Pakistan Ready To Russian Arms

The Pakistani Defense Ministry is to make a decision by the end of the month on the purchase of Russian Mi-17 transport helicopters. Pakistan also has plans to get Chinese J-10 fighters with Russian engines. Pakistan is ready to renew direct military technical cooperation with Russia, to which India is opposed.

The purchasing department of the Pakistani Defense Ministry will announce the results of a tender for the delivery of ten Mi-17 transport helicopters this month. The ministry wants only that model of helicopter, and insists that the provider have certification an original producer. Only OAO OPK Oboronprom in Ulan-Ude fits that bill. That company provided Pakistan with three of the same helicopters last year. A Pakistani delegation will visit that enterprise in the coming weeks, and see the Kazan Helicopter Plant and the Klimov Plant in St. Petersburg.

Since India is a long-time Russian strategic military-technical partner, Russia has limited its sales to Pakistan to multipurpose equipment. In post-Soviet times, Russia has supplied about 50 Mi-8 helicopters and its modernized version the Mi-17. Now Pakistan is suggesting direct military technical ties.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz commented that “Russia is a world power and we look at it as a global player. I suggest that global players should never make their relations with one country dependent on relations with another.”

The Russian government will soon have to decide on the re-export of Russian airplane engines to Pakistan again.
Islamabad will soon sign a contract with Beijing on the purchase of 36 J-10 fighter jets (otherwise known as FC-20) for delivery by the end of next year. Experts say the deal will cost Pakistan around $1.5 billion. The planes will be equipped with AL-31FN engines made by the Russian MMP Salyut. Last month, Beijing reached an agreement with Moscow of 150 RD-93 engines to Pakistan by China. That deal was approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin personally.

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