Monday, May 23, 2011

Whole Sale Defence Deals: Pakistan And China

Pakistan has looked towards its traditional ally after being bashed by the United States for its defense needs in 1965 and Pak-China defense & economic relationship never looked back. Current visit of the Pakistani Minister was a great success by all means as Pakistan was able to not only pursue China to stand by it in these difficult times but also agreed on number of pending defense deals.

Gawadar Port:

China has agreed to take over the operations of Gawadar Port in Pakistan at the request of the federal government after the

agreement with the Singapore Port Authority expires. Pakistani Defense Minister, Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar has announced in front of local media that Pakistan asked for Chinese in number of fields and China was immediately ready to help Pakistan in any way possible.

Type 054A Jiangkai-II Stealth Frigate:Pakistani Defense Minister, Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar has said that China has also agreed to provide loan for the purchase of the Chinese 4400 ton frigate. This agreement will clear the financial problems of the Pakistan Navy and it will be able to purchase new generation stealth Type 054A Jiangkai II Multi-Role frigate which is equipped with the HQ-16 Medium-Range Air Defence Missiles.

Chinese HQ-16 Surface to Air missile have range of over 50 kilometers launched from 32 vertical launch system (VLS) and is far more superior then the FM-90N surface-to-air missile (SAM) used on the F-22P Zulfiquar class frigate. Frigate will also use 8 C-802A or C-803 antiship missiles which have range in excess of 180km. Type 054A Jiangkai II frigate is designed with stealth features, including sloped hull design, radar.


Pakistan and China has also agreed to provide training to the personal of the Pakistan Navy on the Chinese submarines. Pakistani and China has already agreed earlier this year to jointly development and co-production of diesel electric submarines fitted with the Air Independent Propulsion to meet Pakistan Navy’s long standing requirement of six new generation of submarines.

Unconfirmed news from Indian sources also suggest that Pakistan and China has also discussed the possibility of leasing a Chinese nuclear powered attack submarine SSN to Pakistan Navy for limited time period.

Pakistan Navy has shown interest in leasing of SSN after the Indian leasing of SSN from Russia and construction of nuclear powered submarine armed with submarine launched ballistic missiles with Russian help.

New Naval Base:

Pakistani defence minister has also said that Pakistan has requested China to construct a naval base for Pakistan at the site of Gawader. This would be the third main naval base for the Pakistan navy.

JF-17 Thunders:

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has also asked Chinese counterpart to pursue PLAAF (Peoples Liberation Army Air Force) to induct JF-17 Thunder fighter jets in their air fleet. He said that this will bring lot of publicity for JF-17 Thunder which will be good for exports and further decrease the cost.

Pakistan and China has also agreed on the co-production of second batch of the JF-17 thunder aircraft for the Pakistan air force with advance avionics.

FC-20 Fighter Jets:

Pakistani Defense Minister, Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar has confirmed that Chinese friends have agreed to the Pakistani request to provide FC-20 fighter jet to the Pakistan Air Force.

FC-20 is an export version of the Chinese J-10B is a multirole fighter jet which was developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAC) for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). J-10B was first time promoted to the Pakistan in 2006 during the visit of then President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf who was allowed to sit in the cockpit of J-10B. This made him the first foreign head of state to see the aircraft even before its existence was officially recognized.

On 12 April 2006 the Pakistani federal cabinet allowed Pakistan Air Force (PAF) to start negotiations for the initial purchase of 36 J-10Bs under designations of FC-20. Since then Pakistan Air Force has requested our Chinese friends to develop an improved version to meet the Pakistani requirements of high end front line fighter jet.

In 2009, Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mehmood Ahmed, then Chief of the Air Staff of the PAF confirmed the Pakistani interest in purchase of atlease two squadrons of FC-20 in initial phase.

He also said Islamabad had asked Beijing to convey a message to Washington that “our sovereignty be respected”.

The Chinese government “assured us of help in removing hurdles in the way of Pakistan’s progress”, the Defence Minister said.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

China's first aircraft carrier nears completion

After nearly nine years of refurbishing work, China’s first aircraft carrier — a platform that could add to Taiwan’s defense concerns — could soon embark on its maiden voyage, Chinese media reported last week.

Work on the Varyag, a refurbished carrier purchased from Ukraine in 1998 for about US$20 million, was near completion and the hull was being painted in the standard Chinese naval color, a Web site associated with the state-run People’s Daily newspaper reported last Wednesday.

Seen as one of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s (胡錦濤) last accomplishments before he steps down next year, the aircraft carrier could take to sea as early as July 1, reports said.

Expected to be renamed “Shi Lang,” after the Qing Dynasty admiral who conquered what is now known as Taiwan in 1681, the carrier has been undergoing modernization work at the port of Dalian since 2002. Although the hull was built in 1988 by the former Soviet Union, the vessel acquired by China did not include the electronic circuits, radars, antennas, engines or other devices.

A report by UK-based Jane’s Defence Weekly on Friday said the carrier would come equipped with phased array radars and surface-to-air missiles, making it a more independent platform than its US equivalent, which is dependent on Aegis-type guided missile cruisers for protection.

Commenting on the reports, Lan Ning-li (蘭寧利), a retired vice admiral in the Republic of China Navy, told the Central News Agency last week that after being assigned to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy fleet in the South China Sea fleet, the carrier would be in a position to move in areas surrounding southern and eastern Taiwan, a scenario that would pose “a certain threat” to the country.

Even if Taiwanese vessels could block entry from the north and south sides of the Taiwan Strait, the “Shi Lang” would still allow China to expand its naval activities eastward into the Pacific, he said.

“That will make Taiwan vulnerable to enemy attacks at sea from both front and rear,” Lan said.

Despite reports that refurbishing work had entered its final phase, many of the sophisticated electronics on the carrier likely had yet to be installed, Lan said.

A picture provided by the People’s Daily showed the large bridge, minus the phased array radar, nearing completion.

The 302m long and 70.5m wide carrier, which comes with a loaded displacement of 67,000 tonnes and a speed of between 29 knots and 31 knots, can host as many as 50 aircraft of various types — possibly including Russian-made SU-33 and carrier-modified, Chinese-made J-10, as well as anti-submarine -helicopters and early-warning helicopters.

As Chinese pilots have no experience taking off from and landing aircraft on carriers, it could be a while before the impact on regional security of the deployment of the “Shi Lang” is truly felt.