Total Pageviews

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

PAF Gearing Up For Its Four ZDK-03 AEW & CS

As far as force modernisation of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) goes, 2010 was an extremely good year. The roll-out ceremony of first Shaanxi ZDK-03 ‘Karakoram Eagle’ airborne early warning and control (AEW & C) aircraft designed specifically by CETC for the PAF was held in Hanzhong, Shaanxi, on November 13 last year. The ceremony, which was attended by the PAF’s Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, coincided with President Asif Ali Zardari's visit to China--his sixth since assuming the position in 2008. It may be recalled that the PAF had inked a US$278 million contract in December 2008 with CETC for the joint development of four ZDK-03s, which are due for delivery in the first quarter of next year. In a parallel procurement effort, the PAF has also become the first customer for the Saab 2000 AEW & C platform. The Skr6.9 billion order for these four platforms was placed in June 2006 under Project Horizon, but the contract was renegotiated in May 2007 and its value was reduced by Skr1.35 billion. The first aircraft was delivered on December 8, 2009, with the second following on April 24 April last year. Also being delivered are up to six ground receiving stations. Saab will provide an integrated logistics system (ILS) for these four aircraft for a 35-year period. It is believed that the PAF has procured the four Saab 2000 AEW & C platforms with Saudi financial assistance and in return the PAF will train the Royal Saudi Air Force to operate the latter’s three Saab 2000 AEW & C platforms, which were ordered last June under a $680 million contract.


The four ZDK-03s will be employed by the PAF specifically for directing and managing the air campaigns waged by the PAF’s fleet of Mirage IIIPs and Mirage VPs, JF-17 Thunder, F-7PG and (in future) FC-20 MRCAs. The four Saab 2000 AEW & C platforms, on the other hand, will be employed for directing and managing the air campaigns waged by the PAF’s fleet of Lockheed Martin-built Block 52 F-16A/B/C/D MRCAs and the Mirage IIIPs and Mirage VPs.—Prasun K. Sengupta

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the article Prasun,
Is India going for more platforms of Awacks from Israel ??
Also do you think the Awacs which DRDO is developing on the emberer platform is superior when compared to the chines and swedish awacs procured by pakistan. In how many numbers are these awacks going to be inducted.
Are there any plans by the navy to order awacs from america.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

There was a clause in the original contract for the first three A-50EI PHALCONs that had given India the option to order a follow-on batch of three A-50EIs. However, this option could not be exercised due to uncertainties associated with the availability of A-50 airframes from either Uzbekistan or Russia. Maybe in the near future once the Aviastar plant in Russia's Ulyanovsk region begins producing the IL-476 aircraft then perhaps the IAF would be inclined to place the follow-on A-50EI PHALCON orders. The total requirement projected by the IAF for such platforms is eight at the moment. As for the EMB-145-based AEW & CS, the projected requirement is for 14 units. How good or bad it will be when compared to the Saab 2000 AEW & C or ZDK-03 remains to be seen, and one will get some data on this only after the flight-tests get underway in India. But since the EMB-145 is turbofan-powered it will have a higher service ceiling than the Saab 2000 AEW & CS and the ZDK-03 and if the DRDO-developed LSTAR S-band AESA radar works as advertised, then the AEW & CS will offer superior airspace surveillance coverage compared to the PAF's AEW & C platforms.
The Indian Navy once had projected a reqmt for up to 11 shore-based E-2D Hawkeye 2000s, but has since scaled it down in favour of four turbofan-powered AEW & C platforms like the G-550 CAEW & CS from IAI. As to when such orders will be placed, your guess is as good as mine.

Anonymous said...

"the joint development of four ZDK-03s" rofl

Joint development by pakistan? thats funny. SO far they have only painted chinese weapons and called it joint development.

rahulka said...

India selects EF, Rafale for MMRCA shortlist

April 27, 2011
By Saurabh Joshi

http://www.stratpost.com/india-selects-ef-rafale-for-mmrca-shortlist

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To rahulka: On one hand the report says: ".... the US Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, the US Lockheed Martin Corporation’s F-16, the Russian MiG-35 and the Swedish SAAB’s Gripen did not pass the technical evaluation conducted by the IAF." An don the other hand the report says: "none of the MMRCA-6 aircraft were actually completely compliant with the IAF’s 643 parameters listed in the Air Staff Qualitative Requirements (ASQRs) for the tender."
I find these two statements contradictory, to say the least. The report also assmues that the validity of the commercial bids of all six contending vendors will expire tomorrow, a presumption which is not supported by an official statement from the MoD.

Anonymous said...

Will all these Pakistani platforms be able to help intercept the American drones and missiles fired by them.

Anonymous said...

Prasun,

Go to see you back, was missing you from long time on blogosphere...

For MMRCA downselect, even Saab has released an official statement acknowledging elimination from the competition.

http://feed.ne.cision.com/wpyfs/00/00/00/00/00/14/A7/46/wkr0005.pdf

Thanks..

Anonymous said...

Correction: The Erieye deal was reduced by* Skr1.35 and not "reduced to Skr1.35 billion".

Anonymous said...

Do IAF have storage facilities for phased out aircraft...storing aircraft which are phased out and used in times of emergency....

Anonymous said...

Prasun.....where you ????

Eagerly awaiting your reaction to the MMRCA down select........come on......

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.51PM: Phased-out aircraft are all decomissioned, meaning they can never be re-inducted back into service, even in times of emergency. Such hardware then has only scrap value and are disposed off accordingly. Most of the time the MoD issues global tenders calling for buyers for such scrap to be auctioned off.

