Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pakistan's Defense Industry Going High Tech

U.S. Army Gen. William Westmoreland is reported to have said: "On the battlefield of the future, enemy forces will be located, tracked and targeted almost instantaneously through the use of data links, computer-assisted intelligence and automated fire control. … I am confident the American people expect this country to take full advantage of its technology–to welcome and applaud the developments that will replace wherever possible the man with the machine." It seems that this vision from the 1970s is being realized today. One manifestation of it is the development and deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles by many nations, including Pakistan.

The growing reliance on armed drones (aka predators) by Americans in Afghanistan and Pakistan's FATA region to target militants has been making headlines with increasing casualties. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or Drones designed and manufactured in Pakistan have also been making news since IDEAS 2008 event in Karachi, Pakistan held in November of last year. Integrated Dynamics, a privately held Pakistani company that drew attention at IDEAS 2008 expo, is a developer and manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Integrated Dynamics is a full-service UAV systems provider based in Karachi, Pakistan. The company has been in business since 1997 and designs and integrates UAV systems primarily for the Government of Pakistan, the Pakistan armed forces and export. The company says they are committed to the use of the UAV system as a scientific and defensive tool that can be used to save lives and monitor potentially hostile environments for human personnel. The company also makes drones such as the turbojet-powered Tornado decoy, which can fly up to 200 kilometers, and emit false radar signals to "confuse enemy air defenses into thinking they are attacking aircraft," according to Defense News of Pakistan.

In addition to supplying drones to Pakistani military, the company exports its products to Australia, Spain, South Korea and Libya and the United States. The US homeland security department uses its Border Eagle surveillance drone for border patrol duties. Integrated Dynamics' products cost only a fraction of the cost of comparable products made in the United States and Europe. ID UAV prices start from about $ 20,000 while comparable UAV products made in the West start from about $ 200,000, according to the Karachi-based company. The ID models have operational range of 20 to 1600 kilometers.

Integrated Dynamics began developing the Firefly mini-rocket UAV in late 2004 in response to Pakistani army operational requirements for a high-speed, short-range observation system that could be used in the high-altitude environments of northern Pakistan. A basic system costs around $3,000 and comprises four rockets, a launcher, a carry case, datalink and a PDA-based ground control station.The UAV company is an example of a new generation of private defense companies in Pakistan that have grown with the emerging needs of Pakistani military and export opportunities to both military and civilian sectors abroad.

Arms as Pakistan's Cottage Industry

Pakistan has a long history of arms manufacturing as a cottage industry. The dusty little town of Darra Adam Khel,only a half-hour drive from Peshawar, reminds visitors of America's Wild West. The craftsmen of this town are manufacturers and suppliers of small arms to the tribal residents of the nation's Federally Administered Tribal Areas who carry weapons as part of their ancient culture. The skilled craftsmen of FATA make revolvers, automatic pistols, shotguns and AK-47 rifles. Until five years ago, the list also had items such as anti-personnel mines, sub-machine guns, small cannons and even rocket launchers. Pakistani government has forced the tribesmen to stop making heavy assault weapons to try and prevent the Taliban and Al Qaeda from getting access to such weapons.

Pakistan's arms industry has come a long way from making small arms as a cottage industry in the last few decades. The US and Western arms embargoes imposed on Pakistan at critical moments in its history have proved to be a blessing in disguise. In particular, the problems Pakistan faced in the aftermath of Pressler Amendment in 1992 became an opportunity for the country to rely on indigenous development and production of defense equipment.

Pakistan's Military Industrial Complex

The country now boasts a powerful industrial, technological and research base developing and manufacturing for its armed forces and exporting a wide variety of small and large weapons ranging from modern fighter jets, battle tanks, armored vehicles, frigates and submarines to unmanned aerial vehicles and high tech firearms and personal grenade launchers for urban combat. Some of these items were on display at IDEAS 2008, the 5-day biennial arms show held November last year in Karachi, Pakistan.

Pakistan has become an increasingly important player in the world arms industry, a global industry and business which manufactures and sells weapons and military technology and equipment. Arms production companies, also referred to as Defense Contractors, produce arms mainly for the armed forces of nation states. Products include guns, ammunition, missiles, military aircraft, military vehicles, ships, electronic Systems, and more. The arms industry also conducts significant research and development. Pakistan's major defense manufacturing companies are owned and operated by Pakistan's military. According to Business Monitor, Pakistan's defense industry contains over 20 major public sector units (PSUs) and over 100 private-sector firms. The majority of major weapons systems production and assembly is undertaken by the state-owned PSUs, while the private-sector supplies parts, components, bladed weapons and field equipment. Major PSUs include the Pakistan Ordnance Factory (POF), Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT), Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) and the Pakistan Machine Tool Factory. Multinational presence in Pakistan is limited, although joint production or engineering support in the development of certain armaments has recently occurred with companies such as DCN International and the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group.

IDEAS 2000, Pakistan's first major arms show, was organized after former President Musharraf assumed leadership of the country in the wake of the 1999 bloodless coup that toppled the Nawaz Sharif government. At the show, the former president emphasized the need to grow Pakistan's defense industry and private sector involvement in R&D, manufacturing and marketing of arms. Held every two years since the year 2000, the show has become a runaway success. It has helped Pakistan and other friendly nations to show off their wares, find customers, share knowledge, build bilateral partnerships, encourage scientific innovation and learning among young people and made visitors and Pakistani citizens more aware of the role defense industry plays in national defense and economy. Held in November last year, International Defense Exhibition and Seminar 2008 attracted 256 companies including 162 foreign and 94 Pakistani companies. Among the largest foreign pavilions, Turkey had 28 companies and United States had 22. Other major exhibitors came from China, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, South Korea, South Africa, the Ukraine and the United Kingdom. Among other products, Pakistani companies showed off JF-17 fighter plane built by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex in partnership with China's Chengdu Aircraft, Al-Khalid main battle tank, POF eye capable of shooting around corners and launching grenades in urban combat, and a variety of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) designed, developed and built in Pakistan.

World Arms Market

It is estimated that yearly, over 1 trillion dollars are spent on military expenditures worldwide (2% of World GDP). Part of this goes to the procurement of military hardware and services from the military industry. The combined arms sales of the top 100 largest arms producing companies amounted to an estimated $315 billion in 2006. In 2004 over $30 billion were spent in the international arms trade (excluding domestic arms sales). Many industrialized countries have a domestic arms industry to supply their own military forces. Some countries also have a substantial legal or illegal domestic trade in weapons for use by its citizens. The illegal trade in small arms is prevalent in many countries and regions affected by political instability.

Pakistan's Arms Business

In a July 2008 interview with Pakistan's Dawn newspaper, Major General Mohammad Farooq, Director General of the Defense Export Promotion Organization, indicated that collaboration with the United States had increased in manufacturing armored personnel carriers "with transfer of technology". There have been unconfirmed reports that Pakistan is manufacturing Humvees for the US military in Afghanistan. General Farooq also claimed that Pakistan's defense exports have tripled to around $300 million because of the quality of its ammunition, anti-tank guided missiles, rocket launchers and shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles. He said exports to South Asian, Middle Eastern and African countries had increased significantly. It has been reported that Sri Lanka has purchased cluster bombs, deep penetration bombs and rockets and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) from Pakistan.
General Farooq said optical instruments like night vision devices, laser range-finders and designators, laser threat sensors, artillery armor mortars and munition, mine detectors, anti-tank rifles, missile boats, different types of tear gases, fuses of unarmed vehicles, security equipment and sporting and hunting guns were also being manufactured in Pakistan. "The fuses are being purchased by countries like Italy, France and Spain," he said.

In reply to a question, he said Pakistan's military exports were higher than India's. "Indians started working on Arjun tank but, they are yet to induct it in their army, while Pakistan has built and handed over Al Khalid tank to the army, although it started the program later," he said.

Lately, Pakistan has come under severe criticism by human rights groups for being a leading manufacturer and exporter of land-mines, cluster bombs and depleted uranium munitions.

High-Tech Aerial Warfare

The three main branches of Pakistani military are evaluating UAVs made in Pakistan and the rest of the world for purchase and deployment. Pakistan has been eager to boost its capabilities for high-tech aerial warfare and restructure and reorient its military to respond to the new and emerging challenges of combating insurgents. A number of public and private sector companies have been engaged in research, development and manufacturing of unmanned aerial vehicles as a part of this initiative. The public sector companies include Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Air Weapons Complex and National Development Complex.

Pakistan made Shahpar UAV 

Here's a brief run-down of the status of Pakistan's three military services as gleaned from Jane's and other publications:

Pakistan Air Force
As part of its effort to go high-tech, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) will formally induct unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) into service for the first time in 2009, the chief of the PAF has told Jane's. In addition to the Bravo+ UAV, which, according to PAF Chief Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed, has been built indigenously by Air Weapons Complex, the PAF will also receive the Falco UAVs produced by Selex Galileo of Italy. The two systems will be used mainly for aerial reconnaissance and information gathering, although the PAF will later also induct UAVs equipped with weapon systems to carry out offensive operations. "This capability we are developing fairly rapidly; we are becoming mature. It is part of our operations now and I look forward to seeing this in real operations by [the] beginning [of] 2009," ACM Ahmed reportedly told Jane's.

Pakistan Army

The Uqaab, Pakistan Army's drone designed and built by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, is the first step towards the eventual mass production of a Pakistani UAV. Technical details shared by Pakistani officials suggest that the Uqaab can fly at an altitude of about 15,000 ft and is equipped with day- and night-vision equipment. There have been unconfirmed reports that Pakistan has discussed with China the possibility of further developing the Uqaab to carry a weapons payload, according to Jane's.

Pakistan Navy

Pakistan Navy is reportedly interested in deploying vertical takeoff and landing UAVs on its ship. As a part of its plans to purchase and deploy UAVs, the Pakistani navy has completed trials of Austrian Schiebel Camcopter S-100 and Swedish made Cybaero autonomous VTOL UAVs from a Pakistani frigate in the Arabian sea in April 2008.

Pakistan's UAV Industry

Growing interest by Pakistani military and foreign companies and governments has helped spawn several private Pakistani UAV companies specializing in air-frames, launch and propulsion, flight control, tele-command and control systems, signal intelligence, training simulators, etc. Some of the private companies involved in UAV development and manufacturing include Integrated Dynamics, East-West Infinity, Satuma and Global Industrial Defense Solutions. Between the public and private sector UAVs developed in Pakistan, there is a long list of products including Bravo and Uqaab by Air Weapons Complex, Heliquad by East-West Infinity, Nishan Mk1 , Vision MK1 , Vision MK2 , Nishan TJ 1000, Tornado, Border Eagle, Hornet, Hawk, Hawk Mk1, Shadow and Vector by Integrated Dynamics Pakistan, Flamingo, Jasoos and Mukhbar by Satuma Pakistan , Bazz and Ababeel by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex. These products vary in payload type, size and weight, engine types, range, flying altitude, endurance and launch and recovery systems. Growing domestic and international demand and increasing competition among suppliers is expected to produce significant improvements in capabilities and quality of the UAV products offered by Pakistani companies. In addition to Integrated Dynamics described above, here are three more UAV companies in Pakistan:

East-West Infinity:
One of the companies at the forefront of UAV development is East West Infinity (EWI). EWI's latest products are the Heliquad micro tactical UAV and the Whisper Watch signals intelligence (SIGINT) package.
The Heliquad was first displayed in prototype form at the IDEAS2006 defense exhibition. Equipped with a tiny camera, it can relay pictures back to troops or special forces in an urban environment or in the field, giving them a tactical reconnaissance capability. Being exceptionally small and powered by four electric motors, Heliquad is highly stealthy and represents the cutting edge of EWI's electronics miniaturization. SIGINT has become more important with ongoing anti-terrorism operations on the western front and in the tribal areas. Designed for militaries unable to afford high-end, dedicated SIGINT platforms, the company says its Whisper Watch platform is most effective when aerostat-mounted, as the platform is stationary and airborne for longer.

Satuma (Surveillance and Target Unmanned Aircraft), founded in 1989, is small UAV specialist company based near Islamabad, Pakistan. Satuma products include Flamingo, Jasoos and Mukhbar UAVs. Its biggest customer is Pakistan's military.

Global Industrial Defense Solutions:
GIDS, the largest of the private defense sector companies, has a UAV division, which produces a whole range of operational and training UAVs.Its biggest customer in Pakistan's military. The UAVs developed by GIDS have been extensively flight tested by military. GIDS ground control stations have an interactive and user friendly interface, where flight parameters and auto-pilot mission planning, and execution is done in addition to reception of high-enbd crisp quality video transmitted over an encrypted digital link.
Headed by a retired PAF Air Vice Marshall, GIDS has emerged from a combination of 7 Pakistani private defense companies that include AERO (Advanced Engineering Research Organization), IDS (Integrated Defense Systems), MSL (Maritime Systems Pvt Limited), ACES (Advanced Computing and Engineering Solutions), IICS (Institute of Industrial Control Systems), ATCOP (AI-Technique Corporation) and SETS (Scientific Engineering and Technology Solutions). Other than UAVs, its major products include anti-personnnel, anti-armor, incendiary, anti-runway, electronic impact and time-based fuses, electronic warfare equipment, navigation systems, optical fiber and optical fiber cables. Anti-tank Wire Guided Missile System known as "Baktar Shiken" made by IICS, a component of GIDS.

Pakistan's growing defense industry is going high tech to keep up with the challenges of a changing world that requires advanced weapons and new strategies to maintain peace and stability in a hostile neighborhood. At the same time, Pakistan's defense industry is contributing to scientific, technological, industrial and economic development of the nation by training and employing thousands of citizens. The investments made in defense production are a good bargain for the companies, their investors and the taxpayers of Pakistan to help ensure the nation's economic, political and national security against both internal and external threats.

Note: Abbreviated version of this article was first published by Dinar Standard.

Here's a video report about Pakistan's weapons development:

Here's a video clip of UAV Uqaab flight test:

Here's a video clip about Pakistan's arms expo IDEAS 2008:

Related Links:

Jane's Defense Industry Briefing on Pakistan

World Military Spending
India-Pakistan Military Balance

Pakistan's Arms Industry

Pakistan's Space Capabilities

Foreign Origin of India's Agni Missiles
Pakistan Defense Production

Dinar Standard

Chuck Yeager on Pakistan Air Force

Introduction to Defense Economics


Ech said...

There is a sense of pride here but at the same time highlights the facts that the opportunity cost for this development is a poor educational system, bad transport system, unstructured society...the list can go on.

Riaz Haq said...


I agree that there are more urgent priorities for both India and Pakistan in South Asia. But both continue to spend enormous sums on offensive weapons systems. It puts particular burden on Pakistan because of its significantly smaller size and economy than India's.

What you have to remember is that the way out of rural/agrarian society and widespread poverty is to somehow industrialize, preferably with private civilian investments that create lots of jobs. But that has not happened in Pakistan. The military has however helped build the industrial base necessary for Pakistanis to acquire the education and skills that can help Pakistan move toward an industrial revolution which has preceded all modern democracies with the sole exception of Indian democracy. As one can see, Indian democracy has been slow to lift the vast majority of its people out of poverty in the absence of an industrial revolution, in spite of its recent economic growth in service sectors such as IT and business services.

Ech said...


The military has indeed played a very important role in the history of Pakistan. They have built or at least kept in good shape the industrial base (and an educational system) that we can use to build upon. But the country lacks the kind of governance and dicipline required for development.

If we have to take one example from India, I wouldnt say its the industry, it should be the educational system. The do have problems, but the byproducts of their educational system will give them enough momentum to help them keep moving forward.

Just as someone realised that Pakistan needed a strong army all those years ago, we need to come to the realization that we now need to concentrate on reforms in civil legislation and the government.

Riaz Haq said...


I couldn't agree with you more!

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from APP report on Alan Warne's book launch aboout PAF:

Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mehmood Ahmed on Tuesday said that the whole of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has been made nuclear with the aim to giving it the status of a real deterrent force. “We have made the whole of PAF a nuclear force”, he said while talking to media after launch of a book titled “A new dawn of PAF” on PAF development during a decade till 2008.

The PAF has achieved such a deterrence level that no one can cast an evil eye on the motherland, he said.

Air Chief‑designate Air Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman (Deputy Chief of Air Staff perations), who will take over the PAF’s command on Wednesday was also present with the Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed on the accession.

Air Marshal Rao is architect of an effective strategy to deal with the Indian threat of carrying out surgical strikes against Pakistan. Due to this strategy the adversary had to shelve its nefarious plan of surgical operations.

Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mehmmod Ahmed said that the country achieved nuclear power back in 1998 with the aim that the defence of the country be made impregnable and over the years PAF has been able to successfully achieve the target.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a New York Times report on predator drones:

An explosion in demand for the drones is contributing to new thinking inside the Pentagon about how to develop and deploy new weapons systems.

Air Force officials acknowledge that more than a third of their unmanned Predator spy planes — which are 27 feet long, powered by a high-performance snowmobile engine, and cost $4.5 million apiece — have crashed, mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Pilots, who fly them from trailers halfway around the world using joysticks and computer screens, say some of the controls are clunky. For example, the missile-firing button sits dangerously close to the switch that shuts off the plane’s engines. Pilots are also in such short supply that the service recently put out a call for retirees to help.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Aug 21 report in Dawn about the manufacturing of drones in collaboration with Selex Galileo of Italy which claims to lead the unmanned aerial systems market.

ATTOCK: Pakistan has started manufacturing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drone, in collaboration with Selex Galileo of Italy which claims to lead the unmanned aerial systems market.

A ceremony marking the launch of the project was held at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Kamra, on Thursday. It was presided over by Air Marshal Farhat Hussain Khan, the chairman of the PAC board.

Falco, the UAV to be manufactured under the project, is designed by the Italian firm. The aircraft will address surveillance and reconnaissance needs of Pakistan Air Force.

Speaking on the occasion, Air Marshal Hussain said the UAV co-production facility was a major step towards the long-term goal of self-reliance in military aviation industry.

He praised PAC engineers and technicians who had worked unrelentingly for two years to establish the facility.

He said that establishing the UAV manufacturing unit was a challenging task requiring total dedication.

He said that the Falco would greatly enhance PAF’s operational capability.

Air Marshal Hussain lauded the Italian company’s cooperation which helped Pakistan to become part of an exclusive club of countries having the capability to manufacture a modern tactical drone.

The roll-out of the first Falco UAV at the PAC is scheduled in the near future.

Riaz Haq said...

According to Jane's Defence Weekly, Vietnam acquired 100 SMG-PK 9 mm submachine guns and 50 sniper rifles from the state-run Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) in Rawalpindi as a follow-on order to an equal number of similar weapons it purchased last year.

The SMG-PK is configured on the Heckler & Koch MP5 series of which four models are available.

India, which has burgeoning defence relations with Hanoi, 'discreetly' protested the acquisition by Vietnam's police ministry for its counter-terrorism unit, Jane's reports, but to little avail.

Military analysts in New Delhi said India's hesitancy in vindicating its assurances to Vietnam of providing it varied military hardware, including the locally designed surface-to-surface Prithvi missile, could well be responsible for Hanoi turning to Pakistan, albeit to partially meet its defence requirements.

India's vast military-industrial complex also does not produce submachine guns or sniper rifles, despite years of attempts by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to design both.

India recently imported sniper rifles from Israel while a contract to import submachine guns and carbines is under consideration by the army.

'India is handicapped by its excessive caution in boldly exercising its strategic options coupled with its highly complex and uncoordinated procedures required to export military goods,' Major General Sheru Thapliyal (retd) said. In a world of quick shifting strategic alignments, India will be left behind if it does not resolve both these shortcomings, he warned.

India strongly supported North Vietnam in its war with the US in the 1960s and 1970s in the face of tremendous Western opposition and began developing defence ties with it in the mid-1990s as part of its wider Look East approach.

This strategy proliferated in recent years as nuclear rival China, with its peaceful rise, has steadily been fashioning political, economic and military dependencies around its strategic periphery particularly in East and Southeast Asia through multilateral economic and military engagement.

There is also a growing feeling amongst Indian and Western analysts that Asia's strategic architecture created over decades by the US through its military deployments and engagement policies appears to be crumbling, giving way to an ascendant China.

This, in turn, was fostering a deep sense of uncertainty and insecurity among many Asian states, including India, even though diplomatic, military economic and political ties between Delhi and Beijing were steadily improving.

By developing defence ties with Vietnam, however, India is aiming to counter China's firmly established 'string of pearls' strategy of clinching regional military and security agreements from the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea and of expanding its profile and assets in the Indian Ocean region.

To tighten the maritime 'noose' around India, China is investing heavily in developing Gwadar port on nuclear ally Pakistan's western Makran coast and nurturing long standing military, political and commercial links with Myanmar.

Additionally, China has firmed up strategic, defence and economic ties with Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

Strategists term India's tentative response as its 'string of diamonds' strategy whereby it seeks to build partnerships and relations with friends and allies like Vietnam to build regional partnerships.

As part of this feeble riposte to China's regional pro-activity, India recently reconfirmed its defence ties with Vietnam providing for bilateral military cooperation, sale of military wares like the locally developed advanced light helicopter (ALH) and assistance in overhauling and providing spares to Hanoi's aging MiG series fighter aircraft.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report from Indian Express today:

Two days after he said women could be recruited as fighter pilots only if they did not become mothers till a certain age, Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal P K Barbora on Thursday took a swipe at the political class, saying politics over defence purchases impinged “very badly” on the country’s military requirements.

“As far as defence goes, we don’t even match up with Pakistan,” Barbora, while referring to Defence exports, told an aerospace seminar organised in New Delhi by the CII.

“The internal politics over the years is such that whatever defence requirements are cleared by the government, they are opposed by the opposition parties and the same happens when roles change and the opposition sits in government. That impinges very badly on our defence requirements.”

He asked the private defence industry to take note of the China example on reverse engineering of defence technologies. “Forget about ethics. China has done reverse engineering. Has anyone ever had the courage to ask China why are you doing it? No one cares a hoot. If you can’t do it yourself, you should know how to do reverse engineering.”

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an interesting report in India Today about Indian Army's war readiness:

The Indian Army, one of the world's largest, has admitted it is far from being battle-ready. The force is 50 per cent short of attaining full capability.

The admission is part of the army's internal assessment report submitted to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence. Headlines Today has exclusive access to the report.

The report says it will take around 20 years for the army to gain full defence preparedness. The infantry, artillery and the armoury would be fully ready for battle only by 2027. This means that in the event of a war in the next two decades, the country may prove to be a virtual sitting duck.

Going by the report, the force seems most vulnerable as far as combat helicopters are concerned. The report says the army has attained an abysmal 17 per cent capability in combat choppers. Full combat capability by helicopters would not be possible before 2027.

Another problem is the army's inability to develop a communication network. India will not have a real-time information sharing network before 2027. The current capability is just 24 per cent despite the country's stellar show in information technology.

What's really shocking is the shortage in fighting arms. The artillery has just 52 per cent of the total capability required to defend the country. The country will near 97 per cent capability in artillery only by 2027.

The infantry too is struggling at a 65 per cent capability. The infantry wants to replace its indigenous INSAS rifles, acquire night-fighting capabilities, new generation anti-tank missiles and rockets. Shields for nuclear, biological and chemical warfare too are not properly in place.

The picture isn't rosy for the mechanised and special forces units either, which are way behind their required defence preparedness.

