace the 50 mirage-5's in the navy? then yes.
heck everyone is so busy talking about the air force you forgot the navy! :mad: wont be the first time :azn:.
lol, no i did not forget NAVY , but its still not clear what they are up to ..
they have signed contract for subs so now they won't be needing any sub till 2030 .. 8+3=11 AIP + CM Capable .
what i am waiting is for them to decide for Frigates of DDG's .. 1 sqs of Flanker for Naval strikes wont hurt anyone except our Indian neighbors :)
 

Super Falcon

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The payload capacity of the Mirage III is only marginally higher than that of the JF-17, and the respective ferry ranges of both fighters are very close. In other words, the JF-17 is no less of a strike fighter than the Mirage III. Yes, for its time the Mirage III was an industry fighter-bomber, but in today's age, its core dimensions are very similar to that of modern light/medium-weight fighters, such as the JF-17. Granted, the JF-17 would not be a massive improvement over the Mirage (in terms of range and payload), but it wouldn't be a step backwards either. For a serious improvement in strike, the FC-31 - with the internal weapons bay, added range, and increased overall payload - would be ideal.


If the PAF is to get used F-16s without upgrading them, it would get them via EDA or for peanuts from other air forces. In the end, these non-upgraded used birds could be great replacements for the F-7 until such time more JF-17s roll-out the production line. It's also important to ask ourselves, what is the added benefit of just 40 J-10s when we have to set up an entirely new logistics channel for it? Just another medium-weight fighter? Why not just spend a fraction of that money on EDA F-16s (the cost of which is transit), and put the rest towards JF-17 and FC-31?

There are a few issues. The PAF is looking to replace a lot of fighters by 2020, so to do that it would have to ramp up JF-17 production to the maximum possible. There are risks with that strategy. For one thing, it is expensive, even more so than picking up EDA F-16s (without upgrading them).

There is also a second aspect as well, and that is the fact that the lifetime production of JF-17s for PAF will reach 250-275, but it would do so in the form of many different blocks, each in accordance with the era's technologial trends.

For example, the PAF might stock up on lots of old F-16s from now until 2020, but it may simply replace those old F-16s with new variant JF-17s (e.g. Block-IV, Block-V, etc) as they become available. In other words, JF-17 production will not stop after 2020, nor will it be the end with Block-III, we're going to keep seeing JF-17 in new forms and variants for a long time, even in the 2020s and 2030s.

These new JF-17s would be considerably more advanced and capable than the Block-I and Block-II because they would incorporate the technology of the day as well as developmental changes. By extending the production of the JF-17 into a long-term and gradual process, the PAF would be able to make the most out of its up-front investment, control costs, as well as keep developing the JF-17 platform.

I honestly believe that after 2020, we will see a massive re-design of the JF-17, something akin to what the Super Hornet is for the original Hornet, or the Block-52+ is to the original Block-5, or the Gripen NG to the original Gripen.
still cant u get me when u can buy a new jet why opt for old F 16 which dont have bvr even indian Upgraded mig 21 can have them on lunch and dinner with BVR if not than mig 29k

Air war has changed around us if it is the case why buy 8 new F 16 instead of buy 20 old F 16

When PAF always cry for funds why they waste funds in old and J 10 can come fraction 20 percent more price than old F 16 which is better to have new jet


If we buy 1 f 16 we can get 2 J 10 and logistics are no issue when u have to defend nation air
You dont get into smaller things

Countries like indonesia using SU 30 and F 16 they choose SU 30 over F 16 because it give them superiofity in air they are not buying car SU 30 is more need maintanance etc but when u defend country these things should not be thinked motto should be defending

Mindset of PAF is shamefull


JF 17 said to be replacing all F 7 A 5 and Mirage jets than shy u opt for old F 16 we are not in rush these old jets would be burden
 

Blue Marlin

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lol, no i did not forget NAVY , but its still not clear what they are up to ..
they have signed contract for subs so now they won't be needing any sub till 2030 .. 8+3=11 AIP + CM Capable .
what i am waiting is for them to decide for Frigates of DDG's .. 1 sqs of Flanker for Naval strikes wont hurt anyone except our Indian neighbors :)
forget the sub's. you getting 8 of them. but what about air support? you need something to shoot down the mig 29k's and the p8i's? or did you forget about that?[i know... you forgot!] as for surface ship's you wont be getting a ddg thats something thats only present in your imagination, but frigates? well lets that not gonna happen soon, as karachi is launching the 15000 tonne tanker this year and that dry dock will be used for the construction of the subs as its the largest .as i said everyone forgets the navy the subs were purchased to protect gwadar and patrol the arabian sea. apparently your getting 6 patrol crafts or fac's? and a 1500 tonne ship for the coast guard?
 

