Pak negotiating 36 advanced China's J-10B fighter jets

Discussion in 'China' started by masterofsea, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. masterofsea

    masterofsea Regular Member

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    Pakistan seems to have donned the role of a guinea pig-cum-promotion agent for China's arsenal experiments, as it is all set to buy at least 36 advanced fighter jets from China in a landmark deal for about $1.4 billion (Rs 6,500 crore), reported the Financial Times.

    Pakistani officials confirmed the deal and said they might buy "larger numbers" of the J-10 fighter aircraft in the near future.

    As part of the initial agreement, China will supply two squadrons of the fighter jets.

    "This agreement should not simply be seen in the narrow context of Pakistan's relations with China," said Abdul Qayyum, a retired Pakistani general told the paper.

    "There is a wider dimension. By sharing its advanced technology with Pakistan, China is also saying to the world that its defence capability is growing rapidly."

    Though China has earlier supplied Pakistan with fighter jets, this is the first time that it is supplying advanced jets to Pakistan in such large numbers.

    According to defence experts, it is not just a deal, but also Pakistan's stamp of approval on China's advancing military power and will help in increasing China's sales of the fighter jet.

    "Countries like Iran and possibly some of the Middle Eastern countries would be keen to deal with China if they can find technology which is comparable to the west," said a western official in Islamabad [ Images ] told the paper.

    "Pakistan will work as the laboratory to try out Chinese aircraft. If they work well with the Pakistani air force, others will follow," he added.

    Over the years, Pakistan has spent billions buying fighter jets from leading military powers.

    In the 1970s, it bought Mirage fighter jets from France [ Images ], and in the 80s, it turned to the US for F-16s. The Pakistani air force has at least 45 F-16s, and will receive 18 more of the upgraded version of F-16 and 12 of the older version from the US soon to be used in the war against the Taliban [ Images ].

    China and Pakistan have also jointly built an advanced fighter jet, JF-17, commonly known as 'Thunder'. Pakistan also plans to buy at least 250 of the Thunder jets over the next few years.

    While China has already come up with its indigenous aircraft, Pakistan will reportedly release its version of 'Thunder' in a few weeks.

    http://news.rediff.com/report/2009/nov/10/pak-buys-36-advanced-chinas-j-10-fighter-jets.htm
     
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  3. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Good...so is it the J 10 A that the PLAAF using or is it the modified version of the J10 called as the J 10B? And it is a potent delta platform that has a large number of upgradation features on the table. Yes the Chinese make very good airframes nowadays but the Pakistanis are still not satisfied with the Russian engine and the Chinese Avionics and the Chinese missiles. How is China going to address their grievances.
     
  4. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    1.4 billion on an unknown plane,overpaid almost 40 million a piece with many issues of radar, engine and avionics looks like pakistan got railroaded by their chinese buddies.
     
  5. qilaotou

    qilaotou Regular Member

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    The deal could possibly be 1.4b USD for the 36 J-10s. The details is unknown. Russia has rejected re-export of AL-31FN engines so the Pak J-10s have to be powered with TH engines.

    PAF has its own specific requirements on configuration of J-10, likely close to a J-10B.
     
  6. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    I'm sure that these will be given to Pakistan on some soft loan or even free by China. It serves as an advertisement to J-10s. Pakistan is not in a stage to afford A/Cs besides JF-17s.
     
  7. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    If Russia hadnt allowed the re-export of AL 31 engines then what will power the J 10? please dont tell me WS 10....it still takes 8 seconds to reach the military grade thrust required. That is an awful lot of time.
     
  8. Quickgun Murugan

    Quickgun Murugan Regular Member

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    Is it bought under ToT?


    You never know. Russia initially rejected RD-93 sale for JF-17 too. Later it agreed.
     
  9. qilaotou

    qilaotou Regular Member

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    Yes it will be WS-10A engines. That's the best China could offer for now. WS-10A has inferior acceleration compared to AL-31FN but hopefully it will be proved soon.

    Don't be fooled by the bad rumours about WS-10A. They are being produced in full speed and funds are being raised to set up more production lines.

    I guess Pak has the freedom to find alternative engine if they can.
     
  10. qilaotou

    qilaotou Regular Member

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    It's not ToT deal. As far as I know Russia has explicitly told China no export to Pak.

