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Pakistan & Qatar Military Ties To a New Level

The Qatar military could soon have the PAC JF-17 Thunder in its fleet

Pakistan offers to help with Qatar military equipment production and joint defense ventures.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced plans to assist with Qatar military equipment production, which might even include Turkey. The news came after PM Sharif met with the Qatari Minister of State for Defense Affairs Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah, who visited the country on official business.

Minister al-Attiyah also held separate meetings with the Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, their Military Chief of Staff Gen. Rashad Mahmood, as well as the Minister of Defense Production Rana Tanveer Hussain, where they looked into recent regional and international developments.

As it seems, the meetings had fruitful outcomes since Prime Minister Sharif invited both Qatar and Turkey to partner up with Pakistan to jointly manufacture defense equipment. Minister al-Attiyah voiced support to PM Sharif’s proposal, and said that Qatar wanted to see enhanced military cooperation between the two countries and was also looking to manufacture military equipment within its borders.

While Doha recently ordered 8 Pakistani-made Super Mushshak training aircrafts, they have showed bigger interest in buying the JF-17 Thunder fighter jet, which is a joint production between Pakistan and China.

The PAC JF-17 Thunder, or CAC FC-1 Xiaolong as it is known in China, is a lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed jointly by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and the Chinese Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC).

It can deploy an array of weapon systems, including air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, and a 23 mm GSh-23-2 twin-barrel autocannon. It has a top speed of Mach 1.63 and is powered by either a Guizhou WS-13 or Klimov RD-93 afterburning turbofan. The JF-17 roughly matches the performance of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, but comes with a cheaper price tag.

Other than offering Qatar all possible technical assistance for setting up military hardware production facilities on Transfer of Technology basis, the Qatari minister looked into benefiting from Pakistan’s expertise to form a counter-terrorism training academy in Doha.

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