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Pakistan Can Shoot Down CIA Drones

Posted by yourpakistan on April 20, 2011

Interior Minister Rehman Malik claims Pakistani F-16s can’t take down rogue CIA drones. He is wrong. PAF can take down CIA drones, but awaits an order from President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani.


In a recent statement published in The Nation newspaper of Pakistan, the Interior Minister Rehman Malik has apparently proclaimed that ‘F-16s cannot shoot down drones.’

Such irresponsible and factually absurd statements do any good except to demoralize the nation further. This is not something new coming out of the Minister’s mouth, as he is well known in Pakistani media as someone who speaks more than he should.

Let us analyze the Interior Minister’s statement from in light of earlier statements by experts:

Here is a statement by former Pakistan Air Force chief Air Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed:

Source: The News (Pakistan)
Dated: November 25, 2008

 Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed said on Tuesday that Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is fully capable to stop drones’ flights and missile strikes.

He said that it was up to the government to decide whether it wanted to benefit from PAF capabilities and deter the aggressors violating territorial integrity of the country.

Air Chief Marshal made these remarks while speaking to newsmen during IDEAS-2008 exhibition at the Expo Center here.

Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed said that most of the fighter jets of PAF would complete their life span over the next few years after which JF-17 fighter jets (co-developed by China) would be phased in to replace the aging fleet.

“The fighter jets of Pakistan Air Force are fully capable to carry all types of warheads”, Air Chief added.

Another quote from the incumbent Air Chief Rao Qamar Suleiman, after he took charge in 2009:

Source: Indian Express
Dated: May 29, 2009

‘We can shoot down drones, but it would start war: Pak’

Pakistan has said that it is capable of shooting down US Predator aircrafts operating inside its geographical territory, but fears that such a step could ignite a war between both the countries.

Talking to media persons on the sidelines of the passing out parade at the Risalpur Air Force Academy, Pakistan Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman said PAF is capable of shooting down US drones, but the final decision in this regard rests with the government and Parliament.

Technical Overview 

> The service ceiling (maximum density altitude) of an MQ-1 Predator drone is 25,000 ft (7,620m).

> The service ceiling of an MQ-1 Reaper drone is 50,000 ft (15,000m).

> Whereas the service ceiling of a standard F16 fighter jet is 60,000+ ft (18,000+ m)

Even a layman can easily conclude from these technical and factual comparisons that it is very much within the capabilities of an F16 fighter jet to shoot down drones whose maximum flight altitudes are still 10,000+ ft lower than a standard F-16 fighter plane.

So the bottom line as laid out by both the incumbent and a former Chiefs of Pakistan Air Force is as follows:

If the Government of Pakistan permits, shooting down illegal drones is a matter of a few minutes.

The only problem is that the Government of Pakistan, led by President Zardari, will not take such a decision. Here is why:

Collateral damage worries you Americans, not me: Zardari

The Telegraph’s report based on US diplomatic cables leaked by Wikileaks says:

The revelations of America’s secret war in Pakistan will deeply embarrass President Asif Ali Zardari who has long denied such deep cooperation with Washington for fear it would embolden [popular] opposition to his feeble government.

A second cable describes a 2008 meeting with Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, Pakistani prime minister, in which he brushes aside concerns about the use of Predator drones against targets in the tribal areas and gives an insight into how he would deny any cooperation.

“I don’t care if they do it as long as they get the right people. We’ll protest in the National Assembly and then ignore it,” he told then US ambassador Anne W. Patterson.


3 Responses to “Pakistan Can Shoot Down CIA Drones”

  1. abrar said

    Tags : F-16 fighter jets, CIA drones, Pak Air Force
    Posted: Sat Apr 23 2011, 12:16 hrs

    Pak Interior Minister Rehman Malik had said that Pak Air Force cannot shoot down unmanned US drones.
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    Pakistan has the capability to shoot down CIA-operated drones, former Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) head Dr Samar Mubarak Mand has said.

    Talking to media persons, the nuclear scientist said that Pakistan had F-16 fighter jets, which were capable of shooting down any kind of drone predators.

    Dr Samar also observed that it was a strategic issue, therefore the final decision in this regard rested with the government.

    It is noteworthy that similar statements had been issued time and again by Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman that Pakistan is capable of shooting down the US predator aircraft.

    But such claims are in direct contrast with Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s statement that the Pakistan Air Force cannot shoot down unmanned US drones.

    Malik said recently that the altitude of the drones is much higher than that of Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jets.

  2. abrar said

    We speak true towards our country.

  3. Muhammad Asif said

    Now the nation is disappointed from all….the president,primeminister,army chief,,,,,only thing either to come to streets or wait till our enemy comes islamabad!…………

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