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Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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Bhai,

Can you please share the name and author of the book.
Great book documenting what mistakes to avoid, and what steps to take, all from real-world cases (Germany, Australia, etc).

 

SABRE

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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.
Fun fact: Pakistan and Germany concluded the world's first Bilateral Investment Treaty in 1959.

In the 1950s-1960s, Pakistan's economy was doing well enough to actually lend Germany $25 million. During the period Germany was re-investing in technology at every step of the way and everyone knew they were good at it - they had been since the 1930s. This was the time when Pakistan should have sought JVs with Germany instead of reclaiming the loan in cash. Pakistan should have out sourced German engineers. Not only did we not do that but also failed to hold on to the Polish aeronautical engineers who came to Pakistan after the WWII (Władysław Turowicz being the exception). Had we played our cards right Pakistan might have had an aviation/aerospace industry equivalent to that of South Korea, at least.
 

PakFactor

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Great book documenting what mistakes to avoid, and what steps to take, all from real-world cases (Germany, Australia, etc).

Thanks.
Fun fact: Pakistan and Germany concluded the world's first Bilateral Investment Treaty in 1959.

In the 1950s-1960s, Pakistan's economy was doing well enough to actually lend Germany $25 million. During the period Germany was re-investing in technology at every step of the way and everyone knew they were good at it - they had been since the 1930s. This was the time when Pakistan should have sought JVs with Germany instead of reclaiming the loan in cash. Pakistan should have out sourced German engineers. Not only did we not do that but also failed to hold on to the Polish aeronautical engineers who came to Pakistan after the WWII (Władysław Turowicz being the exception). Had we played our cards right Pakistan might have had an aviation/aerospace industry equivalent to that of South Korea, at least.
From my experience and dealing with people of various geographical areas I found two things:

1) Europeans and Americans when developing, think along the lines of what can come next after this and start working towards that goal simultaneously, be it's results might be 10,20 or 30 years out. They are a reactive society, and work towards maintaining their dominance.

2) Asians (least bit African's) think of the current and now to secure a position, not thinking along the lines of how to maintain dominance 10,20 or 30 years down the road. They are a nonreactive society.
 
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SQ8

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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.
The more we peel back the layers of this onion - we’ll come to the same belaboring on an inefficient and ineffective system. Decisions come from humans in the loop who evaluate all the factors in play. It is very possible we aren’t aware of all the factors that were involved and it wasn’t one person.

But whether it was one or five people both within and outside of PAF that made those decisions (the Erieye vs ZDK rumor) then the ramifications of those decisions play in decisions today. The question isn’t whether those J-10s were the best path but whether actual lessons have been learned to recorded to factor into today. Based on PAF only going for 30 JF-17 block-IIIs and pushing on J-10s, can we state that better decisions are being made?
 

MastanKhan

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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.
Hi,

You will find a different answer if you knew any of the pakistani buyers involved in it.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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The more we peel back the layers of this onion - we’ll come to the same belaboring on an inefficient and ineffective system. Decisions come from humans in the loop who evaluate all the factors in play. It is very possible we aren’t aware of all the factors that were involved and it wasn’t one person.

But whether it was one or five people both within and outside of PAF that made those decisions (the Erieye vs ZDK rumor) then the ramifications of those decisions play in decisions today. The question isn’t whether those J-10s were the best path but whether actual lessons have been learned to recorded to factor into today. Based on PAF only going for 30 JF-17 block-IIIs and pushing on J-10s, can we state that better decisions are being made?
The J-10CE question is tricky.

The most concerning part to me isn't that they're looking for J-10CEs, but that they're ostensibly cutting the Block-III order to accommodate it. If that had not been the case, then I would've thought, "okay, the JF-17 has done its job in the ASR, now onto the next program."

But by cutting into the Block-III order, they are saying that the J-10CE is the more necessary platform at this time.

This is the part that re-opens the discussion on JF-17 vs. J-10 and whether (a) the latter was the better bet or (b) we didn't set a high-enough design requirement for the JF-17.

It's a huge issue. The PAF never inducts a new platform without planning to build a fleet of 90+ aircraft. So, if not for JF-17, we're saying the PAF could've had 150+ J-10s. Conversely, if not for J-10, we could have 250+ JF-17s, or have front-loaded a bigger investment in the JF-17's design and feature-set.

In terms of the future, I suspect we'll put a much lesser emphasis on assembling the product, and much more on subsystem and weapons integration, building an IP base, and being part of the supply-chain.

