Pakistan developing armed drone technology: Report

Published: November 18, 2012

China has offered to help by selling drones it has developed to the country. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

KARACHI: Pakistan is secretly racing to develop its own armed drones but is struggling in its initial tests with a lack of precision munitions and advanced targeting technology, the Associated Press (AP) reported on Sunday.

It was reported that China has offered to help by selling drones it has developed to the country. But industry experts said there is still uncertainty about the capabilities of the Chinese aircraft.

Federal Minister for Defence Syed Naveed Qamar had said that Pakistan’s own drone technology is at its initial stage and has been used only for air surveillance.

In a chat with media during his visit to International Defence Exhibition and Seminar IDEAS-2012 Pakistan in Karachi, the defence minister had said that these drones do not have the capacity to carry arms, yet.

Pakistan has demanded the US to 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.

Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had indicated, during the Ideas 2012, that Islamabad would look for help from Beijing in response to US intransigence, the AP report said.

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

Whereas, Pakistan has also been working to develop armed drones on its own, said 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.

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Reader Comments (39)

  • Umair Waheed Sheikh, Khayban e Hafiz, IBA
    Nov 18, 2012 - 6:35PM

    They cant provide security and now they want to make drones. They just want to copy others.Recommend

  • Beatle
    Nov 18, 2012 - 6:45PM

    BRAVO. We can do it. Yes we can !!!!!!!!!

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  • Go
    Nov 18, 2012 - 6:45PM

    It’s no secret Pakistan is working on armed drones

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  • American
    Nov 18, 2012 - 6:45PM

    For Pakistan, a foreign and domestic policy based on peaceful intention and economic prosperity will fetch better returns than any armed drones. Remember…both USA and China have FIRST focused on economic prosperity BEFORE armaments. And we all know what happened to countries like USSR that tried the reverse path….same thing will happen to Pakistan…it will implode, with neighboring countries picking up the pieces…

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  • Claude
    Nov 18, 2012 - 7:01PM

    Pakistan is certainly not racing to develop diesel engines for its railways. It is really not useful and certainly not advanced enough.

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  • GT
    Nov 18, 2012 - 7:28PM

    Armed drone technology is not easy to develop. A very active space program is necessary to develop armed drones. Pakistan has neither technological base or a space program. I don’t even think its worth the try given the small budget Pakistan allocates for military.

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  • AnisAqeel
    Nov 18, 2012 - 7:37PM

    Developing drones for what? To kill our own! Why not to get rid of support in favor of terrorism, that can be the cheapest way but at the cost of our military’s ego.

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  • zoro
    Nov 18, 2012 - 8:03PM

    hehehehehe …same as the nuclear development ????Recommend

  • Mast Malang
    Nov 18, 2012 - 8:04PM

    Hey, What about the work on Burraq, It seemed a nice project.. and please no Chinese on this one. Let there be something we can call a fully ‘Pakistan made’. Make it in a ‘not so good’ quality and then improve it. Don’t look for Chinese technology transfer shortcuts. I beg Pakistan Aeronautical Complex to make this first local armed drone technology on its own..

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  • Super Star
    Nov 18, 2012 - 8:26PM

    Pakistan,

    Beware of Made in China Drones. Isme bhi Made in China ??? Come on yar. Havent you had enough of using their cheap products already. Remember ” Made in China is also works in China ” Take care

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  • Afaaq
    Nov 18, 2012 - 8:36PM

    Not much development if we are buying them ..

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  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Nov 18, 2012 - 9:23PM

    Ambition without knowledge is like a boat on dry land

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  • Cautious
    Nov 18, 2012 - 9:38PM

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

    Oh please – the USA refuses to give you high tech drones because they don’t trust you and you associate that with “apartheid”? I suggest you buy China drones – you don’t have to stand in line because nobody else is buying them – all you need is cash.

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  • citizan kane
    Nov 18, 2012 - 9:57PM

    how about developing a decent government first?

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  • Nov 18, 2012 - 10:24PM

    O,Thats Really Good,Pakistan na Kuch to Develop kia.

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  • Haroon
    Nov 18, 2012 - 10:47PM

    I congratulate Pakistan defense authority.
    May Allah shower his blessing upon our country. Proud to b a Pakistani.

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  • stenson
    Nov 18, 2012 - 11:06PM

    @Alishba: Pakistan has developed a lot of technology when they are pushed to the wall – look at the fighter plane JF 17 and the Al Khalid tank. It is important for Pakistan to keep developing their own technologies unlike other countries which just copy things.

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  • realist
    Nov 18, 2012 - 11:14PM

    Cant develop a locomotive but can develop a drone?

