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Featured Project Azm: Pakistan's Ambitious Quest to Develop 5th Generation Military Technologies.

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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So we are just assembling the whole kit coming from China.
Same will happen if we will work with some other country for our NGFA.
Butut good news is that PAC is reportedly working on AESA radar,HUD,etc.this will also bring money in long run.now if we can field our own AAM then this will take us to whole new level.
No PAC isn't just assembling; it's doing actual manufacturing work. However, the value of manufacturing stems beyond the process of actually building something. It includes sourcing or making critical inputs, such as aircraft-grade steel, engines, and electronics.

Unfortunately, Pakistan doesn't have an industrial base that works on aircraft-grade steel, engines, and electronics. I would keep my expectations low about the news of AESA radars, HUDs, etc too. Why? Because we don't have a semiconductor industry at this time, so we'll need to import critical inputs from elsewhere. That said, original design work that involves commercially off-the-shelf (COTS) inputs is an amazing first step, but it's just that, the first step.

The point of investing in something like the TFX is that we may have an opportunity to develop those industrial inputs. China doesn't have an incentive to let us develop that base because doing so would lessen our reliance on them. This is a tightly guarded realm; the ones who already own it (e.g., the US, Europe, China, Japan, and South Korea) don't want new entrants, so they'll disincentivize or co-opt that investment where possible. India got to enter the club because it spent decades developing its own base (i.e. all those failures we kept mocking -- well, they're paying off big for India now).

But the Turks would benefit from that development because we can co-invest in the same programs they're working on, such as their indigenous engine (TR Motor), GaN AESA radar technology, and so on. In this case, the question is more about co-dependence (where both parties rely on each other) than one-sided dependency (where we totally rely on the other side). The Turks want to enter the club; we have a chance to be wingmen. Or we could just watch. Us Pakistanis have a habit of just watching and talking about what we didn't do than just getting up and doing it.
 

GriffinsRule

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No PAC isn't just assembling; it's doing actual manufacturing work. However, the value of manufacturing stems beyond the process of actually building something. It includes sourcing or making critical inputs, such as aircraft-grade steel, engines, and electronics.

Unfortunately, Pakistan doesn't have an industrial base that works on aircraft-grade steel, engines, and electronics. I would keep my expectations low about the news of AESA radars, HUDs, etc too. Why? Because we don't have a semiconductor industry at this time, so we'll need to import critical inputs from elsewhere. That said, original design work that involves commercially off-the-shelf (COTS) inputs is an amazing first step, but it's just that, the first step.

The point of investing in something like the TFX is that we may have an opportunity to develop those industrial inputs. China doesn't have an incentive to let us develop that base because doing so would lessen our reliance on them. This is a tightly guarded realm; the ones who already own it (e.g., the US, Europe, China, Japan, and South Korea) don't want new entrants, so they'll disincentivize or co-opt that investment where possible. India got to enter the club because it spent decades developing its own base (i.e. all those failures we kept mocking -- well, they're paying off big for India now).

But the Turks would benefit from that development because we can co-invest in the same programs they're working on, such as their indigenous engine (TR Motor), GaN AESA radar technology, and so on. In this case, the question is more about co-dependence (where both parties rely on each other) than one-sided dependency (where we totally rely on the other side). The Turks want to enter the club; we have a chance to be wingmen. Or we could just watch. Us Pakistanis have a habit of just watching and talking about what we didn't do than just getting up and doing it.
Most money is from after sale support though, not just the upfront costs.
 
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China doesn't have an incentive to let us develop that base because doing so would lessen our reliance on them
So That's why @JamD said we are not taking Chinese help but the fact is we know they will not help us :D
Then we should develop at least engines of our missiles on our own and I am optimistic that SPD will take this matter seriously.

But one thing is sure if we want to join TFX program we should not waste time.if PAF doesn't not want to join TFX,then i don't know how they will accomplish this huge task?

original design work that involves commercially off-the-shelf (COTS) inputs is an amazing first step, but it's just that, the first step
We have built various research organizations (AvRID,NRDI,CENTAIC,etc.),these are indeed amazing steps.they can deliver us a lot only if we can fund them by selling what we are producing right now like JF 17,Azm UCAV,GIDS shahpar etc.

What do you think how we can solve engine issue which will come with TFX?
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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Most money is from after sale support though, not just the upfront costs.
Absolutely, but over the long-term. That said, unless we're indigenizing the RD-93 and other various inputs (to manufacture replaceable units), we're still looking at importing items. However, to your point, the margin on maintenance and support is greater, especially if we own the implementation process. You know, we have a damage tolerance and airframe monitoring system (from Portugal). I wonder if the PAF will add that to exported JF-17s and, in turn, use that data in its own logistical management system. Basically, we might have a quasi-ALIS-type situation.

