NEW DELHI: In a show a strength for its Iron-Brother amid tensions with India China in a rare move has deployed its figther jets for the first time for an air show at Pakistan‘s National Day parade on March 23.
The J-10 fighter jets of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force arrived in Pakistan on Saturday to participate on Pakistan’s National Day parade on March 23, according to persons familiar with Sino-Pakistan military ties.
But it is not China alone which will be present at the parade. Pakistan in order to break isolation following global pressure on countering-terror from its soil has invited military contingents from close partners Saudi Arabia and Turkey for the parade, ET has learnt.
Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohammed who has been a champion of OIC is the Chief Guest at the March 23 parade. Pak PM Imran Khan had visited Malaysia last year seeking financial assistance. But according to government sources here Pakistan is spending diplomatic capital in defending the indefensible as India has overwhelming international support in the Masood Azhar listing case.
Besides J-10, several other Chinese made defence platform will be at display at Pakistan’s national day parade in what can be described an attempt by Islamabad to show its strength and display all-weather friendship. The Pakistan Air Force‘s JF-17, ZDK-03 early warning aircraft (also developed by China), MBT-2000 main battle tank developed by China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) & designated as Al-Khalid in the Pakistan Army would also be at display at Pak parade, ET has learnt.
Pakistan also operates China’s HJ-8 anti-tank missile and FM-90 air defense missile and these platforms can also feature at the National Day parade.
A third and more advanced batch of the JF-17 fighter jet, the JF-17 Block 3, is currently under development and production, may also be deployed in Pakistan Air Force in future.
J-10 is a lightweight multirole fighter aircraft capable to operate in all-weather conditions and is externally similar to Israel’s ‘Lavi’ developed in 1980s.