Riaz Haq said...

As some of the hyperpatriotic Indians criticize Pakistan and belittle its JF-17 achievements, have they ever thought about what combat aircraft India has developed in the last decade or two? Tejas? Forced to wait for a local replacement for its MiG-21s that has been in development for over 20 years, and forced to abandon purchases because of political interference from within India, the IAF, on the turn of the century, has found itself restrained.

Heck, the IAF can't even maintain the Russian-made aircraft to keep its planes in service. Just last month, Air Vice Marshal Barbora of Indian Air Force acknowledged that "We do not even match up Pakistan as far defense goes."

I believe JF-17 is a great accomplishment of Pakistani engineers and programmers. While China has done the airframe and the hardware design, almost all of the million lines of code (mostly C++ code, not Ada used by Americans and many Europeans) and specialized avionics that make JF-17 so advanced has come from Pakistan. In fact, the reason for China working with Pakistan to source Pakistani software and avionics is because of US sanctions on export of sensitive technology to China.

Riaz Haq said...

Date Posted: 08-Jan-2010

Jane's Defence Weekly

Pakistan signs defence accords with South Korea and Qatar

Jon Grevatt Jane's Asia-Pacific Industry Reporter -Bangkok

The Pakistani government has approved the signing of two separate defence agreements with South Korea and Qatar, it was announced on 6 January.

The agreements, both of which are termed by Islamabad as memorandums of understanding (MoU), are designed to enhance defence co-operation between Pakistan and the two countries, a government statement said.

In addition, it said the MoU with South Korea will boost military personnel exchanges, while the pact with Qatar will expand collaboration in defence research activities. The latter MoU is also aimed at enhancing co-operation between Qatar's Centre for Strategic Studies and Pakistan's National Defence University.

Pakistan's agreement with South Korea is the continuation of a relationship that has seen the countries becoming closer defence trading partners over the past two years.

In November 2006, for example, Seoul-based Poongsan and the Pakistan Ordnance Factory signed a deal to co-produce 155 mm base-bleed DPICM k-310 artillery ammunition for Pakistan's armed forces and in June 2008 South Korea agreed to export parts for Pakistan's Cessna T-37 training aircraft.

While no such defence trade is known to have taken place between Pakistan and Qatar, the MoU conforms to a trend over the past three years that has seen Islamabad forge strong defence relations with predominantly Muslim nations.

Similar deals have been signed with Brunei, Jordan, Malaysia, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Yemen.

Riaz Haq said...

Gen(Retd) Asrar Ghumman has met with a five-member Iraqi defense delegation in Pakistan, according to Arab News.

“We are already supplying Iraq with armored M-113-P personnel cars and Talah to the Iraqi armed forces,” he told Arab News. “Now the Iraqi Army wants to buy different caliber ammunition including mortars from Pakistan.”

The delegation, headed by the director of the Iraqi Army’s training and evaluation wing, Maj. Gen. Abbas Fizza, is currently in Pakistan to explore areas where the two countries can cooperate with each other in areas of defense.

Officials say that the possibility of Iraqi servicemen receiving army and naval training was also discussed.

Riaz Haq said...

The French government held up its 1.6 billion dollars sale of arms to Pakistan, under pressure from India, according to reports from India:

The military hardware was to be used for Pakistan's JF-17 combat aircraft. The sale of electronics and missiles, under the first part of a six billion euro deal, was signed with Islamabad.

Paris is said to be concerned over whether Pakistan would be able to pay-off the huge deal amount or not. And, also worried over the safety of the sophisticated technology.

However, experts are not willing to accept India would be able to exert pressue on France to hold the deal for long.

"I don't really know how much pressure India can really exert on France because in the past we have seen that America has tremendous influence on their policies," said Hamid Gul, former DG of ISI.

"Americans have supplied us already. They have committed to supply us 18 F-16 aircraft. Any aircraft that France can put out it can be outmatched by what the Americans can do."

"We have very good relations in this field with China and we have developed JF-17 Thunder. We don't see any immediate possibility of war. Therefore we have time in which we can develop technology," he added.

Riaz Haq said...

India's cryogenic rocket launch failed on April 15, according to the <a href=">BBC</a>:

<i>India's bid to launch an advanced communications satellite into orbit for the first time by using a cryogenic engine has failed, scientists say.

The rocket took off as planned but the phase powered by the new engine failed to perform and deviated from its path.

Cryogenic engines are rocket motors designed for fuels that have to be held at very low temperatures to be liquid. They would otherwise be gas.

Officials say that only five countries in the world have this technology.

Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) Chairman K Radhakrishnan said that an investigation would now be held to find out what exactly went wrong.

Scientists say the mission failed because control of the two engines controlling the satellite was lost, resulting in loss of altitude and velocity.

Journalists at the scene of the launch said that scientists in the mission control area at Sriharikota in eastern India initially clapped and rejoiced after what appeared to be a successful launch - but their disappointment was apparent as the rocket deviated from its course.

India began developing cryogenic technology after Russia reneged on a deal to supply cryogenic engines in 1993 - following pressure from the United States, which believed India was using the technology to power missiles.

India hopes to emerge as a global player in the multi-billion dollar satellite launch market.</i>

Riaz Haq said...

India's claim of "indigenous" technology are false.

There is plenty of data from Wisconsin Project that shows how India has copied its missiles and nuclear reactors from western nations, particularly US and Canada.

For example, Abul Kalam directly copied Agni from the US Scout missile. Both look identical.

The first Indian reactor was a copy of Cirus and other Canadian reactors supplied to India.

India also got a lot of help from other nations, notably US, Canada, Germany and France in it quest for nuclear and missile technology.

Riaz Haq said...

On page 24 of the Non Proliferation Review Fall 1997, author Wyn Bowen writes as follows abut the Indian acquisition of Russian cryogenic engines as follows:

"The (George H.W. Bush)administration's most notable achievement was gaining the Soviet Union's adherence to MTCR in June 1990. Five months later, however,
the Russian Space Agency signed an
agreement to supply cryogenic
rocket engines and the associated
production technology to the Indian
Space Research Organisation
(ISRO). Although Moscow publicly
viewed the deal as consistent with
its pledge to adhere to the MTCR,
the administration perceived it as a
clear violation. This difference of
opinion resulted in the deterioration
of the administration’s missile nonproliferation
dialogue with Moscow.
Although Russia pledged its adherence
to the MTCR following the dissolution
of the Soviet Union,
Glavkosmos and Russia’s KB Salyut
design bureau continued with the deal
to supply the Salyut-designed cryogenic
technology to the Indian SLV
program. As a result, the U.S. administration
imposed sanctions on
the Russian and Indian entities and
subsequently linked Russia’s entry
into the satellite launch market, and
its participation in the international
space station, to the termination of
the ISRO deal.57 However, this approach
did not produce any concrete
results during the final months of the
Bush presidency, primarily because
of the strength of Russia’s military industrial
complex, which did not
want to jeopardize its freedom to
export space launch technology and
tactical missiles.58

Finally, it has emerged that
Russia continued transferring rocket
engine technology to India in 1993
after its agreements with the United
States to refrain from doing so. This
reportedly resulted in the completion
of 60 to 80 percent of the transfers
to India."

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from an interesting post by an Indian blogger Vijainder Thakur at

August 22, 2008 - While Indian defense industry has had little success with indigenous design and development of weapons system (Arjun, LCA) its record with license production has been equally dismal (Hawk trainers, Su-30MKI fighters and T-90S tanks).

It is amazing how after years of 'license production' of weapon systems like Gnats, MiG variants, Jaguars, Vijayanta tanks our defense industry has failed to come up with a product of its own that our defense forces are ready to buy.

Russian newspaper Kommersant, reporting on a deal between India and Rosoboronexport for the license production of Smerch multiple launch rocket system mocks Indian capabilities saying:

"India has had little success with military equipment production, and has had problems producing Russian Su-30MKI fighter jets and T-90S tanks, English Hawk training jets and French Scorpene submarines."

Rosoboronexport, is facilitating the manufacture of the Smerch multiple rocket system both in India and China and the news report hints at the radically different approaches adopted by the two countries towards assisted production.

China first developed an unlicensed analog to Smerch called the A-100 in the 90s. However, they were unable to indigenously develop solid-fuel rocket motor matching those of the Smerch system. So their current deal with Rosoboronexport for Smerch focuses only on the transfer of solid propellant rocket motor technology through Perm Powder Mill.

The Indian deal on the other hand simply entails license production in India. My hunch is it entails no transfer of critical technology.

The Russians will come here set up the plant for us and supply the critical manufacturing machinery. Indian labor and technical management will run the plant which will simply assemble the system. Critical components and the solid propellant rocket motor fuel will still come from Perm Powder Mill. However, bureaucrats in New Delhi and the nation as a whole will be happy. The Smerch system will be proudly paraded on Rajpath every republic day as an indigenous weapon system.

A decade or so down the line, Smerch will get outdated and India will negotiate a new deal with Russia for the license production of a new multiple rocket system for the Indian Army.

Riaz Haq said...

Here is an interesting post by Dinesh Kumar today on his Asian Defense blog.

More than five decades after it began its quest for self-reliance by establishing a series of government-owned defence research and production units, India has been unable to indigenously develop, produce and export any major weapon system. It remains overwhelmingly dependent on foreign vendors for about 70 per cent of its defence requirement, especially for critical military products and high-end defence technology.

India’s defence ministry officially admits to attaining only 30 to 35 per cent self-reliance capability for its defence requirement. But even this figure is suspect given that India’s self-reliance mostly accrues from transfer of technology, license production and foreign consultancy despite considerable investment in time and money.

Although it would be unrealistic to expect any country to be cent percent self-reliant (even the most advanced countries are not), India has not been able to develop any core strength in defence technology to enable it to be placed on the world map, except arguably to a limited extent in missiles and warship design and production.

In contrast, the world’s major and middle-rung military powers, which possess a strong and well-established defence industry and military-industrial complex, are largely self-sufficient in some, if not all, critical cutting edge military technologies. In addition to being major producers of defence technology, these countries are also major exporters of defence equipment, which, in turn, serve as a source of influence in their foreign policy.

This is especially true of all five permanent members of the UN Security Council and also several advanced countries or middle-rung powers such as Israel, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. Even though China is a major importer of defence hardware – it is the second largest recipient (in US dollar value) and has signed the third highest number of transfer agreements of defence equipment among developing countries between 2000 and 2007 – yet at the same time it is self-sufficient in certain key military technologies and emerged as the fifth largest exporter of defence equipment to developing countries between 2000-2007.

In contrast, India’s modest record of producing and exporting weapon systems is evident from the fact that India’s defence annual exports averaged a meagre US$ 88 million between 2006-07 and 2008-09. Imports have also meant infrastructure and product support problems for an Indian Air Force (IAF) fleet that comprises 26 different types of fighter, transport and trainer aircraft and helicopters sourced from at least six different countries.

Riaz Haq said...

The Russian Kommersant has it right when it says: "India has had little success with military equipment production, and has had problems producing Russian Su-30MKI fighter jets and T-90S tanks, English Hawk training jets and French Scorpene submarines."

And here's how blogger Vijainder Thakur sees India's loose meaning of "indigenous" Smerch and other imports:

The Russians will come here set up the plant for us and supply the critical manufacturing machinery. Indian labor and technical management will run the plant which will simply assemble the system. Critical components and the solid propellant rocket motor fuel will still come from Perm Powder Mill. However, bureaucrats in New Delhi and the nation as a whole will be happy. The Smerch system will be proudly paraded on Rajpath every republic day as an indigenous weapon system.

A decade or so down the line, Smerch will get outdated and India will negotiate a new deal with Russia for the license production of a new multiple rocket system for the Indian Army.

China will by then have developed its own follow up system besides having used the solid propellant motors to develop other weapon systems and assist its space research program.

Riaz Haq said...

It appears that Stuxnet worm was designed, developed and released by western and-or Israeli intelligence agencies to sabotage industrial systems at Iranian nuclear facilities. Here's a CNET report:

Iran's official news agency said today that a sophisticated computer worm purportedly designed to disrupt power grids and other such industrial facilities had infected computers at the country's first nuclear-power plant but had not caused any serious damage.

The Stuxnet worm, which some see as heralding a new era of cyberwarfare, appeared in July and was already known to be widespread in Iran. In fact, its high concentration there, along with a delay in the opening of the Bushehr plant, led one security researcher to hypothesize that Stuxnet was created to sabotage Iran's nuclear industry.

In addition to emphasizing the threat posed by the worm, which could be used to remotely seize control of industrial systems, today's news could well add to speculation about Stuxnet, the sophistication of which has caused some to suspect that a nation state, such as Israel or the U.S., might be behind its creation.

The worm exploits three holes in Windows, one of which has been patched, and targets computers running Siemens software used in industrial control systems.

Mahmoud Jafari, the project manager at the Bushehr plant, said the worm "has not caused any damage to major systems of the plant" and that a team was working to remove it from several computers, according to Iran's IRNA news agency, which was cited in a report by the Associated Press.

Jafari said the infection involved the personal computers of several staff members working at Bushehr and would not affect plans to open the nuclear plant in October, the AP reported.

Read more:

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a story "Klashnikov Central" by Nazia Parvez on Darra Adm Khel arms manufacturing cottage industry that makes a variety of arms including Klashnikov AK-47 assault rifles:

According to a popular tale, the origins of Darra's unusual industry date back to the days of the Raj, when the town's craftsmen replicated a rifle stolen from the British by a Punjabi fugitive. The skills were subsequently passed down from one generation to the next, and the manufacture of arms came to be considered an art form.

For much of the 20th century, Darra's arms industry was modest. But when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the entire NWFP became the staging ground for the jihad, or holy war, and large quantifies of weapons were shipped across the border to Afghanistan to arm the Mujahideen resistance. Since then, indigenous manufacturers in the NWFP, and Darra in particular, have continued producing AK-47s--replicas of the fabled Russian assault rifle, the Kalashnikov--as well as an array of other weapons.

Today, there may be as many as 3,000 gun manufacturers in Darra, employing more than 20,000 people--about three quarters of the town's inhabitants. According to the Small Arms Survey, the town produced an incredible 20,000 small arms in 2003. Such is the scale of the industry now that Darra represents one of the largest private arms manufacturers in Asia.

As I walk through the town with my guide Saeed, I find myself getting used to the intermittent crackle of gunfire, and soon it becomes mere background noise.

Above the shops, hand-painted wooden signs depict caricatures of guns. Inside, the merchants sit around casually, waiting patiently for customers; some lounge on mats laid on the bare cement floors. They drink tea, read the newspaper and make idle conversation.

Their simple displays provide a showcase of the latest weaponry. In one shop, lines of AK-47s hang from nails. Rickety cabinets with dusty acrylic panels are crammed full of pistols. A wooden shelf is stacked with boxes of ammunition. These sit unassumingly next to a flute and a pewter vase that holds a knot of gaudy plastic flowers. Near the ceiling, a fading picture of the Kaaba in Mecca sits in a gold frame.

Stepping into the side streets reveals a surreal world in which each stage of production is laid bare. The initial phases take place on the fringes of town, where the raw materials are processed. In an archaic electric mill, a young man nonchalantly operates a saw behind a huge heap of rough-edged timber. And in a house converted into a metal-shop, an old man sits in front of a burning furnace hammering heated steel rods. The thick smoke that belches from the fire has turned his white beard the colour of charcoal and covered the walls with a thick layer of soot. Returning to the street to catch our breath, we pass a warehouse filled with steel rods, their ends conveniently coloured according to their size.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are a few excerpts from a Wall Street Journal story today on China's defense industry advances and exports:

Today, Russia's military bonanza is over, and China's is just beginning.

After decades of importing and reverse-engineering Russian arms, China has reached a tipping point: It now can produce many of its own advanced weapons—including high-tech fighter jets like the Su-27—and is on the verge of building an aircraft carrier.

Not only have Chinese engineers cloned the prized Su-27's avionics and radar but they are fitting it with the last piece in the technological puzzle, a Chinese jet engine.

In the past two years, Beijing hasn't placed a major order from Moscow.

Now, China is starting to export much of this weaponry, undercutting Russia in the developing world, and potentially altering the military balance in several of the world's flash points....

This epochal turnaround was palpable in the Russian pavilion at November's Airshow China in the southern city of Zhuhai. Russia used to be the star of this show, wowing visitors with its "Russian Knights" aerobatic team, showing off fighters, helicopters and cargo planes, and sealing multibillion dollar deals on the sidelines.

This year, it didn't bring a single real aircraft—only a handful of plastic miniatures, tended by a few dozen bored sales staff.

China, by contrast, laid on its biggest commercial display of military technology—almost all based on Russian know-how.

The star guests were the "Sherdils," a Pakistani aerobatic team flying fighter jets that are Russian in origin but are now being produced by Pakistan and China....

That has compounded Russian fears that China has reverse engineered an Su-33 prototype it acquired in 2001 from Ukraine, according to Russian defense experts.

At last year's Dubai Air Show, China demonstrated its L-15 trainer jet for the first time. In June, China made its debut at the Eurosatory arms fair in France.

In July, China demonstrated the JF-17—the fighter developed with Pakistan—for the first time overseas at the Farnborough Airshow in Britain.

China also had one of the biggest pavilions at an arms fair in Capetown in September.

"They're showing up at arms fairs they've never been to before," said Siemon T. Wezeman, an arms trade expert at SIPRI. "Whereas 15 years ago they had nothing really, now they're offering reasonable technology at a reasonable price."

China is generating particular interest among developing countries, especially with the relatively cheap JF-17 fighter with a Russian engine.

The Kremlin has approved the re-export of the engine to Pakistan, as it has no arms business there.

But it was enraged last year when Azerbaijan, an ex-Soviet republic, began talks on buying JF-17s, according to people familiar with the situation...

China's arms exports could have repercussions on regions in conflict around the world. Pakistan inducted its first squadron of Chinese-made fighter jets in February, potentially altering the military balance with India.

Other potential buyers of China's JF-17 fighter jet include Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Venezuela, Nigeria, Morocco and Turkey. In the past, China has also sold fighters to Sudan.

The potential customer of greatest concern to the U.S. is Iran, which purchased about $260 million of weapons from China between 2002-2009, according to Russia's Centre for Analysis of the Global Arms Trade.

In June, China backed U.N. sanctions on Iran, including an expanded arms embargo, but Tehran continues to seek Chinese fighters and other weaponry.

Riaz Haq said...

Here is a piece from Aviation Week on Pakistan Air Force's recent acquisitions:

The Pakistani air force is gearing up for a major expansion of its JF-17 single-engine fighter force.

The service just began taking delivery of the first batch of Chengdu FC-1/JF-17s (now produced in Pakistan) this year, with about half of the 42 ordered now in place. With one squadron operational, service officials now plan to set up a second unit.

What’s more, the Pakistani government hopes to order a second batch of 50 fighters next year, says Air Commo.Junaid, who is involved in the JF-17 project. Pakistan is looking for enhanced features on the second batch, although the exact requirements have not been spelled out.

Both South African and French companies have shown interest in updating the JF-17’s avionics and weapons package. After looking at new candidates, the preferred option appears to be staying with Chinese suppliers, Pakistani officials suggest.

Despite the interest in enhancement, Junaid notes that the avionics package fielded on the baseline JF-17 has been one of the positive surprises. They have performed “better than expected,” he says, and pilot transition to the new aircraft has proceeded smoothly. And operations in the high mountain regions have not posed a problem, he asserts.

Fleet development is still at a relatively early stage, though. The focus so far has been on familiarizing pilots and maintenance crew with the new equipment. Preparations are underway to fully qualify crews for air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. Full operational capability is not far off, Junaid notes, adding that progress is much better than when the air force introduced its F-16A/B Block 15s in the early 1980s.

In parallel, the service has been taking delivery of the newest batch of Lockheed Martin F-16s in the Block 52 configuration. The last of these aircraft were delivered to the Shahbaz Air Base on Dec. 13. The air force has fielded 12 F-16Cs and six F-16Ds under the so-called Peace Drive I program.

The Pakistani air force argues that the precision strike features of the latest F-16s is bolstering operations in the contested border region with Afghanistan, such as South Waziristan, and the federally administered tribal areas.

The service also is awaiting completion of the ZDK-03 airborne early warning aircraft, which was rolled out last month at Hanzhong, China. The 2008 contract calls for delivery of four systems.

Meanwhile, fielding all the equipment is forcing the service to rethink its operational concepts, particularly regarding how to employ the various new tools in an integrated fashion, Junaid says.

Pakistan also continues to work on enhancing its unmanned aircraft inventory. It is already operating the Italian Selex Galileo Falco, but Italy has apparently been reluctant to allow the arming of that UAV. As a result, Pakistan is now acquiring armed CH-3s from China, which are still in development.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Times of India report on Tejas operaional clearance today:

BANGALORE: After a tortuous journey of 27 years, with over 1,500 flight-tests and almost 3,000% jump in overall developmental costs, the much-touted but long-delayed Tejas Light Combat Aircraft has finally taken the first step towards induction as a supersonic fighter into IAF.

Amid much fanfare and back-slapping, defence minister A K Antony handed over the Tejas initial operational clearance (IOC) certificate to IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik at a ceremony here on Monday.

The IOC basically means that the largely homegrown fighter is now fully airworthy, in its initial configuration, to be flown by IAF pilots but not all weapon and other systems have been fully integrated into the platform. That will happen only by December 2012 when the single-engine, multi-role fighter gets the final operational clearance (FOC).

"Today is a historic day...A state-of-the-art indigenous combat aircraft will go a long way in enhancing national security,'' said Antony, showering praise on the entire LCA team led by Aeronautical Development Agency, Defence Research and Development Organisation and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.

The euphoria was somewhat justified, given that the supersonic fighter has been built from scratch in a country with an extremely poor defence-industrial base and in the face of international sanctions for several years.

But there has to be a reality check, even if it seems harsh. Even Antony admitted that Tejas had reached just "the semi-final stage'' at this point. As was first reported by TOI earlier, the overall developmental cost of the Tejas project, including the naval variant and trainer, has zoomed up to Rs 17,269 crore from the initial Rs 560 crore earmarked for it in 1983. With each Tejas to cost around Rs 200 crore over and above this, India will end up spending well over Rs 25,000 crore on the programme.

Moreover, the real induction of the first 40 Tejas jets will begin only towards end-2013, with the first two squadrons becoming fully operational at the Sulur airbase (Tamil Nadu) by 2015 or so, a full three decades after the LCA project was first sanctioned to replace the ageing MiG-21s.

That's not all. The first test-flight of the Tejas Mark-II version, with more powerful American GE F-414 engines, will be possible only by December 2014, with its production beginning in June 2016. And even then, the Tejas will just be a medium to low-end fighter, not a high-end air dominance one.

ACM Naik, in fact, described Tejas as a "MiG-21 plus-plus'', and made it clear that it was not even a fourth-generation fighter at present but would be in the future, indicating it will primarily be used to plug the gap in numbers.

Consequently, India's frontline combat fighters will the 270 Russian-origin Sukhoi-30MKIs already being inducted for around $12 billion, the 126 new medium multi-role combat aircraft to be acquired in the $10.4 billion MMRCA project and the 250 to 300 fifth-generation fighter aircraft to be built with Russia in the gigantic $35 billion project.

