New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Pakistan, in a bid to match the strength of the Indian Air Force (IAF), has acquired a full squadron of 25 Chinese multirole J-10C fighter jets, said the country's Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Wednesday. Speaking to reporters, Ahmed said that the J-10C jets will attend the Pakistan Day ceremony on March 23 next year.

"VIP guests are coming (to attend 23rd March ceremony) for the first time in Pakistan, the fly-past ceremony of JS-10 (J-10C) is being held. Pakistan Air Force is going to perform the fly-past of China's JS-10 (J-10C) aircraft in response to Rafale," he said, as reported by news agency PTI.

India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to purchase 36 Rafale jets to boost the IAF's combat capabilities. So far, France has provided 30 Rafale aircraft to India and the rest of the six jets are expected to be delivered by April 2022.

France has said that it is ready to provide additional Rafale jets to India if it receives a request from New Delhi. "We are ready to answer any additional needs or requests that could be made by India," French Defence Minister Florence Parly had said earlier in December during her India visit.

Rafale, designed by Dassault Aviation, is considered one of the most advanced fighter jets in the current era. Many experts and analysts believe that Rafale, along with Sukhio Su-30 MKI, will give India an edge over Pakistan and China that has created a buzz in Islamabad and Beijing.

How Rafale competes against Chengdu J-10?

Rafale is a twin-engine multirole fighter jet designed and built by France's Dassault Aviation. Referred to as an "omnirole" aircraft by Dassault Aviation, the Rafale fighter jets have a wing span of 10.90 metre and have a top speed of 2,222.64 km per hour.

On the other hand, Chengdu J-10, also known as Vigorous Dragon, is a single-engine multirole fighter aircraft designed by Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC). It has a wing span of 9.25 metre and a maximum speed of 2,305 km per hour.

Though Chengdu J-10 can perform strike missions, it is mainly designed for air-to-air combat. However, Chengdu J-10 has no real combat experience against a 4.5 generation Rafale that has proven itself in missions in Afghanistan, Mali, Iraq, Syria and Libya.

Rafale jets, which India has purchased, are also equipped with Meteor missiles, Hammer missiles and SCALP that will help it carry out deep strike missions.

Analysts and military experts clearly believe that Rafales have an edge over Chengdu J-10. Even in Pakistan, experts and lawmakers have questioned the Imran Khan government's decision to buy J-10s when the country already has F-16 fighter jets.

"I don’t understand the logic behind buying J-10C. We already have a fighter (F-16) which is in the similar class and generation. I don’t think J-10C is as good as Rafale also. We should have invested this money in building Project Azm and enhancing JF-17 capabilities," tweeted Senator Dr Afnan Ullah Khan.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma