Pakistan Air Force Buys ZDK-03 AWACS

Yet another breakthrough in buying sophisticated early warning airborne radar system by Pakistan Air Force. This time it’s the Chinese built ZDK-03 aircraft which is actually a variant of Y-8 also a duplicate of An-12 aircraft. The roll out ceremony took place on 13th November 2010 at Hanzhong in China under the presence of Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman who was the chief guest of the ceremony. The PAF signed a contract in 2008 with China Electronics Technology Group Corporation for the joint development of four ZDK-03 AWACS aircraft configured to Pakistan’s specifications.

This was another milestone among the two countries after the successful joint venture of JF-17 Thunder. The chief guest appreciated the relations among the two nations and hoped that the two countries will in future will cooperate with each and bring new joint military equipment to the market.

Previously Pakistan bought Swedish Saab-2000 early warning airborne aircraft but the ZDK-03 is a much sophisticated aircraft with a well equipped equipment and also has the capability to remain airborne for longer duration than the Saab-2000.



After the failure to produce a modified IL-76 early warning aircraft, China started a new back up project of early warning system on the Y-8 aircraft which is known as KJ-200. This aircraft has a similar configuration to that of the KJ-2000 and the platform is characterized by the triple tail configuration (one large and two small). The current KJ-2000 AWACS in Chinese service is equipped with a domestic AESA (active electronically scanned array), also known as active phased array, radar. The radar was designed by the Research Institute of Electronic Technology (also more commonly known as the 14th Institute) at Nanjing, and it utilizes the experience gained from the 14th Institute’s earlier indigenously developed Type H/LJG-346 SAPARS (Shipborne Active Phased Array Radar System) that was completed in 1998.

KJ-2000(IL-76) AWACS taxing in China

ZDK-03(KJ-200) Parked in China

Y-8 aircraft a copy of Russian An-12


Pakistan is country surrounded by continuous threats and need equipment to deal with them. China is the only oldest partner which has been helping and providing Pakistan with military aid to all three services Army, Navy and Air force. In the recent years Pakistan and China successfully accomplished the JF-17 Thunder project which made stronger bonds with the two nations. And now China signed the pact to sell a new kind of breed of aircraft which they created.

Then the Chinese equipment comes economically cheap i.e. they r much cheap than the equipment of the west. China is the future super power country therefore it is doing it’s best to compete with west in technology wise too. ZDK-03 aircraft is bigger than Saab-2000 and little cheaper than it and also contains sophisticated equipment. Together China and Pakistan have now developed their own BVRAAM-equipped fighter and AEW aircraft: the Sino-Pakistani JF-17 Thunder multirole combat aircraft and the KJ-200/ZDK-03 AEW&C system.

JF-17 With Pak-China Flag Flying in Formation


  1. there is a threat for india not for bangladesh.....thease plane are also fight for case of any war. msg from pakistan live long bangal pakistan

  2. Ultimately, though not sure when, Pakistan and Bengladesh will work together to take care of India, a common Hindu Enemy Country for both. Bengladeshis are Muslims, love Islam, so do Pakistanis. Hence this bonding force which was broken in 1971 will again become so powerful to overcome the differences between the two nations, Bengladesh and Pakistan. The main culprit in sub continent is no one else but Hindu India. Even Hindu Nepal hates India.


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