Pakistan is assessing the Thales-made Damocles targeting pod to be mounted on its JF-17 aircraft for giving the fighter precision-targeting capability.
Pakistan Air Force deputy chief Muhammad Ashfaque Arain, currently in Paris to discuss the possibility of acquiring the Domacles pod was quoted by Reuters today as saying, “the Damocles is a battle- proven system and the other options are not. If we do not get the Damocles pod for example, then we will need to look for alternate options that may not be proven.”
The JF-17 is a China- Pakistan joint venture manufactured in Pakistan. Arain said that the JF-17 with the Pakistan Air Force had been performing well but its usefulness in current operations was limited because it lacks precision-targeting, a need which would be fulfilled if Thales sold it the Damocles pod.
Arain revealed that 16 JF-17s will be produced this year in Pakistan and a further 20 in 2017. The aircraft are equipped to carry air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and bombs.
The Damocles is a 3rd generation targeting pod, modular, eye-safe laser and a high performance pod. It is currently operated by Malaysia’s Su-30MKM jets, UAE Mirage 2000-9 jet, Saudi’s Tornado and Typhoon aircraft, as well as France’s Rafale and Mirage 2000D jets.