Patron Lt Gen (Retd) SARDAR F.S. LODI examines in depth the very current topic of arms manufacturing.
international defence exhibition and seminar was held at the newly built
Expo Centre at Karachi from 14 to 17 November, 2000. It was a Government
of Pakistan venture conceived and supported by the Armed Forces, sponsored
and organised by Pegasus Consultancy (Pvt) Ltd. It was the first
tri-service defence exhibition ever held in Pakistan and became the
countryís biggest national and commercial event.
are over 60 international defence exhibitions held around the world during
a two-year period, this cycle is repeated. Of these 49 are Western
oriented and only 11 are Asia based which include Aerospace Singapore and
DSA Malaysia. This is the first time that Pakistan has entered this
competitive field of arms export and the international response was very
encouraging. This was particularly so from the Middle East, Asia and
40 countries sent delegates to the defence exhibition, including China,
Russia, France, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Malaysia and Indonesia. 46
delegations arrived from abroad, which included seven defence ministers,
eight chiefs of defence staff, and eight chiefs of Armed Forces. Some
countries sent more than one delegation. Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Italy
sent three delegations each whereas China, Indonesia and France sent two
inaugurating the defence exhibition Pakistan President Rafiq Tarar said
that security of the country was one of the essential pre-requisites to
economic and social prosperity. He said Pakistan had a large defence
production sector, which not only had the surplus capacity to meet the
needs of friendly countries, but was also in a position to manufacture
quality products for global defence industry. The President said that
nations are now not arming for war but arming for peace.
purpose of the defence exhibition according to the Chief Executive of
Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf is to show the world that we have
reached the stage where we can export our defence products. The Chief
Executive said that promotion of the defence industry will boost exports
and generate economic activity in Pakistan, thereby, creating jobs and
providing better employment opportunities for the people. He said Pakistan
is entering defence export areas where the developed countries are not
200 defence and defence-related firms and organizations from 21 countries
showed their equipment and capabilities. Pakistanís prestigious Defence
Journal was also represented, so was the Janeís of U.K. Pakistan
Armyís defence training institutions also had a stall as they provide
military training to many friendly countries. About 60 foreign
international firms were represented and showed their wares, these
included firms from China, Turkey, Ukraine, Romania, Czech Republic,
Italy, England and France.
Pakistan nearly 140 firms and organizations had stalls at the defence
exhibition. These included the large public sector firms like the Pakistan
Ordnance Factories at Wah, Heavy Industries at Taxila, Pakistan
Aeronautical Complex at Kamra, A.Q. Khan Research Laboratories at Kahuta,
Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works and Pakistan Steel at Karachi and
others. There were a large number of private firms manufacturing weapons
and equipment or in many cases doing defence related work unknown to many
the Chief Executive of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf said that from
the inception of Defence Exhibition nearly two years ago to its
inauguration on November 14, 2000, IDEAS 2000 has come a long way and
matured into a truly international event of economic and commercial
significance. The idea and the concept of an International Defence
Exhibition was that of the army. Support was provided by the Government of
Pakistan through the Ministry of Defence and the three Services. For this
major task the private sector of the country was brought in to sponsor and
provide the expertise in the field. The firm of Pegasus Consultancy was
selected for this purpose. Consequently with the cooperation of the
private sector the cost of the exhibition to the government was reduced to
a bare minimum.
present defence exports to Europe and the Middle East though on a somewhat
modest scale, have doubled in the past two years to $ 50 million. A total
of over $ 200 million is, however, earned by a combined defence and
defence-related exports and services provided, which include military
training and troops for United Nations peace keeping operations worldwide.