Yes, there is no getting away from the critical fact that India has to be self-reliant in military hardware and software if it wants to emerge as a superpower on the global stage. But the Tejas saga puts serious question marks on the defence indigenisation model being followed.

The fighter, for instance, is still only around 60% indigenous despite being 27 years in the making. It, for example, is powered by American GE engines, with the indigenous Kaveri engine failing to pass muster despite Rs 2,839 crore being spent on it since 1989.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are recent 2011 updates on Pakistan's defense imports as reported by

March 1/11: Aviation Week reports that Pakistan is in negotiations with the U.S. to get more Lockheed Martin F-16s over and above the 63 currently in service (18 F-16C/D Block 52, 45 F-16A/B Blocck 15/OCU that will be upgraded). No numbers have been specified, by Pakistani officials see it as part of a dual-track strategy that will also include more spending on domestic projects like the JF-17 Thunder, to improve Pakistan’s own manufacturing capacity.

At present, PAF Air Chief Marshall Rao Qamar Suleman says that 4 F-16A/Bs went to the USA for technical verification inspections and upgrade kit development, and the 1st 3 F-16A/Bs are now undergoing the upgrade at Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). All of Pakistan’s F-16s are expected to be upgraded by 2013-2014. At present, no systems exist that would bridge the F-16 and JF-17 fleets, but Air Chief Marshall Suleman says that Pakistan intends to eventually field a supplementary datalink, which would work alongside the Link 16 systems carried by the F-16s.

The comments come as the Pakistani military is also discussing a deal to buy Chinese submarines as a supplement to their French Agosta-class boats, as an intended prelude to joint submarine development. These plans are all being made against a backdrop of a serious domestic insurgency and widespread flooding damage, which have combined to create over 1 million internal refugees, and threaten the government’s medium term ability to maintain control of the country. Even as the state is very obviously fraying in other ways.

Jan 20/11: Goodrich Corporation of Chelmsford, MA receives a $71.9 million contract for 5 DB-110 Pods, 2 datalink upgrades to existing pods, 2 fixed ground stations, 1 mobile ground station, and 4 ground station datalink receiver kits, plus initial spares, technical manuals, minimal initial engineering support for final in-country installation, integration, testing and a study for a potential fusion center. This supports Pakistani F-16 aircraft. At this time, $17.3 million has been committed by the ASC/WINK at Wright-Patterson Air Force, OH on behalf of their Foreign Military Sale client (FA8620-11-C-3006).

The DB-110 reconnaissance pod offers day and night capabilities, and has been ordered by a number of F-16 customers, including Egypt, Greece, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, and the UAE. DB-110s were not mentioned in the DSCA upgrade requests, but they are clearly part of that effort now. Reports indicate that installations began in June 2010; this is apparently a follow-on order. A Jan 12/11 US FedBizOpps solicitation for associated imagery analysis training is a useful reminder that buying the pods is not enough to field a useful capability. See also Aviation Week re: DB-110.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an assessment of PAF capabilities by an IAF leader as reported by Indian Express:

Terming US arms aid to Pakistan as a challenge, India on Friday said the latest F-16s, missiles and munition being supplied to Pakistan Air Force (PAF) could "reduce the technological gap" with the IAF.

"It (US arms aid) is certainly a challenge, no doubt about that," IAF's Western Air Command chief Air Marshal N A K Browne told a press conference here.

"Earlier the difference of assets was a certain amount. But their acquisitions have seen to have reduced (the gap) between the PAF and IAF in terms of capability of their aircraft, Beyond Visual Range missile systems, day and night operations and precision guided munitions," Browne said.

He was replying to questions on the US arms aid to Pakistan including F-16s purportedly for counter-terrorism operations along its Afghanistan border.

"There are things actually that tend to reduce the gap. Pakistan is catching up with the IAF, which has always had an edge in terms of its size and platforms. But I don't think so (that PAF would match the IAF in the future)," he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's how India and Pakistan stack up as arms importers, as reported by SIPRI:

"India is the world's largest arms importer," the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said as it released its latest report on trends in the international arms trade.

"India received nine percent of the volume of international arms transfers during 2006-10, with Russian deliveries accounting for 82 percent of Indian arms imports," it said.

Its arms imports jumped 21 percent from the previous five-year-period with 71 percent of its orders being for aircraft.

India's arms purchases were driven by several factors, said Siemon Wezeman of SIPRI'S Arms Transfers Programme.

"The most often cited relate to rivalries with Pakistan and China as well as internal security challenges," he wrote.

China and South Korea held joint second place on the list of global arms imports, each with six percent, followed by Pakistan, on five percent.

Aircraft accounted for 45 percent of Pakistan's arms imports, which had bought warplanes from both China and the United States. Pakistan's arms imports were up 128 percent on the previous five-year period, SIPRI noted.

Greece rounded off the top-five list arms importers, with four percent of global imports.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Defense News story on how Pakistan plans to counter India's ABMs:

ISLAMABAD - In response to India's pursuit of missile defenses, Pakistan has expanded its countermeasure efforts, primarily through development of maneuvering re-entry vehicles. The Army Strategic Forces Command, which controls Pakistan's ballistic missiles, has since at least 2004 said it wanted to develop such warheads; analysts now believe these are in service.

Mansoor Ahmed, lecturer at the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies at Islamabad's Quaid-e-Azam University, said that in addition to maneuverable warheads, multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) may be developed to stay ahead of India's "multilayered ballistic-missile defense system" and potential future countermeasures.

"This, coupled with submarine-launched, nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, would ensure the survivability of its nuclear deterrent and enhance the effectiveness of its missile force that can beat any Indian defenses," he said.
He (Harsh Pant) further explained, "A missile defense system would help India blunt Pakistan's 'first use' nuclear force posture that had led Pakistan to believe that it had inhibited India from launching a conventional attack against it for fear of its escalation to the nuclear level. With a missile defense system in place, India would be able to restore the status quo ante, thereby making a conventional military option against Pakistan potent again."Such a missile defense system and a second-strike capability "would enhance the uncertainties of India's potential adversaries, regardless of the degree of effectiveness of missile interception, and would act as a disincentive to their resort to nuclear weapons," he said.

Asked whether Pakistan's countermeasures would be effective against such ABM systems, Pant replied, "most definitely."

He said, "According to various reports, Pakistan has been developing MIRV capability for the Shaheen-II ballistic missiles and [the] Shaheen-III missile is under development."
"Although the current capability of Pakistani missiles is built around radar seekers, the integration of re-entry vehicles would make these extremely potent and defeat the anti-ballistic missile defense systems. This would be especially true of Indian aircraft carriers that would become extremely vulnerable," he said.
Analysts have for years speculated that the Navy will equip its submarines with a variant of the Babur cruise missile armed with a nuclear warhead. However, whether a cruise-missile-based arm of the nuclear triad at sea would be effective and survivable in the face of Indian air defenses is uncertain.
When this was put to analyst Usman Shabbir of the Pakistan Military Consortium think tank, he said the interception of cruise missiles is not so simple."I think Babur will form the sea-based arm of the Pakistani nuclear deterrent" he said, "but the problem in targeting subsonic cruise missiles is that they are harder to detect due to their lower radar cross-signature, low-level navigation, and use of waypoints to circumvent more secure and heavily defended areas."

"By the time you detect them, there is not much time left to vector aircraft for interception."

However, Shabbir conceded it would be possible for an airborne interceptor to shoot down a missile like Babur. "An aircraft already on [patrol] might be lucky to pick it up on its own radar well in advance [if looking in the correct direction], or vectored to it by ground-based radar."

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a recent report from on Pakistan's cluster bomb capability:

Pakistan states that it has “never used cluster munitions in any conflict to date.”

Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) produces and offers for export M483A1 155mm artillery projectiles containing 88 M42/M46 dual purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) grenades. The South Korean company Poongsan entered into a licensed production agreement with POF in November 2004 to co-produce K-310 155mm extended-range DPICM projectiles in Pakistan at Wah Cantonment. While the ammunition is being produced for Pakistan’s army, the two firms have said they will also co-market the projectiles to export customers. The Pakistani army took delivery of the first production lots in April 2008.

Jane’s Information Group reports that the Pakistan Air Weapons Center produces the Programmable Submunitions Dispenser (PSD-1), which is similar to the United States Rockeye cluster bomb, and dispenses 225 anti-armor submunitions. Jane’s states that the Pakistan National Development Complex produces and markets the Hijara Top-Attack Submunitions Dispenser (TSD-1) cluster bomb. It lists Pakistan’s Air Force as possessing BL-755 cluster bombs. The US transferred to Pakistan 200 Rockeye cluster bombs at some point between 1970 and 1995.

India has recently acquired 500 cluster bombs from the US, according to media reports.

Riaz Haq said...

Reports by Reuters news agency suggest that US is offering to sell drones to Pakistan:

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - The United States will provide Pakistan with 85 small "Raven" drone aircraft, a U.S. military official told Reuters, a key step to addressing Islamabad's calls for access to U.S. drone technology.

The official, speaking on Thursday on condition of anonymity, declined to disclose the cost of the non-lethal, short-range surveillance aircraft, which are manufactured by the U.S.-based AeroVironment Inc.

A company spokesman said the Raven is used by U.S. allies including Italy, Spain and Norway and is one of the most widely utilized unmanned aircraft in the world.

The disclosure is another sign of growing U.S. military assistance to Pakistan, a crucial if often tense ally in the U.S. fight against al Qaeda and insurgents attacking U.S. forces in neighboring Afghanistan.
The Raven, according to the company website, has a wingspan of just 1.4 meters (4.5 feet) and a weight of 1.9 kilos (4.2 pounds). It can deliver real-time color or infrared imagery, giving troops on the ground an edge on the battlefield.

A senior U.S. defense official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Raven drone order is separate from U.S. plans to offer Pakistan much larger, longer-range surveillance drones, a proposition put forward by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates during a visit to Pakistan in January 2010.

That offer delighted Islamabad at the time but Pakistani officials say those talks have been held up over complaints about the cost proposed by Washington and a slow timeline for delivery.

The defense official suggested those talks were nearing conclusion.

"We're in final discussions about which one they really want. They think they want the Shadow," the senior defense official said.

Gates had originally offered Pakistan 12 Shadow drones, manufactured by AAI Corporation, a unit of Textron Systems.

They are not the weaponized versions being used by the CIA to track and kill al Qaeda and Taliban insurgents in Pakistan but are used strictly for surveillance and intelligence gathering.

Riaz Haq said...

It is alleged that Pakistan learned from the American BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile that crashed in Pakistani territory during a US attack on Bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1998. Now there are reports of US helicopter stealth tech in Pakistani hands after the Abbottabad raid:

Despite the crash of one of the U.S.'s Black Hawk stealth helicopters, the aircraft which had previously been a well-kept secret may have been key to the success of the raid that led to Osama bin Laden’s death.

One of the helicopters was blown apart during the assault, but photographs of the tail section that remained in Pakistan show modifications to quiet noise and reduce chances of radar detection.

The New York Times reports that people in the helicopter industry said the rear section looked nothing like the tail of a regular Black Hawk helicopter. They said it looked like the Black Hawk had added some of the features of the proposed stealth helicopter Comanche, which was canceled by the Pentagon in 2004.

Another reported that the downed helicopter had five or six blades in its tail rotor, as opposed to the usual four in a Black Hawk. That may have permitted operators to slow the rotor speed and reduce the familiar chop-chop sound made by most helicopters.

Daniel Goure, a defense specialist at the Lexington Institute think tank, said the helicopter crash may have been caused by the unusual aerodynamics which came from the aircraft's modifications.

"It could be much more difficult to fly at slow speed and landing than you would expect from a typical Black Hawk," Goure said to the Huffington Post.

It had been thought that the Navy SEAL teams in the attack had used modified MH-60 Black Hawk or Sea Hawk helicopters in the raid of the compound.

Mail Online reports the Black Hawk has a crew of three or four and can carry 11 soldiers prepared for combat. It first began flying in 1978.

It has been alleged that during the killing of bin Laden, the SEALS involved were able to use the Air Force's secretive RQ-170 pilot-less drone, which has been known as 'The Beast of Kandahar'.

Riaz Haq said...

US designing new creatures to join predator drones, according to NY Times:

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — Two miles from the cow pasture where the Wright Brothers learned to fly the first airplanes, military researchers are at work on another revolution in the air: shrinking unmanned drones, the kind that fire missiles into Pakistan and spy on insurgents in Afghanistan, to the size of insects and birds.

The base’s indoor flight lab is called the “microaviary,” and for good reason. The drones in development here are designed to replicate the flight mechanics of moths, hawks and other inhabitants of the natural world. “We’re looking at how you hide in plain sight,” said Greg Parker, an aerospace engineer, as he held up a prototype of a mechanical hawk that in the future might carry out espionage or kill.


From blimps to bugs, an explosion in aerial drones is transforming the way America fights and thinks about its wars. Predator drones, the Cessna-sized workhorses that have dominated unmanned flight since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, are by now a brand name, known and feared around the world. But far less widely known are the sheer size, variety and audaciousness of a rapidly expanding drone universe, along with the dilemmas that come with it.

The Pentagon now has some 7,000 aerial drones, compared with fewer than 50 a decade ago. Within the next decade the Air Force anticipates a decrease in manned aircraft but expects its number of “multirole” aerial drones like the Reaper — the ones that spy as well as strike — to nearly quadruple, to 536. Already the Air Force is training more remote pilots, 350 this year alone, than fighter and bomber pilots combined.


A Tsunami of Data

The future world of drones is here inside the Air Force headquarters at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., where hundreds of flat-screen TVs hang from industrial metal skeletons in a cavernous room, a scene vaguely reminiscent of a rave club. In fact, this is one of the most sensitive installations for processing, exploiting and disseminating a tsunami of information from a global network of flying sensors.

The numbers are overwhelming: Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the hours the Air Force devotes to flying missions for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance have gone up 3,100 percent, most of that from increased operations of drones. Every day, the Air Force must process almost 1,500 hours of full-motion video and another 1,500 still images, much of it from Predators and Reapers on around-the-clock combat air patrols.

The pressures on humans will only increase as the military moves from the limited “soda straw” views of today’s sensors to new “Gorgon Stare” technology that can capture live video of an entire city — but that requires 2,000 analysts to process the data feeds from a single drone, compared with 19 analysts per drone today.

At Wright-Patterson, Maj. Michael L. Anderson, a doctoral student at the base’s advanced navigation technology center, is focused on another part of the future: building wings for a drone that might replicate the flight of the hawk moth, known for its hovering skills. “It’s impressive what they can do,” Major Anderson said, “compared to what our clumsy aircraft can do.”

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Navy Pilotless Drone Aircraft Crashes Near Karachi, according to Bernama:

KARACHI, July 19 (Bernama) -- A Pakistani navy pilotless drone crashed near an oil refinery after hitting a bird in the country's largest city of Karachi on Tuesday,the navy said.

A spokesman said that there were no casualties and that the drone had been on a surveillance flight when a bird accidentally flew into the aircraft and it came down in the Karachi suburbs.

The aircraft burst into flames after hitting the ground but the flames were extinguished after a short while, reported China's Xinhua news agency on Tuesday.

It was the third aircraft crash in Karachi in eight months.

Pakistan is developing its own drone technology for surveillance and reconnaissance missions because the United States, which is running a bombing campaign with drones in the country's northwest, refuses to give Pakistan the technology.

Two companies in Islamabad, Satuma and East West Infiniti, make drones for the Pakistani military. It is not known if the crashed drone belonged to either company.

China's Xinhua news agency, citing local press reports, that the aircraft crashed in the highly sensitive area where three major oil storages are located.

Rescue teams were sent to the area to check if anyone was hurt on the ground, police said, adding that the fire fighters rescue team were called to control the blaze after some time, police said.

The police sources earlier said they were investigating if it was an act of terrorism as it crashed in the sensitive no-fly zone due to big oil storages.

Riaz Haq said...

The first squadron of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) has been formally inducted into the Pakistan Navy fleet, according to The Express Tribune:

The induction ceremony was held at Pakistan Navy Mehran airbase in Karachi. The indigenously developed drones can be employed in support of Maritime Interdiction Operation (MIO) in the coastal areas.

Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Noman Bashir congratulated everyone involved in the UQAB-II programme and expressed satisfaction on the induction of UAVs. He said the induction was a manifestation of the navy’s commitment and resolve towards self-reliance and indigenization.

Earlier, a UAV of the Pakistan Navy had crashed inside the premises of the National Oil Refinery in Korangi.

Officially, Pakistan Navy had stated that the ill-fated UAV was a “small remote-controlled aircraft” on a “routine mission” that crashed when it “hit an eagle” during mid flight between 9:30 and 10 am. Officials said that the aircraft had a wing span of around 10 feet which is typically used for target practice. One spokesperson said that the aircraft was almost ‘toy like’ and nothing serious had occurred.

However, sources within Pakistan Navy and the local drone manufacturing industry told The Express Tribune that the pilotless aircraft was a mid range tactical UAV called the Uqaab, which is typically used for surveillance missions.

The locally-manufactured Uqaab has a wing span of about 20 feet, weighs more than 200kgs and its 550cc engine runs on gasoline.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an interesting excerpt of Peter Singer's Brookings' article on war fighting robots:

One US Air Force general has predicted that conflicts in the near future will involve “tens of thousands” of robots – and not the robots of today. The current Packbots and Predators are just the first generation of battlefield robots; they are like the Model T Ford or the Wright brothers’ Flyer when compared to the prototypes already under development. Much as the earliest designs for the automobile and the aeroplane spread rapidly around the globe, so too is the revolution in military robotics. 44 countries are building robot systems today, including the UK, France, Russia, China, Israel, Iran and the UAE
The reason is that while we most often focus on the narrative of collateral damage in discussions of these drone strikes, our interpretations are not only shaped by whether civilians get in the way or not. There is something more at work. The meaning of these strikes – and the battle to define their morality and efficacy – cuts to the heart of the narratives by which each side in the “war on terror” defines itself.

The most basic rationale for the use of unmanned systems is to reduce the user’s risk of casualties: American commanders I have interviewed reflexively cite this as the most important benefit of the new technology. As one soldier put it: “When a robot dies, you don’t have to write a letter to its mother.”

But as Peter Feaver, a Duke University professor turned Bush Administration National Security Council adviser, asks: “What is Osama bin Laden’s fundamental premise if not the belief that killing some Americans will drive our country to its knees?”

The conflicts now raging in places like Iraq and Afghanistan are being fought by combatants with vastly different understandings of war, the role of the warrior and the meaning of sacrifice. ....
It is for this reason that completely different interpretations are made of the same act. To some, a person who blows themselves up along with a hotel full of civilians is a shaheed carrying out a noble act of jihad. To others, that same person is a fanatical murderer committing an ignoble act of barbarity. Similarly, a pilot who uses a drone to strike with precision from thousands of miles away may see himself as a warrior fighting in full respect of the international laws of war. But 7,000 miles away that very same pilot is described by others as a coward engaging in an act of “heartless terrorism”, as the lyrics of a Pakistani pop song put it.

The use of unmanned systems may therefore provide the most graphic illustration of the “war of ideas” that underpins much of the conflict currently underway. The very value of robots in war is their ability to diminish human loss for the side using them: they are the ultimate means of avoiding sacrifice. But the side that turns to robots is fighting against those who see death as something to be celebrated, and not merely for themselves, but also for those around them. The loss of civilians to a member of al Qa’eda is not something to be lamented or apologised for, but viewed as a victory. So, with the growing use of remote technologies and terrorism, the warriors of the two sides meet less and less in battle – whether actual combat or the battle of ideologies. Each side has its own worldview, but it is one that the other side views as not only irrational, but also contemptible.

Thus, when we bring together those who fight with robotics and those who see themselves as martyrs targeted by them, a powerful irony is revealed. For all our growing use of machines in war, our humanity remains at the centre of it. The dilemmas of modern warfare may seem to be driven by technological advances, but they are rooted in our all too human politics and psychology. If we want to understand the impact of using robots to wage war, we should really look within ourselves.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's some info on Pakistan's C4I efforts at Air Weapons Complex (AWC) according to a post on

The Air Defense Automation System has been indigenously developed by Air Weapons Complex (AWC). The designed system collects information from all Air Defense sensors and radars, processes it, converts it into a standard format and displays it in real time at any desired location. The system architecture is independent of space, time and communication medium. The Command and Control System provides an environment for multiple functions to operate on the same hardware platform and share data via a Local Area Network (LAN) or a Wide Area Network (WAN).

The System allows the Commander to a view a fused picture of his complete Area Of Responsibility (AOR). It is a compilation of data from all Air Defense sensors, combined with battle plan, projection overlays, and any other data that is available, including:
current locations and planned movement operations of ground, maritime and air units of friendly, neutral, and enemy forces
generated features and projections (e.g. battle plans, operating zones)

Our engineers work closely with the customers to provide them customized, open, flexible and cost-effective solutions to their Air Defense Automation System requirements. AWC provides comprehensive Integrated Logistic Support (ILS) throughout the life cycle of the System.

Seamless integration with C4I systems.
Network centric design allowing self-forming and self-healing network (user can enter or leave the network dynamically).
Complete Air Situation Display (ASD).
User friendly and compact Graphical User Interface.
The System can be operated in different modes (Operator, Commander etc.)
Personnel training under simulation mode.
Scenario recording and replay facility.
Communication with lower and higher command centers.
Advanced GIS support.
Multiple layer architecture (Display of multiple maps).
Map features e.g. map loading, map editing, map color changing etc.
Preset and programmable zoom buttons.
Display of Latitude/Longitude, Georef and Grid System.
True battlefield scenario support.
Display of track history during interception operation. User can switch on/off history of track.
Track symbol indicating its category.
Track type indicates the threat status of the track.
Tactical interception aids available.
Radar on/off option.
Aircraft Plot Suppression Area (PSA).
Non-automatic track initiation area.
Weapons (SAM/AAA) status monitoring.
Use of commercial technologies.
Ergonomically designed Command and Control Console.
Easy maintenance.

AWC's Multi Radar Tracker (MRT) uses state-of-the-art tracking algorithms to detect and track all modern, fast and highly maneuverable targets, hence forming an integral part of C4I and Air Defense Automation System. It works effectively in high clutter environments and displays real time information for any command & control function. It can handle 2000 plots and 1000 tracks. This capability can be further enhanced due to scalable design of the Tracker. It can be integrated simultaneously with homogenous and heterogeneous radars.

The Tracker automatically initiates and reliably tracks maneuvering targets. The tracks initiation and maneuvering detection is enhanced with multiple sensors. The trackers update the display information at a high rate to form a true, accurate and complete Air Situation Display (ASD) for all air-defense and air-traffic control operations....

Riaz Haq said...

A computer virus has infected the cockpits of America’s Predator and Reaper drones, logging pilots’ every keystroke as they remotely fly missions over Afghanistan and other warzones, according to Wired magazine:

The virus, first detected nearly two weeks ago by the military’s Host-Based Security System, has not prevented pilots at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada from flying their missions overseas. Nor have there been any confirmed incidents of classified information being lost or sent to an outside source. But the virus has resisted multiple efforts to remove it from Creech’s computers, network security specialists say. And the infection underscores the ongoing security risks in what has become the U.S. military’s most important weapons system.

“We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back,” says a source familiar with the network infection, one of three that told Danger Room about the virus. “We think it’s benign. But we just don’t know.”