To Anon@9.11PM: Well....what do you expect me to say? Give a big thumbs-up to the MoD for an apparently flawless downselect exercise? Or chide the MoD for once again shooting itself on its foot by downselecting both platforms hailing from Europe? Or criticise the MoD for deliberately taking the vendors for a ride by encouraging a six-cornered fight when all along it was well-known that only twin-engined platforms were reqd and therefore the contest ought to have been a four-cornered fight? And to claim that US-origin candidates lost out due to non-compliance with the RFQ's laid-down ASQRs, especially when of all the six candidates only the two US-origin platforms had fully functional, in-service AESA-MMRs? My only logical conclusion therefore is that the MoD has reinforced its status as a global laughing stock, which is now compounded by the withdrawal of BAE Systems from the towed 155mm/52-cal howitzer competition because the MoD has now diluted the Army's GSQRs! So what next? Will the IAF too will be told to dilute its ASQRs, since the ASQRs were so stringent that none of the six M-MRCA contenders could live up to its exacting standards? Is the inclusion of the EF-2000 into the downselect just another chirade to give a semblance of 'competitive bidding process' vis-a-vis the Rafale? And if the Rafale indeed emerges as the winner, then will the IAF forego the option of upgrading its Mirage 2000s, if whispers originating out of the corridors of IAF HQ are to be believed? And if the IAF is so obsessed with high-tech then how come the Zhuk-M2E MMR was chosen for the MiG-29UPG, instead of the available Zhuk-AE AESA-MMR? And what continues to hold up the planned re-engining of the MiG-27Ms? And how come the IAF alone is facing such an acute shortage of spares for its Russia-origin aircraft fleets, whereas the Indian Navy is not facing any such shortages? Too many questions requiring straight answers, which are most unlikely to come from the MoD at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Looks like you hate MOD and you are a fan of US products....

No disrespect meant...
But in my opinion it was the only right decision made...this time i think Antony and IAF won...Its true only two US fighters had aesa but when you won't have any operational freedom why do you even need aesa in the fist place ??/ Apart from that US fighters are not that advanced in comparison to these two...

F16 had no chance and F18 didn't even had good thrust in its engine...

US even checks the aeroplane purchased for our PM from Boeing then how can you expect US to leave us alone when we will induct so many fighters from them ???

If France is willing to give us full source code for Rafale then i think we can't get any better deal than that...it will give us the edge like indigenous fighter will give us....

I think not selecting US fighter has mostly to do with operational freedom...If tomorrow US redevelops her love for Pakistan, then in case of any emergency IAF might even be able to use such expensive jets for defending its own country...

Also selecting US company would have meant compromising with ToT which is very important in MMRCA...

And as far as aesa is concerned, Rafale's aesa is ready and eurofighter consortium has officially sponsored the aesa project in 2010 and hence we will get it in 3-4 years and we might get to be part of that project right from the beginning hence helping us in developing our own aesa....

And as far as Zhuk-M2E MMR and Zhuk-AE AESA-MMR for Mig29 is concerned, that deal was signed in 2008 and Zuck AE has not become operational till this date, so i don't think IAF could have gone for something that wasn't ready at that time....

And as far as BAE's walkout from artillery deal is i agree with you its really disappointing but i think there the strings are pulled by Gandhi family and not Antony...

Again no disrespect was meant and please correct me if i am wrong....

Anonymous said...

I forget about IN, IN only operates Mig29 of Russian origin as far as i know...for which spares are clearly available...others are some maritime patrol aircrafts which will be replaced by P8i...

Its just my opinion, no desrespect meant....

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.30AM: Asking for a level pkaying field does not translate into being a fan of US-made products. And what makes one question the IAF's lack of operational sovereignty over a US-built product? Also, when it comes to air campaigns being waged in a network-centric battlespace, US-origin platforms are years ahead of their European counterparts (simply because the Europeans themselves use US-origin space-based and airborne battlespace management systems. The turbofan thrust levels of the Super Hornet IN had offered more than what the IAF desired, and over and above that, have tremendous future growth potential. What one needs to understand is that in future air campaigns in the subcontinent, superior air combat platforms will be judged by their net-centricity characteristics, and not by engine thrust levels. Nor will IAF combat aircraft be weaging air campaigns out of air bases located in either Jaisalmer or Leh. Nobody, not even France, will part with its source codes. WShat everyone is giving the IAF access to are object codes. As for ToT, you really will have to define what is your definition of ToT. While there's no doubting the ability of either Cassidian or THALES to deliver AESA-MMRs like the Captor-E or RBE-2 by 2013 or even 2016, what is questionable is the ability of the two companies to validate and deliver the various A-to-A & A-to-G modes of operation within the timeframe stipulated by the IAF. And do you really think any company with a marketeable and available AESA-MMR will help a country like India to develop a competing AESA-MMR? No way.
As for the Zhuk-AE's availability, it was available from August 2007 onwards, ever since it was showcased at the MAKS 2007 expo. The IAF had plenty of time since 2008 on its hands, since the avionics installation on the upgraded MiG-29UPGs was then scheduled to begin only in mid-2011.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.33AM: I will explain in the very near future exactly what's wrong with the IAF's product support logistics and what's right with the system adopted by the Indian Navy. It has nothing to do with the aircraft types in services nor the quantity of such aircraft in service.

Anonymous said...

if is there any c-130 equiped with aew & c with pakistan

Surelia Dev said...

The primary purpose of the Urban Aero Systems is to introduce cutting-edge aerospace technologies, while having its own modern infrastructure, with an experienced team in Aviation
Inflatable Boats in India
Fec Heliports
Airport Authority of India Helipads

Quality Services said...

nice blog !! i was looking for blogs related of iso consultants in ambala . then i found this blog, this is really nice and interested to read.