Pakistan’s government plans to acquire FC-31 Gyrfalcon fighter aircraft from China.
According to Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu of the Pakistan Air Force, the South Asian nation’s upcoming fleet of FC-31s will begin operations in the near future.
The PAF chief mentioned the acquisition of the fifth-generation fighters on Monday during the induction of new Pakistani military equipment that includes J-10C Firebird fighters. The J-10C is also made in China.
Rick Fisher of the think tank International Assessment and Strategy Center told Defense News that the sale of FC-31 fighters is significant not just for Pakistan but for China.
He said splitting the FC-31 Gyrfalcon program with Pakistan subsidizes the “production for the Chengdu J-20 heavy fifth-gen fighter and defends the Pakistan market from looming European and Turkish fifth-gen options.”
Fisher pointed out that the goal of the People’s Liberation Army has always been to build a homegrown fleet of lower-cost fifth-generation fighters that can compete with the F-35s of the world.