April 30, 2015



Pakistan's Defence forces , specially Pakistan's Navy has been quite vocal of arrival of Russian Nuclear powered submarine to Indian shore. Pakistan Navy chief has already told US Defence Magazine that arrival of Russian Nuclear powered submarine and India’s own Indigenous development ,will have adverse effect on its operational capability in Indian ocean . and also mentioned that Pakistani navy is already working on plans to counter this latest threat put forward by Indian Navy .

Indian Defence Experts believe that Pakistan is already working on a counter plans and might just surprise Indian pretty soon in future by producing or acquiring a Nuclear powered submarine . Pakistan always has a quieter way of weapons acquisition and even managed to keep many defence project low key affair .

Rakesh Sharma Indian Defence Expert told that “General Musharraf way back in 2006 had mentioned to a Pak daily that technology for development of a Nuclear Submarine existed in Pakistan”, but its seems help will come from its tried and tested friend china .

China has per media will be supplying 6 conventional attack submarine of Qing class , which will be equipped with a Stirling-cycle AIP system and will be able to carry up to three nuclear warhead-carrying CJ-10K LACMs each. The double-hulled Qing-class SSK, with a submerged displacement close to 3,600 tonnes, bears a close resemblance to the Russian Type 636M SSK, and features hull-retractable foreplanes and hydrodynamically streamlined sail.

Experts suggests that Pakistan’s nuclear submarine is likely to be based on the Qing Class Chinese SSK. highly advanced electric propulsion system of Qing Class Chinese SSK will able Pakistan to replace diesel engine power generation with a nuclear power plant.

Pakistan also has the expertise of submarine construction , with potential help may have been the transfer of technology from France with the Agosta 90B submarine purchase. A number of key technologies were transferred including design and development skills and tools. Building of hulls and experience with Western subsystems, many of which are used in the French nuclear submarines would help the Pakistani SSN / SSBN.

Pakistan with expertise and transfers of technology from China , will be able to field their first nuclear submarine in next 5 to 8 years and brand it “Indigenous “. But experts have difference of opinion on usage of this submarine in both forces , While Nuclear Submarine in Indian navy will complete Nuclear 2nd strike option for India , but Pakistani nuclear submarine might be built to attack prized Indian Aircraft carriers in case of conflict . India who will have 3 or more fleet of aircraft carriers in near future will always be Pakistani navies prime target , even in 1971 Indo-Pak war , Indian aircraft carrier was always a prize target for them .


Pakistan will acquire 110 latest JF-17 Thunder fighter jets from China as the two countries forge closer economic and defence cooperation following President Xi Jinping's visit here earlier this week, a media report said today. Radio Pakistan reported that China will deliver the first batch of 50 jets over a period of three years.The Head of Chinese Aircraft Industry told a Chinese daily that under the contract signed between the two countries, Pakistan will receive a total of 110 JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft from China. It is not clear when the delivery of the remaining 60 jets will be completed. The JF-17 Thunder is also built in Pakistan as China has already transferred its technology. But Pakistan needs more fighter jets at faster pace due to its fight against Taliban militants. Xi also launched a $46 billion economic corridor to link China's western region to Pakistan's Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea. During Xi's visit, a fleet of eight JF-17 jets escorted the special aircraft of the Chinese president when it entered Pakistan's airspace. The two countries signed 51 agreements to boost economic cooperation during Xi's trip.Earlier, reports said China would provide eight latest submarines to Pakistan, more than doubling its fleet, in a deal worth $4-5 billion.

Pakistan has witnessed new defense acquisitions in this decade than any other, and in the center of it all is the new fighter which was designed by China with partial funding from Pakistan. It is formally known as JF-17 Thunder. When the fighter was in development, Pakistani online communities were jumping with excitement comparing it with its arch rival India’s modern combatants Su-30MKI, Mig-29S & Mirage-2000H. There were claims of it featuring western Radars and long range missiles, & Chinese ordering some due to its superior capabilities. But the reality is far from it.

