The air forces of different countries have been evolving constantly with time. To compete with the air power of the world and to strengthen the defense system of itself, Pakistan is on its way to developing its 5th generation fighter plane in Project Azm.
Well, it sounds cool and interesting but let us dive into it and see what is Project Azm and its objectives that you won’t find on Wikipedia.
What is Project Azm?
Project Azm was announced in July 2017 with many important initiatives including the development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Medium Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) and manufacturing of other weapon systems. Kamra Aviation City is also a big part of this project.
So it is focused on multiple innovative aviation projects which will not only revolutionize the air defense of Pakistan.
The Project Azm design will not only strengthen the ability of PAF dogfight but will also grow Pakistan’s defense exports exponentially. The neighboring country “India” has already praised the defense equipment production capability of Pakistan. General Sarath Chand (Former Vice Chief of Indian Army) admitted that Pakistan is way forward than India in defense production as they export their weapons and airplanes to other countries which is where India is lacking right now.
Project Azm Impact on Pakistan’s Economy
This military project has so much potential in it that it can transform Pakistan’s economy into a major one in the world. The development of advanced military aircraft will open new doors to the existing industries of the country. With the help of ongoing research on the project, there will be opportunities for new business fields and jobs.
This project will support numerous professional fields directly such as avionics, electronics, software engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and aerospace engineering. Some fields will also be supported by this project indirectly including material sciences, civil engineering, and architecture.
Pakistan’s 5th Generation Fighter Plane Program
As you may already know, Pakistan has also succeeded in launching a fourth-generation fighter plane program. Very few countries have done that and Pakistan is among one of them. The most beautiful wonder of that program was JF-17 Thunder that Pakistan developed with the help of China.
It was a big achievement for Pakistan to successfully run the 4th Generation Fighter Plane Program in collaboration with China even when the big economies like India and Israel had to shut their program down. Although some of the major parts of the aircraft still need to import, Pakistan has been cruising in manufacturing JF Thunder-17 and even exporting it to other countries. Due to the huge success of the previous program, Pakistan’s military scientists have motivated themselves to achieve even bigger success on the platform of 5th Generation Fighter Airplanes.
What’s New in 5th Generation Fighter Aircrafts?
Following the footprints of the previous project, Pakistan is focused to develop even more lightweight and cost-efficient new aircraft like JF-17. It is also a major objective to design such aircraft that can carry heavier payloads and have more range than JF-17. Looks like it will be way better than HAL AMCA.
The design and development phase will take a huge amount of investment. It is indeed a very difficult task for a country that has a GDP of just $307 billion. National Interest reports that the new JF-17 Block 3 will have a cost of around $32 million each. The United States of America, Russia and China are the only countries that have gained success in the development of Fifth Generation Fighter Airplanes.
Pakistan ambitions are worth to be praised as it is taking giant leaps along with the developed nations for the technological advancements. We shouldn’t forget the contribution of China to this project. It has always given technical assistance to Pakistan whenever there is a need. Pakistan has likely chosen Chengdu as a partner in the AZM project.
Pakistan’s Defence Collaboration With Turkey
In recent times, Pakistan has grown strong ties with Turkey and has made several defense collaborations to encourage mutual relations between the two countries. Turkey sees Pakistan as their prospective partners in Turkey’s next-generation stealth airplane development program i.e. TFX.
No country can rely on importing weapons and defense systems from other countries for a long time (as F-16 and other aircraft are imported from other military giants). Pakistan is also moving closer to self reliability of weapon production to build up strong defense systems with the help of its strategic partners like Turkey and China.
Project Azm Progress (Latest Updates – 2019)
Despite the economic difficulties, Pakistan is on its way to building a strong military through Project Azm by PAF and FGFA. Since there have been several restrictions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) due to excessive debts, the progress is a bit slower than expected.
There has been a paper released recently by the Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) in which the prioritization of the military products is described thoroughly.
- Designing and Development of Auxiliary Power Units for Al-Zarrar Tank
- Development of Thermal Vision (Night Vision) Goggles
- Upgradation of Type-59 tan.comks to Al-Zarrar
- Development of Al-Zarrar II
Stay tuned for more Pakistan Air Force news!