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JF-17B Updates, News & Discussion

Abramar

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The PAF intend to use the B model as a fully combat capable tactical fighter; however, as I've mentioned before, it's not just the hinges where there has been short sightedness. The B model should have been based on the Block III configuration, and not the Block II specs. For instance, the B model lacks the dedicated pod hardpoint on the starboard intake, which already hampers its CAS and strike capabilities. It also uses the previous UV based MAWS rather than the new IR based MAWS on the Block III. Although some of these specs could be addressed in future upgrades, along with an AESA radar, I can't see the PAF making full utilisation of the B model in its current configuration as a tactical strike fighter, or even dedicated special purposes platform (SEAD, ECM, ELINT, etc). It seems the PAF jumped on the twin seat bandwagon only when there was considerable interest from potential customers, for years it was saying it didn't need a twin seat version, rather than making full use of the potential from the platform.
I don't think there's such a thing as being based on Block 1, Block 2 etc. The whole idea behind blocks is that you can upgrade from one to another fairly easily. Also, you're kind of forgetting that the block 3 wasn't even a thing yet, you can't base something, on something that doesn't exist. Don't be surprised if you see the Bravos get upgraded to Block 3 standards effortlessly.
 

araz

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I believe the Chinese understood how to do relaxed stability and composites in the early 1990s -- they were working on the J-10, for example.

So, we may not have gotten all of the bells and whistles we would like, but we weren't reaching China's cutting edge either.

Now if asking for more meant deciding between the Super-7 and the J-10, then I would've given the J-10 a serious look. However, I would've also pushed that we (1) get 49% workshare for all J-10 (all variants) production, (2) IP transfer and domestic capacity development, and (3) full access to the system for our customizations.

However, I don't think the situation was that stark. The Chinese evidently wanted a light exportable fighter. It was more of a matter of choosing something closer to the F-20 or inching more on the side of the Gripen. Either way, the design wouldn't have aligned with the PLAAF's ASR for a medium-weight fighter (i.e., J-10).

We ultimately fell somewhere in the middle, but I would rather we match the Gripen because we'll use this fighter for 30-40 years (and invest in the manufacturing overhead on top of it). If we run into issues due to the design of the JF-17 in the 2030s, we'll return to looking at getting yet another fighter (which is exactly the convo the PAF was having from 2015). So, what did we save, fiscally speaking?

That said, everything you're saying -- being novices, needing a low-cost plane to replace lots of older planes, etc -- runs back to the first thing I said on this issue, "I wish we had the budget."

If we had more money, we could do more, it's as simple as that and I never disagreed with it.

And yes, India had troubles with the Tejas, but at the same time, they got a much more mature and capable aerospace industry out of it. So the trade-off was quite real, and we can make a case for either one. After all, they have not one, or two, but three distinct fighter programs in the pipeline now, and their Tejas is in full production.

OTOH, we have JF-17, which we didn't design for ourselves (and is still a generation back in some areas), with a manufacturing overhead to amortize, and now a messy issue of finding an interim 4.5+ gen jet (likely J-10CE) and a not-well-defined NGFA initiative.