But the challenge (with our psyche) is that this approach doesn't let us say, "we now build fighter planes" -- it's less visible. However, the value is much greater.

So, yes, we don't assemble fighter planes anymore, but we now, we can seriously talk about:
  • integrating our weapons and subsystems of choice;
  • building companies that can supply aerostructures, composites, etc
  • engaging in R&D for flight control systems, seeker tech, ramjet and dual-pulse rockets
  • etc
 

White Lion

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The J-10CE question is tricky.

The most concerning part to me isn't that they're looking for J-10CEs, but that they're ostensibly cutting the Block-III order to accommodate it. If that had not been the case, then I would've thought, "okay, the JF-17 has done its job in the ASR, now onto the next program."

But by cutting into the Block-III order, they are saying that the J-10CE is the more necessary platform at this time.

This is the part that re-opens the discussion on JF-17 vs. J-10 and whether (a) the latter was the better bet or (b) we didn't set a high-enough design requirement for the JF-17.

It's a huge issue. The PAF never inducts a new platform without planning to build a fleet of 90+ aircraft. So, if not for JF-17, we're saying the PAF could've had 150+ J-10s. Conversely, if not for J-10, we could have 250+ JF-17s, or have front-loaded a bigger investment in the JF-17's design and feature-set.

In terms of the future, I suspect we'll put a much lesser emphasis on assembling the product, and much more on subsystem and weapons integration, building an IP base, and being part of the supply-chain.

But the challenge (with our psyche) is that this approach doesn't let us say, "we now build fighter planes" -- it's less visible. However, the value is much greater.

So, yes, we don't assemble fighter planes anymore, but we now, we can seriously talk about:
  • integrating our weapons and subsystems of choice;
  • building companies that can supply aerostructures, composites, etc
  • engaging in R&D for flight control systems, seeker tech, ramjet and dual-pulse rockets
  • etc
Can we look at it this way PAF invested in a non delta platform to replace delta wing aircraft?
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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Can we look at it this way PAF invested in a non delta platform to replace delta wing aircraft?
The delta wing configuration is one consideration, but not the only one. For example, if Pressler had not happened, then the PAF would have likely only ordered F-16s for its entire fleet. Today, the Mirages carry stand-off range strike and maritime ops, but is the J-10CE the optimal next step? I'd say AZM is (by adding a whole new layer of range, payload, and potentially stealth and sensor-fusion coverage to the equation).
 

PakFactor

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The J-10CE question is tricky.

The most concerning part to me isn't that they're looking for J-10CEs, but that they're ostensibly cutting the Block-III order to accommodate it. If that had not been the case, then I would've thought, "okay, the JF-17 has done its job in the ASR, now onto the next program."

But by cutting into the Block-III order, they are saying that the J-10CE is the more necessary platform at this time.

This is the part that re-opens the discussion on JF-17 vs. J-10 and whether (a) the latter was the better bet or (b) we didn't set a high-enough design requirement for the JF-17.

It's a huge issue. The PAF never inducts a new platform without planning to build a fleet of 90+ aircraft. So, if not for JF-17, we're saying the PAF could've had 150+ J-10s. Conversely, if not for J-10, we could have 250+ JF-17s, or have front-loaded a bigger investment in the JF-17's design and feature-set.

In terms of the future, I suspect we'll put a much lesser emphasis on assembling the product, and much more on subsystem and weapons integration, building an IP base, and being part of the supply-chain.

But the challenge (with our psyche) is that this approach doesn't let us say, "we now build fighter planes" -- it's less visible. However, the value is much greater.

So, yes, we don't assemble fighter planes anymore, but we now, we can seriously talk about:
  • integrating our weapons and subsystems of choice;
  • building companies that can supply aerostructures, composites, etc
  • engaging in R&D for flight control systems, seeker tech, ramjet and dual-pulse rockets
  • etc
Going this route would be the same as Agosta 90 Submarine. Why train such man power and invest in its infrastructure to not build. If I’m understanding you point correctly. You lose the know how and talent and can’t build when the need arises.

The sub components should be a compliment, not the end goal.

To your other point I don’t see us cutting Block III production to compliment purchasing of J-10. I feel J-10 would more so be a future replacement of the F-16s, as it complimented our other Western based platform the Mirages. Unless you have knowledge from sources that this would be the case.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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Going this route would be the same as Agosta 90 Submarine. Why train such man power and invest in its infrastructure to not build. If I’m understanding you point correctly. You lose the know how and talent and can’t build when the need arises.