China having spent significant amount of money into a fighter which it is never going to use, most probably forced Pakistan to accept its avionics to offset some its development costs. Chinese who are known for their self reliance first and quality next, are further downgrading JF-17s capabilities with their poorly copy-pirated avionics. Along with their dubious weapons, any chance of JF-17 maintaining BVR edge over its adversary’s front-line combatants, for the most part, is unlikely.

Even in close combat JF-17 lacks what it takes to win the fight. Its spine, & wings bearing resemblance(in wing twist & wing area) to a fighter which china knows inside out, the J-7, doesn’t have wing twist nor does it have enough area to provide a low wing loading. Its performance during low speeds and high alphas would be very dangerous for the pilot indeed. It has a Maximum G loading of only 8, as claimed by PAC. Its thrust to weight ratio is another negative point. When its arch rival, the Indian Air Force(IAF), was overtly critical of Tejas for having a low Thrust to Weight ratio, maybe they should have compared it with JF-17 which has even less, even with Emergency Thrust. Pakistan Aeronautical Complex(PAC) proudly displays the RD-93’s “Combat thrust with afterburner” as 19,200lbf, while the whole defense community knows RD-93’s thrust is 18,300lbf and the only real thrust increase was achieved with its new re-designed Sea Wasp RD-33MK engines- which has been explicitly stated by Klimov. However, Klimov’s RD-33 series 3(or series 2?), whose avatar is RD-93 with re-positioned Gear boxes, has a provision for emergency thrust which Klimov says can produce 8700kgf(~19200lbf) in their officially released document. They further state that as “Take-off emergency mode”. So the mentioned thrust can only be used during take-off where the Air is denser, and also only during emergency situations since it would seriously lower the engine’s lifespan. This is a far cry from PAC's “Combat thrust” claim. Why this is being stated is because, the engines(bought by the Chinese after pressurizing the Russians) are the only non-Chinese & non-Pakistani component, and even there they have lied about its capabilities. Hence the true, lower than published, specifications of Chinese and Pakistani components are open to any one’s guesses. In any case, the close combat capabilities of JF-17 is below average or average at best.

The next Achilles heal is JF-17’s speed. For a good interception, speed is an important criteria. However JF-17’s max speed is Mach 1.6 which is claimed by PAC. This indicates that JF-17 is draggier. When compared, their F-7s(Reverse engineered Mig-21s) have higher speed of mach 2+ with a lower thrust engine. The IAF fighters which it is going to face, all have speeds greater than the Thunder.

So why is Pakistan still inducting more and more of this fighter, which its critics increasingly call it Junk Fighter – 17 ? The answer may lie with Pakistan’s recent trauma & its psyche. Having sanctioned by the U.S, the star of their airforce, the F-16s were severally hit by lack of spares and most of the time grounded. The other 2 sources to procure modern Aircraft- Russia, have been sealed off due to the legacy of Soviet era friendship, current market in India & India’s pressure- and the other source, the European Union, for their extremely high costs. The third source, the Chinese, at that time were still flying their reverse engineered Mig-21s. In those circumstances, “Never again” was the motto of PAF and it instantly jumped into the project of further reversing the reverse engineered Mig-21, known as Super-7(a.k.a Super F-7) to obtain self reliance. The result of that project is the JF-17. So the decision was appropriate at that time, in those situations. However now with China having developed the J-10, and going by the recent reports of offering ToT(Transfer of Technology) to Pakistan, one wonders why are the Pakistanis still ordering 250 planes. Is the trauma of F-16 sanctions so high that they don’t even trust the Chinese? This can't be the case because they still need the Chinese to procure the RD-93 engines for them, even after the Chinese transfer all their associated JF-17 tech to PAC. So why...? The answer lies with their ego/psyche rather than the trauma. Unlike J-10, Pakistan shares copyright to JF-17 and that, for some weird reason, gives them something to celebrate about. This is strange for the reason, war machines are for fighting wars and achieving tactical & strategic objectives, not for gloating about who holds the copyrights. When JF-17 comes face to face with MKI or SMT, there won’t be much to celebrate about it, or the few millions if at all it earns though exports. In the end, it’s all about defending ones homeland from the enemy, and not copyrights.