Pakistan

BEIJING – Pakistan’s ‘all-weather ally’ China will sell 48 high-end military drones to Pakistan in a deal that is being perceived as one of the biggest deals in recent times.

According to a report by moneycontrol, Wing Loong II, a high-end reconnaissance, strike and multi-role endurance unmanned aircraft system, is manufactured by Chengdu Aircraft Industrial (Group) Company; it made its maiden flight in February last year.

In future, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) will also be jointly manufactured, as per the reports carried by Chinese state-run Global Times.

The Pak-China deal comes on the heels of India’s move to acquire S-400 sophisticated missile defence systems from Russia; the deal was brokered during recent visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to New Delhi.

The deal for the acquisition of Chinese drones was announced by Pakistan Air Force’s Sherdils Aerobatic Team on its official Facebook account on Sunday, however, the exact worth of the deal was not revealed.

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The air force academy aerobatics team announced the deal regarding the drones though Chengdu Aircraft Industrial Group did not confirm when the deal was reached.

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

According to military expert and TV commentator, Song Zhongping the deal involving as many as 48 Wing Loong IIs, if confirmed, would be China’s largest export deal for drones to date.

The deal is trustworthy given the close military ties between the two countries and Pakistan’s need for drones, Song said.