Military network security specialists aren’t sure whether the virus and its so-called “keylogger” payload were introduced intentionally or by accident; it may be a common piece of malware that just happened to make its way into these sensitive networks. The specialists don’t know exactly how far the virus has spread. But they’re sure that the infection has hit both classified and unclassified machines at Creech. That raises the possibility, at least, that secret data may have been captured by the keylogger, and then transmitted over the public internet to someone outside the military chain of command.

Drones have become America’s tool of choice in both its conventional and shadow wars, allowing U.S. forces to attack targets and spy on its foes without risking American lives. Since President Obama assumed office, a fleet of approximately 30 CIA-directed drones have hit targets in Pakistan more than 230 times; all told, these drones have killed more than 2,000 suspected militants and civilians, according to the Washington Post. More than 150 additional Predator and Reaper drones, under U.S. Air Force control, watch over the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. American military drones struck 92 times in Libya between mid-April and late August. And late last month, an American drone killed top terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki — part of an escalating unmanned air assault in the Horn of Africa and southern Arabian peninsula.

But despite their widespread use, the drone systems are known to have security flaws. Many Reapers and Predators don’t encrypt the video they transmit to American troops on the ground. In the summer of 2009, U.S. forces discovered “days and days and hours and hours” of the drone footage on the laptops of Iraqi insurgents. A $26 piece of software allowed the militants to capture the video.

The lion’s share of U.S. drone missions are flown by Air Force pilots stationed at Creech, a tiny outpost in the barren Nevada desert, 20 miles north of a state prison and adjacent to a one-story casino. In a nondescript building, down a largely unmarked hallway, is a series of rooms, each with a rack of servers and a “ground control station,” or GCS. There, a drone pilot and a sensor operator sit in their flight suits in front of a series of screens. In the pilot’s hand is the joystick, guiding the drone as it soars above Afghanistan, Iraq, or some other battlefield.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a NY Times report on US plans to use cyber warfare against Libya and Pakistan:

The Obama administration is revving up the nation’s digital capabilities, while publicly emphasizing only its efforts to defend vital government, military and public infrastructure networks.

“We don’t want to be the ones who break the glass on this new kind of warfare,” said James Andrew Lewis, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he specializes in technology and national security.

That reluctance peaked during planning for the opening salvos of the Libya mission, and it was repeated on a smaller scale several weeks later, when military planners suggested a far narrower computer-network attack to prevent Pakistani radars from spotting helicopters carrying Navy Seal commandos on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden on May 2.

Again, officials decided against it. Instead, specially modified, radar-evading Black Hawk helicopters ferried the strike team, and a still-secret stealthy surveillance drone was deployed.

“These cybercapabilities are still like the Ferrari that you keep in the garage and only take out for the big race and not just for a run around town, unless nothing else can get you there,” said one Obama administration official briefed on the discussions.

The debate about a potential cyberattack against Libya was described by more than a half-dozen officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the classified planning.

In the days ahead of the American-led airstrikes to take down Libya’s integrated air-defense system, a more serious debate considered the military effectiveness — and potential legal complications — of using cyberattacks to blind Libyan radars and missiles.

“They were seriously considered because they could cripple Libya’s air defense and lower the risk to pilots, but it just didn’t pan out,” said a senior Defense Department official.

After a discussion described as thorough and never vituperative, the cyberwarfare proposals were rejected before they reached the senior political levels of the White House.

Gen. Carter F. Ham, the head of the military’s Africa Command, which led the two-week American air campaign against Libya until NATO assumed full control of the operation on March 31, would not comment on any proposed cyberattacks. In an interview, he said only that “no capability that I ever asked for was denied.”

Senior officials said one of the central reasons a cyberoffensive was rejected for Libya was that it might not have been ready for use in time, given that the rebel city of Benghazi was on the verge of being overrun by government forces.

While popular fiction and films depict cyberattacks as easy to mount — only a few computer keystrokes needed — in reality it takes significant digital snooping to identify potential entry points and susceptible nodes in a linked network of communications systems, radars and missiles like that operated by the Libyan government, and then to write and insert the proper poisonous codes.

“It’s the cyberequivalent of fumbling around in the dark until you find the doorknob,” Mr. Lewis said. “It takes time to find the vulnerabilities. Where is the thing that I can exploit to disrupt the network?”

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Express Tribune story about Pakistan's first tablet computer offered by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC):

The newest entrant in the market for tablets and eBook readers – dominated by the likes of Apple, Amazon and Samsung – is none other than the Pakistani military.

The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra, whose self-described mission is “to produce and support weapon systems for a high state of operational readiness of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF)”, has started up a new commercial venture with a Chinese company, which an official told The Express Tribune was to “strengthen the national economy”.

The first three products produced by PAC are a computing tablet, a notebook and an eBook reader.

A press release issued at the launch of the project on December 29 notes that “for the joint production of JF-17, PAF had established sufficient facilities which are appropriate for the production of both defence and commercial products.”

The PAC official, who asked not to be named, told The Express Tribune that the joint venture with the Chinese company Innavtek had taken off with the initial offering of three products. “We plan to expand this in the future.”

The venture website,, states that “Innavtek jointly developed two products with Avionics Production Factory which are successfully flying on fleet of our JF-17 aircraft and three more products are under co development phase.”

The official said that while PAC would manufacture the products, marketing was Innavtek’s responsibility.

He said the products were initially being marketed in Rawalpindi, but modalities needed to be finalised so it could expand to other cities including Lahore and Karachi. “We will get in touch with courier companies to see if we can reach a deal to transport them,” he said.

The competitively priced products, he said, have several benefits because they are being manufactured in Kamra. “It comes with a joint one-year warranty of PAC and Innavtek. Because PAC is producing it, it will ensure quality. We will also provide backup support,” the official said. In the first stage of this venture, PAC will manufacture the products locally but there are plans for an exchange of personnel to be trained in China and Pakistan respectively.

PAC’s plan to “strengthen the national economy” via its new commercial venture means it has to capitalise on “current trends”.

Jehan Ara, the president of the Pakistan Software Houses Association (PASHA), said she was unaware of the venture. She was skeptical that customers would buy PAC’s products just because they were manufactured by the Pakistani military. “People with a fixed budget will test products, read reviews and get recommendations from friends and then buy something. They don’t buy just because of a name. They will test it out of curiosity and put up reviews etc.” She also said governments around the world and in Pakistan buy computers from vendors based on pricing and reliability, and should not be forced to buy from a specific vendor.

Riaz Haq said...

The prices for Pakistan's PAC (Pakistan Aeronautical Complex) computers range from Rs. 8,000 for PAC eBook reader tablet, to Rs. 15,000 for PAC PAD 1 tablet and Rs. 23,500 for PAC nBook.

Check out for specs more details.

Here's a link to a video about Pakistan Aeronautical Complex products.

Riaz Haq said...

If the past is any guide, it's quite safe to assume that Pakistan will continue to effectively respond to all military threats to its security and assert its power it nukes, missiles, satellites, fighter jets, drones, nuke subs, etc. Talking about India's nuke sub, it's just a matter of time before Pakistan launches its own nuclear subs to complete the nuclear triad. Let there be no doubt on this point.

When it comes to eating grass to build nukes, all of the available data from international sources shows that many Indians can't even find grass to eat, as hundreds of millions of Indians go to bed hungry every night.

Here's a quote from Times of India poking fun at the superpower claim:

With 21% of its population undernourished, nearly 44% of under-5 children underweight and 7% of them dying before they reach five years, India is firmly established among the world's most hunger-ridden countries. The situation is better than only Congo, Chad, Ethiopia or Burundi, but it is worse than Sudan, North Korea, Pakistan or Nepal.

Today India has 213 million hungry and malnourished people by GHI estimates although the UN agency Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) puts the figure at around 230 million. The difference is because FAO uses only the standard calorie intake formula for measuring sufficiency of food while the Hunger Index is based on broader criteria.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a DefenseNews report on Pakistan's rumored nuclear submarine project:

...Mansoor Ahmed, a lecturer at Islamabad’s Quaid-e-Azam University who specializes
in nonconventional weapons and missiles, believes the reports are the result of a
calculated leak by the Navy, and that a message may be being sent to India.

“This news … appears to be some kind of signaling to the Indians seeing as they are taking delivery of a new nuclear-powered
submarine from the Russians as well as their own Arihant Class SSBN,” he said.

“So Pakistan is signaling to the Indians that they are mindful of these developments and taking due measures in response.”

Ahmed said he has for some time believed Pakistan was working on a nuclear propulsion system for submarine applications and that Pakistan already has a functional submarine launched variant of
the Babur cruise missile.

The Babur cruise missile is very similar to the U.S. BGM-109 Tomahawk, and perhaps derives at least some technology from Tomahawks which crashed in Pakistan
during U.S. strikes on al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan in 1998. It can be armed with conventional or nuclear

Ahmed believes Pakistan is now gearing up to build its own SSN/SSGN flotilla as a way
of deterring India and maintaining the strategic balance in South Asia.

However, in the long term in order to fully ensure the credibility of its deterrent Ahmed said he believes Pakistan should
build ballistic missile submarines.|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a DefenseNews report on Pakistan's rumored nuclear submarine project:

...Mansoor Ahmed, a lecturer at Islamabad’s Quaid-e-Azam University who specializes
in nonconventional weapons and missiles, believes the reports are the result of a
calculated leak by the Navy, and that a message may be being sent to India.

“This news … appears to be some kind of signaling to the Indians seeing as they are taking delivery of a new nuclear-powered
submarine from the Russians as well as their own Arihant Class SSBN,” he said.

“So Pakistan is signaling to the Indians that they are mindful of these developments and taking due measures in response.”

Ahmed said he has for some time believed Pakistan was working on a nuclear propulsion system for submarine applications and that Pakistan already has a functional submarine launched variant of
the Babur cruise missile.

The Babur cruise missile is very similar to the U.S. BGM-109 Tomahawk, and perhaps derives at least some technology from Tomahawks which crashed in Pakistan
during U.S. strikes on al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan in 1998. It can be armed with conventional or nuclear

Ahmed believes Pakistan is now gearing up to build its own SSN/SSGN flotilla as a way
of deterring India and maintaining the strategic balance in South Asia.

However, in the long term in order to fully ensure the credibility of its deterrent Ahmed said he believes Pakistan should
build ballistic missile submarines.|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan to build armed drones, reports China's Xinhua news agency:

Pakistan Air Chief Air Marshal Rao Qamar Sulema said on Monday that the country is manufacturing its own spy aircraft and will soon be able to prepare pilotless plane equipped with missile technology, local media reported.

Talking to reporters at the Shehbaz Airbase in southern Sindh province, he said Pakistan is making unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV drones) at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex in the town of Kamra near Islamabad, Geo TV reported.

Asked if the F-16 aircraft that Pakistan recently received from the U.S. can down American drones, Suleman said that the Pakistan Air Force does not want any such situation.

The media people were taken to the Shehbaz Airbase to formally announce that the airbase is now under the complete control of the Pakistan Air Force.

The U.S., which used the airbase for drone attacks in Afghanistan and possibly in Pakistan, was told to vacate the base by Pakistan in the aftermath of the November 26 NATO strike on Pakistani posts, which had killed 24 soldiers.

The Air Chief said that 14 used F-16s were provided to Pakistan by the U.S. free of cost while 18 others have been bought.

The Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said on the occasion that the parliament reserves the right to decide on the resumption of NATO supplies.

He said that the final decision on whether NATO supplies will be allowed to pass through Pakistan for forces based in Afghanistan will be made by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security.

The Army Chief said that Pakistan and the U.S. are cooperating on defence operations and Pakistani officials are taken into confidence whenever bordering areas are to be attacked.

Talking about the Coalition Support Fund, which was set up by the U.S. Congress after the September 11, 2001, attacks to reimburse allies for costs in supporting the U.S.-led war on militancy, General Kayani said that Pakistan was yet to receive 1. 5 billion U.S. dollars from the U.S.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Times of India story on Indian Navy's submarine plans:

While India is still years away from getting an AIP-equipped submarine, Pakistan already has one in the shape of PNS Hamza, one of the three French Agosta-90B submarines inducted by it over the last decade. Moreover, work is also underway to retrofit the French "Mesma" AIP in hulls of the other two submarines, PNS Khalid and PNS Saad.

The six new-generation submarines from China, the improved Yuan-class boats with "Stirling-cycle" AIP, will further add a punch to Pakistan's underwater warfare capabilities.

India, in sharp contrast, has so far refused to consider the Mesma AIP option in the ongoing Rs 23,562-crore project (P-75) to build six French Scorpene submarines at Mazagon Docks (MDL), already running three years' behind schedule with the boats now slated to roll out from 2015 to 2020.

"There has also been a huge cost escalation. To incorporate the steam-based Mesma AIP in the 5th and 6th Scorpenes would cost another $100 million or so," said a senior defence ministry official.

"Moreover, Navy is more keen on fuel-cell AIP. DRDO is developing one such system, which has been tested on shore. If it comes through, it can be considered for the 5th and 6th Scorpenes," he added.

To further compound matters, there is excruciatingly slow progress on P-75I, which envisages acquisition of six new stealth submarines, equipped with both tube-launched missiles for land-attack capabilities as well as AIP, for over Rs 50,000 crore.

The RFP (request for proposal) to be issued to foreign collaborators like Rosoboronexport ( Russia), DCNS (France), HDW (Germany) and Navantia (Spain) will be possible only towards end-2011 at the earliest.

"If one foreign shipyard can give AIP, it cannot provide land-attack missile capabilities, and vice-versa. So, P-75I is very will take at least two years to even finalize it, and another six-seven years after that for the first submarine to be ready," he said.

The plan till now is to directly import two submarines from a foreign collaborator, with three being built at MDL in Mumbai, and the sixth at Hindustan Shipyard in Visakhapatnam under transfer of technology.

Incidentally, Navy will have only five of its existing 10 Russian Kilo-class and four German HDW submarines by 2020. Consequently, even with the six Scorpenes, India will be far short of its operational requirement of at least 18 conventional submarines for the foreseeable future.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are excerpts of an AP report on PAC PAD1:

Inside a high-security air force complex that builds jet fighters and weapons systems, Pakistan's military is working on the latest addition to its sprawling commercial empire: a homegrown version of the iPad.

It's a venture that bundles together Pakistani engineering and Chinese hardware, and shines a light on the military's controversial foothold in the consumer market. Supporters say it will boost the economy as well as a troubled nation's self-esteem.

It all comes together at an air force base in Kamra in northern Pakistan, where avionics engineers — when they're not working on defense projects — assemble the PACPAD 1.

"The original is the iPad, the copy is the PACPAD," said Mohammad Imran, who stocks the product at his small computer and cell phone shop in a mall in Rawalpindi, a city not far from Kamra and the home of the Pakistani army.

The device runs on Android 2.3, an operating system made by Google and given away for free. At around $200, it's less than half the price of Apple or Samsung devices and cheaper than other low-end Chinese tablets on the market, with the bonus of a local, one-year guarantee.

The PAC in the name stands for the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, where it is made. The PAC also makes an e-reader and small laptop.

Such endeavors are still at the pilot stage and represent just a sliver of the military's business portfolio, which encompasses massive land holdings, flour and sugar mills, hotels, travel agents, even a brand of breakfast cereal.

PAC officials suggested the program that produces the PACPAD was modeled in part on the Chinese military's entry into commercial industry, which lasted two decades until it was ordered to cut back lest it become corrupted and lose sight of its core mission.

The tablet and other devices are made in a low-slung facility, daubed in camouflage paint, near, a factory that produces J-17 Thunder fighter jets with Chinese help.

"It's about using spare capacity. There are 24 hours in a day, do we waste them or use them to make something?" said Sohail Kalim, PAC's sales director. "The profits go to the welfare of the people here. There are lots of auditors. They don't let us do any hanky-panky here."

PAC builds the PACPAD with a company called Innavtek in a Hong Kong-registered partnership that also builds high-tech parts for the warplanes.

Maqsood Arshad, a retired air force officer who is one of the directors, couldn't say how much money had been invested, how many units the venture hoped to sell and what the profit from each sale was likely to be.

The market for low-cost Android tablets is expanding quickly around the world, with factories in China filling most of the demand. Last year, an Indian company produced the "Aakash" tablet, priced at $50, and sold largely to schoolchildren and students.

Arshad said a second-generation PACPAD would be launched in the next three months, able to connect to the Internet via cellphone networks and other improved features.

He said the Kamra facility could produce up to 1,000 devices a day.

During a brief test, The tablet with its 7-inch screen appeared to run well and the screen responsiveness was sharp.

"It seems good, but operationwise I have to look into it," said Mohammad Akmal, who had come to the store in Rawalpindi to check the product out. "Within a month or so, we will know."

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts of Pak Navy Chief's recent interview with DefenseNews:

Q. One of the most high-profile acquisition programs of your predecessor’s tenure was the next-generation submarine. Can you expand on reports of a Chinese submarine design being selected, and comment on whether the HDW Type-214 may still see service with Pakistan as a replacement for the Agosta-70s?

A. Submarines all along have been our main strength and at the heart of our naval strategy of offensive sea denial. Over the years, the strength of our submarines has dwindled due to aging. Our primary consideration is to acquire modern and potent submarines. All options, including submarines of the West, as well as China, are under deliberation, though no decision has been taken as yet.

Q. Long-standing plans include the expansion of the shipbuilding industry but also to diversify construction locations away from Karachi to places like Gwadar and Ormara. Where do these plans stand?

A. Our long-term plan is to have two major shipbuilding and repair yards at Port Bin Qasim in the east and Gwadar in the west. In addition, we have a strategic plan to develop this rich but hitherto untapped segment of our maritime sector. To realize the same, we have a high-level shipbuilding task force formed under the aegis of [the Ministry of Defence Production].

Q. How do you plan to replace the P-3C Orions destroyed by terrorists last year? And what else can we expect from the Navy’s maritime patrol aircraft procurement efforts? Have you examined any Chinese options, such as the H-6K or Y-8Q? And is any thought being given to replacing your elderly Westland Sea King helicopters yet?

A. Despite the loss of two P-3Cs during the unfortunate attack on [Pakistan Naval Station] Mehran last year, our maritime surveillance capability remains intact and we can well manage our operational requirements. Nevertheless, we have initiated the process for the replacement of the destroyed aircraft from the U.S. and remain hopeful of a positive outcome. You must appreciate that the P-3C is designed for long-range surveillance. Deploying this aircraft continuously for routine surveillance in peacetime is not only uneconomical, it actually amounts to its underutilization. We are thus maintaining smaller and cheaper maritime patrol aircraft — i.e., FK-27S —which fulfills our day-to-day operational needs. Apart from that, we are considering a range of other surveillance aircraft, including Chinese options.

With regard to our Sea King helos, we have signed the Mid Life Upgrade Program, under which a new and modern avionics suite and sensors will be fitted onboard, making them a more potent and capable aerial platform.

Q. The effectiveness of the small number of Exocet-equipped anti-ship strike Mirage-5 aircraft is now surely questionable. What do you intend to replace them with? And is there a case for having these Pakistan Air Force aircraft under naval control?

A. PAF Mirage aircraft equipped with missiles are effective [anti-shipping strike] platforms. The PN and PAF have put in place an efficient mechanism for their optimum deployment, which is why we don’t feel the need to place them under PN control. There are plans to replace the systems which become obsolete or are no longer operationally effective.

Q. Later this decade, you will face an Indian nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed ballistic submarine that threatens the current strategic balance in South Asia. How do you intend to respond?

A. The strategic dimension of India’s naval buildup is a cause of concern not only for us but for the entire Indian Ocean region. I feel nuclearization of the Indian Ocean does not augur well for peace and stability in the region. We are mindful of this development and taking necessary measures to restore the strategic balance.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan is among nations working on military robots, says expert Peter Singer in an NPR interview. Here's an excerpt:

FLATOW: You're listening to SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. We're talking about technology in the world of drones with my guests Peter Singer, Missy Cummings and Chris Anderson. Our number, 1-800-989-8255. Dr. Cummings, are drones more or less flying robots, you give them a mission, you push in the coordinates, the waypoints, things like that, and they take off and do their thing?

Or do they still - are they still controlled remotely with a joystick on the ground?

CUMMINGS: Well, there's a mix of those technologies in the military today and also in some of the other applications like for border patrol. But the capabilities are coming, and they're already here in some fashion where you don't even have to enter - click on the map to enter GPS coordinates. You can just click on a general area or tell a group of vehicles to set up some kind of search pattern.

So - and in fact that's what we're striving for, to really give more context, aware control to humans so that they don't have to be experts, and in fact that's one of the big things that we're stressing for my program at the Office of Naval Research. We want to put the capability of a ground soldier or a medic in the field who has no piloting experience at all to grab a tablet, something the size of an iPad, and just request help.

And a helicopter comes and give the help to the person who needs it without a pilot in the loop.

FLATOW: Peter Singer, can we assume that we're not the only country developing drones?

SINGER: Oh, we definitely can assume that. Right now, there's at least 45 other nations out there that are building, buying and using military robotics, and they are nations that range from Great Britain in France to Israel, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, China, you name it.

I think one of the things that's playing out right now is just like what's happened in other fields of technology. There's a catching-up effect going on. The U.S. military spends the most in the world on this, but there's a lot else going on there.

For example, at a recent Chinese arms trade show, there were 25 different of their drone-made systems on display, from, you know, one that looked like a knock-off of our Predator drone, they call it the Pterodactyl, to a stealthy jet-powered kind, so a lot of activity going on there, a lot of concern about what that might mean in the long term.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan among countries working on military robots

LONG BEACH: Pakistan is among the countries working on the development of military robots as robots will be armies of the future in a case of science fact catching up to fiction, a researcher told an elite TED gathering on Wednesday. “The United States is ahead in military robots, but in technology there is no such thing as a permanent advantage,” Peter Singer, who has authored books on the military said. “You have Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran working on military robots.” Singer warned that while using robots for battle saves lives of military personnel, the move has the potential to exacerbate warfare by having heartless machines do the dirty work. “We are at a point of revolution in war,” Singer said. Singer predicted US military units will be half machine, half human by 2015. afp\02\06\story_6-2-2009_pg1_4

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan is the third largest arms importer after India and South Korea, according to SIPRI:

Asia and Oceania accounted for 44 per cent of global arms imports, followed by Europe (19 per cent), the Middle East (17 per cent), the Americas (11 per cent) and Africa (9 per cent).

India was the world’s largest recipient of arms, accounting for 10 per cent of global arms imports. The four next largest recipients of arms in 2007–2011 were South Korea (6 per cent of arms transfers), Pakistan (5 per cent), China (5 per cent) and Singapore (4 per cent).

‘Major Asian importing states are seeking to develop their own arms industries and decrease their reliance on external sources of supply,’ said Pieter Wezeman, senior researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme. ‘A large share of arms deliveries is due to licensed production.’

China shifts from imports to exports

China, which was the largest recipient of arms exports in 2002–2006, fell to fourth place in 2007–11. The decline in the volume of Chinese imports coincides with the improvements in China’s arms industry and rising arms exports.

Between 2002–2006 and 2007–11, the volume of Chinese arms exports increased by 95 per cent. China now ranks as the sixth largest supplier of arms in the world, narrowly trailing the United Kingdom.

