Pakistan Burraq Drone to Help Fight Terror

Pakistan has successfully flight-tested Burraq, its first armed drone. The new unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) fired and precisely hit both still and moving targets with Barq, a laser-guided missile it carried under its wings.

Pakistan UCAV Burraq Source: ISPR

Based on Chinese CH-3 specification,the indigenously developed Burraq can carry 100-kilogram payload.  It is a medium altitude long endurance (MALE) drone which can stay up for 12 hours. The payload can be laser-guided missile Barq, similar to Chinese  AR-1 missiles, or a pair of precision guided small-diameter bombs like the Chinese FT series PGM.

With its successful Burraq test, Pakistan joins eight other countries — the United States, South Africa, France, Nigeria, Britain, Iran, Israel and China — which have already put weapons onto unmanned aircraft, according to the New America Foundation. Of these, only the US, Britain and Israel have successfully deployed armed drones during military operations, the foundation said.

Pakistani military's interest in armed drone technology is based on its direct knowledge of how effective American Predator drones have been in targeting and eliminating Taliban terrorists in Pakistan's FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas).

The objections to US drone strikes in Pakistan have mainly been due to the political sensitivity with violation of sovereignty, not due to lack of precision and effectiveness. Top TTP terrorist leaders Nek Mohammad, Baitullah Mehsud and Hakimullah Mehsud have all been killed in US drone strikes.

In a rare public statement on the effectiveness of the US drone campaign in FATA, General Officer Commanding 7-Division Maj-Gen Ghayur Mehmood serving in Waziristan in 2011 confirmed the effectiveness of US Predators when he said: "Yes there are a few civilian casualties in such precision strikes, but a majority of those eliminated are terrorists, including foreign terrorist elements.”

Pakistan is hoping to emulate the success of American drones in FATA by deploying Burraq in its ongoing anti-terror campaign in Waziristan and other tribal agencies.  Burraq has the ability to linger over targets for long periods of time, gather intelligence and fire deadly missiles precisely at much lower cost than fighter planes like F-16 and JF-17.

Here's a video of Burraq Test:

http://dai.ly/x2jf47j



Pakistan successfully tests 'Burraq' first... by dawn-news

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Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan and the United States moved closer to a billion dollar defense deal this week, after U.S. authorities notified Congress of a proposal to supply helicopters and missiles to sharpen up Pakistan's counter-terrorism efforts.

U.S. ally Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation of 180 million people, is fighting a Taliban insurgency in its northwest, a separatist insurgency along its Iranian border in the west, and has a heavily militarized and disputed border with arch rival India in the east.

The $952 million proposal involves the United States supplying Pakistan with 15 AH-1Z attack helicopters, 1,000 Hellfire missiles, engines, targeting and positioning systems and other equipment. But negotiations are not complete.

The helicopters and weapon systems were designed for counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations, especially in the mountainous Taliban strongholds along the Afghan border, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said.

On Monday, the agency notified Congress of the proposed sale, noting it would "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 equipment "will not alter the basic military balance in the region," the agency said.

Pakistani defense officials did not reply to requests for comment. The United States has been pushing Pakistan to take action against the Taliban as it withdraws most of its combat troops from neighboring Afghanistan, which is facing its own Taliban insurgency.

James Hardy, the Asia-Pacific editor for IHS Jane's Defence Weekly, told Reuters the helicopters would help modernize Pakistan's aging fleet, some of which had problems with spares and maintenance.

"Attack helicopters give you 'loiter' capability - you can hang around, find the target, knock it out," he said. "Right now Pakistan is using its fast jets for counterinsurgency work."

Pakistan is also trying to finalize a deal to buy eight submarines from China for a reported cost of between $4 billion to $5 billion.

China supplied 51 percent of the weapons Islamabad imported in 2010-2014, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which tracks global arms sales.

This year's budget allocated $7 billion to the military. The police received $800 million.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/08/us-pakistan-usa-idUSKBN0MZ0XQ20150408
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan wins first JF-17 order at #ParisAirShow: #PAF

http://tribune.com.pk/story/903828/jf-17-wins-first-export-order-at-international-paris-air-show-report/ …



PARIS: After high expectations for a deal to pull through, Pakistan was successful in securing its first ever export order for its JF-17 Thunder fighter on Monday at the first day of the International Paris Air Show.

Air Commodore and Pakistan Air Force officer dealing in sales and marketing, Khalid Mahmood said “A contract has been signed with an Asian country.” However the name of the country was not disclosed and deliveries are likely to begin in 2017.