    RD93 is a different case. The engine was meant for re-export in the beginning while Russia did not attach any string in the original contract.
     
  11. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    36 J-10's noting infront of Su-30MKI.
    as Sukhoi are Frontline fighters of IAF.
     
  12. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    There are many issues the engine being the first big one,the russians definetly will not allow AL-31F , also what radar will be used with this plane this plane along with this what cooling system?? This plane is being built piecemeal so it will take atleast 5 years, by the time it is completed it will be old technology and newer generation planes will be out.
     
  13. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Well it is a well known fact that the WS 10 is a good engine but not a proven one and has problems regarding the time it takes to reach the full thrust.
     
  14. Quickgun Murugan

    Quickgun Murugan Regular Member

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    For a price tag of $40 million a piece, uncertain engines, uncertain avionics and no ToT?

    Pak should rather buy JAS Gripen which will come for the same price with ToT and is proven with AESA too. Also, Pak also has an option to opt for more F-16 block 52.
     
  15. qilaotou

    qilaotou Regular Member

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    It's an engine that still has flaws in design and quality problem in production. But it's usable with care. It's why PLAF started induction of the engines on twin engine J-11s. You may see more problem reports in the future but the use and further development of the engine will continue.
     
  16. Koji

    Koji New Member

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    AESA is suggested with the J-10B with its downward sloping nose cone, but yes, it is speculation right now. What is known is that the J-10B is intended for an AESA radar, but I don't know if the Chinese have one ready for production/import.
     
  17. qilaotou

    qilaotou Regular Member

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    I think the delivery may be expected by 2015 and the engine has to prove a safe and good performance.

    It's not worthy to set up facility of tot for 36 planes.
     
  18. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    If the Russians trashed this engine what will the chinese do to make this workable? what do the Chinese know that the Russians don't? two rejected projects have been put together to make this plane. Israeli Lavi and Russian WS 10 so to rejects and Chinese miracle will make a great fighter?
     
  19. Koji

    Koji New Member

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    LAVI was rejected because of US pressure to cease its program, not because of a failure in design.
     
  20. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    may be pakistan is banking on chinese to prove the WS-10 engine by 2015, so they can take delivery.
     
  21. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    and what exactly was the pressure that would make the Israelis abandon the plane when USA was also involved in the project?
    The United States and the LAVI

    The United States and the LAVI
    Lt Col James P. DeLoughry, USAF

    Airpower Journal Vol. IV, No. 3, (Fall 1990): 34-44.
    IN FEBRUARY 1980 the Israeli government announced plans to develop a low-cost, low-technology, primarily ground-support aircraft--the Lavi--to replace its aging A-4 and Kfir inventory.1 Seven years later, the Lavi program was formally canceled as a result of divisive debate within Israel and heavy pressure from the United States government.

    The history of the Lavi is noteworthy, not so much because it documents the cancellation of the most costly Israeli weapons program ever attempted, but because it reveals the heavy involvement of the United States in the aircraft's financing and development. Over $2 billion of US aid and the latest US technology went into the Lavi project.2 An examination of the history of the Lavi program, the background and extent of US involvement, and the effect on US interests suggests that US participation in the project was ill conceived and executed.

    History of the Program
    The 1973 Arab-Israeli war shattered the myth of Israeli military invincibility: the intelligence warning system failed, ground defenses were overrun, discipline and mobilization were major problems, almost 500 main battle tanks were destroyed, and the Israeli Air Force lost close to one-third of its frontline combat aircraft.3 Postwar analysis led to planning for an aircraft specifically designed to attack ground targets. The Kfir was an interim solution based on the French Mirage III, but as the seventies came to an end, Israel realized that it needed a new plane.4

    The Lavi was to be produced in Israel. Home production would create needed jobs, encourage aerospace workers to stay in Israel, lead to high-technology offshoots and products for export, and lessen US political influence over Israel.5 Moshe Arens, former defense minister and a vice president of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), builder of the Lavi, pointed out another advantage of an Israeli-produced aircraft: It "would be . . . exclusive to Israel's inventory," unlike advanced US aircraft, which are found in other Middle Eastern air forces.6 Israel estimated that development costs would be $750 million and that each aircraft would cost $7 million to manufacture.7 In 1980 the Israeli government approved the Lavi program. The United States supported the project in principle and was willing to allow Israel to use its foreign military sales (FMS) credits to buy US components for the Lavi.8

