For years, China has remained the major arms supplier to Pakistan, especially after the latter decided to reduce its reliance on the US. The ties between the two countries have closely revolved around the defense purchases.
According to reports, Pakistan has now shown interest in purchasing Russian military hardware.
The deal is expected to amount $9 billion under which Islamabad would purchase heavy and medium fighter jets, medium and short-range air defense systems, tanks, combat helicopters, and warships.
Reports quoted Konstantin Makienko, the deputy director of the Moscow-based defense think tank Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies. Makeinko revealed that two types of Russian military hardware can make Pakistan’s shopping list, i.e., the new Russian fighter jet MiG-35 and the heavy transport helicopter Mi-26T2.
However, the news has not been confirmed by Pakistan.
From 2008 to 2018, Pakistan has received weapons worth over $6.4 billion from China.
It makes China, the South Asian country’s biggest military equipment supplier, while the US comes second with $2.5 billion in weapons supply, and Italy as the third with arms supplies worth $471 million.
Notably, Russia and China have been competing to take over the weapon market worldwide.
China has been granting certain favors along the arms deals to become a permanent supplier.