F-16 versus JF-17 Joint Pakistan/Chinese fighter

Agreed, it will never be a fair fight but how would the F-16 match up against the ... ?
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jedit

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Unread post31 Aug 2019, 00:34

Boman wrote:India has requested additional 18 SU-30MKI's according to AFM.


unrelated to the thread in question, other than an indirect link that JF17 is a direct adversary to the Su30. They aren't the same class of fighters though.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post03 Sep 2019, 06:42

Has Pakistan ever sent F-16's to China for a Military Exercise??? Is that even allowed??? (i.e. US)
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Unread post03 Sep 2019, 15:08

Corsair1963 wrote:Has Pakistan ever sent F-16's to China for a Military Exercise??? Is that even allowed??? (i.e. US)


No only JF.17s, Mirages and F.7 series aircraft,the last Shaheen series exercise was organised at Paf base Bholari which is basically an F.16 base with single squadron of ADF vipers so maybe A-A engagements between the vipers and chinese aircraft might have happened but not sure about it.
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weasel1962

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Unread post04 Sep 2019, 07:48

If the Pakistanis have it, certain the Chinese have it too. JF-17 with the wing-kit JDAM-equivalent.

https://twitter.com/RupprechtDeino/stat ... 7248965632

That's something the PAF F-16s haven't got.
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Shimud

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Unread post04 Sep 2019, 11:44

They are operating F-16s since almost 40 years now.
Those who were trained and first flew it at Lake AFB eventually found their way in design and development process of JF-17. It includes pilots and engineers.
They were the second after Israeli AF to put it into real world combat, earned several aerial victories against Soviet and Afghan AFs, without any loss.
This experience and exposure gave them an unmatched capability to influence the weapon, mechanical and electronics' design aspects of JF-17 and in many cases, they improved them.
They are wise to build upon one block after another, in a limited number of 50 aircraft each, while removing the deficiencies of the previous block and improving upon the advantages. Its a continuous refining process. Its a continuously evolving fighter aircraft.

None of us could claim that a JF-17 is better than an F-16 but we must give them credit where its due.
JF-17 has given them an edge over their enemies, in both qualitative and quantitative terms.

An AF which was flying obselete 60s era fighters is gradually replacing all of them with a 4th gen (3rd in Chinese terminology) multipurpose jet.

Not to mention that during February 2019 skirmishes over Kashmir, PAF used its 60s era Mirage 3/5 in a much more effective manner, as compared to how badly the modern Mirage 2000Es of IAF performed.
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Unread post05 Sep 2019, 10:32

invictus wrote:No only JF.17s, Mirages and F.7 series aircraft,the last Shaheen series exercise was organised at Paf base Bholari which is basically an F.16 base with single squadron of ADF vipers so maybe A-A engagements between the vipers and chinese aircraft might have happened but not sure about it.


The PAF has special restrictions set up prior to the acquisitions due to the concerns that US had in view of the closer relations to China as early as 1982.

Example:
https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114307

PLAAF may have trained with other force's F-16s e.g. Thailand's falcon strike exercise with PLA J-10s/Su-27s.
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Unread post21 Sep 2019, 16:47

Corsair1963 wrote:Has Pakistan ever sent F-16's to China for a Military Exercise??? Is that even allowed??? (i.e. US)


F16s don't visit China AFAIK and are put through their paces inside Pakistan under watchful eyes of the US staff. I've heard weird stories of strict policing of the F16s under Pakistani use especially after MLU that started in the 2000s as part of the US military assistance program. This fear of indirect US control (which has been exercised through sanctions) over F16 and consequently cutting teeth of PAF is what partly led to the JF17 program.

invictus wrote:No only JF.17s, Mirages and F.7 series aircraft,the last Shaheen series exercise was organised at Paf base Bholari which is basically an F.16 base with single squadron of ADF vipers so maybe A-A engagements between the vipers and chinese aircraft might have happened but not sure about it.


It wouldn't be entirely wrong to assume that Pakistan chose one of the few bases with F16s because it wanted F16s to be part of those exercises. F16s won't visit China but Chinese planes aren't entirely banned from cohabiting F16s and producing baby JF17s

Shimud wrote:They are operating F-16s since almost 40 years now.
Those who were trained and first flew it at Lake AFB eventually found their way in design and development process of JF-17. It includes pilots and engineers.
They were the second after Israeli AF to put it into real world combat, earned several aerial victories against Soviet and Afghan AFs, without any loss.
This experience and exposure gave them an unmatched capability to influence the weapon, mechanical and electronics' design aspects of JF-17 and in many cases, they improved them.
They are wise to build upon one block after another, in a limited number of 50 aircraft each, while removing the deficiencies of the previous block and improving upon the advantages. Its a continuous refining process. Its a continuously evolving fighter aircraft.
None of us could claim that a JF-17 is better than an F-16 but we must give them credit where its due.
JF-17 has given them an edge over their enemies, in both qualitative and quantitative terms.