    In 1982, however, the concept of the Lavi as a replacement for the A-4 abruptly changed: "The aircraft was changed to a high performance fighter-bomber capable both of close support and of air defense and air superiority missions."9 According to Yitzhak Rabin, then the Israeli defense minister, the Israeli Air Force demanded the change, telling IAI, "If you want to develop this aircraft, make it better than what we have now."l0 Arens commented that "the original concept of an A-4 replacement was an unusual one and not very good.... It would have had to be canceled sooner because it would not have been a survivable aircraft."11 The Israeli government authorized prototype construction for the revised Lavi in 1982, with full-scale development starting in October of that year. Production goals specified at least 300 aircraft and 60 combat-capable trainers.12

    On paper, the Lavi was becoming very similar to the F-16 and F-18. In reality, however, Israel possessed neither the technology nor the capital required for such a project. According to a 1983 General Accounting Office (GAO) study,

    Israel will be significantly dependent on US technology and financing for major portions of the aircraft. Israel will also require US approval for the planned third country sales because of the US engine and the significant amount of US origin high technology used in the Lavi's airframe construction, avionics and planned weapons system.13

    Examples of this technology include Pratt and Whitney PW1120 engines; graphite epoxy composite materials; electronic countermeasures (ECM) parts; radar-warning receivers and their logarithms; wide-angle, heads-up display; programmable signal-processor emulator; flight-control computer; single-crystal turbine technology; and computer and airframe system.14

    By 1983 the estimated research and development (R&D) costs for the Lavi had increased to approximately $1.5 billion, and the cost per aircraft had jumped to $15.5 million.15 At this time, the US began a unique involvement with the Lavi program. Before the project was terminated, the US would set far-reaching precedents in the areas of FMS and technology transfer and would finance over 90 percent of the Lavi's development costs. In 1987, because of the massive outlay of US money on the Lavi, both the GAO and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) were commissioned to study the program. GAO estimated the cost per aircraft at $17.8 million and OMB at $22.1 million.16

    Pressure was mounting within both Israel and the US to cancel the program. In Israel, critics included members of the army and the air force who saw huge segments of the defense budget being eaten away by a plane that was years away from development (after seven years, only two prototypes had been produced) and millions of dollars over cost.17 US critics projected that by 1990 spiralling Lavi costs would consume nearly half of all military assistance funds to Israel. Even worse, the Lavi would compete against US aircraft in world markets.18

    Finally, on 30 August 1987, the Israeli cabinet voted 12 to 11 (with one abstention) to cancel the Lavi program.19 The cancellation was devastating to the Israeli aerospace industry. According to Moshi Keret, president of IAI, most of the 4,000 IAI employees (including 1,500 engineers assigned to the Lavi program would have to be laid off.20 The cancellation was also a blow to the country's pride and prestige because development of the Lavi was the biggest project ever undertaken by Israel. Ironically, the Israeli military ordered additional F-16s to replace the Lavi--an idea originally proposed by US industry executives well before the Lavi program was under way.21

    Although Israel lost a symbol of technological prowess, it gained access to the latest US aerospace technology, obtained sophisticated US aerospace industry computers-which have a variety of other uses-and gained irreplaceable experience in state-of-the-art aeronautical processes.22 Indeed, in 1988 Israel surprised the world with its first space launch. 23 More than likely, the technology and experience gained from the Lavi project, together with space technology acquired in joint Strategic Defense Initiative research with the US, provided Israel with the technological base for this achievement.

    US Involvement
    in the Lavi Program
    US involvement with the Lavi began in 1980 when Israel requested that the two countries coproduce an engine for the new Israeli fighter. The US agreed but demurred on Israel's request to use FMS credits for the Lavi in Israel.24 The position of FMS credits in the overall picture of US aid to Israel is crucial to understanding the effect of the Lavi program on US interests.

    American aid to Israel falls into two categories--recurring and nonrecurring. FMS credits are an example of recurring aid.25 According to the GAO, these credits to Israel serve two major purposes: to reaffirm US political support and to ensure the adequacy of Israel's security.26 The GAO made another point which became a major area of contention between Israel and segments of the US government: "DOD [Department of Defense] believes and we concur that FMS was intended for the purchase of goods and services in the United States to support U.S. firms.27

    Had the Lavi remained a low-cost replacement for the A-4 and Kfir fleet, issues such as technology transfer and the appropriateness of FMS use would not have arisen. However, by 1982 the concept of the Lavi had changed considerably. Israel desperately needed the technology to produce the upgraded aircraft and the money to finance production. There was only one place to look for both technology and financing--the United States. Israel then began an all-out effort, using whatever means were necessary, to get what it needed.

