Pakistan Defence News Thread

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Just to start a new one. India/China and Pakistan are standard topics so here a new start.
Pakistan And SA Talk to Patch Up an Old Friendship
Cape Argus (Cape Town)

August 24, 2004
Posted to the web August 24, 2004

Peter Fabricius

Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Riaz Khokhar held talks with South Africa's director-general of Foreign Affairs Ayanda Ntsaluba which were aimed at mending fences between the two nations. Here he tells the Cape Argus what was discussed.

Pakistan and South Africa are busy mending relations, damaged by Pakistan's suspension from the Commonwealth and its arrest of two South Africans on suspicion of involvement in international terrorism.


'We look forward to solid relations in all fields'.

The two countries are to launch a joint commission next month which will consider Pakistan's request to buy arms from SA, and also seek greater co-operation across a wide range of other activities.

SA had restricted arms sales to Pakistan after the 1999 coup by current President Pervez Musharraf which led to Pakistan being suspended from the Commonwealth. But Pakistan was reinstated as a full member after partial democratic reforms by Musharraf.


The two sides also agreed to launch a joint commission later this year to boost relations. SA officials said Pakistan's request to buy arms would be considered there.

Khokhar said in an interview: "Yes, there were some minor strains our relations a few years ago because of our suspension from the Commonwealth but in my judgment they are behind us and we really look forward to very solid relations with SA in all fields, and certainly the economic field and we would like to benefit from the enormous progress and economic development that you have achieved."

He said Pakistan wanted to enter into a military relationship with SA, because the country was "very advanced in certain areas. We would like to benefit from that and it is for South Africa basically to review its position."

Khokhar said there was also enormous potential to increase the overall trade between the two countries, now totalling about US $200 million a year. The joint commission would draft "an economic road map for the steady development of our economic relationship".


Khokhar said that apart from SA-Pakistan relations, the "very good discussions" with Ntsaluba had also touched on regional issues, including Pakistan's territorial dispute over Kashmir with India.

He assured Ntsaluba that the peace talks begun last year were continuing and even though they had only "just scratched the surface", both sides felt "a clear desire that the problems should be resolved peacefully. War is not an option for either country."

Khokhar said the foreign ministers of both countries would meet in the first week of September to pursue the peace talks.

On the nuclear stand-off between the two countries, Khokhar said the two sides had agreed "on small confidence-building measures; things like hotlines. But more detailed discussions will take place in the next few weeks. India and Pakistan are neighbours so there is no reaction time, no room for mistakes."

He said the nuclear issue had not come up in his discussion with Ntsaluba - although it has been a contentious issue in the past between SA - which is a strong advocate of nuclear disarmament - and both India and Pakistan.

Khokhar said Pakistan did not consider the ANC's longer historical ties with its rival India as a problem for SA-Pakistan relations.

"No we don't look at it that way. We always look at it positively. Any country that has good relations with India, we respect that.

We always believe it gives you some sort of leverage to influence India in a nice way."

Khokhar said that despite Pakistan's suspicions about the activities of Ganchi and Ismail, he was not concerned that SA would become an exporter of al-Qaeda-type terrorists.

"That would be going too far. You can have a crackpot in any country or a misguided person anywhere else. It would be unfair to hold a country or a community responsible for the misdeeds of one or two individuals."

Khokar firmly rejected criticism from some that Pakistan had become a mere surrogate in the United States's war against international terrorism, saying that it had been forced to take on terrorism to protect itself.

"If you are living in a house, you can move your house, but you can't change your country. So from that point of view, we are in a very strategic place and unfortunately international terrorism is focused on Afghanistan and its borders with Pakistan.

"But let me tell you we are totally committed and we are very clear that we have to fight terrorism in all its ... manifestations. And we are doing this not for anyone else, but because its in our own vital interests to root out terrorism from our own region.

"We are the victims of terrorism. There have been two major attacks on the president's life, there was an attack on the finance minister now running for the office of the prime minister, there was an attack on one of our senior military commanders which has never happened in the past.