Can't help but think that we had the option to feasibly get a full-out Gripen-class fighter from day 1 (even with 90s' Chinese capabilities) that we could extend through the 2040s without any issues. In turn, we could avoid interim jets, and move straight into NGFA.
The Chinese working on something and having command over something are 2 different things. If you talk about the 90s they had a major accident on the J10 in 96 causing them to redesign the whole thing. So respectfully I will disagee with you here.
Going for J10 had complications associated with it. Firstly how do you know whether the Chinese would actually want you to have access to their tier 1 platform. Secondly given the problems mentioned above I think the project was deemed risky and rightly so. Lastly we would have just kit assembled the platform as the capacity to adopt the platform was not there. Lastly the engine was Russian and in use by IAF. I dont know whether the Russians would have allowed PAF access to it. Lastly the cost of the platform would have been much higher so numbers would have suffered
Whether the Chinese (a) had the capabilty to design and build a fighter as sophisticated as the Gripen or (b) had the will to do so thereby creating a direct competitor to the J10 can be debated. I think the answer to both would be negative.
PAF evaluated the Gripen and the response from the horse's mouth was "the plane is too sophisticated for us to absorb the technology". This is opensource information. So we could possibly not have absorbed the J10 either in the time frame we are discussing. Again when the technology is lacking at the source how does one inch towards it. Shahid Lateef has openly stated we found 30 things we wanted to change on the J10. I dont think the Chinese on their own would have been able to do so and neither could we have. Remember it was not till 2013-16 that our interest in the J10 was rekindled. Its engine remained a big hurdle as the PAF did not relook the project till the Chinese had incorporated the WS10 on it.
We also need to take into account our needs which were becoming dire. We had no chancs of getting more 16,. We were bankrupt. M2K had been looked at twice in this period alone and the deal had gone sour. And we were buying M3/5s from all over the warld to keep our force relevant on a shoe string budget. So the need was there for a risk averse approach on a simple fighter which would be low on price, had potential to upgrade and could be made and absorbed in short time. I think the parameters were set right and achieved. The PAF achieved the SMART aims of management which I think is commendable. Going for a fighter like the Gripen would have involved a deep pocket which the PAF did not have, time which again it did not have, and ability whivh I sefiously doubt was there. We have had to incorporate Western tech in so many areas to achieve our aims. Even the parameters for the radar wereprovided to the Chinese and then reluctantly obliged to for fear of losing business.
We are at the cusp of a generation change. As tech is evolving the need to evolve with it is going to be paramount. US is looking at a new design fo replace the 16s in spite of it being relevant even today. In our arena where the maj9rit of fighters on obth sides are sgill legacy, I think JFT or a latwr iteration could still be valid till 2040s. The 5th gen platforms would be high end and therefore few. The likelihood is modification in/armaments would keep the status quo till 2050. That in moden times is a couple of life times for a fighter. As to the Gripen @Madam messiach and @bilal khan777 have both said the fighter is over rated and the JFT capability wise is very much there.
Iam glad we agree on the points I had raised in my last post. I am pragmatic and believe the term"what if" is a very problematic term as it does not consider what the prevailing situation was.
As to the Tejas they bit off more than they could chew. From the management perspective it is a classical example of how not to do/it. I dont know which industry you refer to but their Mk 2 whatever would be lucky to see the light of day this side of 2030. I would be surprised if they managed to turn that Samosa around. I suspect we will progress on to mk3 as the next Mk will become obsolete by the time they come round to inducting it. And they will keep buying from foreign providers and keep getting bad outcomes as systems will npt talk to each other. Frankly i would not want to be in their shoes.
We did not design the JFT ourselves and still need input due to the lack of maturity of our industry. That would not have changed irrespective of whether we were designing the JFT or the Gripen. The problem is that if Shahid Lateef is to be believed even our partners did not have the capability. As to our need now I firmly believe ( totally my view point) the J10 will still not come if we get more F16s as the need will be fulfilled. I know a few very informed sources are stating the J10 is on its way but it is very much smoke and mirrors as far as I am concerned.
To stay relevant we will, if we can,get F16s and continue to mature JFT while we work on Azm( hybrid or relabelled Chinese/Turkish platform). This is a stark assessment of our capability.
 
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Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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The Chinese working on something and having command over womething are 2 different things. If you talk qbout the 90s they had a major accident on the J0 in 96 causing them to redesign the whole thing. So respectfully I will disagee with you here.
Whatever the specific design considerations of the J-10, but in the 1990s, the Chinese were comfortable enough with tackling a relaxed stability design and building its entire flight control system. You need capacity to do it before starting it, otherwise, you take the PAF route of asking someone else to do it.

These are the key ingredients of a 4+ gen fighter. Frankly, the fact that the Chinese were undertaking such a project gave the PAF a leg-up over the IAF, which had to deal with developing the Tejas' FCS alone very early on. We at least had a large power to collaborate with on this front, and we didn't take leverage it.

