Defence industry likely to reach $10.4 billion by 2015
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.
Pakistan is also to acquire a FC-20 fighter jet from China, which will make Pakistan the first country to acquire this advanced third generation craft.
Furthermore, Pakistan and Turkey high-level cooperation council meetings during IDEAS-2012 in which Turkey has offered the Pakistani military hardware and assistance in infrastructure building. Also, both the countries are supporting mutual research and development for 3D surveillance radar technologies, fire control radars, warhead links, rocket engines and rocket fuels for air defence missiles, etc.
Turkey will start production of attack helicopters by 2013, which adds to further possibilities of defence cooperation between the two countries. Both the countries are also actively exploring the possibility of developing an advanced fighter jet on the lines of the JF-17. Talks are underway for the co-production of weapons, such as armoured vehicles and new generation corvettes.