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Russian engines for Pak fighter planes

Pakistan has expressed confidence that Russia will provide it with MiG engines, to be fitted on a fighter plane.

india Updated: Nov 23, 2006 17:33 IST

Pakistan has expressed confidence that Russia will provide it with MiG engines, to be fitted on a fighter plane, which Islamabad is jointly manufacturing with Beijing.

Pakistan was confident of getting over 100 MiG engines to be fitted on to the JF-17 Thunder planes being jointly manufactured by Islamabad and Beijing, Geo TV quoted a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) official as saying.

The prototype of the plane was already built and has been test flown but the future of the aircraft was still in doubt, as they needed the Russian MiG engines for which Moscow has not yet given a firm commitment in view of its impact on Indo-Russian defence ties.

The issue was reportedly discussed during the recent visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Pakistan, but there is no firm word yet from Moscow.

The PAF official, however, said Pakistan was confident of getting the Russian engines for the plane.

Without Russian consent, China cannot supply the engines for Pakistan jets as it was barred to transfer technology to the third countries. The Thunder cannot fly without the Russian engine.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) Gen Ehsan Ul Haq told reporters at Karachi on Wednesday that Pakistan's collaboration with other friendly countries such as China, France, the United States and Ukraine had helped Islamabad develop state-of-the-art defence products, in line with its credible minimum deterrence concept.