Latest Interview of ACM of PAF Published in AFM sep 08.

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Unread post16 Aug 2008, 21:38

ACM T Mahmood gave an interview recently to AFM and was published in Sep 08 issue.

Here are the main points covered in the interview.

1) By 2015, PAF will comprise 240 JF-17, 60 F-16's, 40 FC-20's (PAF version of J-10), 50 F-7PG's, 4 SAAB Erieye, 4 ZDK-03 (PAF version of Y-8), 4 IL-78 Midas

2) Current order status comprises; 150 JF-17's, 32 F-16's (variant unspecified), 4 Erieye's, 4 IL-78

3) FC-20 order should be confirmed in next 12 months or so, whilst final configuration is worked out. Current J-10 technology is not upto PAF requirements and as the platform natures, PAF hopes to include western equipment in the J-10, thereby signifying a different version from PLAAF J-10, which will be known as FC-20 in PAF service. FC-20 will not be required to have any conformal fuel tanks, as it has sufficient internal fuel capacity as well as AAR by Il-78 Midas tankers. Although AESA radar would be nice to have, there is no confirmation if this will be made available to PAF. (persumably refers to non-Chinese suppliers willingness to supply)

4) FC-20 requirement stands at 2 squadrons of 36-40 single and dual seaters

5) IL-78 Midas tankers will be able to provide AAR for all PAF fighter aircraft with the exception of the US manufactured F-16's (ence the conformal fuel tanks on the block 52 on order makes hence). F-16's can only be refueld ny a boom system whereas the Midas will be equipped with the probe and drogue underwing pods system. PAF is holding out hope that a KC-135 could be acquired from the US in the near future. First Midas delivery will commence early 2009

6) Whilst Erieye's will help datalink the F-16's, they will not be able to do so in the case of the Mirage fleet. Chinese origin fighter fleet will have AEW&C cover from the planned acquisition of 4 ZDK-03 (chinese Y-8 AWACS). The ZDK-03 contract is close to be being finalised for the required 4 aircraft - no delivery timelines mentioned. First Erieye will be delivered in 2009, folowed by the remainder by 2011

7) Block 52 F-16's will be based at PAF Shahbaz to replace Mirage aircreft in AD role. ''Final modifications are being sorted out in co-ordination with US authorities to ensure F-16 related facilities conform with DSCA standards/requirements''. Persumably this refers to the security guarantees asked for by the US prior to releasing the aircraft to PAF, in that the former wanted the ability to check (unannounced) the presence and location of these aircraft to ensure an example or two did not end up being loaned to someone (like China)

8) MLU of initial 4 F-16 aircraft in US is currently underway. Without giving anytimelines or as to where or by whom, the interview merely states that the MLU will continue for all remaining A/B models

9) Of the 32 F-16's on order there was no mention of which block is on order. Should one persume that the interview implies that 18 F-16's are of the block 52 on order + the 14 block 15 OCU's, the last of which were delivered last month.

A photo caption in the interview page states that a further 28 C/D's are being delivered. However the same issue on page 34 states that USN has not yet confirmed whether it is yet wiling to provide the ex-PAF aircraft it took into service, leaving PAF with a current tally of 14 Block 15 delivered. Can any aviation buffs confirm whether they agree with me if this is a typo error by AFM and that PAF is only hoping to acquire the embargoed A/B Block 15 models and not C/D's as noted on page 70 of the AFM September issue?

10) Peshawar based 26 & 16 Sqn's will be the first to convert from A-5 to JF-17 in 2009.

11) Delivery of JF-17 has already started and once the assembly facility has been completed at AMF, the induction pace will pick-up to eventually allow delivery of 25-30 aircraft per year to achieve the final numbers by 2015

12) Without making any reference to the first 50 JF-17 (persumably) already ordered, the interview goes straight to the question on the final configuration of the next batch order of 50 aircraft. Only thing mentioned here without going into specifics is that a final decsion on final configuration has been made, but the make and origin of the equipment type is under consideration. And no decision has yet been made on AESA radar.

13) 150 JF-17's are expected to equip 7-8 squadrons

14) PAF is acquiring 2 Sqn's of the Italian Falco UAV with coversion takking place for operations from PAF Mushaf and PAF Peshawar. Eventually, PAF plans to field 5-6 UAV Sqn's.

Can anyone shed some light on what is happeneing with the home grown Pakistani origin UAV's? If PAF isn't using them and nor is PN, is PA only using a handful of these whilst preferring to buy from abroad?

15) In 2015, PAF will remain at its current strength of 15 Squadrons. But the capability will be significantly enhanced by the composition of the ''high-tech and force multiplier'' equipment.

The interview ends with a note on Pakistan's time tested close relationship with China etc etc and a small footnote to say Alan Warnes is writing a book on the ''Modern PAF'', due out in early 2009. One can assume that he has been offered the opportunity to continue from where PAF Shaheen book club left off with its two books covering PAF history from 1947-1998, whereby Alan will likley write from 1998 to present.

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