Pakistanís defence manufacturing capability has been given a boost by
its demonstrated nuclear and missile capability, which are visible
manifestations of its technological advancement.
medium and long range ground-to-ground ballistic missiles Shaheen and
Ghouri were on display but were not available for sale to other countries
for obvious reasons. For the army equipment Al Khalid tank was a major
attraction. It is a modern and agile main battle tank produced by the
Heavy Industries Taxila with Chinese assistance. It weighs 46 tons has a
1200 HP engine and mounts a 125 mm smooth bore gun capable of hitting a
target with great accuracy at a distance of 2,500 meters. It has a
computerized fire control system, thermal imaging and explosive reactive
a poor country with limited resources it is convenient and profitable to
upgrade old equipment than to purchase new and expensive alternates. This
is now being undertaken by many countries. Pakistan is upgrading its T-59
series of tanks at the Heavy Industries at Taxila. The tank named Al-Zarrar
will now have a powerful 125mm smooth bore gun and an extended firing
range of 2,500 meters. The tank has a 700 HP engine and compatible
transmission, suspension, gun control and fire control systems. It has
also been provided add-on explosive reactive armour for protection.
attraction for the foreign visitors was the new Pakistan built Armoured
Personnel Carrier (APC M113A2 MK-1). It is an upgraded version of the
original APC M113 A2. The APC has armour protection and can carry 13
soldiers including the driver. It has a 265 HP turbo-charged diesel engine
giving it a level speed of 68 km/h. It mounts a 12.7mm machine gun.
Various forms of bolt-on armour can be added to increase the armour
protection of the APC.
light and wheeled APC for internal crowd control has been manufactured by
Taxila Heavy Industries for use of Police and other second-line forces
when called out in aid of civil power. The hull of the APC is made of
aluminium armour with ricochet angles all around. It mounts a 7.62 mm
machine gun on 360 degrees rotating turret facilitating all round control.
It seats eight persons with their arms and equipment. For communication
with the crowd it has a public address system. It is based on the chassis
of a proved commercial vehicle for ease of maintenance and availability of
from the Heavy Industries at Taxila informed the visitors that the tanks
and the APCs displayed at the exhibition could also be manufactured
according to the individual requirements of the customers. The factory had
an in-built capability of doing so.
ordnance factories complex at Wah showed an array of small arms and
ammunition at their stalls. In the production of ammunition the country
has made great progress. Pakistan is now self-sufficient in ammunition
requirements of the Army, which includes infantry weapons, artillery guns
and tanks. It also produces some ammunition for the Navy and the Air
Force. The factories have been exporting some of their products. Last year
it amounted to around $ 30 million. The exports are increasing yearly.
Machine Tool Factory produces precision arms in one of its divisions.
These include 106mm anti-tank recoilless rifles and different calibre of
mortars, which are also being exported. The factory displayed some of
their products at the defence exhibition. The visitors showed interest in
examining these weapons.
A. Q. Khan Laboratories produces the ANZA hand-held light weight
surface-to-air missile. The MK-II which is an improvement on the MK-I, has
a maximum effective range of 5,000 meters. It can engage high speed, fast
manoeuvring aircraft both fixed wing and rotary owing to its own high
speed of 600m/sec. The laboratory also produces anti-tank missile weapon
system BAKTAR SHIKAN which can engage targets at a distance of 3,000
meters. The visitors showed keen interest in these weapons.
from the public manufacturing sector, which produces bulk of the weapons
for the forces, there were a large number of private firms that have now
entered the field of defence weapons and equipment. These firms displayed
their wares at the defence exhibition to the surprise of many at home and
abroad. To give just two examples, the firm of Alsons Industries (Pvt.)
Ltd. manufactures complete mortar bombs including fuses but minus the
explosive of 120, 81 and 60mm series. The 81 mm mortar bomb is being
exported to France for some years now.
firm of National Techno-Commercial Services (Pvt.) Ltd. produces what it
calls anti-submarine weapons for the Pakistan Navy. These are a type of
depth charges used against submerged hostile submarines and are air
launched either from a fixed wing aircraft or helicopter. It can
effectively disable or partly damage an intruder submarine at an optimum
shallow depth of 21 meters. The weapon is ideally suited for coastal
Shipyard and Engineering Works Ltd. along with the Naval dockyard are
capable of manufacturing submarines, warships, naval support craft and an
array of surface ships and smaller boats for commercial use. Great
interest was shown in the submarine construction under way at Karachi.