    The Technology Issue

    At the time the Lavi program was terminated, US contractors were building approximately 40 percent of the aircraft's systems. According to Defense Minister Rabin, 730 US firms were either subcontractors or vendors on the program.28 The issue of technology transfer was a prime point of contention, and Israel initially found itself at odds with the US State Department and Department of Defense.29 To resolve this roadblock, Israel played on the personal relationship between Israeli minister of defense Arens and US secretary of state George P. Shultz.



    According to an investigative report in the Washington Post, Pentagon officials had been instrumental in blocking several critical licenses for technology transfer.30 In 1983, though, Arens--former Israeli ambassador to the United States--became Israel's defense minister. Arens was one of the original champions of the Lavi and had made many friends during his tenure in Washington. According to the report. Marvin Klemow, Washington's representative for IAI, flew to Tel Aviv with Dan Halperin, the economics minister at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Klemow recalled advising Arens to go over the heads of Defense Department officials: "Our strategy should be that the Pentagon doesn't exist. This is a political decision.... We should go to State and the White House."31 Halperin is reported to have urged Arens to call Secretary Shultz to "expedite three crucial licenses which the Pentagon was holding up." According to Halperin, "Arens made the call, and in a few days the first licenses were approved."32

    In April 1983 the Reagan administration approved license requests for "phase I of the wing and tail design (composite construction), and released production technology licenses for the servo actuators and flight control computers."33 By 1984 phase I and phase II technology license requests were approved, and phase III requests were nearing approval.34

    During the course of the Lavi's development, Israel was able to take advantage of US R&D on a variety of systems such as derivative engines, composite-materials technology, avionics, and ECM for the F-15, F-16, and F-18.35 In addition to the formal technology licenses and the plethora of US subcontractors and vendors, who also provided direct insights into the US aeronautical system, Israel pursued another source of technological information: scientific exchanges. "In March of 1984 the U.S. and Israel signed a Memorandum of Agreement concerning exchanges of scientists and engineers, and cooperation in research, development, procurement and logistics support for selected defense equipment."36 Here was yet another area where technology transfer was not only possible but encouraged. Whether or not Israel obtained data on aerospace technology pertinent to the Lavi program through scientific exchanges is unknown. However, the source was available and certainly could have been used to do an end run on any bureaucratic obstacle. The relative ease with which Israel obtained licenses for technology transfer indicates that barriers erected by the US bureaucracy were no match for a concerted Israeli effort. The best example of Israel's tactics, however, involved its pursuit of funds for the new plane.

    Funding for the Lavi

    The Arms Export Control Act of 1976, the vehicle for FMS funding, permits offshore procurement only if it will not adversely affect the United States. It also restricts funds for building foreign defense industries except in special cases, such as helping to rebuild European defense industries after World War II and making a one-time allowance for Israel to produce the Merkava tank.37

    The Israelis had wanted to use FMS funds for R&D in Israel since 1979. However, successive US administrations had disapproved their requests, and there was little hope for approval in 1983.38 But Congress was a different story.

    In an article for the Middle East Journal, Duncan Clarke and Alan Cohen noted that "the congressional process that resulted in American support for the Lavi was rushed and superficial. The substantive issues raised by the project were examined by the Defense and State Departments but were not weighed carefully (or at all) by Cangress."39 This indictment of Congress's role in the Lavi project comes up often in criticism of US funding of the Israeli fighter.40

