Nov 26, 2013 brahmand.com
ISLAMABAD (PTI): Pakistan has inducted its first fleet of "indigenously developed" strategic drones into the army and air force, with the military describing them as a "very effective force multiplier".
"It is a landmark and historic event, wherein a very effective force multiplier has been added to the inventory of the armed forces," said a statement from the military's media wing. It did not give further details about the UAVs.
In future, the UAVs could be used for "various socio-economic development projects", the statement said.
Outgoing army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani too described the UAVs as a force multiplier. The drones will substantially enhance the military's "target acquisition capabilities in real time", he said.
The US has turned down Pakistan's repeated requests for supplying sophisticated UAVs like the Predator, which have been used for attacks in the country's restive tribal belt, and drone technology.
The ceremony marking the induction of the UAVs was attended by Kayani, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Strategic Plans Division chief Lt Gen (retired) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai and senior officers from the armed Forces, scientists and engineers.
A photograph of a model of one of the drones released by the military showed an UAV with two projectiles under its wings that looked like missiles.
The photograph showed SPD chief Lt Gen (retired) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai handing over a replica of the "indigenously developed surveillance capable UAVs" to Kayani.
Queries sent to the military's media wing about the drones being armed went unanswered.
Pakistan has several unarmed surveillance drones in service but Burraq and Shahpar are the first to be developed locally.
Last year, an unarmed version of Shahpur was unveiled for the first time during the International Defence Exhibition in Karachi.
The drones were developed in cooperation with the National Engineering and Scientific Commission, a research organisation that works closely with the Pakistani military.