Quwa

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still cant u get me when u can buy a new jet why opt for old F 16 which dont have bvr even indian Upgraded mig 21 can have them on lunch and dinner with BVR if not than mig 29k

Air war has changed around us if it is the case why buy 8 new F 16 instead of buy 20 old F 16

When PAF always cry for funds why they waste funds in old and J 10 can come fraction 20 percent more price than old F 16 which is better to have new jet


If we buy 1 f 16 we can get 2 J 10 and logistics are no issue when u have to defend nation air
You dont get into smaller things

Countries like indonesia using SU 30 and F 16 they choose SU 30 over F 16 because it give them superiofity in air they are not buying car SU 30 is more need maintanance etc but when u defend country these things should not be thinked motto should be defending

Mindset of PAF is shamefull


JF 17 said to be replacing all F 7 A 5 and Mirage jets than shy u opt for old F 16 we are not in rush these old jets would be burden
Old F-16s come in various forms. For example, the ADFs the PAF acquired from Jordan are capable of using the AMRAAM. Second, the PAF already has a solid fleet of BVR capable fighters, e.g. the JF-17 Block-I and Block-II, as well as the F-16 Block-52+ and MLU. These used F-16s are there to basically plugin the short-fall in basic air defence duties and maintain numbers.

The purpose behind getting the used F-16s is to enable the PAF to easily phase out a large bunch of old airframes, and to do it very cheaply (i.e. maybe for $5-6mn a plane). So that fits within the PAF's budget constraints and it is considerably cheaper than going the J-10 route.

Moreover, these used F-16s will be holding the spot until such time additional JF-17s roll-out of PAC. After 2020 we're talking about Block-IV, Block-V, etc. So instead of spending a lot of money on J-10, the PAF is spending very little money on the F-16s, and it is deferring most of its funds back into JF-17.

How is this a bad thing?
 

Khafee

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well UAE using air tractors in yemen .How long more yemen thing will continue ?
Not long, things should settle down soon. But do keep in mind, we have been using the Air Tractors in the Border Surveillance & Enforcement role, long before Yemen. AND this is a role it will continue to be used in.
 

SQ8

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80 F-16 till 2025 ? even after retiring half of fleet ? you think it will be wise ? leaving PAF with just 250 BVR capable fighters ? by 2025 , as we have no specific date of 5th Gen Chinese jet ..
Yup, please remember that unlike India our chadar is pretty small.
 

Zarvan

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Yup, please remember that unlike India our chadar is pretty small.
No Sir we are doing something's secretly which is bringing massive money to us. Also through CSF funds from USA and some other things you would hear about 3rd 4.5th Generation platform in less than a year time.
 

mingle

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Not long, things should settle down soon. But do keep in mind, we have been using the Air Tractors in the Border Surveillance & Enforcement role, long before Yemen. AND this is a role it will continue to be used in.
It's heck of thing very solid platform better than super Tucano load, rang .
 

salman-1

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PAF has already announced a 2-3 different platform mix of Air fighters. That only fits JF-17, F-16 and third most probably FC-31 when ever ready for export may be by 2020. By that time PAF would only keep inducting new JF-17's and as many as possible used F-16 with at least 2500-3000 hours of engine and air frame life left in them. PAF has dropped old F-16's on few options as they were not feasible or much air worthy. As soon as F-35 clears its glitches for serial production there would be enough good options available for 30-40 used F-16's.
I also read in some articles that PAF is holding around 22 kits for MLU, so cost will be low for PAF as buying used F-16's is easy then upgrading cost, as home work has already been done for them. All used F-16's in coming will have the same capability as our present MLU F-16's.
 

Windjammer

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Guys, aren't we jumping the gun and drawing some conclusions here, remember the host and panel consisted of former PAF officers, i have personally met one of them, they may have some inside informations but their debate would be based on assumptions. While the Russian defence minister may have mentioned the SU-35 in relations to Pakistan, no such disclosure was put up by Pakistan....hence one shouldn't expect some former officers to touch the subject, OTOH, the Air chief is on record for saying that PAF is looking for next gen aircraft from both East and West as well as the force multipliers,.... before that i expect the PAF to acquire it's remaining Block-52 to make up to original requirement of 36.
 

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