    Having been repeatedly blocked by the Pentagon in their quest to use FMS credits in Israel for the Lavi, Israeli officials in the fall of 1983 took their case directly to Congress. According to a Washington Post study of the Lavi, Rep Charles Wilson of Texas, a friend of Moshe Arens and a key member of the subcommittee responsible for appropriating foreign aid, advocated congressional funding of the Lavi.41 The chronology of events included a meeting between Representative Wilson, an Israeli business lobbyist, and a staff member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee controlling foreign aid. Reportedly, this meeting produced a plan for an amendment allowing a major exception to US policy so that FMS could be spent in Israel for the Lavi.42 Congressman Wilson acknowledged that he asked the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the influential pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington, to draft the language for the amendments.43 AIPAC has repeatedly played a major role in shaping US policy regarding Israel and the Arab world. The extent of AIPAC's influence is such that it has on at least two occasions been directly involved in negotiations with the US State Department concerning foreign policy issues: the proposed sale of Stinger antiaircraft missiles to Jordan and the location of the US Embassy in Israel.44 The funding request, an amendment to the fiscal year 1984 Continuing Budget Resolution, asked for $150 million more than IAI required and committed US financing to the Lavi.45 Further, the amendment allowed Israel to spend $300 million of US FMS funds for the Lavi in the United States and $250 million in Israel.46

    The amendment was introduced in November 1983, just prior to the Christmas recess,47 and involved lobbyists from all quarters. AIPAC mounted a major effort to get the legislation passed, sending written memoranda to every member of the House and Senate and calling upon key members of the appropriate committees.48 Pro-Arab lobbies worked the other side of the issue, as did representatives from US aerospace firms such as Northrop Corporation and General Electric, which objected to US funds being used to finance all aircraft that might compete with their own.49

    However, four days after its introduction in the House (and with no committee hearings and little debate), the Lavi package was approved.50 According to Representative Wilson, the only controversary concerning the Lavi had to do with which congreeman would get credit for the amendment when it passed.51

    Nevertheless, DOD and the State Department still vigorously opposed the Lavi, especially the related FMS issue. In fact, in early 1984 DOD was able to delay the release of funds by interpreting the amendment to mean that Israel's $250 million were for production rather than R&D.52 Again, heavy lobbying succeeded in affirming that the funding was indeed to be used for R&D.53 Thus, Israel cleared the final hurdle, opening the way for further funding with FMS monies (see table).

    By 1987 rising costs, as evidenced by the GAO and OMB estimates, had put the Lavi program in serious trouble in Israel and the United States. Consequently, the US raised the procurement amount in Israel for fiscal year 1988 to $400 million to pay Lavi cancellation costs and to substitute the purchase of 75 to 100 F-16Cs over the next three to four years (see table). 54 Over the course of the Lavi project, the US government invested over $2 billion of taxpayers' money, established foreign policy precedents, and transferred sensitive technology. Feelings are still raw in many quarters of the US government over the way the Lavi issue was handled, and many people question whether the program was in the best interests of the United States.

    Effect of the Lavi
    Program on US Interests
    Four consequences of the Lavi program (1982-87) suggest that this project did not serve the best interests of the United States. These include (1) transfer of advanced technology, (2) unprecedented use of FMS credits, (3) loss of American jobs, and (4) perpetuation of a pro-Israel bias.

    Transfer of Advanced Technology

    According to a 1983 GAO report, "Israel more than any other country has been provided with a higher level of military technologies having export potential."55 On more than one occasion, this technology transfer occurred over the objections of DOD and US aerospace firms and placed Israel in a more advanced technological position than even the closest US allies, such as Great Britain and West Germany.56

    A 1983 study of the Israeli defense industry raises another point about sharing technology with Israel:

    A number of U.S. companies have expressed concerns that doing business with an Israeli company would probably result in all of the U.S. company's ideas and designs being appropriated without proper compensation. The U.S. company could expect to find itself competing with its own technology and designs in the international marketplace.57

    Although this sentiment may be too generalized, it represented the feelings of some US industry officials, based on prior experience with the basic Sidewinder and AIM-AL air intercept missiles.58

    Despite assurances to the contrary, Israel probably would have exported the Lavi because of the small domestic market and the immense national stake in advanced-technology exports as a means of financial recovery. The Washington Post report on the Lavi revealed the existence of an IAI marketing document of the early 1980s that outlined plans to sell the aircraft to third world countries.59 Further, Moshe Keret, the head of IAI, stated in 1987 that IAI had no specific customers in mind but that by the mid-1990s the Lavi "would be able to speak for itself in export competitions. [At that time,] it might be possible to sell a stripped version of the aircraft in the export market."60 While there is no firm evidence indicating that Israel has offered the Lavi or its technology to other nations, some open source reports suggest that the People's Republic of China has purchased a sophisticated Lavi radar system and is seeking Lavi avionics.61

    check link for rest
     

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