The sub components should be a compliment.
No, it's the exact opposite.

We got the ToT for Agosta 90B to manufacture from external inputs, but lack the indigenous capacity to build those critical inputs (e.g., steel, engine, etc). When the PN didn't want additional Agosta 90B, or was unable to secure the inputs via France, that entire project died after the first 3 ships.

Let's say, theoretically, the PAF commits to 90 J-10CEs.

Well, instead of assembling them in Pakistan, we put that money towards indigenizing certain components so that we can domestically sustain the fighters. That would mean developing capacity for composites, aero-structure design and manufacturing, and possibly remanufacturing (albeit with OEM guidance) for mid-life-updates and zero-houring airframes in 15-20 years. This is the type of capability South Africa achieved when it remanufactured Mirages into Cheetahs.

As long as the PAF operates the J-10CE, that particular industry base will always have work. However, as it benefits from PAF contracts through the long-run, the industry can reinvest and grow. As South Africa's Atlas built that Mirage sustainment capacity, it got the confidence (at the policy and industry level) to undertake their homegrown Carver multi-role fighter. Thoughts, @denel ?

In this case, we're basically forgetting about assembling, but building some of the things that you'd need to make J-10CEs. It doesn't mean we can make J-10CEs on our own, but we build enough expertise in both the public and private sector to better take on an indigenous fighter at a later time, instead of running-and-gunning blind.
 

PakFactor

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No, it's the exact opposite.

We got the ToT for Agosta 90B to manufacture from external inputs, but lack the indigenous capacity to build those critical inputs (e.g., steel, engine, etc). When the PN didn't want additional Agosta 90B, or was unable to secure the inputs via France, that entire project died after the first 3 ships.

Let's say, theoretically, the PAF commits to 90 J-10CEs.

Well, instead of assembling them in Pakistan, we put that money towards indigenizing certain components so that we can domestically sustain the fighters. That would mean developing capacity for composites, aero-structure design and manufacturing, and possibly remanufacturing (albeit with OEM guidance) for mid-life-updates and zero-houring airframes in 15-20 years. This is the type of capability South Africa achieved when it remanufactured Mirages into Cheetahs.

As long as the PAF operates the J-10CE, that particular industry base will always have work. However, as it benefits from PAF contracts through the long-run, the industry can reinvest and grow. As South Africa's Atlas built that Mirage sustainment capacity, it got the confidence (at the policy and industry level) to undertake their homegrown Carver multi-role fighter. Thoughts, @denel ?

In this case, we're basically forgetting about assembling, but building some of the things that you'd need to make J-10CEs. It doesn't mean we can make J-10CEs on our own, but we build enough expertise in both the public and private sector to better take on an indigenous fighter at a later time, instead of running-and-gunning blind.
Very valid points. As always love reading your insight. :)
 

White Lion

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We got the ToT for Agosta 90B to manufacture from external inputs, but lack the indigenous capacity to build those critical inputs (e.g., steel, engine, etc). When the PN didn't want additional Agosta 90B, or was unable to secure the inputs via France, that entire project died after the first 3 ships.
IMO this would not bring any thing new to PAF. Because the 40% that is imported for the JF-17 consist of engine and associated systems.

Well, instead of assembling them in Pakistan, we put that money towards indigenizing certain components so that we can domestically sustain the fighters. That would mean developing capacity for composites, aero-structure design and manufacturing, and possibly remanufacturing (albeit with OEM guidance) for mid-life-updates and zero-houring airframes in 15-20 years. This is the type of capability South Africa achieved when it remanufactured Mirages into Cheetahs.
Just a thought that PAF has been rebuilding the Mirage III and V's for the past 30 years so we must have a similar project too with F-7's and JF-17.

If you are saying that PAF lacks this capability then how did PAF rebuild the SAAB 2000 without any hep from the Original Manufacturer who had declared it as write off ?

The Israeli's were able to steal the research and designs of the Mirage III and V to produce the Nesher and KFIR. No one was able to enforce any paneities for this.

What IF PAF decided to manufacture with new composites and modified variant of the Mirage III or V similar to what the Iranians are doing continuously with the F-5 and AH-1 Cobra helicopters.

Install the RD33 engine to this aircraft, production research and manpower cost would be low as we already have trained man power for the Mirages. Composites and the design modifications would lower the RCS of these aircraft. You have a cost effective solution also the older frames of mirage can be retrofitted by these composites and PAF would have increased the production capabilities on a scale not seen so far in Pakistan.

