Air Defense: Desperately Seeking Sky High SAMs


January8, 2007: Pakistan is trying to obtain high-altitude anti-aircraft systems, to bring down Indian Su-30s carrying nuclear bombs. Currently, Pakistan only has some Chinese copies of Russian SA-2 surface to air missiles (SAM). These are 1960s technology, and not believed capable to bringing down Su-30s at high altitude. Pakistan turned to China, but the Chinese are buying their high-altitude SAMs from Russia.  India is a major customer for Russian weapons, so the Russians do not want to sell SAMs to Pakistan (which could end up using them to shoot down Russian made warplanes in Indian service.)

So the Chinese are trying to find a European nation willing to partner with them to develop a high altitude SAM for Pakistan. There aren't too many nations that build high-altitude SAMs. Most buy from the United States or Russia. But a nation with well developed technology industries could work with the Chinese to create a new line of high altitude, and high end, anti-aircraft missiles.


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