China and Pakistan have drawn closer after the latter has been the recipient of billions of dollars of investment from Beijing, particularly through Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative. Not only are the Chinese creating a military port on the coast of Pakistan, at Gwadar, they are also ensuring that Pakistan receives its latest military hardware. China wants the port of Gwadar to give it access to the Indian Ocean so it can circumvent the Straits of Malacca which could be potentially blocked off by the Indian navy.
The Pakistan and Chinese military partnership has caused anxiety with India who has had wars with both countries in the past.
India has thus decided to draw closer ties with Washington, prompting fears of a new ‘Cold War’.
Reports suggest China will supply Pakistan with J-10 fighter jets that are comparable with advanced versions of the US F-16 fighter.
Further antagonising India, Pakistan has also asked China for short-range PL-10 and long-range PL-15 air to air missiles.
In response to Chinese manoeuvres in the Galwan Valley in the Himalayas, India has ordered an additional assortment of MiG-29 fighters from Russia.
The upgraded MiG-29s are comparable with the Chinese J-10s that could be ordered by Pakistan.
The Chinese J-10 fighter is highly agile and is equipped with AESA radar.
In air warfare, AESA radar is the highest standard and boasts higher resolution and can jam other radar signals.
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Russia was the world leader in AESA radar, but now China has overtaken Russia by deploying the system in its J-10 fighters.
The J-10 also has advanced fire-control systems and Infrared technology.
Speaking of the ability of the J-10 fighter Justin Bronk Research Fellow for Airpower and Technology at the RUSI think-tank said: “With a light airframe, relaxed stability, decent although not stellar thrust to weight ratio and large canards, the J-10C is very agile in airshow configuration and the option for thrust vectoring only increases this capability at low speeds.”
However, Forbes aviation writer Sébastien Roblin spoke of the blemished record of the Chinee J-10.
He said: “J-10s have crashed at least eight times between 2014-2018.
“In one incident killing one of China’s first female fighter pilots.”
China is now Pakistan’s only supplier of advanced armaments.
However, Pakistan will have to contend with India’s new allotment of French-made Rafale fighters.
The Rafale fighter comes with the Meteor air-to-air missile and the air-launched Mica missile.
New Delhi is hoping to modernise its Soviet-era air force with the French Rafale multi-role jets.