So That's why @JamD said we are not taking Chinese help but the fact is we know they will not help us :D
Then we should develop at least engines of our missiles on our own and I am optimistic that SPD will take this matter seriously.

But one thing is sure if we want to join TFX program we should not waste time.if PAF doesn't not want to join TFX,then i don't know how they will accomplish this huge task?


We have built various research organizations (AvRID,NRDI,CENTAIC,etc.),these are indeed amazing steps.they can deliver us a lot only if we can fund them by selling what we are producing right now like JF 17,Azm UCAV,GIDS shahpar etc.

What do you think how we can solve engine issue which will come with TFX?
We can work with Turkey on its indigenous engine program -- look up TR Motor.
 

GriffinsRule

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Absolutely, but over the long-term. That said, unless we're indigenizing the RD-93 and other various inputs (to manufacture replaceable units), we're still looking at importing items. However, to your point, the margin on maintenance and support is greater, especially if we own the implementation process. You know, we have a damage tolerance and airframe monitoring system (from Portugal). I wonder if the PAF will add that to exported JF-17s and, in turn, use that data in its own logistical management system. Basically, we might have a quasi-ALIS-type situation.


We can work with Turkey on its indigenous engine program -- look up TR Motor.
That's true on the inputs however even without that, if we have an engine MRO capability for the RD-93, we can overhaul all those in Pakistan too.
 

Hakikat ve Hikmet

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IMO, As per current news and situation its seems very much clear that AZM will be JV with TFX programs initially atleast for initial blocks as same jet, yes in later block it can be enhancement with special customization for PAF need at that time

In past we have seems statement from PAF senior that TAI TFX is very much aligned with PAF speculations
Block 1 of TFX isn't expected to be a 100% 5th gen. It'll be something like 4.5+ with the current F16 engines. Given the conditions, Turkey is going for it. As for the true 5th gen indigenous engines it'll be not before blocks in 2030. Pak can realign with the JF-17 engines for the time being....
 

Chak Bamu

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Here is a story:

In 1993, Pakistan Student Association at Georgia Tech decided to take part in the yearly football (soccer) tournament. We got a team together, practiced a fair bit. Result was a 0-7 loss in the first round. Next year, I suggested that we convince Muslim Student Association to field one team where our best players would have a chance to shine & sub-par players like myself could cheer from the sidelines & enjoy the match. A few emotional guys were too high on nationalism. We also went & saw the movie Cool Runnings (about Jamaican sled team in winter olympics); the result was that emotions won over reason. Result: 0-6 loss in the first round. Next year we fielded the first MSA team which went all the way to finals. We had Egyptians, Morroccans, an Emirati, a Turk or two & of course 3 or 4 Pakistanis. It was great to taste victory for a change & see our team win all the matches except the final - that match is a story in itself.

All the nationalists insisting that Pakistan should go alone into Azm are not thinking realistically. Pakistan does not have the economy or the industrial base to go alone. No miracle would create the basis for an entire program out of thin air. As I said in another thread, we got JF-17 right this one time but the lesson is not that we can or should do it alone. The lesson is that we should get into a partnership. Emotional decisions have very high costs. Don't turn JF-17 into Pakistani version of Jamaican team in winter olympics. Concentrate on getting the economy & governance on the right track first. It is not imperative to have an indigenous 5th generation fighter program. We are not India (look at them fumble out of misplaced pride). Suppose Azm becomes a success somehow (probably at great cost). But by creating an island of technological excellence in PAF, would there be off-sets in Pakistan's economy? Would there be a symbiotic ecosystem of technology companies that boost the quality & class of industrial output in general? Or would we have an equivalent of PAC making its own nuts & bolts at (presumably) much higher than market cost? I am not sure that it is doable or desirable to go alone. Security is not the only challenge facing Pakistan. Economy, social indicators (literacy, for example), HDI improvement are equally (if not more) important issues. If Azm does not help with these (by buoying the high tech economy) & instead becomes a drain on precious resources - there is a real chance of that actually - then is it desirable?

I believe that jumping into Azm & missing TFX was a mistake in hind-sight.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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Here is a story:

In 1993, Pakistan Student Association at Georgia Tech decided to take part in the yearly football (soccer) tournament. We got a team together, practiced a fair bit. Result was a 0-7 loss in the first round. Next year, I suggested that we convince Muslim Student Association to field one team where our best players would have a chance to shine & sub-par players like myself could cheer from the sidelines & enjoy the match. A few emotional guys were too high on nationalism. We also went & saw the movie Cool Runnings (about Jamaican sled team in winter olympics); the result was that emotions won over reason. Result: 0-6 loss in the first round. Next year we fielded the first MSA team which went all the way to finals. We had Egyptians, Morroccans, an Emirati, a Turk or two & of course 3 or 4 Pakistanis. It was great to taste victory for a change & see our team win all the matches except the final - that match is a story in itself.

