International

China to sell 48 armed drones to Pakistan

A model of the Wing Loong II on display.

A model of the Wing Loong II on display.   | Photo Credit: AP

It is roughly equivalent to the American MQ-9 Reaper drone

China will sell 48 high-end armed drones to its “all-weather ally” Pakistan in what a military observer said will be the largest deal of its kind, official media here reported on Tuesday.

The cost of the major defence deal was not revealed.

Wing Loong II is a high-end reconnaissance, strike and multi-role endurance unmanned aerial system, capable of being fitted with air-to-surface weapons.

It is roughly equivalent to the American MQ-9 Reaper drone.

The drones will also be jointly manufactured by China and Pakistan, state-run Global Times reported. Last year, China reportedly sold to countries like the UAE and Egypt the Wing Loong II at an estimated $1 million per unit, reports said.

Largest supplier

China is the largest supplier of weapon system to the Pakistan Army. Both countries also jointly manufacture JF-Thunder a single engine multi-role combat aircraft.

The Trump administration has agreed to sell sell 22 Sea Guardian drones to India.

The country is reported to have received 10 advanced Heron drones from Israel as well.

The deal for the acquisition of the drones manufactured by Chengdu Aircraft Industrial (Group) Company was announced by Pakistan Air Force’s Sherdils Aerobatic Team on its official Facebook account on Sunday, the Global Times report reported without giving out details.

The Air Force academy aerobatics team announced that in the future, the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industrial (Group) Company will jointly manufacture the drones, the report said.

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Printable version | May 20, 2020 9:11:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/china-to-sell-48-armed-drones-to-pakistan/article25172198.ece

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