The Copycat of the Subcontinent


धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः
Senior Member
Oct 14, 2020
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The Copycat of the Subcontinent
In this article we’ll analyse the claims of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan’s domestic weapons Research and Development programme and how “domestic” are they by analysing their various copied systems.

Pakistan’s Missile Programme
  1. NASR: NASR is a short range ballistic missile with approx 60 km range and capable of carrying various kinds of warheads.

Nasr Tactical SRBM And Chinese Weishi WS-2 MBRL

China sold Pakistan it’s copy of A-100 MBRL platforms, part of their Weishi rockets programme and it is very much possible that Pakistan modified WS-2 Rockets to make Nasr missile, as Nasr is believed to be derived from Weishi rockets. (Source: 1, 2 & 3)

2. A-100 “Indigenous” MBRL Platform: In 2019, the ISPR revealed the A-100 (which has a range of over 100 km) as an “indigenous” rocket.

Russian BM-30 Smerch

If the A-100 is the base MLRS, then it is a well known fact that A-100 MBRL is a cheap Chinese knockoff of the legendary BM-30 Smerch, which even Pakistan acknowledged until ISPR claimed it to be indigenous.


From a trial exercise by Pakistan

3. HATF Missile: HATF family is claimed as a short range ballistic missile, developed by Space Research Commission and Kahuta Research Laboratories.

It’s design is basically based on a Sounding Rockets which are one or two stage solid propellant rockets used for probing the upper atmospheric regions and for space research. They also serve as easily affordable platforms to test or prove prototypes of new components or subsystems intended for use in launch vehicles and satellites.

A Sounding Rocket

SUPARCO has been accessible to American Sounding Rockets since the Apollo Moon Landing mission.

4. Shaheen: The Shaheen, is a Pakistani land-based supersonic and short-to-medium range surface-to-surface guided ballistic missile jointly designed and “developed by the joint venture of NESCOM and the National Defence Complex”.

Chinese DF-11A

DF-11A is a 3rd segment added to a normal DF-11, which essentially is the base on which Shaheen missile family is based on. (Source)

5. Ababeel: Ababeel is a medium range ballistic missile, capable of having multiple warheads. Claimed to be MIRV capable.

It is essentially an enlarged Shaheen-III with a peculiar warhead shroud. (Source)

6. Ghauri Missile: The Ghauri is a land-based surface-to-surface medium-range ballistic missile, claimed to be designed by Kahuta Research Laboratories.

North Korean Rodong-I

Pakistan had long maintained it’s positive relations with North Korea, It is well known that assassinated Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto had met with North Korean officials on several occasions during the 1990s to discuss a deal that would give Pakistan access to the North Korean Rodong long-range missiles. (Source: 1, 2 & 3)

Ghauri is based on the Rodong-1 missile of North Korean origin.

7. Abdali Missile: Abdali is a supersonic and tactical surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) claimed to be designed and developed by the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO).

It is derived from the copied Hatf missile family, it is an enlarged and elongated variant of the Hatf missile greatly improving it’s payload and warhead carrying capacity.

8. Babur Cruise Missile: Babur is a medium range turbojet powered subsonic cruise missile that can be launched from land or underwater seaborne platforms.

In 1998, the United States of America fired a salvo of the Tomahawk cruise missiles on terrorist camps in Afghanistan but they fell on the territory of Pakistan occupied Balochistan and were recovered by Pakistani military personnel and maybe were sold off to China, which later developed it’s own reverse engineered copy of Tomahawk called the DH-10/CJ-10 missile who’s technology later may be used by Pakistan in improving Babur missiles. (Source: 1, 2 & 3)

Tomahawk cruise missile

It’s airframe seems to be modified for making Ra’ad ALCM.

9. Ghaznavi Missile: Ghaznavi is a surface to surface short range ballistic missile claimed to be designed and developed by the National Development Complex.

Initially, the Pakistan government was actively pushing for acquiring the M-11 missiles from China with the intention of a quick deployment. Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto personally lobbied in China for the M-11 missiles, but was unable to do so due to intense pressure mounted by the United States and the MTCR’s strict monitoring of prevention of the technology transfers of the missiles. (Source: 1 & 2)

The Ghaznavi missile is very similar to the Chinese DF-11 design as was expected considering the interest of Pakistan in the platform.

10. Anza MANPADS: The Anza is a series of shoulder-fired, man-portable surface-to-air missiles claimed to be designed and developed in Pakistan. It is guided by an infrared homing seeker, the Anza is used for short range air defence.

In 1995, it was reported that Pakistan is co-developing the Anza MANPAD with China. (Source)

Anza is a locally produced copy of the Chinese HN-5 which itself is a copy of Russian 9K32 Strela-2. (Source: 1, 2 & 3)

Pakistan’s Aviation Programme
  1. Burraq UCAV
Essentially a direct copy of Chinese CH-3 UCAV


2. GIDS Shahpar

GIDS Shahpar is an unarmed version of NESCOM Burraq and subsequently an unarmed copy of CH-3 UCAV.


Project Azm
  1. PF-X
Will most likely be a copy or a joint production with China of a J-20-esque fighter aircraft, as in 2019, a PAF C-130 participating in RIAT Airshow 2019 showed a representation of PF-X under Project Azm, which looks like Chinese Chengdu J-20.


It is most likely going to be a co-production of WingLoong-II as part of the deal in which PAF procured around 48 of WingLoong-IIs from China to be made in Pakistan rebranded as Project Azm. (Source: 1, 2 & 3)

Model of MALE UAV to be made under Project Azm


Pakistan’s GDP is a mere 270 billion dollars, and ranks at 46th number globally hence in no way Pakistan can fund domestic R&D projects hence it only rebrands foreign weapons as it’s own. Pakistan has next to no defence R&D capabilities and relies on stolen tech, access of which can cause obsolescence in their military. This article does not include the equipment which Pakistan license assembles and small arms systems due to the fact that all countries make weapons based on most popular AK and AR patters.

(Some pics are not visible, my whole article can be accessed here)


धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः
Senior Member
Oct 14, 2020
Country flag
There should be a provision for attaching more images in a single post, will be better. Anyways.

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