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Thread: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

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  1. #21
    Think Tank Muse's Avatar
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    Re: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

    Quote Originally Posted by Jagga View Post
    That's all four ZDK-03 Karakoram eagles accounted for.

    Serial Numbers
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    [MENTION=50]Neo[/MENTION] has suggested that 4 more ZDK are on order, can you confirm this -- and can also please add information about the possibility of more refuelers and transports.

  2. #22
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    Re: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

    Quote Originally Posted by Muse View Post
    [MENTION=50]Neo[/MENTION] has suggested that 4 more ZDK are on order, can you confirm this -- and can also please add information about the possibility of more refuelers and transports.
    In my opinion another 4 AWACS will be an over kill. Pakistan is a relatively narrow country. the existing fleet pretty much covers the whole country if all are flying at the same time.

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    Re: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

    Quote Originally Posted by safriz View Post
    In my opinion another 4 AWACS will be an over kill. Pakistan is a relatively narrow country. the existing fleet pretty much covers the whole country if all are flying at the same time.

    An interesting conception of how AWACS may be used, I had not thought the width of Pakistan, a consideration. Pakistan strategic environment is going to be far more complicated than most anticipate and if we can learn from the Experience in Iraq, Pakistanis will have to prepare for intense operations against it.

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    Re: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

    Quote Originally Posted by Muse View Post
    An interesting conception of how AWACS may be used, I had not thought the width of Pakistan, a consideration. Pakistan strategic environment is going to be far more complicated than most anticipate and if we can learn from the Experience in Iraq, Pakistanis will have to prepare for intense operations against it.
    In a scenario like Iraq? I presume you are on about a much larger and technically advanced enemy attacking?
    In that situation you are better off with dispersed and many low cost assets instead of one or few high value assets.

    When Pakistan navy's P-3C orions were attacked and destroyed,the Ex cheif of naval staff Sandila inducted large number of UAVs.
    His theory was similar,that many low cost and dispersed platforms will be difficult to shoot down for enemy and easier to replace for Pakistan.

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    Re: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

    Reminds me of something i always harp about.
    After Second Finnish War,next doors Sweden analyzed what are their chances of defending against a Soviet onslaught. Their Military Strategists calculated that a large,well equipped and organized army of USSR will Over run Sweden within 12 hours even if Sweden deploys all assets against them.
    Their military strategists then devised a plan. The military assets had to be dispersed all over the country in much smaller units,in difficult to reach remote areas.Same for their Air force,it had to be able to re-equip and launch operations from dispersed locations without the need of an Airbase,as in a war USSR will have destroyed all or most runways.
    The Plan was that once USSR had over run the country and their supply lines,and army is stretched,Sweden will only then launch a counter attack. First disrupting supply line,and then engaging Soviet army in small pockets,and then building the momentum.
    thats why they conceived a small Jet Grippen,which can take off and land from Motorways,and can be equipped with minimal crew away from an airbase.
    Similar theory was applied on Pakistani Air Force. JF-17 a much smaller Plane,Ever increasing Network of Motorways and "Straight" highways". Pakistan's continuous refusal from Inducting Large twin engine Jets,and Practicing Takeoff and landings from Motorways. Networking of Radars with more than one Central command Bunkers,and induction of UAVs in all three forces.
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    Re: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

    Quote Originally Posted by safriz View Post
    In a scenario like Iraq? I presume you are on about a much larger and technically advanced enemy attacking?
    In that situation you are better off with dispersed and many low cost assets instead of one or few high value assets.

    When Pakistan navy's P-3C orions were attacked and destroyed,the Ex cheif of naval staff Sandila inducted large number of UAVs.
    His theory was similar,that many low cost and dispersed platforms will be difficult to shoot down for enemy and easier to replace for Pakistan.
    I think we may fundamentally disagree on the kinds of threats Pakistan will face - Pakistan already are facing an adversary that is increasingly technologically ahead of Pakistan and Pakistan's economy cannot or rather will not be allowed to compete, and in doing so allow the armed forces resources to project power. To my thinking, Pakistan already have hostiles on East and the West, and it is leaving the seas open for hostiles to occupy.

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    Re: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

    Quote Originally Posted by Muse View Post
    I think we may fundamentally disagree on the kinds of threats Pakistan will face - Pakistan already are facing an adversary that is increasingly technologically ahead of Pakistan and Pakistan's economy cannot or rather will not be allowed to compete, and in doing so allow the armed forces resources to project power. To my thinking, Pakistan already have hostiles on East and the West, and it is leaving the seas open for hostiles to occupy.
    Again "Putting the Money where the Mouth is" applies here.
    The Air tankers until now have only been spotted with the Rose-5 Mirages which are dedicated for Naval Role and that is an indication that Pakistan Intends to either Engage the enemy far out at sea or destroy their Supply chain,by extending the range of Mirages Via Tankers.
    Plus the navy's strategy of inducting all major types of missiles on all Platforms. Harpoon and C-802,C-602 can be fired from All types of PN ships,Boats,helicopters,Reconnaissance Aircrafts and Jets.