However, we do know (and it's on the public record since the Sabre II days) that the Chinese were open to collaborating with us on a fighter. They were venturing into original design, so this idea that we had zero chance of taking them up on something more complex doesn't fly. When you start fresh, having partners to share costs and risk is generally desirable.

Going for J10 had complications associated with it. Firstly how do you know whether the Chinese would actually want you to have access to their tier 1 platform. Secondly given the problems mentioned above I think the project was deemed risky and rightly so. Lastly we would have just kit assembled the platform as the capacity to adopt the platform was not there. Lastly the engine was Russian and in use by IAF. I dont know whether the Russians would have allowed PAF access to it. Lastly the cost of the platform would have been much higher so numbers would have suffered
Well, the earlier one joins in sharing the cost and risk, the more leverage one can get. When the J-10 was a new, ambitious and high-risk project, the door for the PAF was at its widest. As the Chinese matured along the J-10 (and started new fighter programs, like the J-20 and FC-31), that door narrowed and closed (i.e., we can only be customers now, not partners). We are now facing the same question with Turkey; do we want to join when it's high-risk, high-reward?

As for the workshare details. The point isn't to worry about final assembly, but to enter the supply chain of the fighter. Even if we didn't assemble the fighter, if we got a 1/3, 1/4 or even 1/5 workshare deal, then the likes of PAC would actually manufacture and send components back to China. That results in an offset, i.e., partly paying for some of the program back to our economy.

The second component was the opportunity to learn about the technology, including transfer of IP (which we could have co-funded). In turn, these are the parts that would've helped us in our next step, i.e., either design our NGFA as independently as possible, or be a very valuable partner.

Basically, everything doesn't need to boil down to final assembly or production, but rather, whether your industry is growing organically (via 1st, 2nd and 3rd party sales) and your tech base is expanding.

As for the Russian engines. Moscow literally had every opportunity to block the transfer of RD-93s and delay the JF-17 by a decade. If there was a way to get the RD-93, there was probably a way to secure the sale of the AL-31. In fact, in the 1990s, we even tried getting cheeky with the Russians by leading them on about the Su-27 so that we could get a better deal for the M2K (see Flight International 1994-1996).

Now the J-10 aside, the PAF asking for more design features in the Super-7 doesn't automatically mean a J-10 competitor. The two are still in different leagues from a range and payload standpoint. If the PLAAF was focused on the latter two, then it wouldn't even care for a 1:1 Gripen. As far as the Chinese would imagine, the PAF asked for specific features for its specific needs, it will get them. If anything, the funding the PAF puts into the R&D for those inputs would make their way to other Chinese programs. So it's a win-win.

Whether the Chinese (a) had the capabilty to design and build a fighter as sophisticated as the Gripen or (b) had the will to do so thereby creating a direct competitor to the J10 can be debated. I think the answer to both would be negative.
PAF evaluated the Gripen and the alresponse from the horse's mouth was "the plane is too sophisticated for us to absorb the technology". This is opensource information. So we could possibly not have absorbed the J10 either in the time frame we are discussing.
You need to qualify "too sophisticated for us to absorb the technology" with the details.

The PAF understood how to absorb the airframe -- a relaxed stability design with FBW similar to the F-16 -- but not the full extent of the radar, avionics and data-link stack. That was new, but even then the PAF had understood how it worked (as it requested the F/A-18 along with the F-16 in the early 1980s, see WikiLeaks).

In fact, the PAF called for a Gripen-like electronics stack in the JF-17 (e.g., similar MFD HMI, TDL, HMD/S, etc). However, the PAF couldn't do a lot about the airframe design as the JF-17 was beyond the point of fundamental changes. The designers did try to alleviate some of the issues via the Block-III, but it won't fully compensate for the inherent design limitations of the fighter.

Agqin when the technology is lacking at the source how does one inch towards it. Shahid Lateef has openly stated we found 30 things we wanted to change on the J10. I dont think the Chinese on their own would have been able to do so and neither could we have.
This is actually good. So we identified gaps in the J-10. We could've withheld that information in return for a seat at the J-10 program. This was leverage we could've built upon. If we had bought into that fighter, we could've both asked for more and, in return, helped the Chinese understand more.

