Pakistan's UAV - Drone developments

Discussion in 'Pakistan Defence & Industry' started by fatman17, Mar 7, 2009.

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  1. fatman17
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    Pakistan using UAVs in 'drone war' against terrorist elements

    Robert Hewson Jane's Air-Launched Weapons Editor - London

    Key Points

    Pakistan has been using Falco UAVs to help combat militants in the country's remote tribal areas

    The Falco has been deployed on surveillance and target 'hunting' missions


    Pakistan has quietly been conducting its own 'drone war' against militant forces and terrorist elements using Selex-Galileo Falco tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Jane's has learned.

    According to a number of industry officials who have been in Pakistan and experienced UAV operations there, the Pakistani military is using unarmed Falcos for traditional surveillance tasks but also in a 'hunter' role - targeting air strikes, providing real-time coverage of attacks and then delivering battle damage assessments.

    Selex-Galileo has declined to identify the single nation currently flying the Falco in front-line operations but that customer is known to be Pakistan, with Pakistan Air Force (PAF) chief Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed having told Jane's in November that the PAF would begin using the Falco in live operations by the start of 2009.

    Pakistan has ordered five Falco systems, each comprising four air vehicles plus one spare and a ground control system (GCS). Two complete systems are now in service, two more are working up to deployment and one has just been delivered.

    The Falcos are flying intensively, as noted by one source who told Jane's : "The customer is using more than one system every single day."

    The Falcos have operated in several regions of concern to the Pakistan government, including the mountainous Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along the Afghan border. This was alluded to by an official who noted that the Falco's hot-and-high capabilities had been proven in operations "from airfields at 1,000 m altitude in circumstances identical to Afghanistan".

    "The Falcos have two basic missions," said one programme source: "surveillance of critical areas - and there are a lot of them - and operations as part of a manned and unmanned mixed fleet, in combat.

    "Surveillance means identifying and tracking critical targets like convoys or 'terrorist establishments'. In hunter operations the Falco goes out looking for targets, identifies them and relays their position to the command and control centre, where priority-one targets are allocated for attack by fast jets.

    "The sensor system is world-beating and can easily ID an individual person from the appropriate altitude. The target handover is done through the GCS to the military's C4I system, and it's done quickly - sometimes less than 20 minutes, sometimes less than 10.

    "When the attack is inbound the Falco will climb and loiter at a higher altitude. It can provide a real-time view of the attack, although that's over in seconds, and then do an immediate damage assessment. I have witnessed several of these operations. It's not being done on paper; these are real missions."

    Selex-Galileo says that, despite customer interest, it has no ambitions to develop an armed Falco for export. An armed variant could materialise if a requirement emerged in its domestic markets (Italy and the UK) but the company believes that having a weapon capability would exclude the Falco from several potential markets elsewhere. "You start to encounter Missile Technology Control Regime regulations and other limitations," said one official.

    The current air vehicle has a limited payload and would be restricted to two 30 kg-class weapons - although this would double in planned growth versions of the Falco. Selex-Galileo notes an interest in the Thales Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM) as a theoretical future weapon option.

    The Falco XN - the variant currently in service - has a 420 kg maximum take-off weight (MTOW) with a 70 kg sensor payload. Endurance lasts from eight to 14 hours and the UAV has a datalinked range of 200 km.

    Selex-Galileo has now developed the Falco Evo (Evolution) upgrade, which can be retrofitted to existing Falcos. The Evo adds longer wings and tailbooms, increasing MTOW to 750 kg with a 120 kg payload. Endurance is increased to a maximum of 18 hours and the Evo can exceed the XN's 6000 m altitude limit.

    Selex-Galileo is building four Falco Evo prototypes, with first flight scheduled for the second quarter of 2010. The company believes that its existing customer is a strong sales prospect for the Evo and it hopes to double or even triple the installed Falco fleet there.
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  2. hj786
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    hj786 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Thanks for posting that, great news.

    Can't wait for the UCAV project to be finished, no more having to wait for fighters to arrive.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2009
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  3. arsenal_gooner
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    arsenal_gooner FULL MEMBER

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    Is this it ???

