Reports have emerged that the long-awaited Chinese jet, the J-10C’s, have landed at PAF Base Kamra. The acquisition of the J-10C is crucial for both Pakistan and China. This is the first time the Chinese-built J-10C’s have been exported to any country.
The move would promote Chinese aviation equipment, increase mutual cooperation between the two countries, and boost the combat capability of the Pakistan Air Force.
The confirmation of this deal came from Pakistan’s interior minister, Sheikh Rasheed, in December 2021, who informed the media that Pakistan is acquiring the fighter jet from China.
J-10 have entered Pakistani airspace.
After 17 minutes
06 J-10 landing today at 1200hrs at PAF Base Kamra.#j10c
— Farzana Shah (@Jana_Shah) March 4, 2022
The interior minister further added that the J-10C’s would perform for the first time on the 23 March Parade, which Pakistan holds in remembrance of the Pakistan resolution day, commemorating the passing of the resolution for the creation of a separate federation based on Muslim-majority regions in India.
The talk for the acquisition began in 2015 when Pakistan realized that the upgradation of the F-16 was not a feasible option for it. Moreover, the next-generation aircraft under Project Azm would not make their maiden flight till the end of this decade. Thus, the PAF made the decision of inducting the J-10Cs.
The J-10C is a modern and powerful single-engine multi-role Chinese fighter. The jet measures around 15.49 meters and has a wingspan of approximately 9.75m. The plane is expected to replace the PAF’s 87 delta-wing Mirage III ROSE fighters, which lack modern technology and integrated system.
Read more: J-10C vs J-16: Which ones better?
According to the interior minister of Pakistan, Pakistan acquired the J-10C as a response to the Indian acquisition of French Rafale. The first batch of Rafale jets arrived in India in July 2020, four years after India signed the agreement with France. Rafale is a French twin-engine, multi-role fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation.
The jet has a wingspan of around 10.90 meters and a length of 15.30 meters. The Rafale has a 20 percent greater thrust and 11 percent higher weight than the J-10C giving the Rafale a far better thrust-to-weight ratio than the J-10C. However, Rafale lags behind by miles in speed, offering only 1900 km/h, whereas the J10-C offers 2400 km/h.
Pakistan wants to reduce the conventional asymmetry that exists between it and India, and in that effort, it has been procuring a lot of military equipment recently. Pakistan’s defense budget for FY 21-22 amounts to 1.37 trillion rupees, approximately 17 percent of its total annual expenditure. Whereas India recently announced a whopping $70 billion for its military defense budget for the year 2022-23, far exceeding Pakistan’s defense budget.