Rafale-Fighter-Jets

The recently concluded China-Pakistan air exercises benefited both sides, as Chinese pilots could learn from their Pakistani counterparts’ maneuvers and experiences, and China’s J-10C and J-11B fighter jets could be used to simulate India’s Rafale and Su-30 fighter jets in mock battles, Chinese analysts said on Monday.

With the last Y-20 transport aircraft carrying Chinese troops returning to China from Pakistan recently, the Shaheen-IX joint air exercises between China and Pakistan ended successfully, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Saturday.

The joint exercises started on December 7 in Pakistan and lasted about 20 days, with China sending warplanes including J-10C, J-11B fighter jets, KJ-500 early warning aircraft and Y-8 electronic warfare aircraft, and Pakistan sending warplanes including the JF-17 and Mirage III fighter jets, according to the CCTV report.

The J-10C and J-11B are very suitable to simulate India’s fighter jets in mock battles, Fu Qianshao, a Chinese military aviation expert, told the Global Times on Monday.

Many aspects of the J-10C mid-sized fighter jet, including the size, aerodynamic characteristics, aviation and weapon systems and overall combat capability, are comparable to the France-made Rafale, a type of fighter jet in service with the Indian Air Force, Fu said, noting that the J-11B heavy fighter jet has very similar appearance with India’s Su-30 fighter jet but with superior avionics system.

The deployment of Chinese special mission aircraft like early warning aircraft and electronic warfare aircraft would contribute to the improvement of joint operations in an integrated combat system, Fu said.

Air forces from both sides focused on large scale confrontation, including large scale aerial battles and use of forces in mass and close-quarters aerial support, CCTV said, noting that more than 200 sorties were conducted by both sides, as both forces’ combat capabilities were boosted in learning from each other.

Chinese pilots could learn from the aggressive maneuvers and rich experiences of Pakistani pilots, Fu said.

“Unlike previous Shaheen series exercises, this time we comprehensively deployed aviation forces and paratroopers, and added real combat-oriented training courses like maritime training for the first time,” said Ding Yuanfang, a Chinese Air Force deputy brigade commander, on CCTV.

Both sides also deployed special operation units, and the Chinese Naval Aviation also sent warplanes to the drills, CCTV reported.

Fu said that the Chinese Naval Aviation had not frequently sent warplanes to joint exercises with a foreign country, but it has been increasing training intensity and changing its training model in recent years.

Participating in the Shaheen-IX exercises was a great chance for the Chinese Naval Aviation to learn from Pakistan forces and improve its combat capabilities, Fu said.