In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Grande Strategy

French RC-400s Also for Mirages?

There has been much speculation about a possible acquisition by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) of the French RC-400 radar. This radar is an excellent multirole radar and, with the Mica, a decent BVR capability.

Yet, there has been some concern that the radar and the missile pair is perhaps not up to scratch, given that the BVR capability is rather short ranged, compared to the American AMRAAM, the Russian R-77 and the Chinese SD-10. One possible reason for the Pakistani interest in the RC-400 could be that the radar could also be used to upgrade the Mirage fleet, given that the mirages are likely to stay on considerably longer. This would give PAF an immediate BVR capability to supplement the production of the JF-17. Further, with a sub-group of JF-17s fitted with the RC-400, there would be commonality in the strike packages, with a Mirage / JF-17 combination.

The greatest advantage that could be derived from the RC-400 is if it gets paired with the Pan-European Meteor. This would give the PAF a definite edge over the IAF, as with the Meteor, the PAF would be able to out-range the IAF in BVR combat. However, how far the Europeans are willing to allow the Pakistanis to gain such technologies is a matter of politics.

Nevertheless, given France's propensity to think from a business perspective, a deal just may be possible. This is particularly true in light of the dwindling defense sales profile of the French arms industry. A major client acquisition such as Pakistan would give them a boost in profile and open doors to other possible sales, particularly in the Middle East; after all, it is not a coincidence that the UAE is now looking at the Saab-2000 Erieye.

Vision Without Glasses


Post a Comment