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SOURCE: NARAYAN APTE/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

A Pakistani Minister has confirmed that they brought 25 J-10C fighter jets in response to India’s purchase of Dassault Rafale from France but J-10C is the second choice of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) after it failed to get hands-on more F-16 Block-52 jets over its present fleet of 18 units in service. PAF clearly won’t be getting any more upgraded F-16s and nor it will be getting any upgrade package kit that it wants for its older F-16 MLU-15 but J-10C is no match to Dassault Rafale but it could be fair to compare it with Tejas Mk2 that is currently under development.

Tejas Mk2 and J-10C are both under 20k ton aircraft that will be used for air superiority and multi-role operations and key data above gives J-10 an upper hand when it comes to the specification of the aircraft since it is bigger aircraft it is also equipped with an engine that is more powerful and also has a higher take-off weight.

But the second chart shows, why J-10C due to high powered engine with higher fuel consumption fares badly against Tejas Mk2 when it comes to the various range that it can offer.

The third chart shows that when it comes to the weapons department, Tejas Mk2 will not only be equipped with Indian weapons systems but also western weapons systems that Chinese J-10 can’t be equipped with. Pakistan will get some leverage to integrate some of its products but most of these systems are either Chinese license build systems or procured from South Africa in the late ’90s.

Some reports indicate that PAF might eventually acquire 50 more J-10C over the next 3-4 years in response to IAF placing orders for more than 36 Rafale as it plans to retire its F-7P and Mirage-III/V fleet in the next 5-6 years completely. Tejas Mk2 and J-10C will eventually face each other from 2030 onwards if both airforce’s maintain their trajectory of inducting them in near future.

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