Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pakistan buys Chinese missiles, eager to purchase more

Pakistan has bought Chinese missiles and avionics for its 250 JF- 17 Thunder jet fighters, Air Force chief Rao Qamar Suleman said on Thursday.

In an interview with the Global Times, Air Chief Marshal Suleman said pre-purchase evaluations on several other Chinese air defense systems were also underway.

The advanced active radar medium-range missile developed by China, the SD-10 missile, will become the standard Beyond Visual Range (BVR) weapon for the JF-17, he said.

"PAF has no plans to install Western systems and weapons on the aircraft for the time being," he added.

Pakistan may also order advanced defense missile systems from China, including Chinese surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, Suleman said.

In an interview with another Chinese daily, China Daily, he said Pakistan was looking at the option of purchasing Chinese engines.

Suleman brought an FC-1 (Fighter China-1) Xiaolong aircraft, an improved version of China's new generation fighter jet co-developed with Pakistan, to the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai.

The PAF is increasing production of the FC-1 (designated JF-17 Thunder in Pakistan), and is aiming to have about 25 aircraft assembled by the end of the year.

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