As long as the PAF operates the J-10CE, that particular industry base will always have work. However, as it benefits from PAF contracts through the long-run, the industry can reinvest and grow. As South Africa's Atlas built that Mirage sustainment capacity, it got the confidence (at the policy and industry level) to undertake their homegrown Carver multi-role fighter. Thoughts, @denel ?
Brother what have South Africa produced? They procured JAS39's and those too are mostly grounded.

In this case, we're basically forgetting about assembling, but building some of the things that you'd need to make J-10CEs. It doesn't mean we can make J-10CEs on our own, but we build enough expertise in both the public and private sector to better take on an indigenous fighter at a later time, instead of running-and-gunning blind.
This statement of yours contradicts PAF stance J-10 do not bring any thing new to what JF-17 has brought.
Moreover you tend to say that JF-17 project has not provided PAF to build indigenous fighter aircraft.

I know you did not intend this but it surely points to this.

If PAF needs something new then, ask Turkey as they have the experience of producing composite structures for the F-35 fuse that with what the Chinese RAM on JF-17 design. This Aircraft would not be 100% stealth but 4.8 gen.
 

CriticalThought

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No, it's the exact opposite.

We got the ToT for Agosta 90B to manufacture from external inputs, but lack the indigenous capacity to build those critical inputs (e.g., steel, engine, etc). When the PN didn't want additional Agosta 90B, or was unable to secure the inputs via France, that entire project died after the first 3 ships.

Let's say, theoretically, the PAF commits to 90 J-10CEs.

Well, instead of assembling them in Pakistan, we put that money towards indigenizing certain components so that we can domestically sustain the fighters. That would mean developing capacity for composites, aero-structure design and manufacturing, and possibly remanufacturing (albeit with OEM guidance) for mid-life-updates and zero-houring airframes in 15-20 years. This is the type of capability South Africa achieved when it remanufactured Mirages into Cheetahs.

As long as the PAF operates the J-10CE, that particular industry base will always have work. However, as it benefits from PAF contracts through the long-run, the industry can reinvest and grow. As South Africa's Atlas built that Mirage sustainment capacity, it got the confidence (at the policy and industry level) to undertake their homegrown Carver multi-role fighter. Thoughts, @denel ?

In this case, we're basically forgetting about assembling, but building some of the things that you'd need to make J-10CEs. It doesn't mean we can make J-10CEs on our own, but we build enough expertise in both the public and private sector to better take on an indigenous fighter at a later time, instead of running-and-gunning blind.
We need to do all of that with the Su-35. It is funny that Azm is a twin engine jet being designed by an airforce that has no operational history of flying, maintaining, and overhauling a twin engine jet. The twin engine capability is what is missing from our fighter mix right now. It is too bad PAF cannot negotiate a local production line for the F-16s, cannot locally integrate new weapons on them. Which means if there are operational losses, there is no replacement. That would be the one key factor that drives the decision towards J-10s. Even then, I would want PAF to spend that money towards opening up the JF-17 design for a larger JF-17 NG or something like that. This is the natural progression towards a twin engine stealth jet. And without this, I have serious apprehensions about our ability to realize the Azm dream.
 

White Lion

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We need to do all of that with the Su-35. It is funny that Azm is a twin engine jet being designed by an airforce that has no operational history of flying, maintaining, and overhauling a twin engine jet. The twin engine capability is what is missing from our fighter mix right now. It is too bad PAF cannot negotiate a local production line for the F-16s, cannot locally integrate new weapons on them. Which means if there are operational losses, there is no replacement. That would be the one key factor that drives the decision towards J-10s. Even then, I would want PAF to spend that money towards opening up the JF-17 design for a larger JF-17 NG or something like that. This is the natural progression towards a twin engine stealth jet. And without this, I have serious apprehensions about our ability to realize the Azm dream.
A-5 were twin engine aircraft.
F-6 were twin engine aircraft.
they were operated by PAF.
 

CriticalThought

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A-5 were twin engine aircraft.
F-6 were twin engine aircraft.
they were operated by PAF.
Many thanks for this. I've previously cursorily read about both A-5 and F-6, but somehow never realized they were twin engine aircrafts!

Nevertheless, we don't have recent operational experience, and certainly not with any modern twin engine jets. Both the A-5 and F-6 were 50s/60s designs which makes them 3rd gen.
 

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