All the nationalists insisting that Pakistan should go alone into Azm are not thinking realistically. Pakistan does not have the economy or the industrial base to go alone. No miracle would create the basis for an entire program out of thin air. As I said in another thread, we got JF-17 right this one time but the lesson is not that we can or should do it alone. The lesson is that we should get into a partnership. Emotional decisions have very high costs. Don't turn JF-17 into Pakistani version of Jamaican team in winter olympics. Concentrate on getting the economy & governance on the right track first. It is not imperative to have an indigenous 5th generation fighter program. We are not India (look at them fumble out of misplaced pride). Suppose Azm becomes a success somehow (probably at great cost). But by creating an island of technological excellence in PAF, would there be off-sets in Pakistan's economy? Would there be a symbiotic ecosystem of technology companies that boost the quality & class of industrial output in general? Or would we have an equivalent of PAC making its own nuts & bolts at (presumably) much higher than market cost? I am not sure that it is doable or desirable to go alone. Security is not the only challenge facing Pakistan. Economy, social indicators (literacy, for example), HDI improvement are equally (if not more) important issues. If Azm does not help with these (by buoying the high tech economy) & instead becomes a drain on precious resources - there is a real chance of that actually - then is it desirable?

I believe that jumping into Azm & missing TFX was a mistake in hind-sight.
I don't think the issue is solely nationalism (re: AZM), but rather, a significant lack of knowledge about nation-building and public policy. The latter requires a different mindset that takes years to develop. The ones at GHQ, AHQ, and NHQ spent years training to be soldiers and decades to be good military leaders. But the development track does not result in being a good nation-builder because you were never trained or cultured in that area. Our generals did not spend nearly enough time (if any) on how an economy works or the key details of high-tech industry; they operate on a fiscal mindset of, "I have X budget, how do I meet my needs within X?" For a general who's given a budget, that's perfectly fine, but policymakers don't think like that -- they ask, "how do I make X budget become X+1?"

So in terms of TFX and AZM, the PAF will look at it in terms of, "TFX is Western fighter, sanctions, sanctions, sanctions, too expensive, we make our own fighter."

The policymaker will actually get up and ask Turkey, "Okay, thanks for inviting us to the TFX, how will you make this ITAR-free? How much will you transfer to Pakistan in terms of co-production? What will Pakistan need to provide to contribute to the development of XYZ?" and so on.

To its credit, India has a team of policymakers who'll ask prospective sellers and partners those questions. When we read about it in the media, we're all laughing at the exceedingly high expectations and demands of the Indians. Yet in reality, the OEMs tend to play ball more often than not, at least at some level (e.g., if they won't share the technology, they will invest back into India's key industries as part of an offset. That investment can help a key Indian industry grow and, in turn, that generates ForEx, employment, tax revenue, etc).

Likewise, one might argue, from a foreign policy standpoint, that it was wiser to take up France's offer to build the Mirage F-1 in Pakistan (under the Sabre II initiative) and co-invest in the Chinese J-10. On one hand, you make the French happy by giving them a bonus on an old fighter (but still a capable jet if given the upgrades, e.g., SOW, ECM, etc). On the other hand, you show the Chinese you'll help them in a high-risk, high-reward project.

When the TFX was at its highest risk (back when the Turks invited us in 2016), we had the potential to reap the highest reward. IMHO it wasn't even a hindsight problem. Anyone with eyes could come to this forum's Turkish section and evaluate what they see from the public reports. The indications of the Turks making solid R&D progress were all there -- however, we had a lot of naysayer noise coming from uncles who were literally contradicting the facts. E.g., Noise = "Turks import Thales kits and assemble them" and the fact = "Aselsan is manufacturing and supplying radars to Thales."

Simply put, the wrong people were allowed to make the wrong decisions at the wrong time. That's our typical Pakistani way.
 

CriticalThought

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Here is a story:

In 1993, Pakistan Student Association at Georgia Tech decided to take part in the yearly football (soccer) tournament. We got a team together, practiced a fair bit. Result was a 0-7 loss in the first round. Next year, I suggested that we convince Muslim Student Association to field one team where our best players would have a chance to shine & sub-par players like myself could cheer from the sidelines & enjoy the match. A few emotional guys were too high on nationalism. We also went & saw the movie Cool Runnings (about Jamaican sled team in winter olympics); the result was that emotions won over reason. Result: 0-6 loss in the first round. Next year we fielded the first MSA team which went all the way to finals. We had Egyptians, Morroccans, an Emirati, a Turk or two & of course 3 or 4 Pakistanis. It was great to taste victory for a change & see our team win all the matches except the final - that match is a story in itself.