‘While the volume of China’s arms exports is increasing, this is largely a result of Pakistan importing more arms from China’, said Paul Holtom, director of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme. ‘China has not yet achieved a major breakthrough in any other significant market.’
Other notable developments

In 2011 Saudi Arabia placed an order with the USA for 154 F-15SA combat aircraft, which was not only the most significant order placed by any state in 2011 but also the largest arms deal for at least 2 decades.

Greece’s arms imports decreased by 18 per cent between 2002–2006 and 2007–11. In 2007–11 it was the 10th largest arms importer, down from being the 4th largest in 2002–2006. Greece placed no new order for major conventional weapons in 2011.

Venezuela’s arms imports increased by 555 per cent between 2002–2006 and 2007–11 and it rose from being the 46th largest importer to the 15th largest.

The volume of deliveries of major conventional weapons to states in North Africa increased by 273 per cent between 2002–2006 and 2007–11. Morocco’s imports of major weapons increased by 443 per cent between 2002–2006 and 2007–11.

The comprehensive annual update of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Database is accessible from today at

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Hindustan Times story titled "Assembled in India":

The ministry of defence should rename itself the ministry of imports. India earned the undesirable honorific of being the world's largest buyer of foreign arms in the latest 'Trends in International Arms Transfers' report. The ultimate oxymoron in New Delhi today is 'defence self-reliance'. This state of affairs will continue so long as the ministry continues to believe in the State-owned defence sector.

India's imports of defence equipment surged 38% to $12.7 billion from 2007-11, say the authors of the report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The only better defence growth figures? Number of speeches by defence minister AK Antony declaring self-reliance to be his goal.

At the time the report was released, Antony spoke at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). He complained that DRDO had "many deficiencies", that it was "slow" in implementing recommended reforms. A few days earlier he called for change at Hindustan Aeronautics, another stalwart of India's government defence industry whose core competence is assembling imported airplane kits.

SIPRI's report underlines the true trend in India's defence industry. Namely, that the louder the mantra 'self-reliance' is chanted by defence officialdom, the further the goal moves away from India.

It's not just that the Indian defence sector can't build simple trainer airplanes or armoured vehicles. It even struggles to design usable rifles or make good boots. "Indian soldiers", says Commodore Uday Bhaskar of the National Maritime Foundation, "prefer to buy their uniforms from private tailors rather than wear free government issue".

Antony's criticisms should mean that his office at least understands the problem. But the reforms the ministry advocates are, ultimately, about preserving the defence sector's commanding heights for the State-owned firms. And it's this "tweak the status quo" mindset that ensures India's security increasingly depends on how fast it can import.

Rising Indian arms purchases and stiff offset requirements - roughly half the cost of foreign purchases must be outsourced to Indian firms - means billions of dollars' worth of contracts will float out of the windows of South Block. Antony is asking DRDO and company to get their act together so they can cash in on this bonanza.

The ministry's hope is that these State-owned firms will absorb some imported technologies, recycle them and preserve the myth of indigenous defence production for another decade. The subtext to Antonyspeak should be: you need to change so you can keep pulling the wool over India's eyes.

The defence ministry loves the term 'technology transfer'. These are weasel words. Every study shows this to be a way to temporarily get obsolete knowhow. Transfers are like cheat-sheets. They keep you from doing the hard work of really learning something. The State-owned defence firms are like students who mug enough to get past each exam and graduate with blank minds.

In 2005, DRDO spoke of making 70% of Indian defence equipment at home. But the figures haven't change in all these years, says Air Vice-Marshal Kapil Kak of the Centre for Air Power Studies. "Government stonewalling has meant there has been no energising of the defence sector." Officially, India is at 30% indigenisation. So much of this is screwdriver work, says Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal of the Centre for Land Warfare Studies, "That the actual figure is 20% or less."

The Tatra truck, left-hand drive after 25 years, is only a more glaring example of this import-and-assemble game.--------------

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Khaleej Times report on Pakistan's shipbuilding ambitions:

Pakistan is actively considering to fabricate and sell ships to the interested countries, which would add value to the business of defence production of Pakistan, Pakistan Ambassador to the UAE, Jamil Ahmed Khan has said.

Khan was addressing the naval officers of Pakistan Navy during a visit to Pakistan Naval Task Group ships Madadgar and Shujaat which are currently on a good will visit to the UAE. The ships are Pakistan’s indigenous construction and can perform all operational tasks assigned to them.

Khan said that certain countries have shown their interest in these indigenously built ships.

The Ambassador extended his gratitude to UAE government for its support in conducting joint naval exercise. “Pakistan and the UAE enjoy deep rooted, cordial relations which are further strengthened by cooperation between the Naval forces of Pakistan and the UAE,” he said.

The joint naval exercise between Pakistan and the UAE during their current voyage is yet another manifestation of military cooperation between the two countries, Khan added.

PNS Madadgar was built in Pakistan and was launched in 2009 while PNS Shujaat also indigenously built ship was inducted in Pakistan Navy in 1999. The two ships have been utilised in various military, constabulary and benign roles and are highly suitable to perform counter terrorism task in coastal areas.

The Ambassador was briefed about the visits of various operational and training institutes of UAE by PNTG Commander and conduct of joint naval exercise between the Naval ships of Pakistan and the UAE. The ships are part of PNTG presently visiting friendly countries in the Gulf.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of a WSJ Op Ed by an Indian security analyst Sushant Singh:

The leaked contents of a letter India's army chief sent to the prime minister sent shock waves around the country last week. In the letter, Gen. V.K. Singh warns that the military is obsolete and unfit to go to war. The government is furious about the leak.

The government has been quarrelling with Gen. Singh recently over a legal challenge about his mandatory retirement age and allegations of a lobbyist offering him a bribe. In this, as well as a media report this week of unauthorized troop movements toward Delhi, the spotlight is on how the secret letter was leaked.

The letter notes that Indian army's air defenses are "97% obsolete"; its tank fleet lacks ammunition and is night-blind; its artillery has huge shortfalls; and its elite forces lack essential arms. The infantry likewise lacks basic equipment, with half of the 1.3 million-strong army's foot soldiers yet to receive combat kits to replace their World War II-vintage gear.

Ground-based air defense is practically non-existent, the saving grace being that the air force provides 90% of the air defense cover. India's T-72 tanks from Russia can't fight at night, unlike Pakistani tanks.
Besides imports, what money does get spent ends up dumped into inefficient production which New Delhi wants done at home. Although domestic supply meets barely 30% of India's equipment needs, India employs as many workers in its state-owned defense companies and ordnance factories as the U.K. or France—two of the world's biggest arms exporters.

An insignificant private presence and a 26% cap on foreign investment mean that the state-owned units monopolize defense manufacturing and predictably weaken it. New Delhi mandates that a foreign company like Boeing that wins an Indian arms contract use these local units for a set percentage of production. All technology transfers in import agreements also fatten these incumbents. In an uncompetitive market, they profit by just importing equipment, assembling it and selling it to the military at a high profit.

This chicanery in the name of "indigenization" must stop. Removing the foreign investment cap would do this, and provide a better investment climate to attract foreign manufacturers. Gen. Singh rightly warns about a "lack of urgency at all levels" on matters of national security. If the government doesn't urgently bridge shortfalls in equipment, simplify procurement methods and open the defense industry to foreign investors, the world's largest democracy won't get the modern military it needs to defend itself.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of a PRI report on Pakistani drones:

Reports of Pakistan working on producing its own drones began to surface in 2009. The most highly touted model is called the “Burraq”, named for a mythical winged creature that is said to have carried the Prophet Muhammed.

Masood said the military is working hard on it, but there’s still no guarantee it will be flying anytime soon.

“I think they are on a high priority. There is no doubt about it, they are on a high priority. But even if a weapons system is on a high priority because of the complexity and the advanced nature of its technology it may take some time before it is mastered and its full utilization is made.”

In fact, Pakistan already has a long history of designing and producing drones, many of them created by a man named Raja Sabri Khan.

His near obsession with unmanned aircraft started at a young age. Khan found himself compelled to do whatever it took to fund his research.

“I augmented my nonexistent earnings by teaching physics and doing fashion photography so these helped Pakistan’s first drones to be created,” Khan said.

His clear preference for model aircraft over fashion models carried Khan to the top of his industry. In fact, he said he’s sold his unarmed drones to a company he does not want to name in the United States.

Khan said the drones flying in American airspace are being used for law enforcement, security and even search and rescue.

But he is adamantly opposed to arming drones because of the risk that innocent people will be harmed.

Still, Khan expects Pakistan’s political and military leaders will push ahead, seeing a missile firing drone as nothing more than the latest airborne weapon of war.

“I feel bombing civilians is unfair,” he said. “It’s something that cannot be condoned. But at the same time, a drone is nothing more than an aircraft without a pilot [on board]. And if you use it to fight a war, I think political considerations far outweigh the idealistic side of the issue.”

There is another potential side effect of Pakistan’s determination to manufacture its own drone fleet. Talat Masood said China has become a key partner in the development of the Burraq drone.

Masood said the US, which has cooperated with the Pakistani military on joint projects and training for years, should be paying attention.

“So you can see how lasting those bonds are. And any country which has a defense relationship which is strong and binding, then the relationship also becomes very lasting,” he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are excerpts of an Asian Defense piece on Pakistan's unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) program:

A Practical UCAV for Pakistan

The attempt forward will be to propose a solution in the form of a UCAV for the PAF. We will first focus on some basic parameters that need to be fulfilled. The focus will then shift to defining a specific solution that meets those requirements in a most balanced manner.

We identify the following characteristics as imperative for the discussed UCAV solution:

1. Unmanned Platform
2. Simple construction and achievable technology
3. Simplified single-engine buildable in Pakistan
4. Relatively Low Cost
5. Economy and asymmetry in sensor load
6. Using parts bin of existing aircraft and from industry partners
7. Designed for high altitude, high speed f-pole BVR combat
8. Structure can operate in and sustain high G-forces
9. Artificial Intelligence
10. Network centric
11. Swarm & Group Tactics
12. Low Observable
13. Combat Air Patrol efficiency
14. Interceptor suitability
In the Grande Strategic view, PAF can use large numbers of J-UCAVs as a cheap and ideal counter for IAF and any other air force that seeks to undermine Pakistani airspace. They could form a picket line that are the first to deal with enemies and are reinforced with manned fighters where necessary. Such J-UCAVs would require very low maintenance, near zero training costs and may be cheap enough to not worry about being put outside hardened shelters, a valued commodity for PAF. Armed with 2 BVRs and 2 WVRs, J-UCAVs could prove to become the foot soldier of the skies, lightly armed and yet overwhelming in their numbers.
In Conclusion

UCAVs are an emerging technology that has the potential to revolutionize air warfare. While the 5th generation of combat planes is today the pinnacle of military aviation, UCAVs present paradigms that can supplement if not supplant manned fighters of the 4th and 5th generations. People who discuss a potential 6th generation inevitably mention unmanned aircraft as a likely salient. Unlike the 5th generation of aircraft that are extremely expensive and complex to build and maintain UCAVs provide the potential of finding an equivalent solution with significant reduction in complexity and cost.

The PAF has until now not considered UCAVs in the air-to-air role. With the systematic addition of net-centric warfare with platforms such as Erieye, ZDK03, ground radars, future planned communication satellite and the necessary middleware for a superior C4I, Pakistan has managed to transform the battle environment to one were UCAVS can multiply the effectiveness and flexibility of the entire air defense system.

While nations struggle to keep their 4th generation aircraft operational and can barely dream about 5th generation solutions, UCAVs provide an interesting paradigm shift that cannot be ignored by those entrusted with the defense of their nations and peoples. For some like Pakistan, UCAVs may be the only realistic way to counter a large number of PAKFAs and possibly other 5th generation planes sitting across the border in belligerent India, whose stalwarts dream about “cold starts” and “surgical strikes”, and are only kept at bay by the strength of arms and the courage of the Pakistani soldier; whether on land, in the depths of the seas, or up high over the towering mountains and skies above.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Guardian report on Pakistan's efforts to develop combat drones:

Islamabad, which publicly condemns attacks by US drones on militants in tribal areas by the Afghan border, has built its own

Pakistan is on the cusp of joining an elite group of countries capable of manufacturing unmanned aircraft capable of killing as well as spying, a senior defence official has claims.
Publicly, Islamabad, which officially objects to lethal drone strikes carried out by the CIA along its border with Afghanistan, says it is only developing remote-controlled aircraft for surveillance purposes.
But last week, during a major arms fair held in Karachi, military officials briefed some of Pakistan's closest allies about efforts by the army to develop its own combat unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
"The foreign delegates were quite excited by what Pakistan has achieved," said the official, who was closely involved with organising the four-day International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (Ideas). "They were briefed about a UAV that can be armed and has the capability to carry a weapon payload."
The official said Pakistan wanted to demonstrate to friendly countries, principally Turkey and the Gulf, that it can be self-sufficient in a technology that is revolutionising warfare and which is currently dominated by a handful of countries that do not readily share the capability.
"It does not have the efficiency and performance as good as Predator," he said, referring to the US combat drone widely used to attack militant targets. "But it does exist."
He gave no details about the capabilities of the aircraft, or even its name.
Huw Williams, an expert on unmanned systems at Jane's Defence Weekly, expressed doubts that Pakistan could have succeeded in progressing very far from the "pretty basic" small reconnaissance drones, which the country publicly exhibited at the weapons show, including the Shahpar and Uqab aircraft developed by the state-owned consortium Global Industrial and Defence Solutions.
"The smaller systems are not greatly beyond that of a model aircraft," he said. "But the larger, long-endurance drones are a step up in technology across the board."
Only the US and Israel are currently believed to have drones that can fire missiles. China and Turkey are also working on large-scale combat drones.
Both countries exhibited models of drones at the sprawling Karachi conference centre, which included Pakistani companies marketing everything from guns that shoot around corners to inflatable tanks intended to fox surveillance aircraft.
The big claims about Pakistan's developing drone capacity highlights the enormous interest in the technology from armies around the world.
"Everyone has been asking us whether our drones can carry weapons," said Raja Sabri Khan, chief executive of Integrated Dynamics, a company that showed off a wide range of small and mid-size reconnaissance drones. "But that's a business for the big boys only."
Khan has been deliberately refocusing his company's efforts on smaller drones, many of which are launched by hand, which are mostly intended for civilian use.
A Pakistani army colonel attending the exhibition, after recently finishing a tour fighting against militants in the country's border region, said such small drones were a vital tool.
Organisers conceded that this year had not been a major commercial success but were pleased with the turnout after the last event in 2010 had to be cancelled.
Several exhibitors said Pakistani companies – many of which are directly owned by the country's military – offered a cheaper alternative to developing countries looking to buy everything from tanks to computer simulators used to train pilots.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Washington Post on Pakistan's armed drone development program:

KARACHI, Pakistan — Pakistan is secretly racing to develop its own armed drones, frustrated with U.S. refusals to provide the aircraft, but is struggling in its initial tests with a lack of precision munitions and advanced targeting technology.

One of Islamabad’s closest allies and Washington’s biggest rivals, China, has offered to help by selling Pakistan armed drones it developed. But industry experts say there is still uncertainty about the capabilities of the Chinese aircraft.
Inaugurating a defense exhibition in the southern city of Karachi last week, Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf indicated Islamabad would look for help from Beijing in response to U.S. intransigence.
Pakistan has also been working to develop armed drones on its own, said Pakistani military officials and civilians involved in the domestic drone industry, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because of the classified nature of the work.

Pakistan first began weapons tests seven or eight months ago with the Falco, an Italian drone used by the Pakistani air force for surveillance that has been modified to carry rockets, said a civilian with knowledge of the secret program. The military is also conducting similar tests with the country’s newest drone, the Shahpur, he said. An unarmed version of the Shahpur was unveiled for the first time at the Karachi exhibition.

The weapons tests have been limited to a handful of aircraft, and no strikes have been carried out in combat, said the civilian.

Pakistan lacks laser-guided missiles like the Hellfire used on U.S. Predator and Reaper drones and the advanced targeting system that goes with it, so the military has been using unguided rockets that are much less accurate.

While Hellfire missiles are said to have pinpoint accuracy, the rockets used by Pakistan have a margin of error of about 30 meters (100 feet) at best, and an unexpected gust of wind could take them 300 meters (1,000 feet) from their intended target, said the civilian. Even if Pakistan possessed Hellfires and the guidance system to use them, the missile’s weight and drag would be a challenge for the small drones produced by the country.

Pakistan’s largest drone, the Shahpur, has a wingspan of about seven meters (22 feet) and can carry 50 kilograms (110 pounds). The U.S. Predator, which can be equipped with two Hellfire missiles, has a wingspan more than twice that and a payload capacity over four times as great.

Pakistani drones also have much more limited range than those produced in the U.S. because they are operated based on “line of sight” using radio waves, rather than military satellites. The Shahpur has a maximum range of 250 kilometers (150 miles), while the Predator can fly over five times that distance.


The market for drones has exploded in Pakistan and other countries around the world in recent years, as shown by the array of aircraft on display at the defense exhibition in Karachi. Hoping to tap into a worldwide market worth billions of dollars a year, public and private companies wheeled out over a dozen drones that ranged in size from hand-held models meant to be carried in a backpack to larger aircraft like the Shahpur.

All the Pakistani drones on display were advertised as unarmed and meant for surveillance only. One private company, Integrated Dynamics, even promotes its aircraft under the slogan “Drones for Peace.” But several models developed by the Chinese government were marketed as capable of carrying precision missiles and bombs....

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News story on Linde expansion:

KARACHI: Linde Pakistan on Tuesday officially inaugurated its new flagship air separation plant installed at the Sunder Industrial Estate in Lahore, according to a statement.

This new state-of-the-art plant is now the largest air separation plant in Pakistan, capable of producing 150 tons per day of gaseous oxygen, nitrogen and argon for the merchant gases market, it said, adding that the investment value of the plant, along with the related supply chain equipment is more than Rs2 billion.

Yousuf Mirza, chief executive of Linde Pakistan, said: “Our new air separation plant in Lahore represents a milestone for our business as this is Linde’s fourth and largest air separation plant in Pakistan.”

“The additional supply from this plant significantly enhances our ability to respond quickly and effectively to meet the gases requirements of our customers in the North and further reinforces our position as the leading industrial gases player in Pakistan.”

Anonymous said...

The Pride of Pakistan Gets No Respect

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News report on Pak defense industry growth:

KARACHI: With a value of $6.3 billion in 2009, the Pakistani defence industry is expected to reach $10.4 billion by 2015. This is due to large scale investments to cope with increased international instability and its active participation in the war on terror.

Pakistan has been making efforts to boost itself in this regard and it’a evident that much attention has been given towards the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) sector. Pakistan can now boast of its capacity to develop, design and manufacture UAVs indigenously and can proudly showcase a long list of public and private companies actively in the sector, producing many such products that are gaining increasing popularity internationally.

Pakistan Ordinance Factories (POF) produces seventy major products, including automatic rifles, light/medium and heavy machine guns, a wide range of mortar and artillery ammunition, aircraft and anti ammunition, tank and anti tank ammunition, bomb grenades, land, pyrotechnics and signals stores.

Owing to these rising trends and developments in the Pakistani defence industry, the country’s defence exports have tripled to around $300 million.

In this backdrop, IDEAS-2012 proved very fruitful for the national defence industry as a number of major joint initiatives took place during this prestigious exhibition, including China’s Poly Technologies will be providing mine resistant ambush vehicles to the Pakistan Army for the first time. The type CS/VP3 vehicle is designed to provide secure transportation for combat personnel and materials, especially under the threat of anti-tank mines. Besides, it will also be beneficial for performing anti-terrorism and anti-riot missions. The combat product will also feature modern day telecommunication and navigation technologies, including GPS.

Interestingly, Poly Technologies has actively cooperated with Pakistan for the provision of advanced defence equipments and technologies.

China Shipbuilding Trading Corporation (CSTC) will be providing four new ships to the Pakistan Navy this year. CSTC has been working with the Karachi Shipyard since long. Pakistan has been importing the F-22P multi-purpose frigate from China for the past three years, as this product is exclusively manufactured for Pakistan. The new frigate will be well-equipped with air surveillance, navigation, missile launch and a gun weapon system.

During IDEAS-2012, Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) Pakistan and Narinco Corporation of China signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), through which both the companies will be working towards joint marketing of Al-Khalid tank and various other products. The MoU is based on Transfer and Technology (ToT) and is a result of public-private partnership (PPP) between the two nations for the first time.

Al–Khalid tank, which was developed jointly by Pakistan and China in the 90’s, has been marketed internationally by China but the new contract will allow Pakistan to pursue its marketing initiatives as well. In addition, both the companies will also be working on various other products, including security equipments and security vehicles.

Similarly, a MoU and exclusive teaming agreement between Havelsan – a global software and systems integration company, serving in IT and defence markets worldwide – and the Pakistan Air force is due to be signed very soon, regarding collaboration on research and development projects and simulation and training systems of JF-17, F-16, C-130 Super Mushak, and MI-17, respectively.

Havelsan has already delivered three systems to Pakistan’s armed forces, namely Artillery Forward Observer Simulator, Electronic Warfare Test and Training Range, and Military Enterprise Information System.....$104-billion-by-2015

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Wall Street Journal story on Pakistani plans to build drones:

This country's defense industry is building what companies hope will be a domestic fleet of aerial drones that can take over the U.S.'s role in attacking militant strongholds.

The U.S.'s persistent use of armed drones to kill militants in remote parts of Pakistan has created a public backlash that has damaged the relationship between the two nations.

But Pakistan isn't altogether against drones. The nation's leaders want to have more control over where and how they are used, and are encouraging local drone makers to build up the country's budding arsenal.

"The future era is toward unmanned operations," said Sawd Rehman, deputy director of Rawalpindi, Pakistan-based Xpert Engineering, which builds aerial drones. "The policy of self-reliance is always priority No. 1 of every nation."


Instead, Xpert and a small number of other companies are working to develop the country's own fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles—a force they hope will one day supplant the American drones that dominate the country's border with Afghanistan.

"We have tried our best asking the United States to transfer this technology to us so we can fight our own war instead of somebody from abroad coming and doing it," said Maj. Gen. Tahir Ashraf Khan, director general of Pakistan's Defense Export Promotion Organization. "Those efforts did not meet with success, so we decided to venture into this field ourselves—and we have gone pretty far ahead."

Pakistan's military already uses a small but growing number of unarmed drones, some of them manufactured at home, to monitor the borders, coast and mountain ranges that serve as sanctuaries for some of the world's most wanted militant leaders, including the Taliban and its allied Haqqani Network.


Without advanced satellite technology, the Pakistanis are incapable of developing armed drones by themselves now. It will take years, if not decades, for Pakistan to develop a fleet of armed drones to rival America's Predator and Reaper models, many analysts and people in the industry say.


To expand its capabilities, Pakistan is looking for help from China, which has marketed its own version of armed drones to developing countries.

"Pakistan can also benefit from China in defense collaboration, offsetting the undeclared technological apartheid," Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said at a recent arms expo in Karachi, in apparent reference to U.S. reluctance to share its technology with Pakistan.

GIDS produces one of Pakistan's newest and most advanced drones, a medium-range vehicle called the Shahpar that can fly for about seven hours—a fraction of the 40 hours a Predator can spend in the sky.

To supplement its nascent drone industry, Pakistan has been working with Italy's Selex Galileo SpA to produce a medium-range Falco drone with limited capabilities that the Pakistani military has been using for surveillance since at least 2009, when the government staged operations against militants based in Swat Valley in northeastern Pakistan.