The report added that 80 people were promoting the JF-17 in Paris this year, reflecting a significant marketing push.

Read: Pakistan eager to secure first ever-order for the JF-17 at Paris Air Show

Due to security concerns and client sensitivities, Mahmood chose not to specify the name of the customer and the number of aircraft it will obtain from Pakistan.

Further, speaking to AFP from the Paris Air Show by phone, Air Commodore Syed Muhammad Ali said an order for the plane had been finalised but declined to give details.

“That’s the case, we’ve finalised the order,” he said, citing sensitivities for not naming the client, the number of aircraft or the date of delivery.

Mahmood further stated that the sales for the JF-17 had been delayed due to the political turmoil in numerous countries in the Middle East.

Having brought three aircraft to the show this year, one of them will make its flying debut.

Commenting on the success of the show, Mahmood said the choice of venue in terms of meeting prospective customers from French speaking countries is a good one.

Read: China to deliver 50 more JF-17 Thunder jets to Pakistan

Analysts believe the major selling point of the JF-17 is its cost, which is likely to be substantially less than the $16-18 million cost of an US-made F-16.

The latest models of the jets, which are locally produced in cooperation with China, are lightweight multi-role aircraft capable of Mach 2.0 (twice the speed of sound) with an operational ceiling of 55,000 feet.

With a total 11 countries including Pakistan, China also markets the aircraft.

Updating the guests and media on Pakistan’s induction of the type, he claimed that a total of 54 examples of JF-17 have been delivered till date. Out of which the first 50 were delivered in a Block I configuration and an update of these to a Block II standard is underway.

The Block II configuration features improved avionics and better software, and adds a fixed air-to-air refuelling probe. The JF-17 is powered by a single Klimov RD-93 engine.

An addition of Block III configuration with 50 aircraft and 46 aircraft delivered in the Block II configuration is expected to push Pakistan’s fleet to 150 examples, aiming to be delivered by the end of 2018.

“Though the aircraft’s developers are still working out the specifications of the Block III aircraft, upgrades are likely to include an active electronically scanned array (AESA) or Passive electronically scanned array (PESA) radar”, Mahmood said.

Further, the configuration could also include an infrared search and track (IRST) sensor, stations under the forward fuselage for various pods, and expanded precision weapons capabilities.

With the aim to serve mainly as a trainer, a two-seat variant is also planned by the developers. Pakistan produces 58% of the airframe and China 42%.

Pakistan was eager to secure its first-ever order for the JF-17 at the international event as Canada’s Bombardier is particularly hungry for sales, after its new C Series aircraft struggled through development delays and difficult market conditions.

Airbus has also confirmed it will display its A400M military transport plane for the first time since a fatal crash in Spain last month caused by a massive engine failure.
Riaz Haq said…
Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and over 1,000 AI researchers co-signed an open letter to ban killer #robots http://read.bi/1KuELQa via @sai

More than a thousand artificial intelligence researchers just co-signed an open letter urging the United Nations to ban the development and use of autonomous weapons.

The letter was presented this week at the 2015 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and physicist Stephen Hawking signed the letter, alongside leading AI scientists like Google director of research Peter Norvig, University of California, Berkeley computer scientist Stuart Russell and Microsoft managing director Eric Horvitz.

The letter states that the development of autonomous weapons, or weapons that can target and fire without a human at the controls, could bring about a "third revolution in warfare," much like the creation of guns and nuclear bombs before it.

Even if autonomous weapons were created for use in "legal" warfare, the letter warns that autonomous weapons could become "the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow" — hijacked by terrorists and used against civilians or in rogue assassinations.

To everyday citizens, the Kalahnikovs — a series of automatic rifles designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov — are better known as AKs.

"They're likely to be used not just in wars between countries, but the way Kalashnikovs are used now ... in civil wars," Russell told Tech Insider. "[Kalashnikovs are] used to terrorize populations by warlords and guerrillas. They're used by governments to oppress their own people."

A life in fear of terrorists or governments armed with autonomous artificially intelligent weapons "would be a life for many human beings that is not something I would wish for anybody," Russell said.

Unlike nuclear arms, the letter states that lethal autonomous weapons systems, or LAWS, would "require no costly or hard-to-obtain raw materials, so they will become ubiquitous and cheap for all significant military powers to mass-produce."

But just how close are we to having usable autonomous weapons? According to Russell, affordable killer robots aren't a distant technology of the future. Stuart wrote in a May 2015 issue of Nature that LAWS could be feasible in just a few years.

