Correct bilal. But here is the difference, we had been into the aerospace with parts for much longer. Next was the local builds variants for Impala with several mods. Even today, there are two key aeronautical programs either via Wits or NWU - the later where they are producing world class power gliders. Sling is another classical product - home grown and now largest export; did we see Super Masq.. take the leap forward and go right up to private plane airshows - no; that is a large market and people are willing to pay top dollar. If you get a chance, watch the sling video where they build it from scratch design - then take it across the atlantic - a first for that class of plane; on to US and then circumnavigate back over the Pacific to Sri-lanka and back. What about a post Super Masq... I would suggest they take a page from Sling and attempt to build a new design - but instead we see post China - Turkey as a model - Will Pak folks have the balls to step up and say we can do it on our own vs playing 2nd or third fiddle. It is not rocket science. Even for Super Masq - Did they even do a marketing by taking the plane on a very long tour - to promote it and make it known. A circumnavigation of the world would be amazing and ground breaking.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 have been very fortunate the have the base private industries in terms of metals, electronics - Reutech/Optronics etc. For example - every evaluation of specs are not done by our defence forces; it is actually the CSIR and others subgroups that validate it independently. Even now while our defence spending has been dropping, but outward looking nature of private enterprise has taken over; there is a mindset - 'always make a plan' - innovate. The ANC govt has been an dismal failure at epic proportions but we cannot wait for them.
I do see a lot of parallels between these two countries but there is stiffling and lack of taking the next steps; because it is easy to give it to China. 90's was a soul searching time. Had the Cheetah program been implemented in your side, we would have seen a lot more.
Your point on Agostas and J10 are very valid. Apart from the super M. Nothing else is local. Let us take K8- ok - you are getting the airframe done etc; I will bet it is still mostly from knock down kits as aluminuim production as well as various aluminium alloys metallurgy is not there; we do not stop there but then move past that to composite materials - again there is nothing. Similarly on manpacks etc - nothing is local but just licenced copies. There is no sense of going to the next level of independence because of three things - 1. No encouragement and sponsorship of local enterprise. 2. Army knows best. 3. China factor. Between these, we see just a cesspool of failures. F..no, to #2 - they should do only what they are paid to do - protect the borders., #1 - long drawn plan for R&D inhouse - there is talent, #3 - TOT means, materials, electronics and all that go with it.