"So that is why we are so committed to it and we have a huge deployment of forces along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

We are sort of pushing from our side and the Americans and others are pushing from the other side. So we have a hammer and anvil approach. So we hope we will be able to overcome this scourge."

Although SA has been critical of aspects of the war against terrorism, Khokhar said it did not come up in his meeting with Ntsaluba.

"I really don't know what reservations SA has. But certainly we are playing a very vital role in our region. We have captured approximately 600 al-Qaeda activists and handed them over the US and other countries.

"Where we have a certain commonality with South Africa is that the root causes of terrorism have to be addressed. That's even more important. You can have a military approach and you can have a political approach. And in Pakistan we are trying to do both.

"When we feel a military approach is required we are firm, we are very clear when we take action. And when a political approach is required we take a political approach and we try to see if they can complement each other.

"You are very fortunate if your country has not had any experience of terrorism and pray that it remains that way."

Khokhar said Pakistan also shared SA's criticism of the "unilateral" approach of the US and its allies to the war in Iraq. "We were one of the few countries that did criticise the action, or rather we deplored it. I think that was the word we used."

"We felt...we were not being apologists for Mr Saddam, but our objections were that this would cause a lot of ill-will and unhappiness and a lot of loss of life and property, destruction and perhaps diplomatic means should have been given a better chance. We were for the UN route."

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I vaguely recall reading a year ago that PAF had selected the Mirage ICMS-Mk1 for FC-1 . It was said not the 2000-9 Mk3 for cost reasons.

So is anything definite known yet about selection of internal self-defence suite of the FC-1 ?

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BBC Monitoring International Reports

Source: Defense-Express web site, Kiev, in Russian 20 Aug 04, BBC Monitoring

August 25, 2004

Pakistan is going to buy weapons worth almost 1bn dollars from Ukraine, a web site has reported, quoting unnamed "informed sources". According to the web site, who was commenting on a recent visit by senior Pakistani military officials to Ukraine, Pakistan would also like to jointly manufacture tanks with Ukraine for export to Saudi Arabia. Pakistan was said to be currently interested in Ukrainian APCs, tank upgrades, guided munitions and air-to-air missiles. The following is the text of the article by Mykola Syruk, posted on the Ukrainian web site Defense Express on 20 August under the title "Is a major new arms contract in the offing in Ukraine?":

On 19 August, a Pakistani military delegation led by Gen Muhammad Aziz Khan, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC) of Pakistan's armed forces, completed a six-day official visit to Ukraine and left for home. Although this was the first official visit by such a high-ranking military leader, it did, in effect, take place under a veil of secrecy. Not a single publication was allowed to cover the Pakistani delegation's visit, and not a single news conference was organized. The Ukrainian Defence Ministry confined itself to an announcement that the development of military and military-technical cooperation was discussed at a meeting between the Pakistani delegation, Oleksandr Oliynyk, acting head of the defence department, and Gen Serhiy Kyrychenko, chief of the general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces. The Pakistani general's meeting with representatives of the Ukrainian arms trade and defence establishment indicates that Pakistan has an interest in continuing to purchase armaments and military hardware in Ukraine.

It should be recalled that Islamabad has not lost interest in Ukrainian weapons since the completion in 1999 of the major contract to supply Pakistan with 320 T-80UD tanks, worth about 640m dollars. When he was in Ukraine two years ago, Zakir Jaffer, head of Ahmed Jaffer & Company Ltd, which specializes, among other things, in supplying the Pakistani army with military hardware, confirmed Pakistan's interest in expanding and renewing the partnership with Ukraine in the field of military-technical cooperation. The Pakistani arms dealer stressed that collaboration in that area could be extended by cooperation in joint production. The result of the Pakistani arms dealer's "reconnaissance assault" was the signing in the summer of 2002 of a contract worth some 100m dollars for the state-owned Kharkiv Malyshev plant to supply 285 6TD engine-transmission sections for the Al Khalid, Pakistan's new main battle tank. This was previously known as project MBT-2000. Zakir Jaffer also recalled the successful experience of running Ukrainian KrAZ (Kremenchuk motor vehicle plant) vehicles in Pakistan, specifying that Pakistan was currently interested in renewing the army's fleet of heavy vehicles. Incidentally, the AvtoKrAZ open joint-stock company has already prepared a new right-hand drive vehicle for Pakistan. At the same time, the Pakistani arms dealer spoke of the prospects for cooperation in the aviation field, and particularly of Pakistan's need for military transport aircraft and helicopters to carry army personnel. According to some reports, a consignment of Ukrainian military transport helicopters taken from the arsenals of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry was delivered to Pakistan.

