Eyes in the sky: Pakistan inducts home-built fleet of drones

Published: November 26, 2013

Director General Strategic Plans Division Lieutenant General (Retd) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai handing over replica of indigenously developed surveillance capable UAVs formally inducted in Pakistan Armed Forces to Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. PHOTO: ISPR

ISLAMABAD: 

In a technological leap towards unmanned aerial platforms, Pakistan’s military on Monday inducted its first fleet of indigenously developed surveillance drones.

According to a statement by the Inter-services Public Relations (ISPR), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) named Buraq and Shapar were inducted into Pakistan Army and Pakistan Air Force at a ceremony attended by outgoing army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

Lauding the work of National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) scientists, General Kayani said that surveillance capable UAVs, developed through indigenous resources, would prove to be a force multiplier for the country’s armed forces and would substantially enhance their target acquisition capabilities in real time.

The ISPR statement further added that the UAVs “could also be gainfully employed in various socio-economic development projects, as well.” However, the ISPR statement did not explain whether the drones were capable of being armed, like the drones being used by the United States in the country’s tribal areas to take out ‘high-value’ targets.

In the past, Pakistan had been seeking transfer of drone technology from the US so that it could carry out operations against the militants in the tribal areas. However, Washington has consistently snubbed Islamabad’s requests.

Commenting on the issue, a foreign ministry official said Pakistan must discourage the use of armed drones as it would set a wrong precedent and lead to new arms race in the region. However, there was no harm in developing drones for surveillance purposes, the official added.

The induction ceremony was also attended by Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff, Lieutenant General (Retd) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, Director General Strategic Plans Division and senior officers from Armed Forces, scientists and engineers.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Mirza
    Nov 26, 2013 - 4:14AM

    This should alleviate poverty, ignorance, disease and bring us into modern era. This would make Pakistan a safer, modern, prosperous and advanced country.

    Recommend

  • polpot
    Nov 26, 2013 - 5:54AM

    Looks like a farewell gift for Kayani
    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    Hopefully these drones will provide him security from the TTP threat post retirement.

    Recommend

  • Parvez Amin
    Nov 26, 2013 - 6:50AM

    Some times it is best to leave things unsaid. The ISPR did right in not explaining whether the drones were capable of being armed. Counter propaganda could cause our enemies sleepless nights. The propaganda could attribute more capabilities to our drones than they actually have. The result? I expect deterrence is raised.

    Recommend

  • Imran
    Nov 26, 2013 - 11:01AM

    And where will Pak Army use all these weapons????

    On its own people???

    Recommend

  • Nov 26, 2013 - 11:20AM

    Congratulations.
    At a time of dehydrating national ethos, this news is unnecessary. it should have been kept under wraps. The Pakistani nation wants to see,
    1. a handle on law and order,
    2. diminishing sectarian strife,
    3. decline in extremism,
    4. fast pace city development, and
    5. an economic uptick and take-off. Salams

    Recommend

  • Crazy Canuck
    Nov 26, 2013 - 12:59PM

    @the Skunk: Keep dreaming. For a nation that does not take any steps to protect it’s future generation, none of this will ever happen – but one can always dream I suppose.

    Recommend

  • Nov 26, 2013 - 3:41PM

    @Imran: it is a UAV for surveillance purposes only.

    Recommend

  • Kaiser
    Jan 22, 2014 - 1:17AM

    @Imran:
    Yes on people like you!Recommend

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