Pakistan Seeks Long-Range Air Defense Missile System from Ally China

DESPARDES — Having successfully procured nine medium-range (MR) surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems from China, Pakistan is now reportedly setting its focus on the FD-2000 Long-range Air Defense Missile System, reports

The nine MR’s Pakistan earlier purchased are HQ-16-based LY-80 medium-range (MR) surface-to-air missile (SAM)

FD-2000 is an export variant of the HQ-9, which is the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) primary long-range SAM systems on land and at sea.

Quoting a Pakistan Ministry of Defense Production (MoDP) official, the Russian News Agency TASS reports that Pakistan is now studying the feasibility of procuring three or four FD-2000 long-range SAM systems to fulfill its long-range air defense requirements.

The FD-2000 is analogous in its capabilities to the Russian S-300. Granted, the FD-2000 is a shorter-range system than the S-400, but it would represent a major step as Pakistan’s first long-range anti-air warfare system with a range of over 100 km. While comparatively less than the S-400, the FD-2000 would provide an additional air defense layer, especially against high-altitude threats.

Besides extending its air defense coverage, Pakistan is also reportedly improving its very short-range air defense (VSHORAD) capabilities. Citing a Pakistan Ministry of Defense official, TASS reports that Pakistan inducted 200 QW-18-man portable air defense (MANPAD) launchers from China and, in turn, is planning to manufacture the QW-18 domestically under license.

Pakistan and China are traditional allies and ‘all-weather-friends who have scaled up their relationship into geoeconomy with the multi-billion dollars Pakistan-China Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Pakistan’s rival eastern neighbor India signed a deal with Russia for S-400 missile defense systems. Russia is its traditional arms supplier followed by USA and Israel.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Air Force is going to induct the FD-2000. BAF currently has no such defensive military equipment rather some short-range air defense missile systems in active service.