But now, informed sources maintain, what is at stake is a contract worth virtually a billion (dollars, presumably) to supply Pakistan with armaments and military hardware, which may be signed with Islamabad shortly. The Pakistani general wanted to check with his own eyes to see what sort of goods he was being offered in Ukraine. First and foremost, cooperation will be continued in the armoured vehicle field. Some reports say that Pakistan intends to produce, jointly with Ukraine, tanks that will be exported to Saudi Arabia. At the test site of Kharkiv's Malyshev plant, the JCSC chairman of Pakistan's armed forces was shown the Ukrainian tank-building industry's capacity to modernize tanks and create new armoured equipment. In particular, he saw a development by the Morozov engineering design bureau, Kharkiv - a multipurpose wheeled transport vehicle, offered in two versions - as a multipurpose vehicle with increased cross-country ability and a carrying capacity of up to two tonnes, and an armoured personnel carrier that is intended to carry loads and people and provides protection against small arms and weapons of mass destruction. Obviously, the visitor was able to see for himself that the Ukrainian "Hummer" was just as good as its American counterpart but cost only half as much. It is likely that the Pakistani general was also shown the T-64 "Bulat" tank that has been upgraded for the Ukrainian army and a version of the modernized T-55. There are over 500 such tanks in Pakistan. Evidently, Muhammad Aziz Khan was offered Ukrainian know-how for improving the combat performance of the Chinese-made T-59 tanks that are in service with the Pakistani army. There are more than 1,000 such tanks in Pakistan, and they are in need of modernization, in which, incidentally, Ukraine is taking part. It is well known that 50 modifications have been made to the tank's original design. In particular, the 520-hp engine has been replaced with a new, Ukrainian-made engine with a capacity of 730 hp. The armour has been strengthened, and a more powerful, 125-mm gun has been fitted, as well as an electronic fire control stabilization system, which can be used while the vehicle is in motion, and night vision equipment. So the supply of Ukrainian engines for these tanks may well continue, and the Ukrainian share in upgrading the vehicles may possibly increase. The Ukrainian arms dealers may also have convinced the Pakistani military of the advantages of the latest guided munitions, which were successfully tested at the beginning of this year. If so, a major contract can be expected as a follow-up, since the tanks that are in service with Pakistan's ground forces will be equipped with these munitions, and so too will those that are to be exported. Finally, experts think, Pakistan is showing considerable interest not only in ground-based high-precision weapons made in Ukraine, but also in developments that might strengthen the state's air defences. Accordingly, at the invitation of Valeriy Shmarov, director-general of the Ukrspetseksport state company, the Pakistani general also visited the Artem state joint-stock holding company. Evidently, the visitor was shown the Kiev company's latest air-to-air missiles. The experts are not ruling out the possibility that Islamabad will soon conclude with Ukraine a contract to supply new air-to-air missiles that can hit air targets at a range of up to 100 km.

The seriousness of the two sides' intentions is corroborated by the fact that JCSC chairman Muhammad Aziz Khan was received by Yuriy Prokofyev, head of the committee for military and technical cooperation and export control policy under the Ukrainian president. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Progress specialized foreign trade firm. It was, of course, through Progress that the famous tank contract was negotiated. Ukraine conducts trade with Pakistan in weapons and dual-purpose products through that company. It may well be that formal approval was given at this meeting to the largest deal to supply arms to Pakistan since the tank contract.