BEIJING, March 24 (ChinaMil) -- A lot of main battle equipment developed by China or jointly by China and Pakistan were unveiled in a grand National Day military parade held in Pakistan's capital city Istanbul on March 23, 2016. Pakistan now is the country that has installed the largest amount of China-made weapons.
Six types of China-made military aircraft seen in parade
The military parade started with several warplanes flying over with smoke tails. Five types of China-made fixed wing aircraft participated in the parade, including three warplanes, J-7PG and J-7P developed by China independently, and the JF-17 Thunder (ChengduFC-1/JF-17 in China) jointly developed by China and Pakistan.
JF-17's basic performance is equivalent to that of the F-16 currently used by Pakistan, even better than the latter's early versions, but its price is much lower.
Two Airborne Warning And Control Systems (AWACS) of the Pakistani Air Force participated in the parade too, namely the ZDK-03 developed by China and Sweden's Erieye that feature high-level and low-level configurations respectively.
An expert introduced that China's ZDK-03 AWACS is the high-configured type, which is capable of 360-degree scanning and is able to obtain three coordinates (distance, speed and altitude) accurately at the same time.
Erieye, on the other hand, cannot obtain information about the target's altitude because it has an about 60-degree scanning dead angle both in head and tail, and it has few commanding seats due to the small platform. China's ZDK-03 AWACS can also detect a longer distance than Erieye.
It's worth noting that the China-made WZ-10 attack helicopter appeared in Pakistan's military parade for the first time. Pakistan used to install America's AH-1 Huey Cobra attack helicopters, but now it's likely to be replaced by WZ-10, whose appearance this time may be the signal that China is willing to sell the most advanced weapon platform to Pakistan.
China used to uphold the principle on weapon and equipment export that the most advanced equipment should be installed in its own troops first and is basically not exported. That's why it launched the export-oriented Z-19E, which is a lower-end version of WZ-10, but WZ-10's appearance in the military parade indicates that China has begun to sell its most advanced platform to friends. This may also indicate that China may sell the J-10 upgraded version to Pakistan too.
Ground equipment plays leading role in Pakistani military
China-made equipment and weaponry jointly developed and manufactured by China and Pakistan are also the main force of ground equipment in Pakistani military.
The MBT-2000 (Al-Khalid MBT in Pakistan) produced by China North Industries Corp. ((NORINCO) is the highest-level main battle tank (MBT) in the Pakistani army today whose performance is superior to the T-80UD MBT imported by Pakistan from Ukraine and the Russia-made T-90 MBT equipped in the Indian army.
Meanwhile, China's anti-tank missile also holds an important position in the Pakistani army. Having been localized in Pakistan and being called Green Arrow, China's "HJ-8" anti-tank missile also appeared in the military parade.
Also appearing in the military parade is China's FM-90 short range air defense missile, which has a long history with Pakistan although it is developed and manufactured by China.
Foreign media reported that FM-90 is an export-oriented product developed on the basis of "HQ-7". After several rounds of improvements, it is much more advanced than before with the maximal range of 12kms, not only able to shoot fighter jets but also intercept cruise missiles.
In fact, Pakistan has also imported a large number of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles developed and manufactured by China, but they were not fully displayed during this military parade. It's safe to say that China's air-defense weapon has ensured a secure sky for Pakistan.
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) very similar to the "CH-3" by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) also participated in the parade. The ground equipment displayed this time only constituted a small part of the Chinese ground equipment installed by Pakistan, while UAVs and rocket guns using Chinese technology are also installed in the Pakistani army in large quantities.
Witness of China-Pakistan friendship
Many Chinese weapon and equipment displayed at Pakistan's military parade in March are typical examples of China-Pakistan cooperation that have witnessed the friendship between the two countries.
The most successful aircraft is the K-8 trainer that is exported by China. It's not only exported to many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, but the production line is also exported to Egypt, and the improved edition is installed in Chinese troops.
Some of the equipment is tailored for Pakistan by Chinese enterprises according to Pakistan's requirements and with its capital. The ZDK-03 AWACS, for instance, is only equipped in the Pakistani Air Force at the moment, which, along with Chengdu FC-1 that was also specifically developed and manufactured for Pakistan at first, boasts high quality and fair price and is very suitable for countries like Pakistan.
As Pakistan has frequent contacts with western militaries and manufacturers, its requirements reflect some cutting-edge concepts and ideas, so China-Pakistan cooperation in weapon development and manufacturing can help broaden the vision of Chinese manufacturers.
Meanwhile, Pakistan, as a very picky customer, also helps improve the quality and reliability of Chinese weapon and equipment, and its influence among some Arabic countries is good for expanding the export scope of Chinese weapon as well.