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Spooked by India's Rafale jets, Pakistan buys full squadron of 25 J-10C fighters from China

Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed confirmed that the Chinese aircraft have been procured in response to India’s acquisition of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. 

Spooked by India's Rafale jets, Pakistan buys full squadron of 25 J-10C fighter aircraft from China
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Islamabad, First Published Dec 30, 2021, 2:01 PM IST
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At a time when Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has been running pillar to post to secure financial support for its cash-strapped country, the armed forces are still in misguided pursuit of countering India in its air domain capabilities. Pakistan has bought a full squadron of 25 multirole J-10C fighter aircraft from its all-time ally, China.

Talking to media persons at Rawalpindi, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed confirmed the new acquisition, adding that the J-10C will participate in the Pakistan Day ceremony on March 23, 2022. The minister said that the Chinese aircraft have been procured in response to India’s acquisition of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. 

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Rashid said that foreign dignitaries will, for the first time, be attending the March 23 ceremony in Pakistan. During the fly-past ceremony, Pakistan Air Force is expected to showcase China's JS-10 (J-10C) aircraft, which Rashid was quick to add as Islamabad's response to India's acquisition of the Rafale fighter aircraft.

Also Read: Frustrated by poor Chinese weapons, Pakistan mulls asking United States for V-BAT 128 UAS

Last year in December, J-10C aircraft had participated in the Pakistan-China joint military exercise. Since then the negotiations on it began. Pakistani media has made lofty claimed that the J-10C fighters are equipped with AESA radars that can evade India's newly-acquired Russian S-400 air defence systems. However, Pakistani experts have time and again pointed out issues with regard to inferior military hardware imported from China. On numerous occasions, Pakistan-based defence experts have raised the issues of  receiving inferior quality of combat fighter aircraft and armed drones. 

Pakistan, which is struggling to sustain its economy, continues to procure defence equipment. Currently, the country's external debt stands at $85.6 billion against $77.9 billion in the same period last year. Just few weeks ago, the country had received a loan of $3 billion from Saudi Arabia as part of an economic support package. And just last week, data emerged that the Imran Khan government's policies in the last three years has seen the Pakistan rupee plunge by over 70 per cent. So much so that the policymakers in Islamabad are now pinning their hopes on assistance from the International Monetary Fund.

Also Read: Why S-400 missile system deployment in Punjab is a 'game-changer'

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