While Pakistan has looked to other countries to advance its drone capabilities, one Pakistani company said it has exported a small number of drones to a private company in the U.S.

Raja Sabri Khan, chief executive of Integrated Dynamics, a Karachi-based drone manufacturer, said he thought the U.S.'s use of armed drones has given the industry a bad name. He aims to help rehabilitate the perception of drones by promoting their peaceful uses, such as the ability to locate flood victims for rescue. "Drones can be used for saving lives, for security," he said. "I'm absolutely against drones for armed purposes."

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Gulf Today o Pak participation in IDEX 2013 in Abu Dhabi:

ABU DHABI: As many as 10 high profile and 14 auxiliary defence production companies of Pakistan will participate in the largest defence exhibition in the Mena region, International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex), starting from Feb.17 to 21 in Abu Dhabi.

This was stated by the Jamil Ahmad Khan, Pakistan ambassador, while briefing the media on Pakistan’s participation in this exhibition in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

He said that it was a matter of great pride for us that for the first time in the history of Idex Pakistan has added a new dimension to this exhibition by displaying its indigenously modified and upgraded submarine ‘Khalid.’

“Besides the submarine, a Multi-Purpose Auxiliary Craft (MPAC), ‘Jurrat’ fabricated in Pakistan with full integration of weaponry and the destroyer ‘ShahJahan’ modified as per our own requirement and integration of warfare will be on display,” he added.

He said that Pakistan is indigenously meeting the defence production requirements of its armed forces besides exporting to 40 countries across the globe.

“We are offering affordable solutions for the defence needs of all countries, especially the countries which are looking for low cost affordable solutions. This is what the 52 participating countries and more than 6,000 attendees of this exhibition can benefit from,” he added.

He emphasised that Pakistan is a peace-loving country and desires to live in peace and harmony with the world but the regional security situation has become complex and uncertain.

He said that Pakistan’s defence industry is compelled to develop a response that is proportionate to challenges that confront the country.

“Events like Idex-2013 provide a unique opportunity for Pakistan’s defence related industries both in public and private sectors to display their products and interact directly with the defence industry of the developed world. This also creates a good opportunity to reinforce the diplomatic efforts in the domain of defence diplomacy,” he added.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's DefenseNews on Pak integrating weapon systems in aircraft and subs:

Most recent major military developments have aimed to strengthen the nuclear deterrent, such as the unveiling of the Hatf IX/Nasr battlefield ballistic missile and the submarine-launched variant of the Babur cruise missile.

However, analysts are uncertain if the airborne arm of the nuclear triad is set to be similarly strengthened with the introduction of the JF-17 in this role.

Tufail said the Ra’ad’s integration onto the JF-17 would be very beneficial.

“It would certainly add to PAF’s [Pakistan Air Force’s] stealthy ingress capability [due to low cross-section of the cruise missile], considering that the parent aircraft do not have it,” he said.

However, Mansoor Ahmed, from Quaid-e-Azam University’s Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, and who specializes in Pakistan’s national deterrent and delivery program, is unconvinced that replacement of the Mirages with the JF-17 is imminent.

“The Mirage is a tested and well-integrated platform, it would take some time to have the Thunder in large numbers to do the job”, he said.

“Secondly, how good are the Thunder’s ground attack/avionics capabilities compared to the ROSE Mirages?”

Tufail, who flew the Mirage operationally, does not see the Ra’ad-capable Mirages as “less credible as a nuclear deterrent in any way.”

“However, the JF-17 would certainly be a better and more modern platform, about which there should be no debate. As and when the JF-17s attain full operational capability with the Ra’ad, that role will be withdrawn from the Mirages, but that is not to mean that the Mirages would be retired — they do a lot more than just carry Ra’ads,” he said.

“The Mirages would be retired as they outlive their airframe hours or run out of spares support, which I see starting to happen over the next five years or so.”

Depending on the material state of the Mirage aircraft, Ahmed said they should give the PAF enough time to bring the Block III variant of the JF-17 into service, which is to have an improved avionics suite.

Mahmood said the avionics suite of the Block III variant is not yet finalized as the PAF is “looking for something to give more operational capability, and still examining avionics options.”

A perennial issue for the JF-17 has been the question of the continued availability of its powerplant. Currently, it is powered by a Russian Klimov RD-93.

It has been speculated for some time that the JF-17 will eventually be powered by a Chinese engine, a possible thrust vector control (TVC) variant of the Guizhou WS-13 Taishan.

Mahmood, however, would only say that the engine “depends on customers,” and that “we have options with regards to engines; we’re not restricted.”

Tufail is unconvinced a TVC variant is a necessity at present.

“Personally, I don’t see the JF-17 as a ‘do-all’ fighter, and I feel that it needs other areas to be looked at for modifications, rather than just follow fads,” he said.

“TVC helps in air combat maneuvering, whose days are numbered, if one goes by the technological developments underway. If that be true, it would make much more sense to focus on enhancing BVR [beyond visual range] capabilities, including radar and weapons, which need to be constantly upgraded during the life of an aircraft.”

The JF-17 is only rated to plus 8g, and for this reason Tufail said “the JF-17 cannot fully exploit the TVC potential, which a 9g aircraft can do far better.”|head

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Daily Times report on AI and Robotics education in Pakistan:

ISLAMABAD: Robotics as a discipline of science and technology is being taught at the graduate and post-graduate levels by more than 60 universities of Engineering Science and Technology in Pakistan, official sources told Daily Times here on Saturday.

The research and development (R&D) in advanced fields of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence has also been undertaken by some of laboratories established in the R&D institutes and universities in Pakistan. The official in the Ministry of Science and Technology claimed that there is a technical group engaged in development of automation of industrial processes at the National Institute of Electronics (NIE), Islamabad. The group has developed Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), which are used in automatic industrial controls.

The Centre for Intelligent Machines and Robotics (IMR) at the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology has a Research Group, which is undertaking research related to robotics, computer vision and machine learning. The IMR Research Group is conducting basic and applied research in robotics technologies relevant to industrial and societal tasks; the robotics technology in Pakistan has the potential role in boosting the productivity and competitiveness. The researchers at CIIT are working for projects on visual guided robotic systems for use in surgery, navigation control, mapping and geometric representation of environmental parameters.

National Engineering Robotics Contest (NERC) is an inter universities robotics competition held annually since 2005 at the NUST. The contest is organised by HEC, the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Careers Project with more than 60 Pakistani universities participating in the event, and aims to train individuals for engineering services in Pakistan, and cash prizes are awarded to the winners.

NERC 2011 held at the College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME), Rawalpindi from June 28 to July 2. Many universities like FAST, GIKI, LUMS, CASE and UET Lahore participated in the event, where students were encouraged to design, develop and programme their respective robots.

R&D projects on Tele-Surgical Training Robot and Simulators and Development of Intelligent Robotic Wheelchairs are being undertaken by NUST funded by ICT R&D Fund.

International workshops and seminars for knowledge sharing and events at national level for talent hunt among youth in the fields of robotics have been organised regularly at NUST. Specialisation in robotics is a popular choice for students going abroad to study under various scholarships schemes for research and PhD. This field offers job opportunities, and robotics engineers can apply their mastery in diverse fields like modern warfare, surgery, nano-technology and space-exploration.

The official claimed that developing a robot comes with the goal of finding a solution to the problem. Along with the technical know-how, interest in research is essential. This field has promising opportunities, with no boundaries and will continue to grow with the advancement of science and technology in the near future.\02\10\story_10-2-2013_pg5_12

Riaz Haq said...

Here's BBC on how US drones are operated remotely with satellite links:

Two of the medium-sized drones currently in use in Afghanistan and Pakistan are the MQ-1B Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper.

These strange-looking planes carry a wealth of sensors in their bulbous noses: colour and black-and-white TV cameras, image intensifiers, radar, infra-red imaging for low-light conditions and lasers for targeting. They can also be armed with laser-guided missiles.

Each multi-million dollar Predator or Reaper system comprises four aircraft, a ground control station and a satellite link.

Although drones are unmanned, they are not unpiloted - trained crew at base steer the craft, analyse the images which the cameras send back and act on what they see.
How drones work

The base may be local to the combat zone or thousands of miles away - many of the drone missions in Afghanistan are controlled from Creech air force base in Nevada, USA - although take-off and landing are always handled locally.

The MQ-1B Predator (formerly called the RQ-1 Predator) was originally designed as an aircraft for intelligence-gathering, surveillance, identifying targets and reconnaissance.

However, since 2002 it has been equipped with two Hellfire II missiles, meaning it can strike at a range of up to 8km (five miles).

By contrast, the newer MQ-9 Reaper was conceived as a "hunter-killer" system.

It can carry four Hellfire missiles and laser-guided bombs such as Paveway II and GBU-12.

Its cruise speed is 370kph (230mph), much faster than the 217kph (135mph) of the Predator which is more vulnerable to being shot down at low altitudes - although the drones would usually be flown above the range of most of the weapons available to the Taliban.
Future craft

The US Army revealed in December that it was also developing new helicopter-style drones with 1.8 gigapixel colour cameras, which promised "an unprecedented capability to track and monitor activity on the ground".

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a post on AI and Robotics Conf at NUST Pakistan:

Rawalpindi:The 1st International two days Conference on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence was organized at NUST, College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.The conference held under flagship of IEEE and National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) on Monday.

ICRAI is the first of its series, and this conference will be held biennially. This conference covers latest and emerging trends in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence including Intelligent Mechatronics and Robotics, Haptics, Tele and Medical robotics, Unmanned Vehicles, Prosthetics, Micro and Nano robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Neuro and Fuzzy control, Human Machine Interface and Automation.

Maj Gen. Obaid Bin Zakria, commandant college of E&ME welcomed all participants and guests at the opening ceremony. He highlighted the importance of research conferences around the world and said that this is how knowledge integrates into development of great ideas.

He appreciated the efforts put in by the Department of Mechatronics Engineering for arranging such an event. He said that NUST College of E&ME has been a home to novel, state of the art projects and the research work being done here is no less than the work done internationally. Our students are technically sound, very talented and extremely competent and the work presented in this conference is a proof of that.

Dr. Mahmood Anwar Khan, the Conference Chair informed that more than 110 research papers had been submitted to the conference and after a thorough review, 20 were accepted for oral presentation and 13 for poster. He also mentioned that the conference was graced by four International key note speakers from USA, UK and Korea.

Dr. Francisco Sepulveda from University of Essex, UK gave an interesting keynote talk on Brain Computer Interface Systems . At the end of his talk, he praised the level of research being done in Pakistan.

Dr. Lynn E Parker from University of Tennessee, USA said in her recorded message that The conduct of such an event in Pakistan shows the research maturity of the academic institutions . She further assured to attend the conference next time.

Dr. Younus Javed, Dean NUST College of E&ME emphasized that such events and meetings give a chance to form collaborative projects and research groups.

Dr. Javaid Iqbal, Head of Mechatronics Engineering Department appreciated the turnout at the conference and said that the aim of conference is to have collaboration of national and international researchers from a wide range of academic and professional backgrounds to bridge the gap.

At the end of the ceremony, the Chief Guest Dr. Javaid R. Laghari, chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) gave souvenirs to the foreign keynote speakers.

In his address, the Chief Guest congratulated NUST College of E&ME for arranging 1st International Conference on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence in Pakistan.

He mentioned that conferences like this are not only a platform for great minds to meet but also a venue for research collaboration. He said that everyone should make the most of this opportunity and socialize and discuss latest topics of research.

He also mentioned that this conference was the first of its kind and expected it to grow over the years into one of the prestigious conferences in the field of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence .

A large number of participants from many Universities, colleges and research organizations of the country have benefited from this well focused and target oriented conference.

HopeWins Junior said...

"Pakistan makes MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH in Defence products: High-Tech Defence Exports will rise"

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a TOI report of Pakistan's deployment of Jasoos UAV along Indian border:

JAISALMER: Pakistan's Unmanned Aerial Vehicles ( UAV) called 'Jasoos' have been spying on security arrangements and Army activities going on in the Indian side from the international border of Pakistan adjoining Rajasthan. In the recent past, activities of these UAVs have increased.

These UAVs can be spotted at night as sparkling red lights and have become a subject of excitement and discussion among the security forces. They are active even during day time and can be recognized by the trail of smoke they leave behind. These spy planes are active across the border opposite Barmer, Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Ganganagar in Rajasthan.

Reliable sources confirming this said that Pakistan is taking help of UAVs to keep an eye on the Indian area and their activities have intensified in the past few days.

Sources said Pak had developed UAVs a few years ago with the help of America and Italy and are using them to spy on the Indian area.

Sources said these spy planes are active at a height of 1500m-2000m just 500-700 yards from the international border.

These UAVs are fitted with ultramodern powerful cameras that can capture photographs of the Indian area spanning many kilometers. They are operated from a distance of 25-30kms. The computer operators are connected to the UAVs and they receive the photographs sent by these drones, the sources said.

Though BSF is keeping a watch over the activities of UAVs, but it is not possible to take any action since they are flying within the Pakistani border. But senior officers have been informed about the UAVs, sources added.

When contacted Col SD Goswami, defence spokesperson, said, "Our air defence units are monitoring such activities along the border. In case there is an air space violation, suitable action will be taken. All such violations are analysed and taken up with the country concerned through laid down channels as per established procedures."

He added that as per the international air space rules and bilateral agreements with neighbouring sovereign countries, such flying activities are permitted 10 km away from the international border, but any closer than the 10 km limit requires prior permission.

What are 'Jasoos'?

Jasoos are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) developed by Pakistani company Satuma. They are controlled via remote and weigh around 20kg. Capable of doing 180 kmph, these UAVs fly at a height of 10,000ft (3480m). Jasoos have a range of 100km, and can fly for 4-5 hours continuously with battery backup. Pak air force in the year 2004 had included UAVs, but was used in 2009 after the testing. Prior to this, Pak had purchased UAVs from Italy in 2003.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Daily Times on Karachi shipbuilder delivering for Pakistan Navy:

KARACHI: Two pusher tugs constructed at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works were formally handed over to Pakistan Navy on Tuesday in a ceremony held at Karachi Shipyard.

Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Muhammad Shafiq was the chief guest on the occasion. Addition of these pusher tugs in Pakistan Navy fleet is an important milestone achieved towards self-reliance. Pakistan Navy has also signed a contract with KS&EW for construction of a 15,000-tonne capacity fleet tanker.

Addressing the ceremony, the chief guest said that while Pakistan’s geographical location and geostrategic environment essentially necessitates building of a strong and balanced Navy to defend our maritime interests; realisation of our force goals through foreign acquisitions only is becoming increasingly difficult.

The changing geo-political dynamics also suggest that the access to the foreign defence technologies, particularly in the high-end domains would be either denied or hard to come by in the coming year. Accordingly, self-reliance has been at the fore front of policies, and it is in this context, Pakistan Navy has been supporting and interacting closely with the local defence industries, particularly Karachi Shipyard to make a steady progress towards indigenisation.

Appreciating the efforts of Karachi Shipyard, the Admiral said that Karachi Shipyard has delivered up to our expectations and has been a major support to PN Fleet for new constructions as well as for repair of ships. Karachi Shipyard also deserves acclaim for its revival and unprecedented progress during testing times when the global shipping industry as a whole is on the decline.

It is well poised to manifest its potential of undertaking major shipbuilding and engineering projects for the country and also for the foreign clients, to earn and save valuable foreign exchange. Recent award of contract for construction of 15,000-tonne capacity fleet tanker by PN is manifestation of the same. He assured of all-out support of Pakistan Navy to KS&EW for its revitalisation so that all future growth plans are timely materialised.

Earlier in his welcome address, Rear Admiral Syed Hasan Nasir Shah, Managing Director Karachi Shipyard gave a brief account of the progress of Karachi Shipyard and underlined the projects being undertaken for Pakistan Navy. He mentioned that presently KS&EW is undertaking construction of 5 Pakistan Navy vessels.

He apprised that the 4th F-22 P Frigate PNS ASLAT has successfully completed all harbour and sea trials and will be handed over to PN in April this year. In addition, a Fast Attack Missile Craft and a 32-tonne tug are also under construction and will be handed over to PN as per the contractual schedule. The ceremony was attended by a large number of PN officers, engineers and technicians of Karachi Shipyard\03\20\story_20-3-2013_pg7_12

Riaz Haq said...

US issues arms sales waivers for Pakistan, reports PTI:

In an indication of the “positive trajectory” of the bilateral ties, the U.S. has issued a waiver, second in six months, for sale of major defence equipment to Pakistan citing national security interest.

The waiver issued quietly by the then Deputy Secretary of States Thomas Nides on February 15, and posted on the State Department website a week later on February 22, would pave the way for some major defence equipment sales to Pakistan.

“The Department issued the waiver because we have determined that security assistance is important to the national security interests of the United States and is a critical component of U.S. efforts to continue to build a strong, mutually beneficial relationship with Pakistan grounded in concrete action on areas of shared interest,” a State Department spokesperson told PTI.

The waiver, issued within a fortnight of Secretary of State John Kerry taking the reins U.S. diplomacy on February 1, allows for the execution of America’s Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programme, and for the sale or export of certain Major Defence Equipment (MDE).

“Major Defence Equipment,” means any U.S. manufactured defence article whose export is controlled by U.S. Munitions List which has a nonrecurring research and development cost of more than $50,000,000 or a total production cost of more than $200,000,000. These items require Congressional notification, the spokesman said.

“As a matter of policy we do not discuss proposed defence sales or transfers until they have been formally notified to Congress,” he said, refraining to give any figure to the expected sale of major defence items to Pakistan after this waiver.

According to a known South Asia expert, the two waivers issued by the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in September were sweeping and so allowed the release of all forms of assistance for the fiscal 2012 including non-military.

It seems the main purpose of the February 15 waiver was to create a positive atmosphere for meetings in Washington DC with visiting senior military officials from Pakistan.

“These waivers don’t represent an improvement in U.S.-Pakistan relations so much as they represent attempts to improve such relations,” an expert explained said adding that from the U.S. perspective, some level of working relations with Pakistan is necessary for the U.S. drawdown from Afghanistan to go smoothly.

Observing that security assistance builds Pakistan’s capabilities in countering terrorism, the State Department official said that such assistance will continue to be implemented consistent with its policy goals of supporting Pakistan’s shared interest in regional stability and countering terrorism.

“Despite the past challenges in our bilateral relationship with Pakistan, we are encouraged by recent engagements which indicate the positive trajectory of the relationship, including productive working group meetings addressing the full range of the relationship and Pakistan’s participation in Core Group meetings with Afghanistan,” the spokesperson said.

“As we have said, our number one shared priority remains pursuing our counterterrorism objectives to secure the safety of American and Pakistani citizens. We face a common threat from a common enemy, and we must confront terrorism and extremism together,” the official asserted.....

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a TOI report on China arms sales and co-production with Pakistan:

WASHINGTON: Asserting that China has signed agreements for arms exports worth USD 11 billion from 2007 to 2011, the Pentagon has said that Pakistan remains Beijing's primary customer for conventional weapons.

"From 2007 to 2011, China signed approximately USD 11 billion in agreements for conventional weapons systems worldwide, ranging from general purpose materiel to major weapons systems," the Pentagon told the Congress in its annual report on China.

In 2012 and the coming years, China's arms exports will likely increase modestly as China's domestic defence industry improves, it said, adding that Chinese defence firms are marketing and selling arms throughout the world with the bulk of their sales to Asia and the Middle East/North Africa.

In 2012, China unveiled the Yi Long tactical unmanned aerial vehicle, which will probably be marketed to developing countries, it said.

Pakistan, it said, remains its primary customer for conventional weapons. "China engages in both arms sales and defence industrial cooperation with Islamabad, including co-production of the JF-17 fighter aircraft, F-22P frigates with helicopters, K-8 jet trainers, F-7 fighter aircraft, early warning and control aircraft, tanks, air-to-air missiles, anti-ship cruise missiles, and cooperation on main battle tank production," the Pentagon report said.

"We describe in this report China's bilateral military interactions with other countries, including Pakistan. China has a very longstanding historical relationship with Pakistan, and it's one that we watch and we report on in this report," deputy assistant secretary of defence for East Asia David Helvey told reporters during a Pentagon news conference.

Helvey said the US is monitoring very carefully China's military modernisation, the implications of that modernisation both for opportunities to cooperate with China in a multinational or bilateral context, but also for potential implications for regional stability.

According to the report, Sub-Saharan African countries view China as a provider of low-cost weapons with fewer political strings attached compared to other international arms suppliers.

"China uses arms sales as part of a multifaceted approach to promote trade, secure access to natural resources, and extend its influence in the region," it said.

Riaz Haq said...

Why #Turkey’s Buying Chinese Missile Systems?

Lower cost, technology transfer, diversification. #Turkey's rationale similar to #Pakistan's.#defensedeals

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan will begin exporting the JF-17 Thunder multirole fighter jet next year Pakistani media outlets reported on Friday, citing unnamed officials from the Ministry of Defense Production.

According to a report that appeared in multiple Pakistani newspapers, “The Pakistan Air Force has been assigned [a] target of exporting 5 to 7 JF-17 Thunder planes next year and discussions in this regard are under way with Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Qatar and other friendly countries.”

The JF-17 Thunder aircraft is a low-cost, single engine multirole fighter aircraft jointly developed by China and Pakistan. It is referred to as the FC-1 Xiaolong by China.

The JF-17 is powered by the Russian-made RD-93 turbofan engine, although there have been reports that later aircraft may be powered by a Chinese-made engine due to Russian concerns that the JF-17 would compete for international sales with its own MIG-29 Fulcrum.

Riaz Haq said...

Indigenous drone squadrons inducted in Pakistan Army and Air Force, reports Express Tribune:

The armed forces announced on Monday that they had inducted the very first fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in the Army and the Air Force.
According to a release from the Inter-services Public Relations (ISPR) announced that the first fleet of strategic drones, ‘Burraq’ and ‘Shahpar’, had been inducted into the forces. Both of the drones were produced indigenously.
The military described the induction as a “landmark and historic event,” where a “very effective force multiplier has been added to the inventory of the armed forces.”
“In the future these UAVs could also be gainfully employed in various socio-economic development projects, as well,” it added, hinting at the possibility of using drones in non-combat settings and for civilian use.
The induction ceremony was attended by Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Director General Strategic Plans Division Lieutenant General (Retd) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, and senior officers from armed forces, scientists and engineers.
General Kayani, while appreciating the work of NESCOM scientists and engineers, highlighted that induction of indigenously developed surveillance capable UAVs in Pakistan Armed Forces is a force multiplier, and will substantially enhance their target acquisition capabilities in real time.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Washington Post report on Pakistan-made drones inducted today:

Pakistan’s military unveiled two domestically produced drones Monday, even as the country is facing growing protests over U.S. drone strikes on Pakistani soil.

After years of preparation, the Strategically Unmanned Aerial Vehicles were formally announced by Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, chief of Pakistan’s military. The drones, called Burraq and Shahpar, will not be armed and are to be used only for surveillance, military officials said.

The development of the drones, thought to have a range of about 75 miles, represents a milestone for the country’s military and scientists, Pakistani and Western analysts said.

“It is a landmark and a historic event, wherein a very effective force multiplier has been added to the inventory of the armed forces,” the Pakistani military said in a statement.

