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PAC upgrading Super Mushshak aircraft for counter-insurgency operations

Updated May 19, 2017 05:38pm

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PAC is fitting weapons onto its Super Mushshaks. ─ IHS Jane's 260
PAC is fitting weapons onto its Super Mushshaks. ─ IHS Jane's 260

Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) is upgrading its Super Mushshak training aircraft to make it compatible for counter-insurgency operations, Jane's 360 reported.

The plane, historically used as a training aircraft, has been integrated with a new glass cockpit and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities by fitting the aircraft with electro-optic/infrared sensor turrets and an L3 Wescam MX-10 surveillance device.

After initial aerodynamic and structural analysis, one Chinese-built precision-guided bomb was mounted under each wing of one of the aircraft earlier last month, as the next phase of the initiative seeks to arm the Super Mushshak.

Complete Integration will take another three to four months, which includes flight tests and drop tests.

The Super Mushshak is an advanced variant of the Mushshak basic trainer.

The aircraft is already in service with Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iran and South Africa. Nigeria bought the aircraft in early 2016 while Qatar bought the trainers in June 2016. The latest buyer of 52 Mushshak planes is Turkey.

Basic flight training is provided on the aircraft for aspiring pilots.

The aircraft has a service ceiling of 22,000 feet, and a maximum speed of 268km/h. Range of the aircraft is reported at 814 kilometres.

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Comments (19) Closed



Fast May 19, 2017 05:41pm

Great initiative. Strong defense will lead to strong economy.

mangoman May 19, 2017 06:04pm

Now this is a good upgrade. In the past I had asked why Pakistan isn't going for A10s for COIN ops. Super Mushashaks modified for COIN will be a decent alternative.

LIAHOSKAN WAZIR May 19, 2017 06:32pm

We need this kind of development. Great job PAC.

jamshed May 19, 2017 06:38pm

@mangoman A10 is a 40 years US close support fighter thus could never be on Pakistan wish list even for all the right reasons for many political and economic reasons. Super Mushsak is damn good training aircraft, a serious competitor on international market with modern avionics and now with capability to deliver precision bombs point blank would be lethal in counter insurgency operations.

N_Saq May 19, 2017 07:00pm

Here is the thing, Pak army will save Pak from other countries but who will save Pak from Pak?

Waseem sarwar May 19, 2017 07:43pm

I thought we already had enough F16's and JF-17. We should be hitting militant hideouts with our fighter jets but anything which involves home based development, should be appreciated. PAC looks like a very competent institute which should work on advanced AESA radars and integrating them into JF-17.

hashim May 19, 2017 07:53pm

This is a very good step, but a better option would have been to upgrade the K-8 for counter insurgency operations. The K-8 is a jet which can fly low and with precision guided weapons and possibly air-to-ground missiles, would have served a similar mission profile as an A-10.

The end is near May 19, 2017 07:59pm

Wow, thats simply awesome. Well done PAC. This home based Development makes us all proud of you.

weq May 19, 2017 08:03pm

The upgrade includes student projects, primarily air guns connected with motors and Windows 10 control applications. Welcome to the high technology in our defense sector Doctor sahibaan's work who are essentially students in a true sense.

Farooq khan May 19, 2017 08:29pm

@mangoman , no comparison at all with A-10, though good upgrade plan.

Haider May 19, 2017 08:33pm

Very proud of the achievements of Pakistan. Mashallah!

Indians=DRAVIDIANs May 19, 2017 08:36pm

Great job Pakistan and amazing ingenuity. Sales are roaring...

Irtaza m. Awan May 19, 2017 09:31pm

This is good news. See almost all targets in counter insurgency operations are low value and low tech. For example shacks, huts, vans. There is no financial wisdom in going after such targets in F-16s whose operating cost is about $7000 per flight hour. And further we will be wasting precious airframe life of the F-16. However a turboprop like Super Mashak will have significantly less opearting cost per flight hour. And its indeginous. The only thing to watch out for is that since it will be slow and operating at lower altitude it can be susceptible to small arms fire and van mounted larger caliber guns. I guess PAF will have to work out an operating strategy to counter that threat. As I understand even the U. S. Air force is currently evaluating turboprop aircraft armed with laser guided bombs for such operations in Afghanistan. Over the years they have learnt that operating $42000 per flight hour operating cost F-15E is simply no longer sustanible against such low value targets.

IMTIAZ ALI KHAN May 20, 2017 01:08am

I like to fly on this plane over the Himalayas, Sindh's desert, oasis of Baluchistan and enjoy the scenery, praying for day when these weapons are not needed. Finding good spots and meditate with my friends and have a good outdoor meal along with it.

Beautiful plane :)

Sarak chaap May 20, 2017 01:19am

@Fast I don't agree with that statement as I strongly believe that making your people strong is the key to get financial independence.

Mark welson May 20, 2017 01:52am

For Pakistan JF-17 fighter jets are enough, just Pakistan needs to increase its current production capacity from 16 to 50 fighter jets per year. Otherwise at the current production rate Pakistan will be not able to export their jets to other countries within 10 years.

Pakistan should also try to produce twin engine air superiority fighter jets and Helicopters jointly with Chines industries. Russia also said that we want to establish high tech industries in friendly countries. Produce your turbo jet engines for fighter jets and for commercial jets.

Adil Jadoon May 20, 2017 02:12am

@Fast it is usually the otherway around!

A shah May 20, 2017 03:56am

Is this a joke? Our enemies are touching the moon and we come up with this toy?

Baba May 20, 2017 04:04am

Leave it the way it is .