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  4. Patriot
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    ^ Yep that's the one.Excellent News..I am really glad to hear that our Military has good command and control system.
  5. Super Falcon
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    is that same uav in which pak was interested to buy from germany in 2004
  6. Patriot
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    Patriot ELITE MEMBER

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    No, this UAV is produced by some Italian Firm.
  7. Bane Blade
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    Bane Blade SENIOR MEMBER

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    What is the build cost for one of these UAV's and is the Italian firm making them in the Pakistani Industry or in Italy.
  8. hacsan
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    hacsan FULL MEMBER

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    They are being developed in Italy, not quite sure of selling proce to pakistan, cost does not matter here, becz its not our product
  9. A1Kaid
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    PAF starts drone production


    Written by Farooq Hussain Headlines, Pakistan Aug 21, 2009


    [​IMG]

    Pak Air Force has formally started the production of pilotless drone planes in collaboration with an Italian company, a news channel reported Thursday.

    FALCO UAV - Pakistan According to details issued by the PAF, the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra has commenced producing the pilotless planes Falco UAV in collaboration with Selex Galileo of Italy. Aeronautical Complex chief Air Marshal Farhat Hussain said pilotless Falco UAV highly important for the country’s defence, adding the production of the planes will greatly add to the professional capabilities of PAF.

    Farhat said Pakistan is now a member of the club of countries manufacturing drone planes. The system will be used mainly for aerial reconnaissance and information gathering, although the PAF will later also induct UAVs equipped with weapon systems to carry out offensive operations.

    Source: PAF starts drone production | Pakistan Daily


    Excellent news.
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  10. Arsalan
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    Arsalan PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    well sir with all the respect there is already a thread on this very topic, i wonder why a new one was required!
    MODs, need your attention!

    regards!
  11. mean_bird
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    mean_bird PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    QUETTA, Pakistan - Having already gained experience and guidance from the United States on the effective use of drones, Pakistan is working on its own Predator-like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which have helped revolutionize warfare.

    The growth of Pakistan's indigenous UAV industry is of great importance for the country's defense, as the nation is on the front line of the "war on terror".

    State-owned defense enterprise Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in Kamra, east of the capital, Islamabad, is engaged in


    manufacturing Falco pilotless planes in collaboration with Selex Galileo of Italy. Initially, the Falco system is for aerial reconnaissance and information gathering. The country later plans to induct UAVs equipped with weapon systems to carry out offensive operations.

    These high-tech efforts come as the country's defense expenditure is expected to exceed the budgetary allocation of 343 billion rupees (US$4 billion) by about 20% during the fiscal year ending next June, because of military operations against militants in North-West Frontier Province.

    Local analysts believe that production of surveillance drones is the first step and that by modifying existing UAVs the country can eventually achieve its ultimate goal of producing drones equipped with missiles. The US is already using such weapons against Islamist extremists in the country's tribal areas along the Afghanistan border.

    Rebuffed for security reasons in its efforts to buy UAVs from the US, Pakistan instead bought unarmed Falco reconnaissance drones from Italy, according to a report published in Los Angeles Times in October. Pakistan has not stopped trying to acquire drones from the US, but has decided to begin making its own. The report claimed that Pakistani technicians at Kamra are still in training and several months away from beginning to manufacture them.

    The Falcos produced in Pakistan, like the Italian-made aircraft, won't have strike capability or be able to fly nearly as far as the US's Predator and Reaper drones, the LA Times report said, citing Lieutenant Colonel Gohar Majeed, who is helping lead drone production at the PAC.

    Pakistan's armed forces are at war with Pakistani Taliban insurgents in the country's northwest and are working with American drones. The drones' capabilities are being put at the disposal of the Pakistani forces, giving them experience in the effective use of the machines and their successful deployment.

    Burraq is the country's latest domestically produced UAV, is based on the Falco-Selex Galileo technology and is believed to be intended as the Pakistan's main equivalent to the American Predator.

    "PAC engineers have been working on the first UAV project of the country for two years," according to a report published on the aviation industry Flightglobal website in August. Pakistan is also reported to be flight-testing the Burraq, named for a winged-horse type creature in Islamic tradition. The Burraq is to be equipped with National Engineering and Scientific Commission (or NESCom) designed laser designator and laser-guided missiles. Unlike the Falco, Burraq will be able to attack and destroy targets.