Remember it was not till 2013-16 that our interest in the J10 was rekindled. Its engine remained a big hurdle as the PAF did not relook the project till the Chinese had incorporated the WS10 on it.
But our initial interest in the J-10 dated back to 2004-2005 with the "Plus One" program. In fact, the PAF's AFFDP-2015 had even budgeted funds for the FC-20 (i.e., J-10A) in 2006-2007.

So at that time, the engine was not an issue, neither were the electronics, weapons, etc.

It's curious we could summon the funds for 36-40 FC-20As, but couldn't invest more in the JF-17 to make our fleet-builder as good as possible. FC-20 got canned due to the issues of the late 2000s/early 2010s.

This is the issue I've been bringing up in this thread. How is the JF-17 beset with budgetary constraints, yet some off-the-shelf solution isn't? In fact, this is still the case as the PAF is looking at the J-10CE while it will only commit to an order of 30 single-seat Block-IIIs!

Going for a fighter like the Gripen would have involved a deep pocket which the PAF did not have, time which again it did not have, and ability whivh I sefiously doubt was there. We have had to incorporate Western tech in so many areas to achieve our aims. Even the parameters for the radar were provided to the Chinese and then reluctantly obliged to for fear of losing business.
The PAF incorporated Western (or original design tech) in the RWR and some subcomponents of the HMI (as confirmed by Usman Shabbir on PakDef). Except for the RD-93, the JF-17 is Chinese in every other area where it matters. We are now at the point where our new technologies (e.g., AESA) are coming because of Chinese advancements in those areas. We didn't fully appreciate the depth of the Chinese industry in the early days, so we didn't get a stake nor did we properly learn. We're still not learning the lesson.

As to the Gripen @Madam messiach and @bilal khan777 have both said the fighter is over rated and the JFT capability wise is very much there.
The point was never "we should've chosen Gripen over JF-17," rather, "we should've taken on more of the technology of the Gripen into the JF-17." Two very different points. Ask the PAF if they could have a more maneuverable asset with a higher payload, they'll say yes.

As to the Tejas they bit off more than they could chew. From the management perspective it is a classical example of how not to do/it. I dont know which industry you refer to but their Mk 2 whatever would be lucky to see the light of day this side of 2030.
The Tejas Mk2 has the specifications and features of a Gripen E/F. The fact that they have a timeline (2030) is actually more than what we can say about a comparable JF-17. The Block-III has a comparable tech stack Tejas Mk1A (minus HMD/S, which we don't have yet), but otherwise, no major feature differences. But the PAF has no plans for an enlarged JF-17 akin to what the Tejas Mk2 is to the Mk1A, hence all the buzz about the J-10CE. So, while the Indians have had their project management issues, they're moving to evolve their aircraft program -- and are on the verge of starting the TEDBF/ORCA and AMCA -- while we're vague about our commitment to the JF-17 Block-III (i.e., only signed for 30 out of the 50 planes we were planning for).

I would be surprised if they managed to turn that Samosa around. I suspect we will progress on to mk3 as the next Mk wilp become obsolete by the time they come round to inducting it. And they wilp keep buying from foreign providers and keep getting bad outcomes as systems will npt talk to each other. Frankly i would not want to be in their shoes.
I urge you to read up on the Tejas in more detail. Sure, the fighter itself might not be up your alley, but the flight control tech, gas turbine research, electronics stack, industry base, etc are all leagues ahead of where the PAF is at. You can ask the engineers on this forum, especially those with exposure to PAC and AvRID.
What are the chances that after the initial import, further acquisitions of the J-10s could be assembled in Pakistan like the Raptor of the East (Bingo)?

Also, let's say Pakistan replaces all F-7s and Mirages with Made in Pakistan JF-17 Thunders and replaces all F-16s with mainly Assembled in Pakistan J-10s and works on the NGFA at simultaneously, would that feasible?

In other words, 2 active platforms and 1 in design/construction phase through 2020s and 2030s.
Assembly = Importing with More Steps.

So, no.

