Pakistan’s armed forces are replacing US and European origin defence systems with Chinese ones
 
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Greater Convergence

Pakistan’s armed forces are replacing US and European origin defence systems with Chinese ones

Prasun K. Sengupta
 

In yet another step towards attaining systems-level commonality with its Chinese counterpart, the Pakistan Army (PA) on March 12 formally took delivery of its first of four regiments of the LY-80E medium-range surface-to-air missile (MR-SAM) system in Rawalpindi from China’s state-owned China national Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp (CPMIEC), almost a year after it had inducted into service three regiments of the CPMIEC-supplied FM-90 short-range air-defence system (SHORADS) on 16 March 2016.

Next to be inducted into service will be the FN-16 man-portable VSHORADS — also from CPMIEC — that will in the near future replace the PA’s existing CPMIEC-supplied QW-1/QW-2 (renamed as Anza Mk.1/Anza Mk.2) MANPADS. Together, these three types of air-defence systems will be employed by the PA for protecting its nuclear weapons storage/launch sites that are located in the provinces of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan, and also at Baltistan inside Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK).

The existence of the 70km-range LY-80E MR-SAM and its performance parameters was exclusively revealed by this author for the very first time 50 months ago (see FORCE February 2012, page 53), as was the PA’s order for it in November 2014. The LY-80E’s main components comprise a searching vehicle (SV), command vehicle (CV), guidance vehicle (GV), missile-firing vehicle (MFV), and missiles-in-tube (MIT).

Technical support equipment includes missile transportation and loading vehicle, power supply vehicle, maintenance vehicle, and missile-test equipment. The LY-80E’s maximum/minimum interception altitude is 18km/15 metres, while its maximum interception range for combat aircraft is 70km, and between 3.5km and 12km for cruise missiles flying at an altitude of 50 metres at a speed of 300 metres/second. Single-shot kill probability is a claimed figure of 85 per cent against combat aircraft, and 60 per cent against cruise missiles. The missile rounds are cannisterised, and are cold-launched in vertical mode. The missile guidance system is of the composite type, comprising initial independent inertial guidance plus intermittent illumination, and semi-active homing terminal guidance. A single LY-80E MFV can engage four targets simultaneously, and the entire system has a reaction time of 12 seconds.

Pakistan COAS Gen. Qamar Jawed Bajwa visited China on March 16
Pakistan COAS Gen. Qamar Jawed Bajwa visited China on March 16

 
 
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