Pakistan racing to develop armed drones: experts

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Blackwater, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    KARACHI: Pakistan is secretly racing to develop its own armed drones, industry experts say, but is struggling in its initial tests with a lack of precision munitions and advanced targeting technology.

    One of Islamabad’s closest allies, 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.

    Pakistan has demanded the US provide it with armed drones, claiming it could more effectively carry out attacks against militants. Washington has refused because of the sensitive nature of the technology and doubts that Pakistan would reliably target US enemies. The US has held talks with Pakistan about providing unarmed surveillance drones, but Islamabad already has several types of these aircraft in operation, and the discussions have gone nowhere.

    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 US intransigence.

    “Pakistan can also benefit from China in defense collaboration, offsetting the undeclared technological apartheid,” said Ashraf.

    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.

    Lack of precision, targeting technology

    Pakistan lacks laser-guided missiles like the Hellfire used on US 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 at best, and an unexpected gust of wind could take them 300 meters 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 can also benefit from China in defense collaboration, offsetting the undeclared technological apartheid,” said Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.
    Pakistan’s largest drone, the Shahpur, has a wingspan of about seven meters and can carry 50 kilograms. The US 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 US 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, while the Predator can fly over five times that distance.

    The British newspaper The Guardian reported Tuesday that Pakistan was working on an armed drone but did not provide details.

    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.

    China offering drones

    The Chinese government has offered to sell Pakistan an armed drone it has produced, the CH-3, which can carry two laser-guided missiles or bombs, industry insiders said.

    Also being offered to Pakistan is a more advanced drone, the CH-4, which closely resembles a US Reaper and can carry four laser-guided missiles or bombs, according to Li Xiaoli, a representative of the Chinese state-owned company that produces both the CH-3 and CH-4, Aerospace Long-march International Trade Co., Ltd.

    Pakistan has yet to purchase any armed Chinese drones because their capabilities have yet to be proven, but is likely to do so in the future, said the civilian with knowledge of the Pakistani military’s drone program.

    Only a few countries, including the US, Britain and Israel, are known to have actually used armed drones in military operations.

    “China is a bit of a tough nut to crack as you’d expect,” said Huw Williams, a drone expert at Jane’s International Defence Review. “They frequently wheel out exciting looking aircraft but are yet to really demonstrate anything earth shattering.”



    Pakistan racing to develop armed drones: experts | DAWN.COM
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    If they can't get the technology for weaponry for their Drones which they are droning away to manufacture, they should ask the Taliban.

    The Taliban are better in manufacturing weaponry and also using them than the Pakistani Nation and their Armed Forces.
     
  4. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 Tihar Jail Banned

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    Nescom is developing laser guided missile.might be developed now because the project
    while the laser designator is already developed by gids
     
  5. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 Tihar Jail Banned

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  6. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 Tihar Jail Banned

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    May be shahpar armed variant would look like this
    [​IMG]
     
  7. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Hope signal transmitters on these drones will be properly secured, else Talibanis will use real-time data feed to plan their daily attacks ! :laugh:
     
  8. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Fake story Pakistan does not have GPS satellites what good are these drones?
     
  9. HeinzGud

    HeinzGud Senior Member Senior Member

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    Does Iran has GPS satelites
     
  10. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Iran does not have GPS or armed drones.
     
  11. HeinzGud

    HeinzGud Senior Member Senior Member

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    Then why Iran produced a drone? I dunno weather it is armed or not. Is it only a media gimmick?
     
  12. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Is it an ARMED drone capable of firing missiles and returning?? Many nations can
    build toy planes and call them drones.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
    lcatejas and HeinzGud like this.
  13. Illusive

    Illusive Senior Member Senior Member

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    I think Pakis will get Beidou services.

    I am wondering if pakis are capable of developing a better system than that of Chinese.
     
  14. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Highly Doubtful. If Chinese open Beidou to Pakistan then USA will be able to access it.
    Beidou as far as i know is not military GPS?
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
  15. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 Tihar Jail Banned

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    we will have access to beidou onwards next year June

    beside this integrated dynamics has even exported uav's to a firm in usa
     
  16. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Can I have a link for this claim??
     
  17. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 Tihar Jail Banned

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    i doubt

    China might even surpass usa in this field very SOON
     
  18. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Highly doubtful China has no stealth drones or any drone that has flew around the world.
     
  19. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 Tihar Jail Banned

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    really?

    You really dont know about Chinese Program of stealth drone?

    Well tag any Chinese member
    one is already in prototypes
     
  20. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    You seem to know more than the Chinese members provide the Links for any of your
    claims??
     
  21. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    kabhi salo apni bhi baat kar liya karo.

    r u vakil of chinese???(tu mama lagya chiniya da??)
     

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