Pakistan is one of the largest buyers of Chinese arms. It upheld its status when it was decided to buy eight brand new stealth attack submarines from China late last year. The value of one submarine is somewhere between $4-$5 billion.
This year Pakistan further showed their loyalty to China as a customer by signing contracts to acquire frigates from the neighboring country.
The New Contract
Early this month, the former naval chief Muhammad Zakaullah retired and was replaced by Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi. In his farewell speech, he revealed that the new vessels, which were bought last year, are in the process of induction and new contracts have also been signed for frigates.
He further said that the main aim of this new ammunition was to strengthen the Pakistan navy. There were no details regarding the type and quantity of frigates being acquired.
Chinese Media Reveals Information Regarding the New Contract
The government of China has kept their comments minimal regarding the new deal. The Chinese media, however, uncovered that it is the first time that such a huge contract has been officially approved and confirmed by Pakistan. They also predicted that 4000 ton frigates have also been acquired by Pakistan as the two countries extend their close military bond.
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) also looked into the matter and uncovered that Pakistan was the main buyer of China’s arms till the end of last year. A whopping 30% of their trade was to Pakistan. Followed by Pakistan, were Algeria and Bangladesh as the leading buyers of arms and ammunition from China.
Late in September this year, the completion of China-Pakistan venture for Shaheen-VI air training was announced. The training was held in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
According to Xinhua, a chinese media agency, Chinese J-11 fighter jets, JH-7 fighter-bombers, KJ-200 AWACS aircraft and Pakistani JF-17 Thunder fighter jets were used for multiple exercises in the 3-week long training sessions.
The exercises included air-to-air combat, close air support operation, air-to-ground attack and a confrontational operation involving multiple arms of the air force. Lieutenant General Zhan Houshun, the commander in charge, hopes that the new training and ammunition will play a huge role in the fight against terrorism.