In fact, semiautonomous weapons, which have some autonomous functions but not the capability to fire without humans, already exist. As Heather Roff, an ethics professor at the University of Denver, writes in Huffington Post Tech, the line between semiautonomous and fully autonomous is already quite thin, and getting even smaller.



Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/stephen-hawking-elon-musk-sign-open-letter-to-ban-killer-robots-2015-7#ixzz3hHwfvRDr
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan's new killer drone Burraq killed "3 high-profile terrorosts" in Shawal near #Afghanistan border. #ZarbEAzb
http://wapo.st/1ISRy8g

An unmanned Pakistani aircraft killed three suspected terrorists Monday, marking the first time that the country’s military has used drone technology on the battlefield, officials said.

In March, Pakistan’s military declared that it had successfully armed an indigenously produced drone, which it calls the Burraq, with a laser-guided missile. But the weapon had not been used in combat until now, officials said.

Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa, a spokesman for the military, said in a brief statement that three “high-profile terrorists” were killed in the strike in the Shawal Valley in northwestern Pakistan. Bajwa did not identify them but said details would be forthcoming.

With the announcement, Pakistan appears to have joined a handful of nations that use armed drones as instruments of war.

[After years of delays, Pakistan cracks down on violent Islamists]

Earlier this year, the New America Foundation said there is evidence that eight other countries — the United States, South Africa, France, Nigeria, Britain, Iran, Israel and China — have placed weapons onto unmanned aircraft. At the time, the foundation said the United States, Britain and Israel were the only nations that had fired a missile from a drone during a military operation.

Pakistan’s drone program has been rapidly accelerating since it was announced in late 2013.

The Pakistani military initially said it would use drones only for surveillance. But it abandoned that stance this year in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on an army-run school that killed about 150 students and teachers.

Now, it appears, both Pakistan and the United States will be carrying out drone strikes along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. It was not clear whether Pakistan and the United States will coordinate their use of armed drones.

[Hostage deaths raise wider questions about drone strikes’ civilian toll]

Since 2004, the United States has carried out hundreds of drone strikes on Pakistani soil, targeting al-Qaeda and other Islamist militant groups.

Those strikes, the latest of which occurred late last week, had been deeply unpopular with the Pakistani public. Some of that opposition has subsided as Pakistan’s military began its latest offensive against militants.

Since that operation started last summer, officials say they have cleared Islamist militants from much of the country’s tribal belt. But there are signs that the army is running into a tougher-than-expected battle in the Shawal Valley.

In July, the army announced that it had begun a final assault on the valley, which straddles North and South Waziristan and includes a network of trails and tunnels to Afghanistan. The army was met with fierce resistance.

For much of August, the military appeared to have relied on repeated airstrikes in a bid to weaken militant positions in the valley. On Aug. 20, however, the military again announced that a ground operation was underway in the valley.

Pakistan’s decision to introduce armed drones on the battlefield could unnerve arch-rival India and neighboring Afghanistan.

So far, the Pakistani military has not announced its doctrine for using drones on home soil or specified whether they also could be deployed for cross-border operations.

Pakistan has not released details about the range of its drones, but some analysts estimate that the aircraft can fly about 75 miles.

There is also uncertainty about what procedures Pakistan’s military has in place to limit civilian casualties during a drone strike. Some foreigners kidnapped by militants in Pakistan or Afghanistan, for example, are feared to still be held captive in Pakistan.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s creation of its own unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) ushers the country into an elite class of a few nations with combat drones, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel, according to data from the New America Foundation.

In March, Pakistan disclosed the existence of the Burraq drone and announced it had been test fired with success, though little was known about the vehicle’s actual armament or capabilities. The Guardian reported Pakistan lauded the successful development of a native drone as a “great national achievement.”

Pakistan has long battled the presence of Taliban militants hidden away in North Waziristan, a tribal region bordering Afghanistan. The Pakistan-Afghan border also offers refuge for loyalists of the Islamic State, according to members of the Afghan parliament. Until this week, the United States has monopolized drone strikes targeting militants in Pakistan’s tribal regions. North Waziristan has been pelted with more CIA drone strikes than any other place on earth, according to a recent report in The Guardian.

While drone strikes are undeniably effective and strategic, and generally cause minimal civilian casualties, they remain controversial with the Pakistani public. The government has occasionally decried U.S.-led missile activity as an unwelcome invasion of national sovereignty. Frustration between the nations mounted when the United States refused to share its drone development technology with Pakistan, a stance former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf labeled “undeclared technological apartheid.”

