SOURCE: MANJUNATH REDDY/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
All mighty Pakistani ISPR seems, is yet to make up its mind on usage of Pakistan Air Force F-16 fighter jet against India after its repeated flip-flops and u-turns now ISPR is now saying that F-16s might have been used to shot down a Mig-21Bis fighter jet but then kill has been credited to JF-17 fighter jet which Pakistan assembles locally in the country and was designed and developed by China.
Interestingly India has claimed only 4 F-16 had breached Line of control and was used to shot down one Mig-21Bis which crashed on the other side of the line of control while chasing an F-16 which was shot down by the Mig-21 pilot who was later shot down by his wing man. While India had positioned Two Sukhoi-30MKI farthest from the scene of action to protect its vital military installations, F-16 fired 3-4 AMRAAMs at its longest engagement range which were easily dodged by the one Sukhoi-30MKI using onboard Jammers and super maneuverability.
Pakistan Government credited Wing commander Hassan for Mig-21 kill and Wing commander Nouman Ali for a Sukhoi-30MKI kill, but both claimed to be JF-17 pilots even though IAF didn’t lose any Sukhoi-30MKI on that day since JF-17s and Sukhoi-30MKI fleet was never even close for a BVR engagement in the first place. JF-17 was flying in its own airspace and could not have engaged BVRAAM missile to kill a Mig-21 when the aircraft was chasing nearly two F-16s and was the closest in the area of action.
Ali is a veteran F-16 pilot who was back to flying F-16s a few days later which now has been confirmed by visuals from Pakistan day, which confirms that he was part of the raid and most likely was flying the F-16 which fired AMRAAMs at Sukhoi-30MKI at long range but failed miserably, since after firing at the lone Sukhoi-30MKI he turned back immediately, without any further inputs for missile from the firing aircraft they were easily dodged,which Veteran like Ali could have been ridiculed for back home by his F-16 Squadron.
India lost a Mig-21 to an F-16 but credit was given to a JF-17 which was not even the area and to make matters even more comical was that a second JF-17 was credited with Sukhoi-30MKI which was even farthest from the scene of action and well out of range of SD-10 BVRAAMs which are usually flown on JF-17 aircraft. Why rush to credit non-existing kills to JF-17s? when it was only providing the second cover from a safe distance to 8 F-16s that day !!.
Well, it seems it was all planned out marketing gimmicks to boosts poor sales of JF-17s which are manufactured by Pakistan locally. JF-17 inducted nearly a decade ago had suffered two noted crashes which created a bad reputation of the jet among prospective buyers that Myanmar insisted that full lot of 16 JF-17 ordered by their air force was only built in China by CAC in its own facility and all Pakistan was able to get was 3 orders from Nigeria in last decade.
Biggest order from Myanmar was mainly executed by China and only cut metals from Pakistan were procured, not only that whole assembly and manufacturing of the jets and test flights all were conducted in China. JF-17 which was seen as F-7 (Mig-21 Clone) replacement in the International market initially, meant that both China and Pakistan had anticipated former and current operators of F-7 will jump to buy low cost JF-17s when it is available for export but that never happened which meant investment done on incremental production facility may not be recovered by Pakistan, Remember F-7 had over 600 export sales and China and Pakistan might have expected export sales even of 300 then those figures are nowhere close to what they have achieved.
A second concern for Pakistan is that PAC already has delivered nearly 130+ JF-17s to the Pakistani Air force and production already hitting 21 aircraft per annum, remaining aircraft which will be based on JF-17 Block-III will be produced and delivered in less than 6 years and then the production will need to shut down and the facility will be used to upgrade older blocks and to carry out overhauls. Exports sales will only prolong the production line so fresh orders need to be secured in the next two to three years and what better way than showcasing its non-existing dog fighting kills to boost interests and secure further orders from prospective customers who are yet to place orders for the jet. Without further export sales they will be no profits to fund further blocks or upgrades to the existing fleet. JF-17 is a 30$ million a unit plane yet such poor sales only means poor profit margin for both PAC and CAC
PAF nor Pakistan has ever released any onboard HUD footage of engaging Indian fighter aircraft nor footage of firing BVRAAMs at Indian Mig-21 or Sukhoi-30MKI. While a video of Hassan was seen with a JF-17 after his engagement, Ali who was credited with bigger kill like Sukhoi-30MKI was didn’t bust into Pakistani social media scene soon after the engagement like with Hassan and what’s even more interesting is that it took nearly a week for Pakistan government to come up and name Ali for imaginary second kill which naturally could have come out if he had really shot down a Sukhoi-30MKI. It is most likely that Ali was the F-16 pilot who aimlessly fired AMRAAMs at lone Sukhoi-30MKI and went home and claimed credit for the kill when in fact both Sukhoi-30MKI landed back safely and if it did crash on Indian side of line of control, it could have taken much time for pro-Pakistani supporters in the region to find wreckage of it.
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