All the nationalists insisting that Pakistan should go alone into Azm are not thinking realistically. Pakistan does not have the economy or the industrial base to go alone. No miracle would create the basis for an entire program out of thin air. As I said in another thread, we got JF-17 right this one time but the lesson is not that we can or should do it alone. The lesson is that we should get into a partnership. Emotional decisions have very high costs. Don't turn JF-17 into Pakistani version of Jamaican team in winter olympics. Concentrate on getting the economy & governance on the right track first. It is not imperative to have an indigenous 5th generation fighter program. We are not India (look at them fumble out of misplaced pride). Suppose Azm becomes a success somehow (probably at great cost). But by creating an island of technological excellence in PAF, would there be off-sets in Pakistan's economy? Would there be a symbiotic ecosystem of technology companies that boost the quality & class of industrial output in general? Or would we have an equivalent of PAC making its own nuts & bolts at (presumably) much higher than market cost? I am not sure that it is doable or desirable to go alone. Security is not the only challenge facing Pakistan. Economy, social indicators (literacy, for example), HDI improvement are equally (if not more) important issues. If Azm does not help with these (by buoying the high tech economy) & instead becomes a drain on precious resources - there is a real chance of that actually - then is it desirable?

I believe that jumping into Azm & missing TFX was a mistake in hind-sight.
You know, when someone comes up to you and says 'Hey, let's make a 5th gen plane', you need to take this with a heavy, heavy dose of doubt and suspicion. This is completely natural. Especially, when that someone has never made a single fighter jet ever, much less a 5th gen plane. This remains true, even if they have a completed design review, and are nearing a flying prototype. A flying plane is not a 5th gen plane. A plane with ram coatings is not a 5th gen plane. A plane that has a large number of composites is not a 5th gen plane. And no one will know how good a 5th gen plane it is, until it is seen flying and then working in combat.

Tell me, will Turkey let you evaluate their design by sharing every single spec, every nut and bolt, every composite panel and ram coated surface? Every formula for the ram coating being used? If not, how do you even know it works. Just like you don't have money to waste, you also don't have time to waste. And PAF knows this well. If we find out that PAF has not done a deep collaboration with TAI, I will stand behind the decision. And if we find they have collaborated, I will still stand behind the decision.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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You know, when someone comes up to you and says 'Hey, let's make a 5th gen plane', you need to take this with a heavy, heavy dose of doubt and suspicion. This is completely natural. Especially, when that someone has never made a single fighter jet ever, much less a 5th gen plane. This remains true, even if they have a completed design review, and are nearing a flying prototype. A flying plane is not a 5th gen plane. A plane with ram coatings is not a 5th gen plane. A plane that has a large number of composites is not a 5th gen plane. And no one will know how good a 5th gen plane it is, until it is seen flying and then working in combat.

Tell me, will Turkey let you evaluate their design by sharing every single spec, every nut and bolt, every composite panel and ram coated surface? Every formula for the ram coating being used? If not, how do you even know it works. Just like you don't have money to waste, you also don't have time to waste. And PAF knows this well. If we find out that PAF has not done a deep collaboration with TAI, I will stand behind the decision. And if we find they have collaborated, I will still stand behind the decision.
What if the PAF does diplomacy with the US?
 

Indos

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You know, when someone comes up to you and says 'Hey, let's make a 5th gen plane', you need to take this with a heavy, heavy dose of doubt and suspicion. This is completely natural. Especially, when that someone has never made a single fighter jet ever, much less a 5th gen plane. This remains true, even if they have a completed design review, and are nearing a flying prototype. A flying plane is not a 5th gen plane. A plane with ram coatings is not a 5th gen plane. A plane that has a large number of composites is not a 5th gen plane. And no one will know how good a 5th gen plane it is, until it is seen flying and then working in combat.

Tell me, will Turkey let you evaluate their design by sharing every single spec, every nut and bolt, every composite panel and ram coated surface? Every formula for the ram coating being used? If not, how do you even know it works. Just like you don't have money to waste, you also don't have time to waste. And PAF knows this well. If we find out that PAF has not done a deep collaboration with TAI, I will stand behind the decision. And if we find they have collaborated, I will still stand behind the decision.
Turkey TFX program get assisted from 100 BAE engineers according to Turkish members in other forum (including their previous moderator in PDF). As I think you know as well, that some of their best defense companies are partnership with BAE system and General Electric.
 

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