For years, Pakistan’s military has seen up-close the effectiveness of the U.S. drone campaign, which has included hundreds of strikes within the country’s borders. When the United States began using armed drones after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, then-Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf asked President George W. Bush to supply drone technology to his country.

The United States declined, setting in motion Pakistan’s homegrown effort to develop the technology.

Pakistan’s military first revealed its drone technology at a trade show last year, but Monday’s formal unveiling coincides with an ongoing farewell tour by Kayani, who is retiring after two terms as army chief.

Brig. Muhammad Saad, a former senior officer in the Pakistani military familiar with the subject, said the country already had less-sophisticated drones for intelligence gathering, with a range of about six miles. The newer models, he said, will prove useful for the “collecting of more operational intelligence” that could help guide helicopter gunships and fighter jets to specific targets.

“This is a great achievement, and the drones can be used instead of surveillance jets and fighter jets that would be costlier” to fly, Saad said.

Saad and other observers said Pakistan is still years away from being able to develop armed drones. Still, Monday’s announcement is likely to unnerve Pakistan’s neighbors, including India and Afghanistan.

Peter W. Singer, a security analyst at the Brookings Institution, said most surveillance drones can be armed, though they will lack the precision of U.S.-developed models.

“Almost any unmanned system can be armed in a crude style, such as dropping a bomb or even turning it into an equivalent of a cruise missile that you fly into the target,” said Singer, adding that the announcement will probably add to growing fears about proliferation of drone technology.

The Pakistani military’s announcement comes as the country is facing growing discontent in some parts over recent U.S. drone strikes, including an attack this month that killed the leader of the Pakistani Taliban....

Riaz Haq said...

Here's DefenseNews on Pakistani drones Burraq and Shahpar:

Shahpar is a tactical canard pusher UAV that was developed by the Advance Engineering and Research Organisation, which is part of the state-owned Global Industrial & Defence Solutions (GIDS) conglomerate.

It was revealed to the public for the first time during IDEAS2012, Pakistan’s biannual defense exhibition, in November last year.

It was claimed to be an autonomous UAV with an endurance of seven hours and which could relay data in real time out to a range of 250 kilometers.

Observers have said the Burraq appears to be a Pakistani variant or development of the Chinese Rainbow CH-3 UCAV, but little else is known beyond speculation based on the CH-3’s specifications.

Former Pakistan Air Force pilot Kaiser Tufail said additional information will be difficult to obtain for now because sources will be “wary about leaking what is considered confidential stuff.”

Reports that Pakistan was developing an armed UAV named Burraq date back to 2009. Analyst Usman Shabbir of the Pakistan Military Consortium think tank said he first became aware of the existence of the Burraq some years ago when it was still in the design stages with NESCOM.

The two may be related, but he believes Burraq is armed and Shahpar unarmed.

“Shahpar can carry about a 50-kilogram payload and has around eight hours endurance. Burraq, based on CH-3 specs, would carry around a 100-kilogram payload and 12 hours endurance,” he said.

The given payload of the CH-3 is a pair of AR-1 missiles, or a pair of FT-5 small diameter bombs.

The ability of Pakistan to field an armed UAV has great benefits when faced with time-sensitive targets, he said.

“It is important in a sense that it greatly cuts the gap from detection to shoot,” he said.

Adding, “Earlier, once you detected something and wanted it taken out you had to pass on the imagery to higher ups, who had to approve and allocate resources like aircraft and by the time the aircraft got there the bad guys were long gone. Now detect, make decision, shoot and go home — all in same loop.”

He does not believe there is any real significance in the systems being named for use with both the Army and the Air Force, however, as “both have been operating their own UAV squadrons for a while now.”

“The Army has been using German EMT Luna X-2000 and the British [Meggitt] Banshee UAVs, while PAF as we know has a lot of faith in the Italian [Selex] Falco,” he added.

The Luna was also ordered by the Pakistan Navy in June 2012.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Defense News report on launch of latest version of JF-17 fighter jet:

KAMRA, PAKISTAN — Pakistan on Wednesday launched production of a new version of a combat aircraft featuring upgraded avionics and weapons system.

The plane, to be called Block-II JF-17, will be manufactured at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex west of Islamabad, which has so far produced 50 older-model Block-I JF-17s for the air force.

The complex on Wednesday formally handed over the 50th indigeneously produced Block-I JF-17 Thunder aircraft to the air force at a ceremony presided over by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The JF-17 Thunder has been co-developed and co-produced with the China National Aero-technology Import and Export Corporation.

“The indigenous manufacturing of JF-17s will not only lead to self-reliance and industrialization but will also further strengthen Pakistan’s friendship with China,” Sharif told the ceremony.

“The first Block-II JF-17 will be ready by June next year,” chief project director Air Vice Marshal Javaid Ahmad told AFP.

The Block-II will have improved versions of avionics sub-systems, air-to-air refueling capability, additional weapons carriage capability and some extra operational capabilities.

Ahmad said several countries in Central Asia, South America and Africa had shown interest in buying the new plane.

The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, which overhauls and rebuilds the air force’s whole range of combat aircraft, has the capacity to roll out 16-25 aircraft per year.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Atlantic mag piece on more lethal US robotic military:

In the future, an Army brigade might have 3,000 human troops instead of 4,000, but a lot more robots, according to recent remarks by General Robert Cone, the Army's head of Training and Doctrine Command.

"I’ve got clear guidance to think about what if you could robotically perform some of the tasks in terms of maneuverability, in terms of the future of the force," Defense News reported he said in a speech at the Army Aviation Symposium.

Continuing, he noted that the Army had devoted more resources to "force protection," keeping the troops safe, at the cost of some firepower. "I think we’ve also lost a lot in lethality," Cone said.

Robots could reduce the force protection burden, giving the Army more killing power per brigade.

Those robots could be a pack bot like the Legged Squad Support System perhaps, or a conventional-looking semi or fully autonomous vehicle like Lockheed Martin's Squad Mission Support System.

The lesson? If Google is doing it, DARPA is also doing it, but with more lethality.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report on Pakistan supplying training aircraft to Iraqi Air Force:

Pakistan today signed a key agreement with Iraq for the supply of trainer aircraft to Iraqi Air Force, in what is billed as "major milestone" in the export of aviation products from the country.

The contract of sales of Super Mushshak Aircraft to Iraq was signed by General Anwer Hamad Ameen Ahmed, Commander Iraqi Air Force and Air Marshal Sohail Gul Khan, Chairman of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra.

Super Mushshak is a more advanced, upgraded variant of the MFI-17 Mushshak basic trainer.

It was designed and is being manufactured at the Aircraft Manufacturing Factory.

"The sale of Super Mashshak aircraft to Iraqi Air Force is a major milestone in the export of aviation products of Pakistan," a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office said.

The statement did not mention how many aircraft will be sold.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan will provide assistance to Iraq in fields of training and development.

He said Pakistan Air Force has a past a rich experience in training personnel of friendly countries and will, undoubtedly, assist in developing Iraqi Air Force on modern grounds.

He said this in a meeting with General Ahmed, who called on him at Prime Minister's house.

Federal Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanvir Hussain and Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt were also present at the occasion.

In total two agreements were signed including the one for sale of the trainer aircraft.

According to the first agreement Pakistan Air Force will provide Training, to Iraq Air Defence Force personnel, in all sphere of Modern Air Force concept pertaining to different field special Air Defence, and Air Crew.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Defense News story on Pakistan Air Force modernization:

Financial difficulties aside, Pakistan is modernizing its air power mainly through investing in the critical JF-17 Thunder program. But the Chengdu J-10B/FC-20 order is less certain.

With a funding crunch, the Pakistan Air Force “will concentrate most resources on JF-17 to ensure its success and further development,” said Usman Shabbir, with the Pakistan Military Consortium think tank.

Last year, the Air Force admitted modernization efforts under the Armed Forces Development Plan 2025 had gone unfunded since 2007. However, Pakistan secured a Chinese loan to keep JF-17 production on track. No details, including the amount of the loan, have been made public.

Production of the second block of 50 began in December. With 50 jets in service, Pakistan’s requirement is for up to 250 planes to replace its Mirage and F-7 aircraft. It already has replaced the A-5C Fantan strike fighter with two squadrons.

The Block II JF-17 has improved avionics, weapons load and carriage capability, a data link and an electronic warfare suite, plus an in-flight refueling capability, but officials are reluctant to give specific details.

A spokesperson for the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), which jointly manufactures the JF-17 with China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group, would say only that the avionics suite is a “mixed package” and has been contracted.

Shabbir said he believes the NRIET KLJ-7 X-band radar will have been retained for the Block I/II aircraft, and standoff weapons such as the Ra’ad air-launched cruise missile, H-2/H-4 glide bomb and Mectron MAR-1 anti-radiation missile might also have been integrated onto the Block II jets.

Multiple ejector racks will make up for a lack of additional weapon store stations, and a dedicated designator pod station could be added later underneath the plane’s port intake.

No JF-17 has been seen carrying a designator pod, but a Chinese type will likely enter service, even though Shabbir said the Pakistan Air Force’s Air Weapons Complex “has also developed one in collaboration with a European firm.”

Which firm is unknown, but PAC collaborates with European companies such as Selex ES and Sagem.

Shabbir said the addition of a separate forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor is unlikely, and those fitted to Mirage 5s would not be “recycled” because “the FLIR-equipped [retrofit of strike element-III] Mirages will soldier on for many years as they are specialist night attack aircraft.”

Riaz Haq said...

Analysts said the new ranking (4th largest exporter) shows China's military industry has gained momentum, but that the main advantage of arms produced by China is the low price rather than core technology.

Chinese exports of major weapons increased by 212 percent during 2009-2013, compared with the previous five-year period, and China's share of global arms exports increased from 2 to 6 percent, said a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Monday.

The three biggest exporters of arms were the US, Russia and Germany.

China supplied major weapons to 35 states in the past five years, mainly low and middle-income countries. Almost three-quarters of Chinese exports went to just three clients: Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, the report said.

China's rapidly developing military technology partly explains its expansion as an arms supplier, in direct competition with Russia, the US and European states, said the report.

"The progress in the military industry has been made due to the nation's increase in investments in the field," Shan Xiufa, a research fellow at the Academy of Military Sciences of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), told the Global Times.

However, he noted that China mostly exports regular weapons. China's military industry can only be considered at the global second-tier level, distant from the first-tier countries such as the US, due to its lack of weapons with independent intellectual property rights.

"Weapons produced by China are price competitive and the country is skillful in combining others' technology," Shan said, noting that it is a reflection of the country's relatively low innovative capability in general industry.

The US delivered more weapons than any other supplier in the past five years, to at least 90 recipients. Asia and Oceania were the biggest recipient regions for US weapons, accounting for 47 per cent of US deliveries, said the report.

"Chinese, Russian and US arms supplies to South Asia are driven by both economic and political considerations," said Siemon Wezeman, senior researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers Program, noting that China and the US are using arms deliveries to Asia to strengthen their influence in the region, reported Press Trust of India.

However, Liu Weidong, an expert on the US with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that China is not comparable with world powers in increasing political influence through arms sales.

"China will consider raising its political influence in the countries that import its arms, for example, it sells weapons to allies such as Pakistan or Myanmar, but the US is more assertive in maintaining its political influence through arms exports," he said. He noted that China holds an inclusive attitude as it is not at the same level with the US on expanding political influence by selling arms due to China's less competitive technology.

Turkey, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), has come under strong pressure from its NATO allies since it announced in September last year it would purchase China's HQ-9 long range surface-to-air missile system in preference to European, Russian and US alternatives. Ankara may yet rethink the potential $3.44 billion deal with China, Istanbul-based Hurriyet Daily News reported on March 11.

The five biggest importers were India, China, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, said the report. Arms imports by states in Asia and Oceania increased by 34 percent between 2004-2008 and 2009-2013.

"China's lack of independent research and development in arms demands more imports of weapons, especially those with information-based technology, to realize the modernization of the army," Shan said, noted that it partly accounts for China's increasing defense expenditure.

Riaz Haq said...

India's continuing abject failure to build a robust defence industrial base (DIB) has come to into focus once again, with an international thinktank holding its arms imports are now almost three times as high as those of the second and third largest arms importers, China and Pakistan.

As per the latest data on international arms transfers released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the volume of Indian imports of major weapons rose by 111% between 2004-08 and 2009-13, and its share of the volume of international arms imports increased from 7% to 14%.

The major suppliers of arms to India in 2009-13 were Russia (accounting for 75% of imports) and the US (7%), which for the first time became the second largest arms supplier to India, said SIPRI. As earlier reported by TOI, the US has already bagged defence deals close to $10 billion over the last decade in the lucrative Indian defence market, with the latest being the $1.01 billion one for six additional C-130J "Super Hercules" aircraft.

The other deals on the anvil are the ones for 22 Apache attack helicopters, 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters, four P-8I maritime patrol aircraft and 145 M-777 ultra-light howitzers, together worth another $4 billion or so.

SIPRI, on its part, said the USA's share of Pakistani imports in the same period was 27%. China was also a major supplier in the region, accounting for 54% of Pakistani arms imports and 82% of Bangladeshi imports.

"Chinese, Russian and US arms supplies to South Asia are driven by both economic and political considerations," said Siemon Wezeman of SIPRI. In particular, China and the US appear to be using arms deliveries to Asia to strengthen their influence in the region, he added.

The five largest suppliers of major weapons during the five-year period 2009-13 were the United States (29% of global arms exports), Russia (27%), Germany (7%), China (6%) and France (5%).

Despite India's emergence as the world's largest arms importer over the last decade, the modernisation of its armed forces continues to take place in a haphazard manner due to the lack of concrete strategic planning in tune with the country's long-term geopolitical objectives, as reported by TOI earlier.

The Indian armed forces are still grappling with critical shortages in fighter jets, submarines, helicopters, howitzers, night-fighting capabilities and the like. The IAF, for instance, is down to just 34 fighter squadrons when it requires at least 44 to be "comfortable" against the twin-challenge posed by Pakistan and China.

A K Antony, who has been India's longest-serving defence minister, may have often chanted the mantra of "indigenisation" during his seven-and-a-half year tenure, especially after defence scams erupted one after the other, but failed to deliver meaningful systemic reforms on the ground.

There was, for instance, no concrete revamping of the DRDO and its 50 establishments as well as the five defence PSUs, four shipyards and 39 ordnance factories to ensure they deliver weapon systems without huge cost and time overruns.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Jane's Defense 360 on Pakistan arms exports to Bahrain and Nigeria:

Pakistan has highlighted further opportunities to export its military equipment to Bahrain and Nigeria.

Government statements said that Pakistan is pursuing opportunities for further defence trade and related industrial collaboration with both nations. The government also noted its ability to offer "good offset programmes" to its defence export customers, although did not elaborate.

Following meetings between Pakistan and Nigerian defence officials on 17 March, a statement outlined opportunities to increase defence trade and joint production programmes.

Nigeria is a known target customer for the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17 Thunder aircraft, jointly developed by Pakistan and China. It has also previously expressed interest in acquiring Al-Zarrar main battle tanks produced by Heavy Industries Taxila, Kaan 33 fast attack craft constructed by Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works, and a range of firearms.

Riaz Haq said...

Belarus, Pakistan Seek Closer Defense Industry Cooperation

Belarus and Pakistan have expressed an interest in pursuing closer defense industrial relations, but the likely path forward is uncertain at this early stage of talks, say analysts.

A press release by Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production outlined how Tanveer Hussain, federal minister for defense production, led a delegation of Pakistani defense officials to the seventh International Exhibition of Arms and Military Machinery MILEX-2014 held in Minsk, Belarus, July 9-12.

Hussain was to have met various Belarus officials, including Defense Minister Yuri Zhadobin, Chairman of the State Military & Industrial Committee Sergei Gurulev, Foreign Affairs Minister Vladimir Makei, and defense industry officials.

According to the the press release, “All these were high level meetings after which both sides announced their interest in establishing mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of Defence production. Both sides agreed to develop a plan of action for establishing military & technical cooperation between the two countries.”

Hussain highlighted the strides Pakistan’s own defense industry had made, especially when it came to projects such as the JF-17 Thunder aircraft and armored fighting vehicles.

The press release further stated, “A possibility to establish service centers and technical maintenance centers were also explored.”

An invitation was also extended to the Belarusians to attend Pakistan’s biannual defense exhibition, which was accepted. The International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS2014) will be held in Karachi in December.

Analysts welcome the move for closer defense industry cooperation, but say it is too early to speculate how successful this will be.

“Cooperation in defense production between Belarus and Pakistan would benefit both countries, given the combination of undoubted expertise and reasonably priced production, but negotiations are at a very early stage indeed, and although there may be an agreement to cooperate, this will take time,” said former Australian defense attache to Islamabad, Brian Cloughley.

He said a careful analysis of their requirements will reveal the best avenues for cooperation, but despite their strengths, this may be in a non-traditional area.

“Both countries will have to analyze their national requirements and where best to cooperate in combining their capabilities. Both are technologically advanced in production of armored vehicles, but there is decreasing emphasis on MBTs [given the likely shape of the future land battle] and more probable that they could get together over IED-protected troop carriers.”

Similarly, though he is uncertain what Pakistan will acquire from Belarus, Siemon Wezeman, senior researcher on the Arms Transfers and Arms Production Programme for the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, said there is a natural attraction for Pakistan toward Belarus.

“Belarus doesn’t produce that much and most is components — they seem quite strong in electronics. Generally, Belarus seems willing to sell to most states and probably at ‘reasonable prices,’” he said.

He said Pakistan may be on the lookout for inexpensive systems to improve existing weapons or weapons produced or planned in Pakistan, but is uncertain what Belarus might want in return...

Riaz Haq said...

Washington Post: Pakistan is eyeing sea-based and short-range nuclear weapons, analysts say

In one of the world’s most volatile regions, Pakistan is advancing toward a sea-based missile capability and expanding its interest in tactical nuclear warheads, according to Pakistani and Western analysts.

The development of nuclear missiles that could be fired from a Navy ship or submarine would give Pakistan “second-strike” capability if a catastrophic nuclear exchange destroyed all land-based weapons. But the acceleration of Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programs is renewing international concern about the vulnerability of those weapons in a country home to more than two dozen Islamist extremist groups.  

“The assurances Pakistan has given the world about the safety of its nuclear program will be severely tested with short-range and sea-based systems, but they are coming,” said Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Stimson Center, a Washington-based global security think tank. “A cardinal principle of Pakistan’s nuclear program has been: ‘Don’t worry; we separate warheads from launchers.’ Well, that is very hard to do at sea.”

Western officials have been concerned about Pakistan’s nuclear program since it first tested an atomic device in 1998. Those fears have deepened over the past decade amid political tumult, terror attacks and tensions with the country’s nuclear-armed neighbor, India, with which it has fought three wars.

That instability was underscored this month, as anti-government protests in the capital appeared to push Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government to the brink of collapse. The political crisis was unfolding as Pakistan and India continued lobbing artillery shells across their border, in a tit-for-tat escalation that illustrated the continued risk of another war.

For more than a decade, Pakistan has sent signals that it’s attempting to bolster its nuclear arsenal with “tactical” weapons — short-range missiles that carry a smaller warhead and are easier to transport.

Over the past two years, Pakistan has conducted at least eight tests of various land-based ballistic or cruise missiles that it says are capable of delivering nuclear warheads. Last September, Sharif, citing “evolving security dynamics in South Asia,” said Pakistan is developing “a full spectrum deterrence capability to deter all forms of aggression.”

The next step of Pakistan’s strategy includes an effort to develop nuclear warheads suitable for deployment from the Indian Ocean, either from warships or from one of the country’s five diesel-powered Navy submarines, analysts say. In a sign of that ambition, Pakistan in 2012 created the Naval Strategic Force command, which is similar to the air force and army commands that oversee nuclear weapons.

“We are on our way, and my own hunch is within a year or so, we should be developing our second-strike capability,” said Shireen M. Mazari, a nuclear expert and the former director of the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, a hawkish Pakistani government-funded think-tank.

Pakistan’s nuclear push comes amid heightened tension with U.S. intelligence and congressional officials over the security of the country’s nuclear weapons and materials. The Washington Post reported in September 2013 that U.S. intelligence officials had increased surveillance of Pakistan in part because of concerns that nuclear materials could fall into the hands of terrorists.

Riaz Haq said...

China Has Unveiled a New Laser System to Shoot Down Drones

A few years ago, Air Force brass noted that some "drones are useless in contested airspace," said Kreps, meaning they're no match for enemy fighter planes. But the technology has advanced quickly and more governments — including China, India, Turkey and Pakistan — are developing drone and anti-drone programs.

"The technology has become lighter and smaller, creating a different set of vulnerabilities for typical air defense systems — hence the need for this kind of system that can counter smaller-scale drones that could actually be more insidious," she said.

Since 2008, the United States has conducted more than 1,700 drone strikes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan and elsewhere, as Kreps explained in a recent Foreign Affairs article. The US has killed more than 450 people with drones, according to Kreps.

The United Kingdom has deployed drones in Afghanistan. Israel has flown drones in Palestine. Israel also shot down a drone operated by the Palestinian militant group Hamas during the Gaza Strip conflict earlier this year.

The proliferation of drones has led Kreps to question if they make warfare too easy because they don't expose pilots to danger. She and others have argued that President Barack Obama and his predecessor, George W. Bush, have routinely authorized drone attacks in airspace where they would be reluctant to send manned warplanes.

Now, China is facing similar questions as it beefs up its drone arsenal.

China and Japan have rattled sabers over Chinese drones that were flying over islands claimed by bother countries in the East China Sea. Upping the stakes, Japan last year publicly adopted a policy to shoot down drones if they ignored warnings to leave Japanese air space. That's a looser standard than for manned aircraft, which become targets only if they pose a threat to Japanese nationals. China, meanwhile, has said it would consider an attack on a drone as an act of war.

The anti-drone laser defense system is an example of China flexing its muscles at a time of rising tensions in the Pacific region, Kreps said. But it would be a shame if it emboldened Chinese leaders to go to war and jeopardize millions of lives just because Japan blew up a high-tech remote-controlled aircraft.

Riaz Haq said...

A recently concluded defence co-operation agreement between Russia and Pakistan will be followed up by the latter purchasing the Klimov RD-93 aircraft engines directly from Russia, Pakistan's defence minister has told IHS Jane's .

Speaking at the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) 2014 in Karachi, Defence Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif said: "We are now looking to purchase aircraft engines like the RD-93 from Russia. This is important for us."

The Sino-Pakistani-produced JF-17 Thunder fighter is powered by the Klimov RD-93, but previous engines were purchased by China from Russia and supplied to the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex at Kamra, where the JF-17s are manufactured.

Riaz Haq said...