Despite a lack of help from America, Pakistan got its hands on missile technology somewhere else. According to a recentReuters report, analysts say the Burraq drone bears an uncanny likeness to UAVs created by China.

http://www.worldmag.com/2015/09/pakistan_kills_three_terrorists_with_first_native_drone_flight
Riaz Haq said…
Alarmed by #Pakistan's killer drone #Burraq's success, #India to buy attack drones From #Israel For $400 Million http://www.ibtimes.com/india-buy-attack-drones-israel-400-million-report-2092464#.VfNfBQDaAsQ.twitter …

India will buy 10 armed drones from Israel at a cost of $400 million, the Economic Times reported Friday, citing sources within India’s ministry of defense. Officials from Israel Aerospace Industries were currently in India and exploring joint production of drones, the report added.

The Heron TP drones will be operated by India’s air force, and their procurement was being fast-tracked by India’s federal government. The deal was approved by India last week and the drones might be commissioned within a year, the paper reported.

India, which already uses an unarmed version of the drone for surveillance and intelligence gathering, sees the armed drones giving it an edge in combating cross-border scenarios, the paper reported. They can carry payloads of over 1,000 kilograms (about 2,200 pounds) and will be fitted with air-to-ground missiles.

The drones are particularly useful in attacking targets in scenarios that pose a risk to the lives of soldiers, the newspaper reported, citing the officials.

India is investing in a program to build its own unmanned aerial vehicles, all commonly called drones, but is some years away from actually commissioning one for use in combat, the paper reported.

The program, started in 2006, is being developed by the country’s umbrella organization for defense technology, the Defense Research and Development Organization, and the contract to build the first version, Rustom 1, was awarded to state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Bharat Electronics Ltd., Mint newspaper reported in 2010.

In January this year, India invited private companies to take on the serial production of Rustom 2, the second, more advanced version, Defense World reported. The Indian
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan’s indigenous armed drone #Burraq conducts first night-time strike on #TTP terrorists in #FATA

http://tribune.com.pk/story/977517/21-militants-killed-in-airstrikes-near-pak-afghan-border/ …

Several terrorists were killed late on Thursday in South Waziristan in the first night-time strike by Pakistan’s first indigenous armed drone, ‘Burraq’, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

It was Buraaq’s first airstrike in the dark hours and took place with pinpoint accuracy, a source told The Express Tribune.

The development took place after airstrikes by fighter jets killed 21 militants near the Pak-Afghan border, said an ISPR press release.

“Twenty-one militants were killed in air trikes in Rajgal and Tirah areas of Khyber Agency,” Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement on Wednesday.

Earlier on October 11, at least 22 terrorists were killed in air strikes by Pakistani warplanes in the North Waziristan tribal agency before dawn.

Six compounds of terrorists were decimated in the air raids in Shawal Valley, according to the military’s media wing. The strategic valley is located on the confluence of borders between North and South Waziristan agencies.

The military has been engaged in a massive operation, codenamed Zarb-e-Azb, in North Waziristan since mid-June 2014. Most parts of the agency, once a stronghold of local and foreign militants, have been purged of terrorists.

However, some militants are holed up in the thickly forested Shawal Valley, which is now regarded as the last bastion of militants. The military mounted a ground offensive in Shawal in August, this year, after softening targets with air strikes.
Riaz Haq said…
Closer #Pakistan-#China military ties irk #Europe, #America. #Burraq - http://FT.com http://on.ft.com/1RInMfc via @FT


When Pakistan’s military claimed its first attack in October using a home-built drone to hit a Taliban stronghold, western officials were quick to search for clues to a Chinese connection.
Experts say Pakistan’s “Burraq”, one of the first two indigenously built armed drones, bears a striking resemblance to China’s CH-3.

Officials lauded the drone that equipped Pakistan with a technology that has been denied them by the US in 15 years as a key Washington ally in the campaign against terror.
“The Americans have given us billions of dollars and military equipment like F-16s since the 9/11 attacks,” says one senior Pakistani foreign ministry official. “But whenever we asked for armed drones, we were refused and the Americans always told us that was sensitive technology.”
Though Pakistani officials deny suggestions of Chinese involvement in the country’s drone programme, western officials remain unconvinced as military links between Beijing and Islamabad tighten.
Earlier this year, China confirmed an agreement to sell eight submarines to Pakistan in Beijing’s largest ever single defence export order.