An AF which was flying obselete 60s era fighters is gradually replacing all of them with a 4th gen (3rd in Chinese terminology) multipurpose jet.

Not to mention that during February 2019 skirmishes over Kashmir, PAF used its 60s era Mirage 3/5 in a much more effective manner, as compared to how badly the modern Mirage 2000Es of IAF performed.


Your assessment is quite reasonable. PAF had a couple of generation of pilots and Engineers trained on US based planes starting from F86, F104 and latest F16s and ran a JV with Chinese who had more manufacturing prowess to create a fighter that could be build on the cheap and never risk sanctions that Pakistan always risks due to its notoriety in global community. Pakistan did not want to waste that experience with the US tech and human resources which they find as invaluable. Israel used experience with US equipment to gain great know how that serves it to this day and most PAF veterans regard Israel air force as thoroughly professional to the point of being inspiring regardless of the political rhetoric between the two countries.
PAF indeed used 60s era Mirages. A Mirage tail number 303 of PAF fleet was originally built in 1967 per reliable info. They call it 'Baba' or 'old man'.
Since you mentioned Mirages that were used to strike Indian military installations, PAF after 7 months has released footage (link below) of one of the PGM they landed right next to the Indian military targets using vintage Mirages. That is one better than Indian Mirage 2000s which apparently did not 1 land on target, and 2 not catch any footage. PAF from day one claimed they deliberately landed the PGM next to the military installations to show ability and restraint at the same time.
IAF claimed PAF failed to land on target all 6 targets because PAF had to run back after IAF scampered its jets. This contradicts with IAF's own statement that PAF did not cross LoC and operated from within its borders which would make it unlikely for 8 IAF jets to chase off 24 in PAF strike package. IAF also claims PAF used unfair rules of engagement by rendering Su30 useless by firing AMRAAMs at DMax. If the flagship Su30 of IAF was rendered inert by AMRAAMs, it is hard to imagine PAF would abandon all 6 targets or miss them completely. Video feed of the munition till it strikes ground suggests PAF had linkage with the guided munition till it landed, thus giving their claim at least some validation.

https://youtu.be/RYLcCzE4WIM?t=588 - skip to 9:51 in case URL doesn't automatically forward you there.
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Unread post28 Sep 2019, 13:38

At least one thing seems certain: India's flagship SU-30MKI's didn't exactly perform well. For all of their supposed BVR prowess (big radar in the nose, ability to carry up to 12 AAM's, etc), the Flankers didn't prevent strikes within India. Nor were they able to return fire on Pakistani F-16's (or any other Pak aircraft, so far as I can tell). Nor were they able to close to the merge to use their vaunted "super-maneuverability".

Now it may be true that said "supermaneuverability" allowed them to dodge the AMRAAM's. That would be a plus. But given the AMRAAM's were fired at max range, it probably didn't take much to avoid them. No return fire though, and I doubt doing so would have been outside of the rules of engagement. They either couldn't find them/get a lock, or their missiles didn't have the range. However you slice it, it ain't good.

The fact they're re-tooling the SU-30MKI's BVR hardware is telling IMO. If this ever happens again (and it probably will), we'll see if it makes any difference.
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Unread post28 Sep 2019, 15:41

Only 2 AMRAAM's were fired as per multiple sources in PAF and they even came up with a patch for that. Not sure why the IAF keeps on saying multiple were fired at Dmax to put their MKI's on defensive.
Attachments
0DDF1286-F460-4ED0-B795-9A48F8A51B70.jpeg
84606 is an F.16 BM while 92731 is an F.16 AM,both used to be operated by 11 squadron.
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Unread post29 Sep 2019, 11:45

mixelflick wrote:Now it may be true that said "supermaneuverability" allowed them to dodge the AMRAAM's. That would be a plus. But given the AMRAAM's were fired at max range, it probably didn't take much to avoid them.




A great story for Bollywood but by definition of that term getting very slow in a situation only based on simulation and theory is suicide - the missile only has to be near enough and so post stall speed isn't going to help.

Imagine that the indications on any RWR might not be the reality because again they are usually based on information gathered in peace time. Then factor in that if the pilot on has MK1 eyeballs then even in good weather the chances of seeing the missile at most altitudes are near zero. Simply put there are better ways to dodge a missile low on energy that might mean the pilot gets to live as well.
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Unread post01 Oct 2019, 17:06

https://hushkit.net/2019/03/16/2019-ana ... l-threats/

Always good to read about fighter jets from a neutral perspective. Block 52 F16 was deemed a superior jet compared to JF17 Block II which seems mostly fair. I will quote the interview below.