We need indigenization of the inputs, be it at the material sourcing level, or value-added manufacturing level.

This requires a healthy and consistent run of R&D and IP development, something we should've started with the JF-17 (ideally earlier). Basically, we move to design, develop and manufacture the critical inputs, and, in turn, give Pakistanis both jobs and high value exports.
 
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Moon

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As I said earlier, improved aesthetics are generally a result of decisions that improve the fighter's performance and lethality.

As @Saifullah mentioned above; features like blended wings would have helped with RCS reduction and fuel capacity, and I said in an earlier post, a relaxed stability design with digital FBW from the onset could've helped with maneuverability.
I guess you're right, Chinese changed J-10s intakes in later blocks due to more research being conducted and what not. I don't see why we can't change a few things around the Thunder, hiding the hinges aren't that big of a deal.
 

Moon

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If we had bought into that fighter, we could've both asked for more and, in return, helped the Chinese understand more.
Problem with that is, that in no way, shape or form, could the J-10 be used to replace the 250+ Mirages, F-7s and A-5s of PAF. We have to remember the financial constraints coming with replacing 3rd gen aircrafts with 4++, I don't think PAF with it's budget could ever field such a number of jets (think of the maintenance, per hour and repair costs...)
I advocate for the Thunder for this very reason, J-10 might be a better aircraft, but for Pakistan the JF-17 makes a better airforce.
Most of the commentators simply do not see the role of JF-17B in PAF, in its true shape/form. It will not see combat for a good long while, it's just as important a duty which it needs to perform - and quite literally was very much needed for exactly that.
Precisely, these jets can be retrofitted with better equipment later on.... No need to blow money on a variant the Airforce didn't even want in the first place.
 
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Big_bud

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While people have been bad mouthing PAF for the Hinges, lets look at what could possibly be the justifications:

1) B's to be used for CAS and LIFT and not A2A. Or very Limited A2A.

2) Too late in the program, to go back and develop an alternative. Maybe Future versions, will see this issue rectified.

Please add to this what seems reasonable to you. No point in just slinging mud, lets try to understand the thought process?
People also keep forgetting that PAF was never in favour of having the B, dual seater variant. It was not a requirement for PAF. PAF said we are comfortable enough shifting our pilots from trainer jets directly to fighter jets, we don't need a dual seater variant. B models were mainly developed to help boost exports because a lot of the countries looking into buying JF 17s asked for a dual seater version for training purposes. The dual seater variant may have been more low cost focused than the single seat variant because Pakistan was not much interested in it (very limited sales). And it might solely be a CATIC production/ initiative to offer a quick & easy solution to dual seater demand. Also note, JF17B does nothing better than the single seat variant. Its only purpose is as a trainer.
 
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Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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Problem with that is, that in no way, shape or form, could the J-10 be used to replace the 250+ Mirages, F-7s and A-5s of PAF. We have to remember the financial constraints coming with replacing 3rd gen aircrafts with 4++, I don't think PAF with it's budget could ever field such a number of jets (think of the maintenance, per hour and repair costs...)
I advocate for the Thunder for this very reason, J-10 might be a better aircraft, but for Pakistan the JF-17 makes a better airforce.

Precisely, these jets can be retrofitted with better equipment later on.... No need to blow money on a variant the Airforce didn't even want in the first place.
Re: the J-10, assuming the PAF was going in with the mindset of it being a medium-weight aircraft like the F-16, it would've had a requirement of 90-150 aircraft. In other words, the plan for a mainstay fighter that big was already there from before. It would've been a continuation.

Yes, it also meant having a number of F-7Ps and Mirages still in the fleet, but a sizable chunk of the PAF fleet would've been on a modern platform (pre-1990 the plan was F-16, imagine this changed to J-10).

Moreover, the PAF's induction period would span several decades anyways. As funding becomes available, it can keep adding J-10s. Remember, while we had the JF-17, they still allocated additional funds for other jets -- if there had only been the J-10, then the budget for the JF-17 plus other fighter would go to J-10.