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    Re: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

    Quote Originally Posted by safriz View Post
    Again "Putting the Money where the Mouth is" applies here.
    The Air tankers until now have only been spotted with the Rose-5 Mirages which are dedicated for Naval Role and that is an indication that Pakistan Intends to either Engage the enemy far out at sea or destroy their Supply chain,by extending the range of Mirages Via Tankers.
    Plus the navy's strategy of inducting all major types of missiles on all Platforms. Harpoon and C-802,C-602 can be fired from All types of PN ships,Boats,helicopters,Reconnaissance Aircrafts and Jets.
    This is indeed a rosy picture - lets hope the Mirage will not earn the kind of reputation that they are fast earning, one that the Indian Mig21 have earned. I think it would help if we have a conception of threat matrices that include threats to the long term health of the economy at it's center.

    bluster and bluff will not suffice, Pakistan will face adversaries, I am persuaded, that are not impressed by so called "low cost" - read low effectiveness - solutions.

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    Re: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

    [MENTION=50]Neo[/MENTION]

    What do you make of the suggestion that AWACs have some relationship with the Width of a country?

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    Re: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

    Quote Originally Posted by Muse View Post
    [MENTION=50]Neo[/MENTION]

    What do you make of the suggestion that AWACs have some relationship with the Width of a country?
    Yes and no: much depends on the geographical threats and hot fronts as well as the serviceablity of the platform. Having four aewacs means that only three are available all the time with one in maintenance. Even the best and strongest air forces in the world keep upto 80% of their fleet in full readiness, the rest circulates in various stages of maintenance and overhauling.

    AEWACS are usually flown as close to the border as possible in order to have greater radius into hostile territory and monitor the movements. This leaves sensitive parts of he border on the other side uncovered.
    Our focus is on eastern border and in war time we will need 24/7 surveilliance with the AEWACS keeping 400-500km distance from eachother. Total length of Indo-Pak border is 2.900km and its impossible to cover that with only 3 or 4 ZDK-3. This is why we need more of these birds. Afaik from my sources is that the initial agreement with China was to supply 8 ZDK's to PAF with an option ti acquire four more bringing the total to twelve.

    Erieye will eventually be phased out and sold to KSA who is also an operator of this type. As we speak, one of our Erieyes is in Dammam and this is not the first time its been spotted there.

    At least four ZDK's will be dedicated to PN in near future.
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  11. #31
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    Re: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

    Quote Originally Posted by Muse View Post
    [MENTION=50]Neo[/MENTION]

    What do you make of the suggestion that AWACs have some relationship with the Width of a country?
    Having AWAC coverage on all the area in theory doen't mean a capacity to manage all of it, during a conflict there will be too much activity on the air and ground, both friendly and adversery, there is no way a few awac can handle all of it, you need greater numbers as well as greater processing power for that, even then there will be leakages.

    Now the territorial part, you not only need to consider the home country's territorial size and landscape but also have to consider your adversery's territorial size and landscape.
    then there are other factors like your military strategy, size and type of your as well as your opponents ground, air, naval power,geographical proximity, and the list is endless..

    Other than that there occasions awac will have to defend itself by stepping backward, then there is a overload problem if one or two get shot down, all this situations call for greater number.
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  12. #32
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    Re: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

    Quote Originally Posted by Neo View Post
    Yes and no: much depends on the geographical threats and hot fronts as well as the serviceablity of the platform. Having four aewacs means that only three are available all the time with one in maintenance. Even the best and strongest air forces in the world keep upto 80% of their fleet in full readiness, the rest circulates in various stages of maintenance and overhauling.

    AEWACS are usually flown as close to the border as possible in order to have greater radius into hostile territory and monitor the movements. This leaves sensitive parts of he border on the other side uncovered.
    Our focus is on eastern border and in war time we will need 24/7 surveilliance with the AEWACS keeping 400-500km distance from eachother. Total length of Indo-Pak border is 2.900km and its impossible to cover that with only 3 or 4 ZDK-3. This is why we need more of these birds. Afaik from my sources is that the initial agreement with China was to supply 8 ZDK's to PAF with an option ti acquire four more bringing the total to twelve.

    Erieye will eventually be phased out and sold to KSA who is also an operator of this type. As we speak, one of our Erieyes is in Dammam and this is not the first time its been spotted there.

