GMT Next War India-Pakistan Review III part : The Pakistan Air Force OOB
We continue our review of the GMT game Next War India-Pakistan and this time we focus on the Pakistan side. In particular, we will describe the main units of the Pakistan Air Force that represented in the game and compare them with the real Order of Battle (OOB).II Indian Air Force OOB
- GMT Next War India-Pakistan REview: Part I Indian Army OOB
- GMT Next War India-Pakistan Review: Part II Indian Air Force OOB
F-7 Chengdu J-7
The F-7 Chengdu J-7 (NATO Code: Fishbed) is a Chinese license-built version of the Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21. Though production stopped in 2013, it continues to serve, mostly as an interceptor, in several air forces, including the People’s Liberation Army Air Force.
Pakistan is currently the largest non-Chinese F-7 operator, with ~120 F-7P and ~60 F-7PG. The Pakistan Air Force is to replace its entire fleet of F-7 with the JF-17 multirole fighter, all F-7P were indeed planned to be retired and replaced with JF-17 Thunder aircraft by 2015. However, it is unclear if this replacement has taken place.
The game includes 5 counters for the J-7 aircraft type and three for the JF-17. Considering that there were a total of 180 F-7P/PG, we can consider that each counter represents around 30 J-7 units. The F-7P squadrons 2, 16 and 26 were equipped (or are presently under training for the JF-17s). The squadrons 14th, 17th, 18th, 20th and 23th are still operating the J-7, which perfectly matches the forces (5 counters for J-7 and three counters for JF-17, each counter representing one squadron or 30 planes) provided in the board game.
The JF-17 Thunder is a lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China. The JF-17 can be used for aerial reconnaissance, ground attack and aircraft interception. Its designation “JF-17″ by Pakistan is short for “Joint Fighter-17″, while the designation and name “FC-1 Xiaolong” by China means “Fighter China-1 Fierce Dragon”.
The Pakistan Air Force also operates 112 modernized Dassault Mirage V under Project ROSE. The Project ROSE (Retrofit Of Strike Element) was an upgrade programme launched by the Pakistan Air Force to upgrade old Dassault Mirage III and Mirage 5 aircraft with modern avionics. Because the game includes, 4 Mirage counters, we think that, approximately, each counter can represent 30 aircrafts.
The game also provides two counters for F16s planes.The most capable fighter in PAF service from 1983 to 2007 has been the F-16 Fighting Falcon. 40 of the F-16A/B Block 15 models were delivered from 1983 to 1987. In 2006, 12 F-16C and 6 F-16D Block 52+ were ordered with a further 18 aircraft optional. 14 of the optional fighters were ordered in 2010. Pakistan also received 14 used F-16s from the US free of cost. Considering the latest ordered planes since 2006, it gives us 46 planes. Considering that the F-16A/B fleet is to be upgraded with MLU (Mid-Life Update) modification kits and Falcon Star Structural Service Life Enhancement kits by Turkish Aerospace Industries starting in September 2010 at a rate of 1 per month and that four F-16A/B are already undergoing upgrade in the U.S. for delivery in 2011, the PAF may have currently around 60 modernized and operational F-16s which corresponds to the two counters provided by the GMT game.
The latest plane is the J-10. The Chengdu J-10 (Known in the West as the “Vigorous Dragon“, or by the NATO Reporting Name Firebird) is a lightweight multirole fighter aircraft. In November 2009, Pakistan signed a deal with China to buy 36 J-10B fighters in a deal worth around $1.4 billion.In July 2011, it was reported that China will give a squadron of the advanced J-10B fighter aircraft to Pakistan.In March 2012, talks were held between the two countries to discuss the delivery of latest J-10B fighter jets to Pakistan.The GMT offers one counter for J-10 planes which matches the 36 J-10B purchased by the PAF.