Pakistan Air Force takes delivery of the first Chinese J-10C fighter jets

Chengdu aircraft is considered the equivalent of the US Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) took delivery of the first J-10C multirole fighter jets on Friday, becoming the first foreign customer for the aircraft made by Chinese state-owned Chengdu Aircraft Corporation.

PAF has received an initial batch of five aircraft from an order that could reach 25 fighters, according to Pakistani media.

In late February, two J-10C fighter jets with PAF insignia were spotted flying around Chengdu, in central China’s Sichuan province, where the aircraft’s final assembly line is located.

Pakistan’s interest in the J-10 had been speculated for over 10 years, however, confirmation of a deal only emerged in December 2021, when Pakistani Interior Minister Skeish Ahmed declared that the first batch of Chinese fighter jets would be presented. during Pakistan Republic Day celebrations this month.

Pakista Air Force J-10C (PAF)

The Chengdu J-10, which first flew in 1999 and entered service six years later, is the most numerous fighter in the inventory of The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), which operates nearly 500 of the aircraft.

Western analysts consider the Chinese single-engine aircraft equivalent to the US model F-16 Fighting Falcon, produced by Lockheed Martin.

Assorted fighters

Long-standing tensions with India have prompted Pakistan to mount a large defense and attack military apparatus. The country’s air force, for example, has more than 500 fighter jets supplied by different manufacturers.

Pakista Air Force J-10C (PAF)

India’s flagship fighter jet is the US-supplied Lockheed Martin F-16. Pakistan is also the last operator of Dassault Aviation’s Mirage III/5 series supersonics. The Pakistani fleet also includes the Chengdu J-7 jet (Chinese version of the MiG-21) and the JF-17 Thunder fighter, produced by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, which has also been considered by Argentina as its future interceptor.

The J-10 is a slightly larger single-engine fighter than the JF-17, which also has Chinese collaboration. It is heavier (19.3 tonnes versus 13.5 tonnes maximum takeoff weight), more powerful (a Shenyang WS-10B turbofan with 32,000 pounds of afterburner thrust, compared to the Thunder’s Klimov RD-39, with 19 thousand pounds of thrust) and carries more weapons in its external points.

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