The Pakistani government has confirmed the purchase of at least 25 J-10C fighters with the export version as the FC-20E from China’s Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (CAC)

It has long been rumored that the Pakistan Air Force will be the first customer of China’s Chengdu J-10C Multirole fighter jet, and this is now becoming a reality. The Pakistan Air Force has officially confirmed the purchase, and is expected to arrive in time to participate in the March 23 Pakistan Day Parade.

Accordingly, the Pakistani government has confirmed the purchase of at least 25 J-10C fighters with the export version as the FC-20E from China’s Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (CAC). FC-20E was first introduced at Dubai Air Show 2019. According to Chengdu’s announcement, this is a close version of the J-10C of the Chinese Air Force. Pakistani specific variant will be called J-10CP or F-10P.

Chengdu J-10C
Chengdu J-10C

According to Sheikh Rashid, Pakistan’s interior minister, the Chinese fighter jets are “an answer to India’s Rafale jets.” Apparently, China has provided its closest ally with one of its highly reliable fighters. Remember, the J-10C aircraft were part of the Pak-China joint exercise last year, where experts from Pakistan had the opportunity to have a close look at the fighter jets.

Pakistan currently has a fleet of US-made F-16s, which is considered a good match for Rafale, but it was looking for a new multirole all-weather jet to augment its defence after India purchased Rafale jets from France. The addition of J-10s is therefore a direct response to the purchase of the Rafale by the Indian Air Force.

The J-10C is a modern, agile and powerful 4.5 generation fighter. Equipped with an AESA active electronically scanning radar, powerful Electronic countermeasure, low radar cross section and a wide range of smart munitions at its disposal. It is entirely possible to consider it to be in the same league as the Rafale acquired by India. J-10C would be the first fighter aircraft in active service in the Pakistan Air Force to incorporate AESA radar technology, even before the JF-17 Block III, a domestic product.

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