    Pakistan has now virtually become a member of the club of countries manufacturing drones. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) desperately needs UAVs capable of firing at targeted militants.

    The Falco, with an autonomous navigation and control system, has a standard control link range of 200 kilometers and is capable of short take-offs from semi-prepared airstrips. Among its prominent features are automatic take-off and landing, fully redundant and fault-tolerant control systems and near-real-time target image processing.

    Selex Galileo has test flown a Falco at the company's UAV test facility at ParcAberporth in west Wales in the UK. The vehicle was equipped with the active electronically scanned array PicoSAR and an infrared sensor. The high-resolution SAR (synthetic-aperture radar) makes the radar particularly useful for detecting disturbances in ground surface.

    Pakistan's aviation firms have been involved in manufacturing small drones for years. Integrated Dynamics (ID), a local firm has been producing smaller UAVs for the government and commercial market for the last 12 years. Other private enterprises, including Surveillance & Target Unmanned Aircraft (Satuma) and East West Infiniti (EWI), have been involved in manufacturing UAVs in the country. State-owned aviation firms which produce UAVs include the Air Weapons Complex (AWC), National Development Complex (NDC) and PAC.

    Some analysts believe that Pakistan is manufacturing the latest UAVs with the help of Turkey and China. The new Uqaab UAV is believed to have been developed with the help of Turkey. In March 2008, Pakistan announced the successful completion of flight tests of Uqaab, which appears similar to the US Army RQ-7B Shadow 200. Equipped with a night vision camera, the US Shadow 200 UAV has the capability to fly as high as 15,000 feet and stay 5.5 hours in the air.

    China has helped Pakistan in strengthening its defenses, particularly the aviation industry. Beijing extended support in designing a fighter aircraft, the JF-17 Thunder, to meet Pakistan's specific defense needs, besides helping to set up aircraft production facilities in the country.

    The first production JF-17 Thunder produced in Kamra was last month handed over to PAF. The light-weight, all-weather aircraft has the capability to carry short as well as long-range air-to-air missiles and its integrated avionics made it capable for fighting in the air for a longer period.

    Pakistan plans also to acquire four airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft from China.

    In the current fiscal year, Pakistan's defense expenditures are estimated to be somewhere between 400 billion and 410 billion rupees, up by about 70 billion rupees on the 343 billion rupee allocation. Last year, the allocated amount of 296 billion rupees was twice revised upwards to 329 billion rupees, to be 11% over the budget estimates.

    Syed Fazl-e-Haider (Syed Fazl e Haider ) is a development analyst in Pakistan. He is the author of many books, including The Economic Development of Balochistan (2004). He can be contacted at sfazlehaider05@yahoo.com.


    **************************************
    Btw, since these drones/UAVs are now an integral part of PAF, I suggest we have a sticky UAV thread in this subsection.
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  12. Mercenary
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    These Falco don't carry any weapons. They need to be armed to be actually considered useful.

    US is considering deploying Predator Drones for every platoon in combat. In which ground troops can reconnaissance the area ahead and bring devastating fire from above.
  13. Mercenary
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    Pakistan also needs to develop an indigenous attack helicopter like the Cobra.
  14. FreekiN
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    So this means that we will be using our own drones? And the American attacks will cease? I hope so...
  15. PAFAce
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    It only makes sense to produce something locally if you are going to induct them in large numbers, or if you are going to sell them in large numbers. As of yet, the Army has no intention to expanding Army Aviation to a much larger level, as far as I know. And even if we did, it would be worthwhile to get ToT of an already pre-existing attack helicopter (China, Turkey, Russia, anybody) and improve it in-house than to create our own attack helicopter.

    I don't know the desired size of a UCAV force in any of the three services. It could be that the Air Force would operate the UCAVs, whereas the Army and Navy would operate their own ISR UAVs, or all three services could modify UCAVs for see and land attacks. We just don't know how many we will need, and what types, what we do know is that we'll need a significant amount in all three services. Hence, it makes sense to go for an indigenous UCAV option