While India-Russia Signed a deal, China to sell 48 advanced attack Drones to Pakistan

Pic by Reuters

The last few days in military circles was booming with surprising and multi-billion dollar deals. The signing of much-anticipated S400 deal happened during the annual summit between the two nations rattled the world as the deal was threatened by another ally, USA’s sanction woes. Fortunately, due to her strong diplomatic rapport with these nations helped the nation to secure herself one of the most advanced air defense systems in operation.

The S400 deal was signed in spite of the US sanction that could follow due to India already signing the CAATSA agreement. The US, however, allowed a relaxation and issued a press notice regarding it. Credits: Adnan Abib/Reuters

The mammoth deal, which cost the Indian government whopping  $5billion had some interesting and strategic clauses added to it. A special “Rider” clause made sure that India’s not-so-friendly neighbour, Pakistan won’t be able to get their hands on the system any time soon. There were reports from various sources that suggested Pakistan was interested in procuring the system. However, with their dilapidated economy such a deal wasn’t going to happen soon and with the news of “Rider Clause”, it is pretty much sure that they won’t ever.

However, just after few days of the S400 deal signing between Indian and Russian government, reports are coming in of another deal happening between China and Pakistan.

China and Pakistan have confirmed that a deal has been inked for procurement of the Chinese Wing Loong – II UCAV to Pakistan. If reports are to be believed, China will deliver 48 advanced Wing Loong – II UCAVs to the Pakistani military. The news broke out when PAF’s Sherdil aerobatic’s team tweeted regarding the happening.

The news coming in the backdrop of the S400 deal is quite interesting. The S400 system is capable of extending its reach onto Pakistani airspace and poses a potential danger to PAF’s inventory.  However, India still lacks a good-enough UAV platform for weapons delivery which Pakistan has got its hands on now.

The UCAV deal is more lucrative than expected as sources suggest that there will be in future a mutual development of the drone by Pakistan’s  Kamra Aeronautical Complex and China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industrial Company. This would be the second time Pakistan and China co-developing an aircraft system, the first being the single-engined JF-17 Thunder.

Wing Loong – II

A Medium Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group in the People’s Republic of China. Intended for use as a surveillance and aerial reconnaissance platform and also as a combat UAV.

Tech Specs of Wing Loong – II

Max payload capacity is cited to be somewhere near 480kg. Capable of carrying air-to-surface missiles and laser-guided bombs, making it a lethal aerial platform. The UAV is an improvement on the earlier Wing Loong – I which was limited by its small payload capability and was mainly used as a recon platform.

The Wing Loong – II took to the skies for the first time during February last year and weapon trials completed in just 10 months from maiden flight. The UCAV has the ability to carry multiple Air-to-Surface missiles and bombs and would make this the largest drone deal between the Chinese and Pakistan. Multiple countries, mainly from Africa and the Middle East have expressed their interest in procuring Chinese drones.