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SOURCE: RAJESH AHUJA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) recently inducted six J-10CE fighter jets powered by the WS-10B Taihang turbofan engine and has plans to procure as many as more than 75 aircraft that will largely cater to replacing 60% of the F-16 fleet that were procured in the early ’80s. PAF also confirmed that the deal for 25 units of J-10CE was inked in June last year when PAF had requested early deliveries due to which all the airframes that were under production for the PLAAF had to be transferred to PAF to meet the urgent request by the PAF.

PAF’s J-10CE fleet is first to equipped with the Chinese developed HTY-5 zero-zero ejection seat instead of the British made Martin-Baker ejection seat, but PAF has plans to adapt the Martin-Baker ejection seat on future orders as all Chinese made K-8 and JF-17 in PAF active service are equipped with Martin-Baker ejection seats.

J-10CE at the induction ceremony was seen with PL-15E (145km) that confirms induction of the new beyond visual range air to air missiles that suppresses American supplied AIM-120C-5 (105 km) in terms of range. while there is no explanation behind the urgency shown to procure J-10CE from China, the arrival of Rafale in India, and poor show by JF-17 in Dogfight over LOC in 2019 and the aging F-16 fleet might be many of the few reasons behind the urgency.

IAF Rafale Quest

New Indian Air Force Chief after refusing to procure the second batch of Rafale is insisting on procurement of 114 jets under Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) tender for which first preference will be Rafale with Transfer of Technology (TOT) so that it can be made in India. flip-flop by the new air chief will mean that the MRFA contract will not be concluded in his term as the process of framing contract and staff requirement is still not concluded and as the order book for Rafale swells, it won’t be easy to get a second batch in quick time either.

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