The PAF acquiring 200 J-10s over a 15-20 year period (let's say induction started in 2008) is definitely within reason. If anything, pre-Pressler, the PAF's mindset was focused on building a large medium-weight layer surrounded by niche aircraft for ground attack (much like Turkey). The original mainstay was supposed to be the F-16.

In addition, the J-10 also benefits from the economies-of-scale of Chinese production, so we don't even fully understand how low its costs are now (thanks to the amortized overhead) relative to capability. Those cost controls drive maintenance and support down. This doesn't even include the added benefits of being a partner in the program and getting offsets (which can include localized maintenance and support, e.g., spare parts manufacturing, local MRO, etc).
 

MastanKhan

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Re: the J-10, assuming the PAF was going in with the mindset of it being a medium-weight aircraft like the F-16, it would've had a requirement of 90-150 aircraft. In other words, the plan for a mainstay fighter that big was already there from before. It would've been a continuation.

Yes, it also meant having a number of F-7Ps and Mirages still in the fleet, but a sizable chunk of the PAF fleet would've been on a modern platform (pre-1990 the plan was F-16, imagine this changed to J-10).

Moreover, the PAF's induction period would span several decades anyways. As funding becomes available, it can keep adding J-10s. Remember, while we had the JF-17, they still allocated additional funds for other jets -- if there had only been the J-10, then the budget for the JF-17 plus other fighter would go to J-10.

The PAF acquiring 200 J-10s over a 15-20 year period (let's say induction started in 2008) is definitely within reason. If anything, pre-Pressler, the PAF's mindset was focused on building a large medium-weight layer surrounded by niche aircraft for ground attack (much like Turkey). The original mainstay was supposed to be the F-16.

In addition, the J-10 also benefits from the economies-of-scale of Chinese production, so we don't even fully understand how low its costs are now (thanks to the amortized overhead) relative to capability. Those cost controls drive maintenance and support down. This doesn't even include the added benefits of being a partner in the program and getting offsets (which can include localized maintenance and support, e.g., spare parts manufacturing, local MRO, etc).
Hi,

Seems like you have seen the light---. I am impressed.
 

SQ8

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Re: the J-10, assuming the PAF was going in with the mindset of it being a medium-weight aircraft like the F-16, it would've had a requirement of 90-150 aircraft. In other words, the plan for a mainstay fighter that big was already there from before. It would've been a continuation.

Yes, it also meant having a number of F-7Ps and Mirages still in the fleet, but a sizable chunk of the PAF fleet would've been on a modern platform (pre-1990 the plan was F-16, imagine this changed to J-10).

Moreover, the PAF's induction period would span several decades anyways. As funding becomes available, it can keep adding J-10s. Remember, while we had the JF-17, they still allocated additional funds for other jets -- if there had only been the J-10, then the budget for the JF-17 plus other fighter would go to J-10.

The PAF acquiring 200 J-10s over a 15-20 year period (let's say induction started in 2008) is definitely within reason. If anything, pre-Pressler, the PAF's mindset was focused on building a large medium-weight layer surrounded by niche aircraft for ground attack (much like Turkey). The original mainstay was supposed to be the F-16.

In addition, the J-10 also benefits from the economies-of-scale of Chinese production, so we don't even fully understand how low its costs are now (thanks to the amortized overhead) relative to capability. Those cost controls drive maintenance and support down. This doesn't even include the added benefits of being a partner in the program and getting offsets (which can include localized maintenance and support, e.g., spare parts manufacturing, local MRO, etc).
The only limiting factor was the lack of Chinese expertise in metallurgy and turbine design since the decision point for the JF-17 vis a vis the J-10 was ACM Mushaf onwards. At that time the RD-93 release vs AL-31 was unclear and there was also some pride involved with the JF-17. Bear in mind, until that point the PAF’s experience with Chinese avionics wasn’t very good with either mismatched performance to paper specs and/or bad MTBO. The APG-66 outperformed the initial radar on the J-10A.

However, one needs to look at the impact of 9/11 and Musharraf’s lean , 2005 earthquake and a string of wasteful delays and decisons(the M2K should have been abandoned at the first french “No” and all focus given to getting the French avionics package approved) and so on.