Last year we asked Justin Bronk, from the Royal United Services Institute for his opinion on the capabilities of the JF-17s of the Pakistan Air Force. Since then the aircraft has developed, as have world events, so it seemed timely to return to Justin Bronk for a new look at the subject.


- What is the latest block JF-17 and how does it differ from the JF-17 discussed here?
The most modern block in service is the Block II which added aerial refuelling capability as well as recently the addition of the ASELPOD for precision-guided munitions cueing and software and countermeasures improvements. These improvements have increased the operational flexibility of the JF-17 to include longer sorties and multirole engagements with precision-guided munitions but in terms of air combat capabilities, the integration of the PL-12 will be the main enhancement before the Block III comes into service. This standard as reported will add a Helmet Mounted Display/Sight as well as an AESA radar, full glass cockpit and other small improvements.

How does the latest JF-17 compare with the following:

A. MiG-21 Bison

Performance is very similar – at least insofar as there is little of note to choose between the two on kinematics. The JF-17 has a slight edge in sustained turn rate especially at lower speeds but this is of marginal importance given the Bison’s Helmet Mounted Sight and R-73 combination which currently gives the latter a superior chance during a merge over the Block 1 and 2 JF-17. Both have small visual and relatively small radar cross sections.
In terms of weapons, again the picture is similar, with the R-73 and R-77 on one hand being mature and fully integrated into the Indian Bison fleet, whilst the PL-12 when fully integrated should give the JF-17 a significantly more capable long range ‘stick’.
Sensors are also comparable – both will rely heavily on information received from other assets such as ground stations, fighters with larger radar apertures and AWACS.


B. PAF F-16s

The F-16 Block 52+ is a far superior aircraft in almost all respects besides visual signature and cost. However, with the addition of the PL-12 and ASELPOD, the JF-17 Block 2 is relatively comparable in most respects to the older F-16 Block 15 and MLU models which form the majority of Pakistan’s fleet. However, the F-16 remains a superb dogfighting aircraft, has a larger radar aperture with more power, and has more ‘grunt’ at higher altitudes above 35,000ft than the JF-17.

C. Indian Air Force Mirage 2000

Most of what has been said above about the F-16 MLU applies equally to the IAF’s Mirage 2000s, with the exception of altitude performance, where the large delta wing of the Dassault fighter allows it to operate comfortably at up to 50,000ft where both the JF-17 and even F-16 with their higher wing loadings really start to struggle. The latest IAF upgrade standard, the Mirage 2000-I adds a more capable radar and crucially allows the integration of the MICA missile to replace the older Super 530D, keeping the aircraft roughly at a par with the JF-17/PL-12 combination at longer ranges. However, the Mirage 2000 offers a broader range of ground attack munitions – particularly Israeli SPICE munitions- than are available at present for the JF-17.

D. Sukhoi Su-30

The Su-30 outclasses the JF-17 on almost every metric, but then the two types are not really meant to be comparable. The Flanker is a huge brute with massive thrust, agility, a very powerful radar and high costs. The JF-17 was designed as a cheap and cheerful lightweight fighter to allow Pakistan to operate a large airforce on a limited budget. Arguably the Su-30MKI is a jack of all trades but a master of none despite being fairly capable across the board, and the IAF have had serious support and maintenance issues with their large fleet. A beast of an aircraft comes with a lot of headaches.

Current Tejas

I tend to get a lot of abuse for my views on the Tejas so I’ll be brief. The Tejas programme managers could learn from the JF-17. An absurdly long development programme and high unit costs with serious quality control issues, and all to produce something that is not a great deal better than the MiG-21 Bison it is due to replace.
What is the future for the JF-17?
An AESA radar, HMS and more weapons – possibly even the PL-15 if the airframe can handle it. China has an interest in keeping Indian air power at least partially focused on Pakistan so they have every incentive to help the Pakistani Air Force continue to develop the JF-17, especially if it involves depriving the Americans of F-16 contracts.

Is Pakistan pleased with it?
From the furore on Twitter over the recent skirmish and the supposed role of the JF-17 during that encounter; it would appear so. I have not heard many complaints from Pakistani Air Force officers about the type, but then I haven’t heard glowing praise either. Like I said, it is meant to be a cheap and cheerful lightweight fighter with the flexibility to conduct DCA and strike missions. By those metrics, it is a success.

What are the biggest difficulties facing the JF-17 fleet?

Inflated expectations on the back of the recent encounters. Don’t expect the JF-17 to suddenly become a world-beater. That’s not what it’s built for.

Do ‘top trumps’ articles on weapon systems, such as this one and others online, feed into nationalism and the normalisation of war?
Yes.

What should I have asked you?
That seems pretty comprehensive to me! Let the flaming in the comment section begin!
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