Pakistan Air Force Crumbling Away
[Strategy Page] The Pakistan Air Force is losing nearly two percent of its 900 aircraft each year to accidents. This is more than ten times the rate of Western air forces. These losses are caused by aircraft that are too old and a budget that is too small to properly train pilots and maintain the aircraft. Most of Pakistan's 520 fighters are over 20 years old. This includes 157 French made Mirage IIIs and 5s, 178 of 186 MiG-21s (the Chinese F-7 version), and 31 of 77 U.S. made F-16s. There have been some new aircraft put into service. Since 2000, Pakistan has received 46 F-16s and 100 Chinese made JF-17s (similar to the F-16). These planes are pretty safe. Older aircraft tend to crash more often.
Pakistan does not have enough money to buy enough new aircraft to replace all those becoming inoperable because of age. You can refurbish old aircraft and keep them flying for half a century or more. But Pakistan hasn't got the money for that either. There's also not enough cash for the spare parts and fuel needed for the training flights needed to keep the 3,000 Pakistani Air Force pilots capable of handling high-performance aircraft safely. In short, the Pakistani Air Force is facing a disaster. Each year more and more of their aircraft become inoperable and their pilots, unable to fly enough to maintain their skill, become less capable.
Posted by: Water Modem 2013-01-12