The decision on the CE was also procrastinated upon until the Donald gave his new years tweet.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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The only limiting factor was the lack of Chinese expertise in metallurgy and turbine design since the decision point for the JF-17 vis a vis the J-10 was ACM Mushaf onwards. At that time the RD-93 release vs AL-31 was unclear and there was also some pride involved with the JF-17. Bear in mind, until that point the PAF’s experience with Chinese avionics wasn’t very good with either mismatched performance to paper specs and/or bad MTBO. The APG-66 outperformed the initial radar on the J-10A.

However, one needs to look at the impact of 9/11 and Musharraf’s lean , 2005 earthquake and a string of wasteful delays and decisons(the M2K should have been abandoned at the first french “No” and all focus given to getting the French avionics package approved) and so on.

The decision on the CE was also procrastinated upon until the Donald gave his new years tweet.
Ironically, things were pretty straight forward in the sanctions period.

When it was just the nuclear issue, we knew exactly who was willing to supply us (e.g., China, France) and those who weren't (USA, Germany, etc). So our modernization plans reflected those goals. If not for 'more options' we may have simply taken the French up on the Rafale (in incremental orders) and Scorpene/Marlin SSK.

The other (unsung) aspect of our condition pre-2001 was that we didn't have US aid. This is a hugely important point because in the 2000s, Mushy used US aid to stimulate GDP growth without improving our industry. Nawaz Sharif did the same thing in the 2010s, but with loans.

If not for the aid, I believe our industry would've actually developed, and I am confident that our exports would have kept our CAD in check, minimize the need for loans, and maintain our credit. In other words, we would get financing for arms, especially from the French and UK.
 
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SABRE

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Yep -- but it depends on the PAF. If they're going for an off-the-shelf fighter, then I don't think they'll have the budget for working on the JF-17.

Either way you slice it, seems as though we've set ourselves up for a situation where we'd need to buy something else. Compromise by design.

OTOH, India's flaw was trying to reach perfection from the first round, so there was no real appreciation for iteration until later on. So they ended up in a very similar situation to the PAF (where they need imports), but they have the fiscal wherewithal to support it.

The PAF doesn't. So it needs to figure out a way to (1) get exactly what it needs via a locally or in-house-sourced product, (2) minimize -- if not eliminate -- imports, and (3) improve the local capacity to do more at home later down the later.
Local private industry should be encouraged to produce the avionics, through its own R&D or ToT, at the earliest. If they start now they might be ready to offer something down the road for AZM.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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Local private industry should be encouraged to produce the avionics, through its own R&D or ToT, at the earliest. If they start now they might be ready to offer something down the road for AZM.
I have a book which spells out what Germany did to improve its defence industry in the 1960s.

Basically, if the PAF buys a radar/avionics stack, it can require a 51% offset that goes into avionics R&D in the Pakistani private sector. Those Pakistani companies may not give you avionics for the current round, but they will show up with a good solution in the next round (e.g., your mid-life-update).

Granted, we don't have the STEM base of Germany (not even 1960s Germany, sadly), but we are producing STEM talent. But as @JamD will tell you, our engineers and scientists don't have a lot of places to go, but an offset agreement could create those avenues and enable for capacity growth. Its modest up front, but if we sustain it for 15-20 years, it will give us a base to tap into to develop serious products.
 

PakFactor

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I have a book which spells out what Germany did to improve its defence industry in the 1960s.

Basically, if the PAF buys a radar/avionics stack, it can require a 51% offset that goes into avionics R&D in the Pakistani private sector. Those Pakistani companies may not give you avionics for the current round, but they will show up with a good solution in the next round (e.g., your mid-life-update).

Granted, we don't have the STEM base of Germany (not even 1960s Germany, sadly), but we are producing STEM talent. But as @JamD will tell you, our engineers and scientists don't have a lot of places to go, but an offset agreement could create those avenues and enable for capacity growth. Its modest up front, but if we sustain it for 15-20 years, it will give us a base to tap into to develop serious products.
Bhai,

Can you please share the name and author of the book.
 

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