It appears that Pakistan will reach out to China to acquire helicopter gunships as it cancels defence deal with Turkey. Various sources, while quoting Director-General of Inter-Services Public Relations (DG-ISPR) Maj Gen Babar made the claims.
Thursday, during a press conference, DG ISPR revealed that Pakistan “moved on” from the T-129 deal with Turkey. He also stated that Pakistan will “hopefully” get some gunships from China as negotiations are underway.
In 2018, Pakistan ordered 30 T129 ATAK attack helicopters from Turkey. The deal, valued at $1.5 billion, was signed with the Turkish Aerospace Industries. However, the deal experienced delays due to the US refusal to issue an export license for the engines that power the Turkish aircraft.
According to reports, the aircrafts use LHTEC T800-4A engines, which is a variant of the CTS800 engine, jointly developed by Honeywell and Rolls-Royce. As a result of this issue, Pakistan cancelled the deal with Turkey.
Important to note, the Chinese Z-10ME attack helicopter is the equivalent of both the Turkish ATAK-2 and Boeing’s AH-64 Apache.
According to its manufacturer, the Z10ME is an advanced attack helicopter in the 6-ton category, which has day/night combat capability and can carry a variety of weapons such as air-to-ground missiles, air-to-air missiles, rockets, and cannons.
If Pakistan and China finalize the deal, then Pakistan will become the first export customer of Z-10ME, just as it was the first foreign customer of the J-10CE. Pakistan approached China for the procurement of the J-10C to counter the Indian Air Force’s purchase of the Dassault Rafale.
Pakistan Air Force ready to induct J-10C in 2022
On Dec. 29, 2021, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed announced during a public event that the Pakistan Air Force will perform a fly-over for the Republic Day parade on March 23, 2022, with 25 “JS-10” jets newly purchased from China.
According to details, the Chines made J-10C is a modern single-engine delta wings fighter jet. The J-10C can identify multiple targets simultaneously. Moreover, it is equipped with PL-15 missiles that can hit targets up to 200 km.
Furthermore, the single-engine tail-less canard delta wing J-10C features fly-by-wire flight controls and an AESA fire control radar. Made of composite materials for high strength and lower weight, the J-10C’s internal armament consists of a Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-23 twin-barrel cannon, located underneath the port side of the intake.