Pakistan and China have signed a contract facilitating the purchase of 48 Chinese armed drones — Wing Loong II series- for the Pakistani Air Force. Manufactured by China's state-owned Chengdu Aircraft Industrial, the Wing Loong II is a reconnaissance and strike multi-role endurance system.
Pakistani Air Force's Sherdils Aerobatic Team confirmed the development on its official Facebook page on the day India concluded the $5.43 billion deal for the purchase of five S-400 missile defense systems from Russia.
India's strategic analysts consider this as an important weapon in the armory of Pakistan to saturate the airspace without losing much to the enemy.
Pravin Sawhney, a senior strategic analyst and editor of defense magazine "Force," explains that the armed drones, if launched from very close to the border, will give very little reaction time to India's missile defense systems, thereby engaging most of India's air missile systems.
"Once they have these armed UAVs, i.e. they will have the capability to fire these and our force will have to use the missiles to counter them. Now they actually stand to lose nothing or very little as compared to what we lose in terms of money. Besides, there will be lots of confusion as to what exactly the airborne threat is. It means at the border these armed UAVs will come, it will give very less [sic] reaction time to the S-400 missile and the system to actually then counter and take on their interceptor. Basically, they will try to saturate our air defense space. So that it completely saturates lots of our missiles and attention is engaged," Sawhney explained.
The Pakistani Air Force's Sherdils Aerobatic Team also announced that in the future, the Chinese drone-maker and Pakistani Aeronautical Complex Kamra would jointly manufacture the drones in Pakistan under a transfer of technology agreement.
This is major collaboration in terms of lethal drones, as the US limits exports of highly advanced drones like the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper to other countries. India is planning to acquire one such American armed drone, but is not sure whether the deal will be concluded in the near future.
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