About Il-78 Tankers Arrive in Pakistan
|December 8th, 2008||#1|
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Il-78 Tankers Arrive in Pakistan info
By USMAN ANSARI
Published: 4 Dec 17:15 EST (22:15 GMT)
ISLAMABAD - Two Il-78MP Midas tanker aircraft have arrived in Pakistan, apparently the first of four purchased from the Ukraine.
Though the Pakistan Air Force declined to comment, the two aircraft landed at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi on Dec. 2, and were clearly visible from the observation lounge in their low-observation-gray PAF livery.
Though it was unusual that the two military aircraft did not land at the nearby Masroor or Faisal air bases, their presence validates November reports in local media about their impending arrival.
But reports that Cobham was to equip Pakistan's Il-78s with refueling pods were incorrect. A Cobham official said at last week's biannual Pakistani defense exhibition, IDEAS2008, that the pods were still the Soviet-designed UPAZs, and that the refueling kits on receiving aircraft, such as the newly upgraded Mirage-IIIs, were likely to be South African in origin.
The Il-78s will give the PAF its first airborne refueling capability. They will help train Pakistani crews in mid-air refueling techniques, and once operational will be used to refuel the Mirage-III and eventually JF-17 Thunder.
Air Force officials did confirm the $108 million order of 100 MAR-1 anti-radiation missiles from the Brazilian company Mectron, a deal signed in April but only now revealed. Few details are known about the MAR-1, and for many years its existence was denied. With confirmation of the deal, Pakistan appears to be the first export customer for the missile, which is also in service with the Brazilian air force.
|December 8th, 2008||#3|
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I thought if was interesting that Pakistan's Vipers don't have tanker assets to support them? This article mentions that these are Pakistan's first such assets? Not sure if that's 100% true but if it is that means if in war time Pakistan's would limited means to strike into India. Old Mirages and Fishbed copies are short range fighters and nothing on the scale of India's Flankers that carry tons of fuel.
On the flip side looking at the Indian Pakistan situation I wonder why India hasn't exploited this and built more Flankers. Currently they have around 70 of the advance MKI models and nowhere near the planned 200+. Another Indian project dragging on . Some of India's military assets must be maintained on China's border as well so must take take away some forces India could have on Pakistan's border.
I think both Air Forces need improving and better direction needed, India more so. It must be maintenance nightmare supporting all those types and their different needs.
|December 8th, 2008||#4|
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|December 8th, 2008||#6|
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Good point Rock. Another very valid reason for Pakistan to maintain a capable conventional military force is to keep the extremist religious groups out and away from stuff like nuclear warheads and strategic missiles. Personally I'm pretty confident that Pakistan will manage that very well though, as a lot of organizations from around the world keep an eye on them.
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