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Pakistan outlines FGFA industrial aims

03 April 2019
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The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) is looking to leverage capabilities advanced in building the JF-17 Thunder multirole combat aircraft (pictured) to develop a new fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA). Source: IHS Markit/Patrick Allen

The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) has outlined ambitious plans to support its development of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) - otherwise known in Pakistan as Project AZM.

The PAC enterprise, which is owned and run by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), has established a new office - the Aviation Research, Indigenization & Development (AvRID) unit - to lead the FGFA programme, it confirmed.

The development programme is supported through Pakistan's development of a new aerospace complex - named 'Aviation City' - that was launched in 2017 to support Project AZM and other national military aerospace requirements.

"The office of DG [Director General] AvRID has been established to transform into reality the [PAF's] air staff vision… with the long-term goal of developing our own fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA)," PAC said on its website.

"[The] development of [the] FGFA would be a major national programme that would entail a massive amount of work, not all of which may possibly be carried out within PAC or even within Pakistan.

"Such large-scale development requires synergetic efforts from a number of industrial (public and private) and academic organisations to fulfill the enormous task," it added.

In order to "manage an engineering development programme of this magnitude", effective technical, engineering, and project management processes need to be established, PAC said.

PAC also outlined several specialist project teams that it will establish in collaboration with other national agencies as part of the Aviation City initiative.

These include an engineering management and support office, an Aviation Design Institute, a Mission Electronics Design Institute, an Aero Structures Design Institute, an Advanced Technologies Centre, and a Flight Test Centre.

PAC states that AvRID will collaborate with and leverage the capabilities of these various Aviation City agencies in undertaking Project AZM. "This [will] put together components of industry and academia to build a high-end research centre to enhance indigenisation capability.

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