SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG.
Only Quad country that doesn’t operate F-35, in fact not even a single American origin fighter jets since its inception might change if China continues to arm Pakistan Air Force (PAF) with latest fighter jets in future after it fast-tracked supply of J-10CE on request of Pakistan. Japanese think tank close to Japan self-defense force is of opinion that Indian Air Force might be forced to go for a Government to Government deal for the purchase of 5th generation fighter jets like F-35 if Chinese manages to supply its 5th gen J-31 from 2025 onwards.
While India is developing its 5th generation fighter jet that will be in the same class as F-35, the paper opinioned that it won’t be ready for at least for next 15 years or more while PAF already has plans to procure J-31 fighter jets from China to replace its aging F-16 fleet and might be looking at local assemble of this jets after the JF-17 production line is closed some time in 2026-27.
Paper also mentioned how to counter India’s purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France, China swung in and quickly countered by supplying Chinese developed J-10CE “Dragon” multi-role fighter aircraft to Pakistan in just 18 months. Pakistan is closely working with China to induct more lightweight JF-17 Block-III jets and also has started work on the Block-IV that will come with various upgrades and improvements.
PAF sees 250 JF-17s as low-tier aircraft that will be backed by medium-weight J-10CE with the top tier being 5th gen fighter jets like J-31. PAF plans to retire Mirage-III/V and Chinese F-7 fleet by 2030 and older F-16 MLU-15 by 2035. PAF has procured 25 J-10CE in the first batch and 25 more will likely be procured sometime soon. Pakistan’s plans to develop a 5th generation fighter jet locally have been scrapped and it is actively looking at the Chinese J-31 and Turkeys TFX program.
US administration has started the process to add India as the sixth country in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) plus which would move New Delhi toward a Defense Security alignment with the United States. India will join a group of countries like Australia, Japan New Zealand, Israel, and South Korea that are the first to get access to cutting-edge weapons and armaments much before its given to the other 24 countries that are part of NATO.
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