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28 novembre 2013 4 28 /11 /novembre /2013 08:35
Pakistan's Burraq and Shahpar UAVs Enter Service


26/11/2013 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter


Pakistan is now equipped with two new unmanned aerial vehicle designs - a "very effective force multiplier", according to military officials.


Developed in Pakistan, the Burraq and Shahpar are both surveillance UAVs and, said General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, they'll give the Pakistan Army and Air Force a new level of "target acquisition capabilities", delivered "in real-time."


Both new Pakistan UAVs were inducted during a ceremony, attended by officials, engineers and scientists. Each was conceived and produced after the US refused to export its own advanced UAVs, such as the Predator.


Burraq UAV


First flown in 2009, the Burraq UAV was co-developed by the Pakistan Air Force and the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM). It takes its name from Al-Buraq, the winged horse from heaven on which Islamic prophets travelled.


Strictly speaking, the Burraq is a UCAV (Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle), since - according to reports - it can be armed with laser-guided air-to-surface missiles, according to specific mission requirements. Military analysts have likened the Burraq to the Rainbow CH-3 UCAV, made in China, although very little is known about it beyond that comparison.


Shahpar UAV


The Shahpar UAV is the brainchild of Pakistan's Global Industrial Defence Solutions. Powered by a single Rotax 912 engine, producing 100 horsepower, it cruises at 93 miles per hour at altitudes of around 17,000 feet. To date, ten examples have been built, each one capable of autonomous launches and recoveries, either end of unmanned operations lasting more than seven hours at a time, during which data can be transmitted across a 250 kilometre range.


"It is a landmark and historic event, wherein a very effective force multiplier has been added to the inventory of the armed forces", said the Pakistan military's press office, ISPR (Inter-Services Public Relations) in a statement on the UAVs' inauguration.


Beyond military operations, the Burraq and Shahpar "...could also be gainfully employed in various socio-economic development projects", ISPR added.

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27 novembre 2013 3 27 /11 /novembre /2013 08:35
Pakistani military inducts first fleet of UAVs


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".


The Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) with surveillance capability are named Burraq and Shahpar.


"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.

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20 février 2013 3 20 /02 /février /2013 12:30

Shapar UAV

A Pakistani-built Shahpar tactical UAV


Feb. 19, 2013 - By CHRISTOPHER P. CAVAS  - Defense News


ABU DHABI — If anything has changed in the past few years at defense trade exhibitions, it’s the explosion in the number and variety of UAVs on display.


Big ones, medium ones, small, smaller and still smaller ones. Multi-winged or single-wing aircraft, pusher or tractor engines to power them, vertical systems with one, two or four rotors. Man-portable systems that fit in a rucksack. Craft with wheels or skids or hooks. A plethora of often interchangeable payloads of sensors and — increasingly — weapons the machines can put in the air. Also featured are a variety of control systems and units, ranging from trucks or trailers to laptops and wrist bands.


All the big boys in the business are here at the IDEX defense exposition and its NavDex naval component. Lockheed Martin, General Atomics and Boeing’s Insitu from the U.S.; Denel from South Africa; and a host of European entries, including vehicles from France, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden and Turkey are all vying for attention.


Among the UAV craft are an ever-growing number of offerings from countries not often associated with displaying home-grown military products. In South Asia, Pakistan has developed a range of UAVs, with several on display here.


“Most of these aircraft are in service now with the Pakistani military,” Tahir Hameed, a technical engineer with Xpert Engineering, said of four aircraft in an outdoor display area.


Xpert is one of seven companies that make up the Global Industrial and Defense Solutions (GIDS) group, that together makes nearly all the components in the aircraft and payload systems.


Standing by a large Shahpar tactical UAV, Shoaib Iqbal, an engineer with AERO, the Advanced Engineering Research Organization, proclaimed that “everything in this aircraft was made in Pakistan. Everything except the engines and tires.”


AERO builds sensors at its facility near Islamabad, in a region where most of the Pakistani UAV industry is located.


The Shahpar is the most sophisticated of the GIDS aircraft on display here. Configured with a pusher engine and canards and with a wingspan of 6.6 meters, the craft can carry a 50-kilogram payload to heights of 5,000 meters, and stay airborne more than seven hours.


Two flights of the Shahpar entered service in 2012, Iqbal said, one each with the Pakistani Army and Air Force, and GIDS is expanding its production facilities to answer the demand.


A flight, Iqbal explained, consists of five aircraft, a ground control station and a communications station.


Another tactical UAV, the Uqab, entered service in 2008 with the Pakistani Army, Hameed said, and has been in use with the Pakistani Navy since 2010. A wheeled vehicle that can reach an altitude of 3,000 meters and stay aloft for six hours, the Uqab is used for artillery fire correction and battle damage assessment in addition to surveillance duties.


The Huma, a smaller aircraft fitted with rocket boosters for takeoff and a parachute for landing, also is under development, along with the Scout mini-UAV, designed to be carried in a backpack and launched by hand.


Micro Vehicles Expanding


Another growth area is in micro-UAVs, hand-held models not unlike something available at an electronics store or hobby shop.


Datron, a San Diego-based company best known for producing a range of radio and communications gear, is here with its Datron Scout aerial reconnaissance system, a four-rotor, vertical takeoff-and-landing vehicle meant to be used for short-range, short-endurance missions.


Even fitted with its battery pack and a sensor payload, the polycarbonate-construction vehicle barely weighs as much as a laptop computer — not even 3 pounds without the sensor. The Scout is intended to fly to a range of only about three kilometers and remain airborne for about 20 minutes, depending on the payload.


But the craft comes with a sophisticated flight control program, said Christopher Barter, program manager for the UAV.


“We’ve operated this in winds up to 30 miles an hour, with gusts to 55,” he said.


So why did Datron, an electronics company, get into the UAV business?


“The value of a small unmanned aerial system you can pull out of a backpack is extremely lucrative,” he said. “And this model comes with autonomous control from a laptop, with global positioning satellite navigation.”


The Datron Scout, however, is remarkably similar to at least a half dozen other vehicles on display at this show and, at between $60,000 to $120,000 a copy, a bit pricier than most.


“Yes, but ours doesn’t break,” Barter beamed. “It’s extremely rugged.”

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