    At least four ZDK's will be dedicated to PN in near future.
    Erieye Planes were bought second hand and the AEW&C system was fitted new. The plane itself was cheap to buy,cheap to maintain and cheap to fly. Costs around 600USD per hour of flight. Spares are cheaper as you can buy redundant stock from airlines phasing out their SAAB 2000 fleet.

    The down side is the erieye systems Pakistan got were washed down versions without ELINT/SIGINT and software is "Locked" . You cannot make any upgrades or changes to system's capabilities without involving the manufacturer,and that has financial and political implications.

    On the other hand Karakoram eagle being a larger plane is more costly to operate on fuel and parts.
    But the software is unlocked for Pakistan and any new sensors can be bolted on while implementing the right firmware.
    Plus ZDK-03 has extensive ELINT/SIGINT capabilities.

    Will induction of more ZDK-03 benifit Pakistan? Yes,but for now we are short on fighter jets and won't be able to defend the ship if IAF comes looking for them.
    Unless a few more squadrons of JF-17 are inducted,it won't be benificial to bring in more AEW&C.
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    Re: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

    Quote Originally Posted by Jagga View Post
    Unless a few more squadrons of JF-17 are inducted,it won't be benificial to bring in more AEW&C.
    So AEW&C are meaningful only with fighter jets? And the Elinit/SIGNINT capability, also meaningful only with the presence of more fighter jets?

    Maybe I have misunderstood, but I thought one of the primary missions of these aircraft give operators an enhanced ISR capability, and that such a enhanced capability, given an Islamist insurgency and the presence sectarian terrorism, would be desirable.

  14. #34
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    Re: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

    According to MODP year book 2008-2009. Pakistan paid only 275 Million USD for all 4 ZDK-03.
    Thats 69 Million USD a piece and that's very good price. No wonder PAF pretty much lost interest in Erieye.
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    Re: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnostic_Indian View Post
    Having AWAC coverage on all the area in theory doen't mean a capacity to manage all of it, during a conflict there will be too much activity on the air and ground, both friendly and adversery, there is no way a few awac can handle all of it, you need greater numbers as well as greater processing power for that, even then there will be leakages.

    Now the territorial part, you not only need to consider the home country's territorial size and landscape but also have to consider your adversery's territorial size and landscape.
    then there are other factors like your military strategy, size and type of your as well as your opponents ground, air, naval power,geographical proximity, and the list is endless..

    Other than that there occasions awac will have to defend itself by stepping backward, then there is a overload problem if one or two get shot down, all this situations call for greater number.
    I think you are focussed on Irac wars where the "coalition" had thousands of air assets and there will lots of ground forces at the same time. Lots of mobility. In case of Pak-India there is a fixed border. The pieces to move are there as they are since 71. You have ground radars, air radars and net centric warfare (atleast on Pak side). You have even tactical nukes. You really think mobility of tanks or planes is hided?
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    Re: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

    Hi,

    So---Musharraf indeed did favor to Pakistan---by cancelling the Erieye and going for the ZDK's---
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    Re: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastankhan View Post
    Hi,

    So---Musharraf indeed did favor to Pakistan---by cancelling the Erieye and going for the ZDK's---
    Do you think that was his intent or did he make this decision by chance?

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    Re: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastankhan View Post
    Hi,

    So---Musharraf indeed did favor to Pakistan---by cancelling the Erieye and going for the ZDK's---
    Erieye were too expensive and Pakistan got washed down version without any ELINT/SIGINT. Plus the ship was "locked down" . Meaning,software was inaccessible,so no changes/upgrades could be made.
    ZDK-03 software is open to modifications by Pakistan,and any upgrades/additions can be made at home.
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    Re: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

    Quote Originally Posted by safriz View Post
    Erieye were too expensive and Pakistan got washed down version without any ELINT/SIGINT. Plus the ship was "locked down" . Meaning,software was inaccessible,so no changes/upgrades could be made.
    ZDK-03 software is open to modifications by Pakistan,and any upgrades/additions can be made at home.
    Major plus point. Self reliance is an important factor.

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    Re: Pakistan Air force AEW&C.The SAAB Erieye and ZDK-03

    Ok a few points to add.

    Link 16 and the F16's-- the Erieye system works with the F16's as there is interoperability. The ZDK's work with the jf-17'S
    The ZDK-03's radar appears not to be a full AESA rather a PESA that scans electronically in elevation but mechanically in the azimuth. It would appear the price backs up the theory.

    Endurance--you need to be able to keep the planes in the air for them to work. The Erieye has longer endurance by a couple of hours.
    More units Will mean less airframe/crew attrition and will allow for round the clock coverage.
    Also
    I know the ZDK is bigger but having ridden in a few transport planes I can say catagorically that the ride sucks. That will increase crew wear and tear.
    i have more but my hands is aching so will leave it at that for the moment.
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