Defense News Monthly Digest – June 2022

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is due to receive another batch of J-10CEs, while the Pakistan Navy (PN) has inducted its second Type 054A/P or Tughril-class frigate.

However, as new Chinese systems dominate Pakistan’s efforts, it appears that the PAF is acquiring second-hand C-130s from Belgium. Could this be part of a larger effort to consolidate original American equipment with used airframes? Could the mothballed F-16s be next?

Finally, the PAF seems to have inducted the Bayraktar TB2 drone of Turkish origin. This could be a sign that the images in the promotional video (featuring the AVIC Wing Loong 2 as well as Bayraktar TB2 and Akıncı) are accurate. If so, how far do Pakistan’s drone ambitions really go?

CAC prepares a second batch of J-10CE for Pakistan

Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) is preparing the second batch of J-10CE Firebird multi-role combat aircraft for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). According observersa photo has emerged of a Pakistani J-10CE with serial number 22-111.

The PAF officially inducted the J-10CE in March 2022. Pakistan ordered the J-10CE from the China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) in June 2021.

Join No.15 Squadron of the PAF, Cobras, CATIC and CAC delivered the first batch of J-10CEs in approximately nine months. This was an exceptionally fast turnaround time, as it typically takes around two years to install a new fighter jet, from contract date to delivery.

The J-10CE is the culmination of the PAF’s efforts to acquire a generation 4+/4.5 fighter alternative to the F-16. In 2015, the PAF intended to expand its F-16C/D fleet. However, a cooling of Pakistan’s relations with the United States led to the halting of Coalition Support Funds (CSF) and Foreign Military Funding (FMF). The CSF and FMF freeze has prevented Pakistan from funding new US-sourced weapons…

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Pakistan Navy commissions second Type 054A/P frigate (PNS Taimur)

On June 23, 2022, the Pakistan Navy (PN) commissioned its second Tughril-class frigate (Type 054A/P), PNS Taimur. The PN led the ceremony at Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in China.

Pakistan has ordered four Type 054A/P from China Shipbuilding Trading Co. Ltd (CSTC) in two batches in 2017 and 2018. CSTC launched the lead frigate for sea trials in August 2020 and the PN inducted the ship – PNS Tughril (F-261) – in January 2022. CSEC launched PNS Taimur for sea trials in January 2021. The third and fourth Tughril-class frigates are undergoing sea trials.

The Tughril-class frigate is a key part of the PN’s fleet revitalization efforts. Not only is the PN replacing its old ships with new types, it is also expanding its fleet of “large surface ships” to over 20 ships. In this roadmap, the Tughril-class frigate is and will remain the largest ship type in the PN, it has a displacement of approximately 4,000 tons. The next largest ship type will be the 3,300 ton Jinnah-class frigate.

Today, the Tughril-class frigate is the most capable type of warship in the PN…

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Bayraktar TB2 drone reportedly spotted in Pakistan

Observers say they have spotted a Bayraktar TB2 in Pakistan, more precisely at the Murid base of the Pakistani Air Force (PAF). PAF Murid is a major base of operations for the PAF’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). If correct, this could confirm that the PAF is a Bayraktar TB2 user.

In March 2022, the PAF released a promotional video showcasing their gear. In the video, the PAF also showed clips from Wing Loong 2, Bayraktar TB2 and Bayraktar Akıncı drones. One would assume that the PAF showed the footage as a way to reveal upcoming supply plans.

The Bayraktar TB2 is a medium altitude long endurance (MALE) drone. It offers a range of 27 hours, a top speed of 70 to 120 knots, a payload capacity of 150 kg and a flight ceiling of 18,000 feet to 25,000 feet.

In November 2021, TB2 was chalked up 400,000 operational flight hours. The UAV has been widely used in a wide range of combat operations. Not only was it used in counter-insurgency (COIN) operations, which is fairly typical of UAVs, but it also served against conventional military targets. Regarding the latter, the Ukrainian War and the Nagorno-Karabakh War are the most notable cases…

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Pakistan acquires ex-Belgian C-130H transport plane

Recently, a picture emerged of a former Belgian C-130H in Pakistani Air Force (PAF) livery. The latter is in the process of acquiring used C-130Hs from the Belgian Air Force.

It is not known if the PAF will acquire all the Belgian C-130Hs. The C-130H is similar to the C-130B/E variants that the PAF already flies. With a fully established logistics, training and maintenance network for the older Hercules, the PAF can absorb additional airframes relatively smoothly…

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