Tag Archives: Pakistan

Pakistan wants to buy Chinese stealth aircraft: Minister

By on Monday, November 24th, 2014

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has expressed interest in procuring fourth generation stealth fighter aircraft FC-31 from China.

Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain told Dawn.com on Friday the matter was being discussed with Chinese authorities.

It is for the first time that a senior government functionary has confirmed talks with China over purchase of the longer-range stealth aircraft — an issue that has been a subject of speculation in defence circles since the 10th edition of the Zhuhai Air Show (China) held earlier this month, when the aircraft was unveiled.

The Jane’s Defence Weekly had quoted an unnamed Pakistani official as saying that the PAF was holding talks with China for the purchase of 30 to 40 of the Shenyang FC-31 fighter planes and that discussions had gone beyond initial inquiries.

The FC-31 is being developed by China primarily for the export market. Chinese officials claim that several countries have expressed interest in the aircraft believed to be comparable to US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

A prototype of the aircraft, designated as J-31, has been flown by the Chinese aircraft research and development firm Shenyang Aviation Company for a couple of years now.

What particularly interests the PAF is that FC-31 prototype (J-31) and JF-17 use the same Russian Klimov RD-93 engines.

Pakistan is increasingly relying on China as a reliable source for its defence procurements.

Mr Hussain said that Pakistan was also interested in Chinese attack helicopter Z-10.

China and Pakistan had earlier co-produced JF-17 Thunder. Pakistan has been eagerly trying to market this fighter aircraft.

“We have nearly confirmed orders from seven countries for JF-17,” Mr Hussain said.

Pakistan, which is at present producing Block-2 of JF-17 at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra, is eying orders from countries in the Middle East and Africa.

“The PAF has a requirement of 250 aircraft, but now we have decided that we’ll sell some of the JF-17 Block-2 to international buyers besides fulfilling our local demand,” the minister said.

The minister sounded upbeat about the upcoming four-day defence exhibition IDEAS 2014 beginning in Karachi on Dec 1.

Some 175 companies, including 34 local firms, are participating in the international event this year.

Mr Hussain said a few MoUs and agreements on joint ventures were expected to be signed during the exhibition, but no orders were expected at the event.

“The basic spirit behind the exhibition is to increase interaction with defence industry (officials) of other countries and provide exposure to our own industry,” he said.

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Pakistan to have 200 nuclear weapons by 2020: US think tank

By on Monday, November 24th, 2014

Pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear weapons program in the world and by 2020 it could have enough fissile material to produce more than 200 nuclear devices, a top American think tank has said.

“Though many states are downsizing their stockpiles, Asia is witnessing a buildup. Pakistan has the fastest-growing nuclear program in the world. By 2020, it could have a stockpile of fissile material that, if weaponized, could produce as many as 200 nuclear devices,” council on foreign relations has said.

The report Strategic Stability in the Second Nuclear Age, authored by George Mason University’s Gregory Koblentz, has identified South Asia as the region “most at risk of a breakdown in strategic stability due to an explosive mixture of unresolved territorial disputes, crossborder terrorism, and growing nuclear arsenals.”

Pakistan, the report said, has deployed or is developing 11 delivery systems for its nuclear warheads, including aircraft, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.

“Pakistan has not formally declared the conditions under which it would use nuclear weapons but has indicated that it seeks primarily to deter India from threatening its territorial integrity or the ability of its military to defend its territory,” the report said.

CFR said while Pakistan is focused predominantly on the threat posed by India, it is reportedly also concerned by the potential for the US to launch a military operation to seize or disarm Pakistani nuclear weapons.

“This concern is based in part on reported contingency planning by the US military to prevent Pakistani nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists,” CFR said.

CFR said India is estimated to possess enough fissile material for between 90 and 110 nuclear weapons and is expanding its fissile material production capacity.

China, it said, is estimated to have 250 nuclear weapons for delivery by a mix of medium, intermediate, and intercontinental-range ballistic missiles and bombers.