“The gap between Chinese capabilities and those of the west have been narrowed, except in a few areas such as the production of aero-engines, for which Chinese-built platforms remain dependent on Russian imports.”
Mr Felstead’s reference to Russian components is most visible in the case of the JF-17 “Thunder” fighter jet, jointly manufactured by China and the Pakistan Air Force at its Pakistan Aeronautical Complex facility just north of Islamabad. A senior Pakistan defence ministry official confirmed that the JF-17, which will become the PAF’s main second-line fighter jet, will be “powered for the foreseeable future” with the Russian-built RD-93 engine, overlooking Beijing’s offer of a Chinese engine.
Pieter Wezeman of the SIPRI says Chinese military equipment is at a disadvantage for not having been used in conflict situations, unlike hardware from western suppliers which comes with a combat history. “The only place where Chinese equipment is known to have performed alongside equipment from other suppliers is Pakistan,” he notes.
In the case of Pakistan’s use of its first armed drone, Mr Wezeman says it is important to remember that it was used against Taliban targets in a remote region along the Afghan border, and it was not challenged by enemy aircraft. “One has to be careful before one sees this as a breakthrough,” he adds.
Still, western defence officials say Beijing’s strategy of offering significantly lower prices and a virtual absence of political strings gives China a rising presence in international markets.
Rana Tanveer Hussain, Pakistan’s minister of defence production, has confirmed that half of the eight submarines will be built at the Karachi shipyard and engineering works, boosting Pakistan’s shipbuilding capacity.
“The two projects [building four submarines in China and four in Pakistan] will begin simultaneously,” he said, while commending China as an “all-weather friend”.
Riaz Haq said…
With or without the #F16s, #Pakistan Air Force will remain a regional game changer. #India #JF17

http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/31608/pakistan-and-f-16-a-tale-of-romance-pakistan-is-and-will-remain-a-regional-game-changer-now-and-forever/ … via @tribuneblogs


Fighting Falcon F-16, an American built multi-role fighter jet, has enjoyed a deep-rooted relationship with Pakistan for over three decades. Thanks to its design, it offers an almost complete solution to the tactical and narrowed strategic demands of a compact Air Force like Pakistan’s. Its matchless aerodynamics and upgraded avionics put it a notch above its peers of third generation fighters.

The prime factor of its marriage to Pakistani Air Force is its war tested (Afghan-Soviet) history. It was the first advance jet fighter of the American region that became the green tail, replacing the renowned F-86, the Sabre. F-16, just after its induction, was very promptly employed and operationally proved its lethality against one of the world’s superpowers. Exactly like its predecessor, it enjoyed the best multi-role utility and discovered its utmost war potentials in Pakistan than in the US itself. The Americans themselves must have had a jaw-dropping moment when they saw its employment in both tactical and strategic theatres by Pakistan. It was, and still is, the most romantic of unions.

Soon after the Cold War, the US, cautious of its future designs in the region, initially deferred and subsequently cancelled the next F-16 deal with Pakistan. Realising the need for a regional power balance, Pakistan looked for alternatives and focused on its Super Sabre (now the JF-17) program with China. With committed devotion and sheer hard work, it proved to be quite successful. Pakistan became the only Muslim country to design, develop and produce a high-tech modern combat aircraft. This was not expected by the global and regional hegemons.

Pakistan, once again, attempted an F-16 deal with an upgraded package, which due to obvious reasons was overwhelmingly accepted. Meanwhile, the JF-17 program was also pursued with the same diligence. Diplomatic efforts were employed to entice Pakistan into acquiring upgrades from foreign powers and abandon its indigenous development of weapons. Pakistan, however, chose to be self-reliant. Finally, the long awaited dream came true and the JF-17 was fully in service in 2012.

Recent developments in the US Senate, to stall the sale of eight F-16 jets to Pakistan, find their roots in the same fears I’ve mentioned above. The emerging role of Pakistan in the regional tug of war has further raised the apprehension of US policymakers. The increased Indian influence in both the US Congress and Senate has added fuel to the fire by raising false alarms against the Sino-Pak economic handshakes. It is not worthless to highlight that Henry Kissinger’s recent publication “World Order” admits the underestimation of the regional importance of Pakistan as a whole. He further adds that it would now be impossible to arrest the increased role of Pakistan in both regional and Islamic platforms. With sustained and stabilised continuation of diplomatic and strategic policies, Pakistan will perform a copious role in the region.

US congressmen and think-tanks have not realised the obvious reality that the supplementary sale of F-16s will not distract Pakistan from indigenisation but would further strengthen its war potential. The world is also cognisant that Pakistan has embedded the F-16 in its tactical nuke delivery system, which can again be an extremely unconventional potential affecting the new world order in the Middle East. However, Pakistani military minds have already envisaged this development, and have gone far in developing alternative options.

Pakistan is and will remain a regional game changer, now and forever.

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