Islamabad, Jan.1 (ANI): Pakistan recently inducted the sophisticated surveillance aircraft, Saab-2009, in its Air Force' fleet through a deal worth 866 million dollars with Sweden.
While the acquisition is being seen as a step that would enhance the Pakistan Air Force' s (PAF) capabilities considerably, questions are being raised over the need of such deals, especially when the country in reeling under a severe economic crisis.
The deal certainly seems to be made keeping an eye on India's expansion of its defence capabilities, however, the 'transparency' factor in the defence acquisition is surely lacking.
An editorial in one of Pakistan's leading English dailies pointed out that the country's war planners are always keen to highlight that they have 'realistic' assumptions and are 'aware' of the economic constraints of the country and therefore understand the impossibility and undesirability of matching India weapon for weapon in the military department.
"And yet Pakistan has just accepted the first of four reconnaissance systems that will cost 866 million dollars after virtually zero debate outside select military circles," the editorial in The Dawn said.
"The people can only be certain when the defence-procurement system becomes more transparent," it added.
Pakistan is the second country in the region after India to have inducted the state-of-art surveillance aircraft in its air force, but the Indian systems fare better than the Pakistani ones.
As compared to Pakistan's airborne early warning system, the Indian Phalcon system provides tactical surveillance of airborne and surface targets and helps gather signal intelligence. It is also capable of tracking fighter planes, missiles and ground forces from a distance of 400 kilometres and in all weather conditions. (ANI)