Clearly, the entry into service of the first Indian Rafales continues to provoke notable reactions at the country's borders. After strengthening of the Chinese defensive system near the Ladakh and Doklam plateaus, and a press campaign bordering on ridiculous to present the superiority of Chinese planes against the new Indian aircraft, it is Pakistan's turn to respond, once again through Beijing. Indeed, according to many Pakistani Defense-oriented news sites, the country has formalized an order for 36 single-reactor J-10C fighters to replace its venerable Mirage III in attack missions, and especially to counter, still according to these sources, the Rafale threat.
No timetable or official confirmation has yet been published, and we must be careful about the materiality of this announcement, especially as this would not be the first time that the Pakistani defense media would ignite on unfounded rumors. But it is also true that, during previous announcements of this type, the rumor had very quickly deflated, while this time, it continues and even gains in intensity. In addition, and despite the more than honorable performance of the light fighter JF-17 produced in cooperation with Beijing, the aircraft has neither the extension nor the carrying capacity to effectively stand up to the Rafale.
The J-10C is the latest and most modern version of the J-10 fighter developed by the Chinese Chengdu, which made its first flight in 1998, and which represented the first modern aircraft of entirely Chinese invoice and origin of the Beijing Air Force, after a long experience of aircraft derived from Soviet models such as the J-8 derived from the Mig- 21, the J-11 of the Su-27, and the J-16 of the Su-30. If in its design phase, and in that of its on-board electronics, the J-10 benefited greatly from the support of Western Italian, Israeli and even French defense companies, the received idea that it would be a copy of the Lavy prototype Israeli is unfounded, especially since the aerodynamic Delta-canards architecture of the J10 is derived from several Chinese demonstrators prior to the Israeli aircraft.
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