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  • kfjf
    Nov 18, 2012 - 11:17PM

    Eventually somebody will develop fully capable drones just like the American ones and use them too, as the Americans are doing now. It is only then the Americans will realize what a horrendous thing they have done, and then of course they will cry foul and have international laws passed to stop others from using and disseminating the technology.

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  • numbersnumbers
    Nov 18, 2012 - 11:20PM

    Unless the drones carry VERY EXPENSIVE precision guided munitions, the collateral damage from just using dumb bombs will be extreme. And without satellite links for control, the effectiveness of any armed drone program will be very limited to line of sight operation.

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  • Usaama
    Nov 18, 2012 - 11:48PM

    “They cant provide security and now they want to make drones. They just want to copy others.” Umair Waheed why should they provide full security when its the job of the police? By the way when your own people stab you in the back, you cannot succeed.

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  • Allah Ditta
    Nov 19, 2012 - 12:01AM

    What good are drones against India? If Pakistan wants to shoot USA drones, Pakistan can do it except that USA will retaliate. Drones technology is only for domestic activates. Pakistan where there is endless supply of suicide personnel, drones make little sense. In USA it does as even one pilot dying will create huge public reaction. And who cares in Pakistan. the Chief Justice should look into it as these drones most probably will be used to terrorize non-Punjabi population.Recommend

  • Azim
    Nov 19, 2012 - 12:03AM

    We should focus on more schools today, as the threat is more from within then from outside!

    Pakistan Zindabad

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Nov 19, 2012 - 12:23AM

    PIA is almost out of service and so is our railway engines. I hope drones will be cheaper to transport passengers from here to eternity. Why don’t we drone out corruption and nepotism from our system of governance?.

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  • Cry Me a River
    Nov 19, 2012 - 12:47AM

    Looks like Pakistan is trying to develop it’s services industry.

    In the near future Pakistan will be famous for it’s Strike Centres.Ordering drone strikes on your enemies,ex lover,ex spouse…….all from the comfort of your home,over the phone while talking to a dude in Islamabad with a fake american accent :D

    “Expect More.Pay Less.Order a Drone Strike”

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  • Arindom
    Nov 19, 2012 - 12:48AM

    will the Chinese drones be operated by Chinese?

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  • Amitabh Bachan
    Nov 19, 2012 - 1:16AM

    India and Pakistan both have Initial Level Surveillance un-manned aircraft technology since a decade, it was widely used by both sides during the Indian Military Build-up on Pakistani Border after the Indian Parliament Attacks during Musharraf era… Both Sides used to shoot down these aircrafts on numerous occasions…!

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  • ABC
    Nov 19, 2012 - 2:16AM

    @stenson: Are you serious?

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  • Insaan
    Nov 19, 2012 - 4:03AM

    Pakistan has demanded the US to provide it with armed drones, claiming it could more effectively carry out attacks against militants.

    Pakistanis cry drones are killing innocent people, but at the same time BEG USA to give them drones to carry out attacks against militants.

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  • Ms Broadwall
    Nov 19, 2012 - 8:52AM

    please sell of PIA and then make drones ..another few million dollars down he drain..

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  • KH
    Nov 19, 2012 - 8:56AM

    People commenting here, can you please tell me what have you done your self except for complainingRecommend

  • nomi
    Nov 19, 2012 - 10:57AM

    These technologies should also be transferred to civilians.

    Good move any ways.

    India Beware.

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  • Don 007
    Nov 19, 2012 - 11:00AM

    Would the army or Pakistani government like to explain honestly,sincerely and truly but fully that who shall be the main targets of these indigenous armed drones?????
    Because in Afghanistan these armed drones shall never be allowed to attack just due to the presence of US’ and NATO’s officials and troops……

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  • Faisal
    Nov 19, 2012 - 11:50AM

    hahaha no comments :P

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  • abdulazeez
    Nov 19, 2012 - 12:28PM

    china not yet developed armed drones, its a complex technology.

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  • W
    Nov 19, 2012 - 2:06PM

    Why wasting our money to collect chunk of arms…

    People need education, food, electricity, health care… why not working on these….

    When it comes to tap natural resources for people benifits.. eveil politics involves and paralyse every step…

    All security related issues can be solved thru better planning and firm foreign policies…. What atom bomb will do when we loose every battle on table…….????????

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  • Nov 19, 2012 - 5:45PM

    @AnisAqeel:
    I think it might be wise to arm the pakistani people with good enough arms first in case drones turn against their ‘masters’. Either by hijackers or AI that go on ‘control the organics-mode’
    But it is a choice. Drones can be effective weapons without risking lifes.

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  • Vinc.
    Nov 19, 2012 - 6:58PM

    remote controlled drone

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  • Moosa Khan
    Nov 19, 2012 - 8:08PM

    Get the electricity first, drone and nuke makers!!

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