A Chinese Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile

Islamabad: In a bid to boost Pakistan's air defence capabilities, China has delivered latest versions of its J-10 multirole tactical fighter aircraft.

Last week, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) held a ceremony marking the induction of the Chinese-made fighters into its arsenal. According to the analysts, this deal will significantly boost Islamabad's air defences and maritime security capabilities reported Asia Times.

Pakistan which received weapons assistance from the US for the most part of the Cold War, however, has now started to look to Beijing for weapons assistance as Washington has started to place more restrictions. The sale of the fighter aircraft brings China-Pakistan closer together strategically in a clear move away from Islamabad's past reliance on the United States.

As Pakistan is facing more restrictions to get weapons from the US, China has filled the vacuum by proving weapons to boost Islamabad's conventional and nuclear arsenal.

While China has long supplied Pakistan's armed forces, the relationship has deepened in recent years, with Pakistan making major purchases of top-of-the-line Chinese export equipment. Further, Pakistan is also in negotiations to buy the longer-ranged Chinese HQ-9 system, a Chinese analogue to the Russian S-300 long-range SAM.

China provided significant assistance to the Pakistani nuclear weapons program and is alleged to have provided missile components, warhead designs, and even highly-enriched uranium.