Top of the line stealth fighter jets like F-22 Raptors, F35 Lightning II, and Chengdu J-20 is a dream addition to the arsenal of any country. Pakistan hopes to follow the footsteps of highly advanced Air Forces globally. Pakistan is working on having its very own Fifth Generation Stealth Fighter Jet program, under the highly ambitious Project Azm that started back in 2017.
The aim of Pakistan is to keep up with the rapid advancements in the defense and avionics industry around the world. In the project, advanced weapon systems and MALE UAVs will be developed as well.
Pakistan Ministry of Defence Production’s (MoDP) yearbook 2017-2018 revealed that the Aviation Research, Innovation, and Development (AvRID) Secretariat has completed the first of four cycles of the conceptual design phase.
“The first configuration that was designed based on the challenging performance requirements of PAF will go through three more cycles within the conceptual design using higher fidelity analysis tools and codes.”
Jane’s Defense Weekly, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan in an interview said that he does not expect the stealth jet to be functional for another decade. The concept of the 5th generation fighter jet initially appeared in tail art form on PAF’s C-130B, participating in RIAT 2019.
This jet will be a successor to F-16A/B Block-15s, Mirage III and Mirage 5 with improved range and payload carrying capacity in comparison to JF-17 Thunder jets and ‘optimized for offensive counter-air (OCA), maritime, and deep-strike platforms’.
According to the Air Staff Requirements (ASR) it is a “twin-engine single-seater, boasting the likes of super-cruise and laser weapons (directed energy weapons).”
As per some reports China might also share its Chengdu J-22 technology with Pakistan. However, this is just rumor as of now with no substance.