Saudi Arabia and Malaysia seemed inclined towards the Agosta 90B being
produced with French collaboration. It is a modern submarine with a
surface displacement of 1510 to 1730 tons and a maximum speed of 20 knots
and a diving depth of 300 meters.
midget submarine is also produced in Pakistan, which was designed and
developed by the Naval dockyard. It has a length of 27.28 meters with a
surface displacement of 102 tons. Is capable of a surface speed of 9 KTS
and a submerged one of 6 KTS. It can operate to a depth of 100 meters and
has torpedo firing tubes and mine laying hooks. These midget submarines
have already been exported to Qatar. Some other Middle East countries have
also shown interest in acquiring these submarines.
manufactured at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex at Kamra were a great
success. The complex consists of four factories. The F-6 Rebuild Factory
overhauls Chinese aircraft and weapon systems. The Mirage Rebuild Factory
overhauls Mirage III and V aircraft and their engines. It also upgrades
F-16 aircraft engines. The Aircraft Manufacturing Factory is the pride of
the entire complex. Its products consist of the Mushshak and Super
Mushshak aircraft, the K-8 jet trainer in cooperation with China, aerial
target drones, ground and other aviation equipment.
aircraft manufacturing factory has been providing aircraft to the Pakistan
Air Force and the Pakistan Army and exporting to Royal Air Force of Oman,
Iranian Air Force, Syrian Air Force, Saab Scania of Sweden and Satair of
Denmark. The visitors showed great interest in the Super Mushshak and the
K-8 aircraft. The Kamra Avionics and Radar Factory is responsible for
ground and air radars and radar warning equipment.
Steel also had a stall at the exhibition to explain the capabilities of
this highly competitive and important industry. Steel is the basic and
essential raw material of any industry employing metal components. Under
its new management Pakistanís only steel mill is forging ahead and
helping its downstream industries, particularly those dealing with heavy
well-organised and interesting stall dealt with the importance of training
in the Army. It gave details of various types of training carried out in
the different military training institutions of Pakistan. The excellence
of these training institutions is well known the world over. Pakistan has
been imparting military training to students from friendly countries for
many years now. I spent some time at this stall and saw the foreign
visitors taking keen interest in the type of training that could be
available to their students.
defence exhibition ended on a high note with an aerial display and firing
demonstration held on the last day at the Air Force firing range at
Sonmiani located beside the sea, a two hours drive from Karachi. Aircraft
overhauled and manufactured in Pakistan gave their aerial display and
fired ammunition and dropped those bombs which were made in Pakistan. The
super Mushshak gave a fine aerial display as it was put through its paces.
It has a new 260 HP engine which gives it a top speed of 145 knots.
upgraded T-59 and a T-85 tank fired with great accuracy at targets placed
at over 2,500 meters. The anti-tank missile Baktar Shikan fired
successfully at targets placed at 3,000 meters and earned an applause from
the foreign visitors. A Trawl Anti-Mine (TAM) system mounted on a T-55
tank chassis cleared some live mines by exploding them ahead of the tanks.
This system has been designed and manufactured in Pakistan.
first-ever International Defence Exhibition held in Pakistan was a great
success on three counts. Firstly, it showed our organizational ability to
plan and conduct an international exhibition in accordance with
international standards. The standard and the layout of the new halls, the
stalls, the outdoor exhibits and the aerial display was very well
appreciated by the foreign visitors. Second, the exhibition showed the
technological advancement of Pakistan and its ability to defend itself and
also to help its friends. Third, Pakistan showed its defence export
potential in a big way which was not known earlier at home and abroad.
the Chief Executive of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf said ďThe
defence manufacturing sector is a large component of our industrial base
but its direct contribution towards enhancing national revenue through
export has been explored only to a limited extent. Our scientists and
engineers both in public and private sector have tremendous abilities to
design and manufacture a wide range of military systems and components at
the medium and upper level of defence technology. It is imperative that we
should harness this expertise for making our defence sector an important
component of economic growth. In this way we will also be able to reduce
the burden on the national exchequer.
view of the encouraging response from abroad it has been decided by the
Government of Pakistan to hold regular defence exhibitions every two
years. The next one will now be held in September 2002.