Tag Archives: Pakistan

Photo shows China’s Air Force One escorted by 8 Pakistan Air Force JF-17 jets

You don’t see such kind of escort flights every day.

Chinese President Xi Jinping received a very warm welcome on his arrival for a two-day state visit in Pakistan on Apr. 20. A formation of eight JF-17 Thunder jets intercepted and escorted the presidential Boeing 747-400 as it entered Pakistan’s airspace in bound to the Nur Khan airbase in Rawalpindi, Punjab province.

The impressive escort was rather symbolic: the JF-17 is a light, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft jointly manufactured by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China. It represents one of the most evident signs of the strong ties between Beijing and Islamabad.

The Pakistan Air Force plans to operate 160 JF-17 multirole jets about one-third of those are already in active service.

Image credit: AP via Sobchak Security

Pakistan Test fires Stealth Cruise missile with 700 km range

The Pakistan Inter Service Public relations department released a Press Release on Sept. 17. Sept that announced that Pakistan has test fired a Stealth Cruise missile.

Here’s what is said:

“Pakistan today conducted a successful test fire of the indigenously developed multi tube Cruise Missile Hatf-VII (Babur), having a range of 700 kilometres. Babur Cruise missile is a low flying, terrain hugging missile, which can strike targets both on land and at sea with pin point accuracy. It carries stealth features. Equipped with modern cruise missile technology of Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) and Digital Scene Matching and Area -Co-relation (DSMAC), it can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads. The Missile was launched form a state of the art Multi Tube launch Vehicle (MLV), which significantly enhances the targeting and deployment options of Barbur Weapon system.

The test was witnessed by Director General Strategic Plans Division Lieutenant General (R) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, Chairman National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) Mr Muhammad Irfan Burney, senior officers from the armed forces and strategic organisations. In todays test National Command Authority’s fully automated Strategic Command and Control Support Sytem (SCCSS) was once again employed. It enables robust Command and Control capability of all strategic assets with round the clock situational awareness in a digitalized network centric environment to decision makers and Nation Command Centre (NCC). The system has the added capability of real time remote monitoring of missile flight path. The test consolidates and strengthens Pakistan’s deterrence and National Security.

The successful test has also been warmly appreciated by the President, Prime Minister of Pakistan and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, who have congratulated the scientists and engineers on their outstanding success.”

The new stealth missile, possibly a game changing weapon in the area, after testing phase, will be deployed firstly with the Pakistani Navy prior to it making its debut into front line Army units.

Richard Clements for the Aviationist.com

Image credit: via Pakistan Military Review

New images of the mystery bird-like drone crashed in Pakistan. Taken in Iraq.

In August 2011, a video clip from Kalam TV brought to light the capture of a mysterious American bird-like drone crashed over southwestern Pakistan (image below).

Although initially believed to be a sort of home made job, a more in-depth analysis of the images taken at the crash site, showed that the unusual, never seen before robot, was quite sophisticated: the drone had flapping wings, ailerons and a belly camera to spy on insurgents along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

What nobody knew at that time was that the (American) mystery bird drone was far from being new, as it had already been used in Iraq.

In fact, a reader of this site sent me an email to explain that the same weird UAV downed in Pakistan had been captured by the Iraqi Hezbollah near al-Bashra, in Iraq, on May 23, 2009 (original video source of the following screenshots can be found here).

Unlike the Pakistan example, the one crashed in Iraq and filmed by Hezbollah, seems to be in better conditions, with its underfuselage camera and moving parts, fairly intact.

When the few images of the bird drone spread online someone speculated it could just have been a DIY rc model made by soldiers with their equipment or a low-cost UAV assembled by China or India to satisfy their insatiable need to spy.

The fact that it was probably already flying in Iraq two years before crashing in Pakistan, proves that the bird-like UAV is not a toy but a small combat proven spy drone.

Drone strike takes out al-Qaeda's number two. Pakistani airspace once again "violated". Maybe.

Media outlets across the world have reported the drone strike in Waziristan (northwest Pakistan) on a Mud house that left the terrorist organisation al-Qaeda’s second in command dead along with several others.

The White House said that the elimination of Abu Yahya al-Libi, a Libyan, was “A Major Blow” and al-Qaeda would find it hard to replace the general manager. Jay Carney, spokesman for President Barack Obama said “We have confirmation of his death” although provided no explanation on how this was confirmed.

This attack was the 8th in Pakistani air space over the past two weeks and the government of Pakistan is getting increasingly unhappy, so much so the US ambassador Richard Hoagland was summoned by the Pakistani foreign minstery who wanted to protest at the latest round of drone attacks.

He was informed that “drone attacks were unlawful, against international law and a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty” said the foreign ministry in a press statement.

However, in spite of the growing tension between the U.S. and Pakistan over the strikes, drone activity has not scaled down: most probably, the real problem is not Pakistan’s opposition to the attacks, but its desire to play an increased role in the decision making process.

Indiscriminate strikes have to stop. Unless Islamabad can pre-approve or be notified in advance about them.

Richard Clements for TheAviationist.com

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

Stealth Yanshuf: the Israeli top secret radar-evading chopper used to drop spies in Iran

According to F. Michael Maloof, a former Pentagon senior policy analyst the Israeli Air Force is equipped with the same Stealth Black Hawk helicopter used by the U.S. Navy SEALs to kill Osama Bin Laden last year.

Believed to be an exclusive U.S. “black project”, the radar-evading chopper (most probably a quiet one, rather than an actual helicopter invisible to radars), such helos would be used by the IAF to drop Iranian dissidents into Iran to gather intelligence on the Tehran’s nuclear program, according to a report written by Maloof for G2 bulletin, a global intelligence newsletter.

This is the first time someone reports about radar-evading choppers in the hands of Israel.

Even if it’s quite unlikely that the Washington shared the secrets of its most advanced helicopter with Jerusalem, considered that the American Stealth Hawk is probably based on 1978 study freely available on the Internet, we can’t rule out the possibility that the Israeli industry has found a way to modify the IAF Black Hawks (nicknamed “Yanshuf”, English for “Owl”) to make them stealthy.

Provided a Stealth Yanshuf really exists, this is what it would look like in two updated versions of the renderings I conceived with AviationGraphic.com‘s Ugo Crisponi: above, the famous highly modified version with retractable landing gear MH-X (please remember this is not the actual designation), whose shape reminds the one of an S-76; below, the more likely slightly-modified Stealth Black Hawk (described here).