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Pakistan confirms raising squadron of Chinese J-10C in response to India’s Rafale jets

Source : India Today

Pakistan confirms raising squadron of Chinese J-10C in response to India’s Rafale jets
Chinese Air Force Chengdu J-10C Fighter (File Photo)



Putting the speculations to rest, the government of Pakistan has confirmed the acquisition of at least 25 Chinese J-10C fighter jets for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). Pakistan’s interior minister Sheikh Rashid told reporters in Rawalpindi on Wednesday that a squadron of 25 China-made jets would participate in a fly-past on 23 March. The minister touted the Chinese jets as “an answer to India’s Rafale jets”.

However, the minister misarticulated the name of the jets repeatedly during his interaction, referring to the jets as “Chinese JS-10”. While rumours of Pakistan acquiring Chinese jets have been doing rounds for a long time, a big question mark remains over the claims of the Chinese jets competence against the advanced French Rafale.

Although China has been using the J-10C multirole fighter aircraft to replace its much older J-7E fighters at the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s (PLAAF’s) brigades, it relied on its much-advanced J-20 stealth jets when it came to monitoring of the crucial Taiwan Strait and East China Sea.

The J-10C is considered a capable workhorse of the Chinese air force, but it falls below the cutting-edge capabilities of the Rafale. Commentary in Chinese state media often looks to place the mid-sized fighter jet closer to the Rafale but Rafale’s integrated architecture, superior sensors and overall combat capabilities set it apart.

With a distinct advantage in thrust and superior short-range missile, Rafale scores over the J-10C with better kill probability during Within Visual Range (WVR) combat. The combination of RBE2 AESA radar with the Meteor missile in Rafale provides a distinct advantage in the Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat as well. Rafale’s electronic warfare suite is also believed to be the most capable in its class.

The J-10C jets have been sighted during the China-Pakistan joint air exercises recently. Weeks before the formal announcements, the J-10C model was spotted in the pictures of the Pakistan Air Force Chief’s office.

The Imran Khan Government’s intentions to acquire the Chinese jets have already been questioned by the opposition. “I don’t think the J-10C is as good as the Rafale also. We should have invested this money in building Project Azm and enhancing JF-17 capabilities,” Dr Afnan Ullah Khan had posted on Twitter, earlier this month.

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