China and Pakistan conclude Shaheen-X joint air exercises in Northwest China
The Peoples Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) recently trained together at the Shaheen-X joint air exercises held in northwest China.
The 10th edition of the joint air exercises began on August 28 in Jiuquan, in China's Gansu Province and Yinchuan, in China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Xinhua News Agency reported.
‘The exercise was aimed at validating interoperability in the face of realistic contemporary air combat scenarios between the two strategic allies,’ the PAF said in a release.
The PLAAF contingent included Shenyang J-16 fighter jets and Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft, while the PAF took part with its recently acquired Chengdu J-10C and JF-17 fighter jet.
The JF-17, also known as FC-1 Xiaolong in China, is a lightweight multirole fighter aircraft developed jointly by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group of China and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex.
Argentina has been in the process of assessing options for its fighter aircraft replacement, among which are the Chengdu JF-17 Thunder Block III fighters offered by China – the US has reportedly expressed a strong interest in thwarting this potential deal.
The J-10, a multirole fighter, has been developed by China to replace second-generation J-7 and Q-5 aircraft. Pakistan has become the first export customer with the procurement of 36 aircraft.
The Shaheen joint exercises began in 2011 and have been hosted by both countries on an alternate basis.
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