Having obtained the first African sale of the Super Mushshak training aircraft, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex – Kamra (PAC) is actively courting other African countries for further sales.
Founded in 1971 by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), the PAC develops and builds aircraft and avionics systems for the Pakistani armed services, as well as providing performing maintenance and upgrades to military and civilian aircraft. It is owned by the PAF and all personnel are serving members of the PAF.
Exhibiting for the first time at the 2016 edition of the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition at AFB Waterkloof, the PAC is displaying the Super Mushshak light basic piston trainer which is undertaking daily displays.
Chairman of PAC, Air Marshal Arshad Malik, told defenceWeb with the PAF being a proficient air force it wants to impart its knowledge to African air forces. The PAC views AAD as an opportunity to interact with potential customers.
South Africa is no stranger to the PAC as Malik noted they have good relations with South African industry and are already working with Aerosud on weapon modifications.
The PAC recognises African countries do not have large defence budgets, but require technologically advanced solutions. Being a “uniform” and not a traditional commercial business, the PAC is able to accommodate these requirements.
Pakistan already conducts tactical and security training with Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
A more advanced, upgraded and modernised variant of the MFI-17 Mushshak basic trainer (itself a development of the Saab Supporter), the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) recently finalised the purchase of 10 Super Mushshak trainers. Deliveries are expected in early 2017.
The two/three seat Super Mushshak is equipped with an advanced glass cockpit, allowing it to be flown in all weather conditions. Although its docile handling characteristics and side-by-side seating make it an excellent ab-initio training aircraft, it is also capable of caring weapons and cameras. Equipped with a 260 hp Lycoming piston engine, the aircraft is simple to operate and maintain. It is also certified for aerobatics and visitors to AAD will see the aircraft perform close to its positive 6g and negative 3g limits.
In addition to the Super Mushshak aircraft, a number of Pakistan Air Force pilots will also join the NAF’s 310 Flying School to help train NAF pilots.
The PAF has a 120 Super Mushshak aircraft in service, with the Pakistani Army having an even larger inventory, with 220 aircraft used for logistic and transport missions.
Malik says the Super Mushshak is an affordable trainer with which other counties in Africa can benefit. The aircraft is already in service in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Iran. Qatar and the Turkish Air Forces have also signed deals with PAC to buy the aircraft this year. The PAC is looking at two or three other African countries to add to this list of recent sales.
Not only has Nigeria purchased the Super Mushshak, but the NAF is also preparing to induct three JF-17 Thunder multi-role light fighters.
The JF-17 is jointly produced by the Chengdu Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAC) of China and the PAC. The Pakistan Air Force already has 70 in service and will acquire up to 200.
Pakistan and China have also been promoting the JF-17 to various African countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Senegal, Sudan and Zimbabwe.