“Though nuclear arsenals are shrinking in the rest of the world, Asia is witnessing a nuclear buildup. Unlike the remaining P5 countries, China is increasing and diversifying its nuclear arsenal,” the report said.

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Pakistan successfully test fires Hatf-VI ballistic missile

By on Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Pakistan on Thursday conducted a successful training launch of intermediate range Shaheen-II (Hatf-VI) ballistic missile, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) reported.

The successful launch was the culminating point of the Field Training Exercise of Army Strategic Forces Command.

The ISPR further added that the purpose of the launch was to ensure operational readiness of a Strategic Missile Group besides re-validating different design and technical parameters of the weapon system.

Shaheen-II Missile is capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads to a range of 1500 kilometres.

The launch, which had its impact point in the Arabian Sea, was witnessed by the Director of General Strategic Plans Division, Lieutenant General Zubair Mahmood Hayat and Commander Army Strategic Forces Command, Lieutenant General Obaid Ullah Khan.

Other witnesses included Chairman National Engineering and Scientific Commission (Nescom), Mr Muhammad Irfan Burney, senior officers from the strategic forces and scientists and engineers of various strategic organisations.

While addressing the participant troops and scientists at the launch area, Director General Strategic Plans Division Lieutenant General Zubair Mahmood Hayat congratulated them on achieving yet another milestone towards consolidation of full spectrum credible minimum deterrence.

He appreciated the operational preparedness and readiness of the Army Strategic Forces Command, which made the successful launch of Shaheen-II Weapon System possible. He also showed his full confidence in the existing robust Strategic Command and Control System.

He further reiterated that Pakistan is a peace-loving nation and has no aggressive designs against any one. Pakistan’s Strategic Forces are fully capable of safeguarding security of the mother land against any aggression, he said.

The successful test launch and achievement of this Range milestone has also been warmly appreciated by President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who congratulated the scientists and engineers on their outstanding achievement.

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Drivers of Long-Term Insecurity and Instability in Pakistan

By on Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Pakistan is expected to shift from a mostly rural country to mostly urban country within the next two to three decades, which could have far-reaching effects on its future politics and stability.

A new study from the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, examines three cities in Pakistan – Karachi, Lahore and Quetta – to see how this population shift may change the country. Pakistan is already one of the most urbanized countries in South Asia, but the increasing urbanization is likely to cause numerous changes including:

Increasing Urbanization May Fuel Anti-American Sentiment in the Near Term

  • Urbanization is often accompanied by increased access to national and international news.
  • In Pakistan, news about the United States typically focuses on inflammatory topics, such as drones, Guantanamo, and conflict in the Middle East.

Increasing Urbanization Is Likely to Change the Dynamic of Counterterrorism

  • In recent years, the locus of U.S. counterterrorism operations has often been lightly settled areas in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
  • The type of counterterrorism operations favored in rural areas (particularly drone strikes) is virtually impossible in an urban setting, where the tactics and strategy required are far different.

Demography and Urbanization Are Likely to Increase Demand for Political Reform

  • While rural citizens might have suffered poor governance in silence, their urbanized children are less likely to do so.
  • In the near term, demand for accountability decreases the ability of Pakistani leaders to pursue policies (such as tacit support for U.S. drone strikes) that are highly unpopular.
  • In the long term, however, the trend may prove beneficial to U.S. security interests.

From a U.S. security perspective, the study suggests that increasing urbanization may fuel anti-American sentiment and radical trans-national Islamist groups. The dynamic of counterterrorism also is likely to change, as the kinds of operations favored in rural areas – including drone strikes – is virtually impossible in an urban setting.

Demographic shifts are likely to make Karachi a potential site for increased terrorism and anti-American extremist operation, according to the study. However, demography and urbanization are unlikely to bring Islamist parties to power at the center or in Punjab and Sindh. In fact, urbanization may increase demands for political reform.