KARACHI: Minister for Defence of Poduction Rana Tanveer on Wednesday said that Pakistan’s defence exports have doubled in a year – thanks to the state-of-the-art equipment being manufactured by the country’s defence industry.
He stated this while meeting the high-level delegates from around the world on the sidelines of the IDEAS-2014 at Expo Centre. The delegations from China, Qatar, Turkey, Korea, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, and Sudan called on the minister and appreciated the turn out of IDEAS-2014.
The minister stressed the need for greater cooperation in defence industry. He welcomed the joint ventures and agreements taking place between different world countries and Pakistan. Rana Tanveer said that Russian participation in IDEAS-2014 is very significant and Pak-Russian relations would pave the way to increase the exports of Pakistani defence products.
“We are optimistic about the cooperation between Pakistan and Russia. We have received good response from around the world and it is quite encouraging that participation of countries in IDEAS-2014 has increased as having representation of over 50 countries is a great achievement. This shows that this exhibition would further improve our export numbers,” he added.
Meanwhile, the minister met with the Afghan delegation. ‘Afghanistan must be happy to attend the exhibition. We want to see a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan. We need to cooperate in bilateral areas and find ways of trade and cooperation. The new Afghan president is looking for cordial ties and Pakistan welcomes this approach,’ he added.
Air Force Commander Major General Wahab and Brigadier Mohammad Amir Burki were part of the Afghan delegation. They said Afghanistan will be happy to cooperate with Pakistan. Rana Tanveer said it is good news that Afghanistan is offering friendly ties with Pakistan, which is quite welcoming.
Corps Commander Karachi Naveed Mukhtar also visited IDEAS-2014 and went to different stalls. ‘It is a great opportunity to host such a mega event and honour to welcome foreign companies to showcase their defence products. I appreciate the arrangements,’ he added.
Around 256 foreign companies and 77 Pakistani firms are showcasing their products in IDEAS-2014. Badar Expo Solutions is the official event manager of IDEAS-2014.

Riaz Haq said...

Karachi- Pakistan-made smart bomb Takbir has grabbed the attention of visitors at the IDEAS 2014 at the Expo Centre Karachi.
Pakistan Air Force’s Zubair Iqbal Malik said the bomb had the capacity to hit accurately its target within only seven seconds. It can be launched from a fighter aircraft. As soon as it is launched its wings appear and dodging the hurdles in its way it hits the target with 250 kg explosive material. It has a range of 80 to 100 kilometers.
Saudi defense delegation takes keen interest in Takbir and other defense products like drones, Al-Khalid tank and F-17 jet fighters. Saudi delegation also call on army chief Gen. Sharif at side line of Ideas 2014 expo in Karachi.

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpt From Wall Street Journal on IDEAS 2014:

“Ideas 2014 is our biggest exhibition so far,” said Commodore Tahir Javed, a senior official with Pakistan’s Defense Export Promotion Organization, the event’s organizers. “We have received overwhelming response from around the globe.”

He said 333 companies exhibited their wares at this year’s show, compared with 209 in 2012. Chinese and Turkish firms, in particular, had a strong presence, with a hall dedicated for each of the countries’ representatives.

The Pakistani military has long had a diverse source of weapons suppliers: Pakistan’s air force, for instance, flies the F-16 fighter made by U.S.-based Lockheed Martin Corp. , but its military also operates Chinese and Russian hardware.

Russia’s military exporters also had a significant presence in this year’s Karachi arms fair, showcasing helicopters and electronic-warfare equipment. Pakistan has been using the Mi-17 transport helicopter as a workhorse of army operations since 1959, and Islamabad recently struck a deal for Russia’s more advanced Mi-35 attack helicopter.

“We have reached a deal for a small number of the Mi-35, which is easily serviceable here,” said Minister for Defense Production Rana Tanveer Hussain. He didn’t elaborate on the deal, saying details would be given at a signing ceremony in a couple of months.

Officials said the Mi-35 would be particularly useful in the country’s counterinsurgency campaign. They also added that one of the most valuable assets in the fight has been the JF-17 fighter jet, a multi-role aircraft jointly developed by China’s Chengdu Aircraft Corp. and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex. The JF-17, which has day and night attack capabilities, was a centerpiece of the exhibit.

Military officials in Pakistan say the jet represents a step for Pakistan as a producer and potential exporter of bigger and more sophisticated weapons systems. Officials said Egypt and Nigeria were particularly interested in the JF-17.

“We have received orders from four countries in the Middle East and Africa for at least a squadron each of the plane,” said Mr. Hussain.

While the JF-17 fighter was in many respects the star of the show, the exhibition also offered international firms entry into a potentially lucrative domestic security market. Organizers said some of the most dramatic growth has been seen in the armored car market for private firms and individuals, as well as for security agencies.

Increased lawlessness has fueled a boom in demand for armored cars. Company executives and landlords are often targeted by terror groups to finance their activities, particularly in Karachi, Pakistan’s business capital. Dozens have been kidnapped or attacked after being held up at gunpoint.

Dinshaw Anklesaria, the owner of Pakarmor, an armored-car manufacturer based in Karachi, said the market had potential but that government restrictions on imports had stymied some growth. He said his company, as a local manufacturer, was required to obtain a no-objection certificate from the government for every piece imported for armoring a vehicle.

“It’s detrimental for local manufacturers, and helps large multinationals or those exporting from abroad and should be revised,” he said.

More than 300 police officers have been killed in targeted attacks since January 2013 in Karachi alone. Police officials said a majority of these attacks took place either while on patrol or traveling near neighborhoods that are militant or criminal strongholds. Often, the only way to clear and control these areas is with armored trucks.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan-made POF Eye is a special-purpose hand-held weapon system similar in concept to the CornerShot that can fire weapons around corners. It was first revealed at the 5th International Defense Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS 2008), held at the Karachi Expo Centre in November 2008.[2][3] It is designed for SWAT and special forces teams in hostile situations, particularly counter-terrorism and hostage rescue operations. It allows its operator to both see and attack an armed target without exposing the operator to counter-attack.

Video report on Pakistan POF Eye bendable gun that uses laser and video targeting to shoot around corners.

Riaz Haq said...

ISLAMABAD: The country’s indigenous defence production has reached $1.5 billion per annum, according to a report published in the Jane’s Defence Weekly. The journal quoted an unnamed Pakistani official as saying: “We have substituted imported defence equipment worth $1.5bn [per year], which for us is a huge bonus.”

The defence industry has often been criticised for being inefficient and low tech because of which the cost of its products has been higher than that of comparable items in the international market.

But, the government’s decision to grant first right of refusal to the local industry, which is state-controlled, helped the ailing industry in boosting its sales. The right of refusal has not been fully accorded as Sindh province is yet to comply.

Under the first right of refusal, local buyers have to accord preference to local industry for their procurements. The Minister for Defence Production Rana, Tanvir Hussain, was quoted by the Jane’s as saying: “We have achieved self-sufficiency in several areas of defence production. We cannot lower our guard against the threat from our adversaries.”

Of the $1.5bn defence hardware produced locally, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex at Kamra, which manufactures JF-17 Thunder fighter jet, Mushak and Super Mushak aircraft and produced equipment worth a billion dollars last year.

Supplies worth another $500 million came from other production facilities catering for the Army and the Navy. These included the Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) and the Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF).

The Taxila complex builds Al Khalid and Al Zarrar tanks along with armoured personnel carriers, while POF produces small arms and medium-sized weapon systems for the armed forces. Another major contributor has been the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works.

Despite the progress made by the local defence industry in meeting the needs of the armed forces, it (the defence industry) has not been able to find buyers for its products in the international market.

Officials are hopeful of some deals materialising in near future, including one for sale of JF-17 Thunder jets.

“For years officials have hoped a major export order for one of these would put the country on the list of the world’s emerging arms exporters,” Jane’s noted. It added that there was a small ray of hope, however. Nigeria, it said, was due to finalise plans to buy 15 to 30 units of the JF-17 in what would be the fighter’s first export.

Riaz Haq said...

Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and over 1,000 AI researchers co-signed an open letter to ban killer #robots via @sai

More than a thousand artificial intelligence researchers just co-signed an open letter urging the United Nations to ban the development and use of autonomous weapons.

The letter was presented this week at the 2015 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and physicist Stephen Hawking signed the letter, alongside leading AI scientists like Google director of research Peter Norvig, University of California, Berkeley computer scientist Stuart Russell and Microsoft managing director Eric Horvitz.

The letter states that the development of autonomous weapons, or weapons that can target and fire without a human at the controls, could bring about a "third revolution in warfare," much like the creation of guns and nuclear bombs before it.

Even if autonomous weapons were created for use in "legal" warfare, the letter warns that autonomous weapons could become "the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow" — hijacked by terrorists and used against civilians or in rogue assassinations.

To everyday citizens, the Kalahnikovs — a series of automatic rifles designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov — are better known as AKs.

"They're likely to be used not just in wars between countries, but the way Kalashnikovs are used now ... in civil wars," Russell told Tech Insider. "[Kalashnikovs are] used to terrorize populations by warlords and guerrillas. They're used by governments to oppress their own people."

A life in fear of terrorists or governments armed with autonomous artificially intelligent weapons "would be a life for many human beings that is not something I would wish for anybody," Russell said.

Unlike nuclear arms, the letter states that lethal autonomous weapons systems, or LAWS, would "require no costly or hard-to-obtain raw materials, so they will become ubiquitous and cheap for all significant military powers to mass-produce."

But just how close are we to having usable autonomous weapons? According to Russell, affordable killer robots aren't a distant technology of the future. Stuart wrote in a May 2015 issue of Nature that LAWS could be feasible in just a few years.

In fact, semiautonomous weapons, which have some autonomous functions but not the capability to fire without humans, already exist. As Heather Roff, an ethics professor at the University of Denver, writes in Huffington Post Tech, the line between semiautonomous and fully autonomous is already quite thin, and getting even smaller.

Read more:

Unknown said...

Pakistan has used an armed drone for the first time in war on terror during an operation in shawwal killing three high profile targets.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Continues Arms Export Efforts. #JF17 via @defense_news

Pakistan's Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO) unveiled a new exhibition center showcasing defense products from the country's public and private sectors in the presence of Defence Production Minister Tanveer Hussain, foreign diplomats and defense officials as part of efforts to increase exports.

Increased export efforts have been underway for some time. Already experiencing some success has been state-owned conglomerate Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF), a producer of small arms, ammunition and explosives.


The official has has led to the production of an improved anti-personnel round for the ubiquitous RPG-7 now used by the army in ongoing counter terror/insurgency operations. However, no tandem warhead anti-tank round has been developed to replace the obsolete unitary round still in service, even though it would be commercially successful.

Similarly, development of the PK-8, an improved Heckler & Koch HK33K 5.56mm assault rifle, was abandoned after the army dropped its requirement for a weapon of that exact caliber. The 7.62mm G3S, a carbine/para variant of the army's current G3P4 battle rifle, was ultimately adopted.

He admitted that the lack of a 5.56mm product hampered POF's earning potential, especially in the $5 billion US civilian market, but said little could be done by POF itself as it was dependent on development funds and direction from the government.

Pakistan, however, continues to forge closer defense cooperation links with countries it already has good military relations with. On Monday, the Malaysian army chief, Gen. Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Bin Raja Mohamed Noor, visited senior defense officials here including the head of Pakistan's army, Gen. Raheel Sharif, during which closer defense cooperation was discussed.

Further improving the already very strong Pakistani-Turkish defense relationship also was discussed recently during a meeting between defense officials from both countries here on Oct. 2 ahead of the 11th High Level Military Dialogue Group scheduled for November.

Pakistan has also sought to increase cooperation with newer partners including the Czech Republic, the deputy defense minister of which, Tomas Kuchta, met Sharif at Army Headquarters Tuesday. Closer defense relations are also being pursued with Poland, but there has been no agreement with that country as of yet.

Though receiving some official promotional help, private-sector companies have hitherto largely forged their own paths.

However, Nooruddin F Daud of Daudsons Armoury, a successful private-sector small arms manufacturer that also supplies bombs and weapon mounts to the military, who attended the DEPO launch, hopes for improvement.

"I am very confident indeed. We have our toe in the door. Now we need the government's assistance," he said.

As to how the government could help the private sector, however, he replied, "The fact has to be realized that each industry and product category has its own peculiar demands and requirements. There can't be blanket rules and assistance."

Daudsons Armoury officials are hopeful their new products – an automatic 40mm grenade launcher, an under-barrel grenade launcher and remote/undercover weapon mount able to be armed with a 7.62mm MG3 machine gun for security posts – will win exports.

However, analyst, author and former Australian defense attaché to Islamabad Brian Cloughley says Pakistan has a strong defense industrial base, but this may not be enough to ensure increased export success.

"Pakistan's defense industry is well-organized and produces high-quality material, especially in the way of ammunition, but the world market is saturated with defense products and it is extremely difficult to break into what is effectively a closed shop," he said.

Riaz Haq said...

#China, #Pakistan to jointly export upgraded jet fighter #JF17 #DubaiAirshow … via @ibnlive

Beijing: China and Pakistan will jointly export an upgraded version of the JF-17 multi-role fighter jet co-produced by the two countries since 1998. Officials from Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) command said on Monday at the ongoing Dubai Airshow that an upgraded version of the jointly developed JF-17 fighter jet is expected to be exported to more customers.
Briefing reporters at Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, Liu Yu, Vice President of China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation, said the next generation of the JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft will satisfy the growing market demand from third parties "as the future JF-17 aircraft is a comprehensive elevation of the aircraft."

The future JF-17 will have more advanced capabilities, such as air-to-air refuelling, data link and electronic warfare, and will be integrated with more new guided weapons, state-run Xinhua quoted Liu as saying in Dubai. A dual-seated version of the JF-17 fighter/trainer is also under development, added Liu.
China, which maintained close strategic relations with Pakistan military for long has recently reached USD five billion deal to provide eight submarines to its all-weather ally. PAF Vice Marshal Arshad Malik said the Pakistani army expects the new version JF-17 jet to get into service by the end of 2016.

The JF-17 fighter is co-produced by AVIC and PAF since 1998 based on the principle of "joint investment, joint development, and sharing risks and returns." At present, JF-17 fighter is already procured by a third party customer, and several potential customers are conducting or plan to conduct the evaluation of the JF-17 fighter, Xinhua report said without giving details. The 14th Dubai International Airshow officially kicked off in Dubai yesterday and will run through Thursday.`

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Assists #Nigeria with Ammunition, Aircraft Maintenance in War Against #BokoHaram | THISDAY LIVE: …

The Pakistani government has disclosed that they have been assisting Nigeria’s counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations against Boko Haram terrorists, in the area of ammunition supplies and maintenance of military aircraft.

This disclosure was made on Tuesday in Abuja by the Pakistani Ambassador to Nigeria, Agha Umar Farook, during his meeting with the Minister of Defence, Mr. Dan-Ali,
Farook said that both countries with shared history have sustained their defence ties for over five decades.

He noted that the relationship in the area of security is further strengthened in the equally shared experience of terrorism and insurgency.
He said: “The two nations have certain similar challenges and opportunities that we share. Over the decades, we have built some tangible cooperation not only in defence, but also in agriculture and science and technology, as well as education.

“But the cooperation with the ministry of defence has been in the area of training, and capacity building among our military, the intervention has been tangible and we will sustain it over the years.”

“I am sure you are aware that Pakistan not only supports the entire anti-terrorism efforts anywhere in the world but most recently in Nigeria and we have been doing a good job in terms of the ammunition supply and maintenance of aircraft and operational worthiness of platforms.

“I am very much aware of the efforts being put in place for defence cooperation. A high level military delegation has been visiting Pakistan and vice-versa,” he added.

Farook, also stated that “Pakistan is willing to cooperate with the Nigeria military in fighting Boko Haram, and also because of Nigeria’s position in the African Union (AU).”

According to him, Pakistan is not only willing to cooperate in building security but also in the power and education sectors.

In the same vein, Dan-Ali said the cooperation between Nigeria and Pakistan has lasted more than four decades, adding that “a lot of things are common to all of us. We also know that we have very common thing especially with insurgency, you have long experience of fighting insurgency in your country, and we look for assistance in that direction.”

The minister revealed that a security team from Nigeria had visited Pakistan to access how Nigeria can train its personnel in fighting insurgency in the country.

“We need to borrow things like the border monitoring and intelligence gathering that you have, with guards looking after the borders. We share a common determination and we share common problems
“On the defence industry, we are working towards bringing you to come and access and assist us in that direction,” he said.

Riaz Haq said...

#Nigeria Air Force buying JF-17 fighter jets and Super Mushshak trainers from #Pakistan. #JF17 …

Nigeria plans to acquire three JF-17 Thunder multirole fighter jets this year from Pakistan for $25 million, which would make the West African country the first export operator for the warplanes. The Nigerian government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, has also set aside money to purchase 10 PAC Super Mushshak basic trainers and two Mi-35M helicopters, Nigerian newspaper Punch reported Wednesday.

The local newspaper said it obtained the information on the Nigerian government’s procurement plans from a leaked copy of the 2016 budget, which Buhari presented to the National Assembly in December. Buhari reportedly proposed to spend some $326 million for the acquisition of various combat aircraft, equipment, vehicles and ships in the 2016 fiscal year, as the Nigerian military aims to defeat Boko Haram insurgents in the northeast.

Nigerian military officials have apparently been interested in obtaining the JF-17 since the 2014 International Defense Exhibition and Seminar in the commercial capital of Pakistan. During the exhibition, a Pakistani defense official said Nigeria was close to signing a contract for the fighter jets to upgrade its air force. But a deal was not subsequently finalized, according to South Africa’s defenceWeb.

Sri Lanka has reportedly signed a deal with Pakistan for an initial eight JF-17 Thunder jets, as the two countries aim to boost defense cooperation. There has been no official confirmation of the agreement, though it has been widely reported, according to Defense News.

The JF-17 Thunder is a lightweight, single-engine, multirole combat aircraft developed jointly by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and China’s state-owned Chengdu Aircraft Corporation. The jet is equipped with a 23mm GSh-23-2 twin-barrel autocannon and can also be armed with both air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles. The JF-17 Thunder is currently only in service in Pakistan, according to UPI.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan announces new #auto industry policy to encourage greenfield investments in #manufacturing …

In the hope of attracting a European carmaker, the government on Friday approved a new automobile policy, which offers tax incentives to new entrants to help them establish manufacturing units and compete effectively with the three well-entrenched assemblers.

After a hiatus of almost two and a half years, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet gave the go-ahead to the Automotive Development Policy 2016-21, according to an announcement made by the Ministry of Finance.
However, the government did not change its policy for used car imports, leaving consumers with a narrow range of choice until new brands of good quality are produced in the domestic market.

The Federal Board of Revenue had proposed that import of up to five-year-old used cars should be allowed compared to the current three-year ceiling. It also called for opening imports for commercial purposes.

The automotive policy will be formally launched on Monday. Industries and Production Minister Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi did not attend the ECC meeting.

“The existing three car manufacturers will not be entitled to the benefits that are being offered to the new investors,” said Miftah Ismail, Chairman of the Board of Investment, while talking to The Express Tribune.

The policy was aimed at enhancing consumer welfare and boosting competition besides attracting new players, he added.

Ismail said greater localisation of auto parts had been ensured in the policy and in case the new entrants were unable to achieve the targets, they would be penalised.

The government has allowed one-off duty-free import of plant and machinery for setting up an assembly and manufacturing facility. It has also permitted import of 100 vehicles of the same variants in the form of completely built units (CBUs) at 50% of the prevailing duty for test marketing after the groundbreaking of the project.

A major incentive for the new investors is the reduced 10% customs duty on non-localised parts for five years against the prevailing 32.5%. For existing investors, the duty will be slashed by 2.5% to 30% from the new fiscal year 2016-17.

Similarly, localised parts can be imported by the new entrants at 25% duty compared to the current 50% for five years. For existing players, the duty on import of localised parts will be brought down to 45% from the new fiscal year, beginning July.

In the CBU category, customs duty on cars up to 1,800cc engine capacity has been reduced by 10% for two years – 2017-18 and 2018-19. This will be applicable to the existing players as well and will encourage reduction in car prices.

A single duty rate will be applied to the localised and non-localised parts after five years of the new policy. The present duty structure will continue for seven years for the new investors.

The Board of Investment will provide a single point of contact for all new investors. They will be required to submit a detailed business plan and relevant documents to the Engineering Development Board (EDB) for assessment.

Riaz Haq said...

From United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO):

Pakistan Manufacturing Value Added (MVA):

MVA per capita at constant 2005 prices increased from US$135.03 in 2005 to $143.84 in 2014

MVA as percentage of GDP at constant 2005 prices in US$ decreased from 18.05% in 2005 to 17.41% in 2014

India Manufacturing Value Added (MVA):

MVA per capita at constant 2005 prices increased from US$155.73 in 2005 to $168.42 in 2014

MVA as percentage of GDP at constant 2005 prices in US$ decreased from 15.10% in 2005 to 13.85% in 2014

China tops the list of world's 10 largest industrial producers. It is followed by the US, Japan, Germany and South Korea, according to United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO).

India ranks 6th in the world in terms of total manufacturing output in 2013, up from 9th place in 2008,

India's manufacturing value added (MVA) per capita of 161.7 in 2013 is among the lowest in the world. It's up from 131.9 in 2008.

In fact India's 2008 MVA per capita of 131.9 was lower than Pakistan's 141.1. Since 2008, Pakistan's MVA per capita has slipped to 139.1 in 2013 while India's has increased to 161.7 in this period.

Bangladesh's MVA per capita has jumped from 82.2 in 2008 to 118.3 in 2013.

On UNIDO’s industrial competitiveness index, most industrialized countries lost ground in the last three years. Among the five most competitive are four high-income countries (Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States), along with China ranking fifth. The four are among the world’s most industrialized countries and, with China, account for 59 percent of world MVA.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan prepares to launch third Azmat-class missile boat at #Karachi Shipyard | IHS Jane's 360 …

State-owned Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works Limited (KSEW) will launch an Azmat-class missile-capable patrol craft for the Pakistan Navy on 17 September.

The platform, which was laid down in August 2015, will be the country's third Azmat-class boat. First-of-class PNS Azmat (1013) was commissioned in June 2012, while second ship PNS Deshat (1014) was inducted in June 2014.

Contracts to acquire a third and fourth vessel were signed in June 2013 and June 2014 respectively. Construction of these platforms is being undertaken in collaboration with China's shipbuilding industry under an arrangement aimed at transferring technology to KSEW.

The Azmat class is based on the People's Liberation Army Navy's (PLAN's) Houjian (Type 037/2)-class missile boat design. The 63 m vessel has a top speed of 30 kt, and a range of 1,000 n miles at 18 kt, according to IHS Jane's Fighting Ships.

The platform's offensive capabilities are provided by eight (two quad) launchers that are capable of deploying the C-802A surface-to-surface missile, a twin 37 mm gun mounting in the forward section, and a Type 630 30 mm close-in weapon system (CIWS) for defence against aerial threats.

Riaz Haq said...

#Nigeria to buy 10 Super Mushshak trainer aircraft from #Pakistan. Other customers: #Saudi #Qatar #Oman #Iran #RSA

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday signed an agreement for the sale of 10 Super Mushshak aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) announced here on Friday.

“The contract signing ceremony was held at Abuja (Nigeria) where Air Vice Marshal Iya Ahmed Abdullahi and Air Marshal Arshad Malik, Chairman of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), signed the contract,” PAF spokesman Air Commodore Syed Mohammad Ali said.

The contract includes operational training and technical support and assistance to the NAF. The Pakistan Air Force would completely establish this facility in the shortest possible time, he said.

The contract will not only open new vistas for export of aviation equipment to foreign countries but also help generate revenue for the country.

The aircraft is already in service with Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iran and South Africa.

The deal strengthens PAC’s status as a world class aviation industry producing the supersonic JF-17 Thunder and Super Mushshak trainer aircraft.