View full report in PDF format:

Drivers of Long-Term Insecurity and Instability in Pakistan (30 downloads)

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Pakistan to Acquire Global Response Cutters in $350M Sale

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan for GRC43M Cutters and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $350 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

The Government of Pakistan has requested the purchase of 8 43-meter Global Response Cutters (GRC43M). Each Cutter will be a mono-hull design made of Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP). Also included in this sale: outfitted 8 25mm or 30mm Naval Gun Systems, 32 M2-HB .50 caliber machine guns, 32 7.62mm guns, 8 8- meter Rigid Inflatable Boats, ballistic/armor protection of critical spaces, command and control equipment, communication equipment, navigation equipment, support equipment, spare and repair parts, tools and test equipment, technical data and publications, personnel training, U.S. government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated cost is $350 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a country vital to U.S. foreign policy and national security goals in South Asia.

This sale will enhance Pakistan’s ability to enforce the rule of law over its coastal areas to safeguard seaborne energy corridors, deter the outbreak of piracy along the north Arabian Sea, and curtail the trafficking of narcotics and other illicit goods. These vessels provide the Pakistan Navy with the capability for medium to long endurance coverage of its 660 miles of coastline. Pakistan will have no difficulty absorbing GRC43M Cutters into its armed forces.

This sale will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractor will be WSY, Inc. in Port Angeles, Washington. There are no known offset agreements proposed in conjunction with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require multiple trips by U.S. Government and contractor representatives to participate in program and technical reviews plus training and maintenance support in country, on a short-term temporary basis, for a period of no more than 60 months or until the last Cutter is delivered to Pakistan and integrated into their operating forces.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

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Pakistan air strikes kill 15 militants

By on Monday, October 6th, 2014

Pakistan’s military on Friday said it killed 15 insurgents in air strikes in a restive tribal district near the Afghan border, a region where it has been battling Islamist groups for more than a decade.

“Three terrorist hideouts were destroyed and 15 terrorists were killed in effective and precise aerial strikes early Friday morning in Khyber”, where the Taliban and another banned militant group, Lashkar-e-Islam, have taken refuge, the military said in a statement.

Pakistan has been battling Islamist groups in its semi-autonomous tribal belt since 2004 after its army entered the region to search for Al-Qaeda fighters that had fled across the border following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

In June, the army began an operation in the North Waziristan district after a bloody raid on Karachi Airport ended faltering peace talks that began earlier in the year.

North Waziristan had become a major base for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (Pakistani Taliban), which rose up against the state in 2007.

The United States has long called for action in the area because militant groups there have targeted NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s army says it has killed more than a thousand militants and lost 86 soldiers since the start of the operation.

But the toll and identity of those killed is impossible to verify because journalists do not have regular access to the conflict zones. Critics charge that many of the dead were non-combatants.

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US to Sell Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles to Pakistan

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Pakistan for 160 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, spair and repair parts, and training, etc., for an estimated cost of $198 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

The Government of Pakistan has requested a possible sale of 160 Navistar Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to include (110 MaxxPro Dash DXM, 30 MaxxPro Base DXM, 10 MaxxPro Dash DXM Ambulances, and 10 MaxxPro Recovery Vehicles with protection kits), spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and equipment training, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated cost is $198 million.

The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a country vital to U.S. foreign policy and national security goals in South Asia.

The proposed sale of MRAPs will ensure that Pakistan can effectively operate in hazardous areas in a safe, enhanced survivability vehicle, and improves Pakistan’s interoperability with U.S. forces. By acquiring this capability, Pakistan will be able to provide the same level of protection for its own forces as the United States provides for its forces. Pakistan, which currently possesses MRAPS, has successfully demonstrated the ability to operate and maintain the vehicles in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations, and will have no difficulty absorbing these additional vehicles into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not affect the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractor will be Navistar Defense Corporation in Madison Heights, Michigan. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of the proposed sale will require approximately two (2) U.S. Government and twenty-four (24) contractor representatives in Pakistan for a period of approximately 18 months to perform inspections and deprocessing of vehicles upon delivery; provide assistance in installation of vehicle accessory kits; provide fault diagnosis and repairs; perform corrective maintenance, to include accident and battle damage assessment and repairs; conduct operator and maintainer training; and conduct inventories and maintain accountability of USG provided material.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

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