Volodymyr Lakomov, Ukraine’s ambassador to Pakistan, expressed hope that Ukraine and Pakistan would strengthen their defence ties, particularly in the area of defence industry cooperation. The Pakistani media apparently even quoted Mr. Lakomov saying that Ukraine was “ready to cooperate” in the “supply and joint production of the world-known cargo plane ‘Antonov An-225.’” The An-225 Mriya is the largest aircraft ever designed, but only one was ever built. While the An-225 will not be an area of cooperation between the two countries, the idea that Ukraine is looking at Pakistan as a possible market, and potentially partner, for its aviation goods is definitely worth discussing.
For some background, Pakistan’s defence relations with Ukraine kicked-off in the mid-1990s, specifically in the area of main battle tanks (MBT). In 1996, the Pakistan Army bought 320 T-80UD MBTs from Ukraine. Throughout the early-to-mid 2000s the Army bought diesel engines from Ukraine for use on its al-Khalid and al-Zarrar MBT programs. The latest purchase in this area occurred in 2013 when the Army ordered 110 KMDB 6TD-2 diesel engines for use on its latest al-Khalid MBT batches (SIPRI). In 2006 the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) bought 4 refurbished Ilyushin IL-78 in-flight refuelling tankers.
As one might notice, ties between the two countries have basically revolved around Pakistan making off-the-shelf purchases from Ukraine. However, Ukraine is looking to strengthen those ties, and it may be in Pakistan’s interests to cultivate that growth, especially over the long-term. The two areas where Pakistan could deeply engage with Ukraine in are that of armour (e.g. tanks) and aviation, particularly in the realm of transport aircraft. It seems Mr. Lakomov was particularly hopeful of the latter, which is beginning to see a new surge in life thanks to Antonov’s new line of products, such as the An-178. Note: Antonov was disbanded, but its critical manufacturing assets were transferred to Ukroboronprom, a state-owned consortium directly engaged in the design, development, manufacture, maintenance and repair of industrial and defence systems.
The An-178 is a military transport aircraft capable of carrying 18 tonnes of cargo over a distance of 1000km (IHS Jane’s 360). It is powered by two Progress D-436-148FM turbofan engines (developed in Ukraine). A derivative of the An-148 regional jet airliner, the An-178 is Ukraine’s answer to the market of ageing cargo aircraft in need of replacing over the coming years. While lighter in payload capacity than its direct competitors, such as the C-130J (22 tonnes) and KC-390 (23 tonnes), the An-178 is being marketed as a markedly more affordable option. Then-manufacturer Antonov was even planning to develop the An-178 to serve as an in-flight refuelling tanker (IHS Jane’s 360).
This platform has the right foundations to be of interest to the PAF. For example, it is a cost-effective system and a fairly mature platform (derived from the An-148 regional airliner, which has been in use since 2009). The PAF could consider working with Antonov to develop an enlarged version of the An-178 (directly comparable in payload capacity the C-130J and KC-390), and in turn, secure a platform it could use to complement and gradually replace its existing fleet of C-130s. In addition to serving as a medium-lift transport aircraft, the An-178 could double as a tactical tanker. In time, Pakistan could build upon the An-178 program my joining in the larger An-188 (to replace its IL-78s), which is being developed to compete with the Airbus A400M.
The An-178 could also be the entry-point from which Pakistan could develop the capacity to indigenously produce transport aircraft. This may not seem like an area in need of pursuit, but Pakistan should aim to domestically source all of its major defence equipment. In addition to safeguarding the country from sanctions, it can also have long-term economic payoffs in terms of gaining the flexibility to manufacture aircraft and spare-parts for domestic use at cost. With the exception of China and a few other countries, Pakistan does not get many countries approaching it for industrial defence collaboration.
Besides aviation, Pakistan could continue engaging with Ukraine in the development for armour. In fact, the Pakistan Army reportedly considered the Oplot-M MBT, a development of the T-84 (which in turn is based on the T-80UD). Irrespective of whether the tank itself is selected or not, it is plainly evident that Ukraine has considerable expertise in developing tanks, including key areas such as diesel engines. Perhaps Pakistan could consider acquiring the technology to manufacture such engines domestically for use on a future program, such as the Haider MBT.
In Ukraine, there are genuine opportunities worth exploring, just as there are in South Africa and Brazil. These countries are in a unique position whereby they have clear strengths in advanced technology, but they are beset with various political and economic challenges that push them to view Pakistan as an actual partner. This is a key point because when one is considered a partner, they are in a position to actually pursue their interests in-exchange for their contributions. When a country as adept as Ukraine reaches its hand out, it ought to be a matter of urgency for Pakistan to respond in a positive and productive manner.
Pakistan’s own strategic and geographical requirements do not dictate the need of more transport planes, especially when majority of troops are already deployed. PAF plans to use its C-130s for another 15-20 years. At any time, Pakistan would not need more than 35 C-130 type transporters. Investing and acquiring the know-how is great but will also come at great cost. I believe this is not an area of priority Pakistan should delve into at this time since the transport market is very saturated and PAF itself won’t buy these in considerable number. A low scale cooperation should go on anyway. Ukraine also does not offer next generation tanks and other key technologies to be looking at a breakthrough here. Pakistan always had a special situation for its purchases and bigger problems to deal with. What Pakistan should actually start focusing now is the widening conventional platform gap vis a vis India. It’s not pretty but pretty obvious that in last 10 years Pakistan has lost much of its edge especially in the navy which absolutely is lacking the standard that airforce and army demand or require from it. There is a major major need of revamp in the Navy, followed by airforce and then army. You need 3-4 area denial destroyers with medium to long SAM defence for gwadar and CPEC. You need a couple of heavy nuclear subs. You need milgem class frigates and corvettes. There’s need for next generation tank. Altay is great. You need gunships around 70. There’s need for better and more long range guns/howitzers, air defence systems, deep strike jets, and military satellites investment. This is what Pakistan should be thinking about.
I don’t see any progress in Pakistan economic condition specially with Nawaz regime and his predecessor Zardari On the other hand Imran khan is a non serious person.He is good in building false hopes nothing more . Pakistan can only survive if it become the part of China like in 1950 China took autonomous region like Tibet. Indian economy is growing massively at a GDP rate of above 8 .Huge investment in defense sector Naval , army and airforce many times of Pakistan. Pakistan economy is worst stalled at a GDP of 4 and its export is dying out every next day immense energy crisis, corruption, terrorism . General Raheel has done what he can do to curb terrorism . But the corrupt political elite is not interested in solving the problem of this country they are interested in making there business money laundering trying to sell the assets of Pakistan . After next few years democracy in Pakistan would be turned into Oligarchy all the state owned entities (PIA , OGDCL, Steel mill Sui gas )would be owned by Pakistan Royal Nawaz density. Last December I have visited Islamabad most of the people in Pakistan even my own relatives they talk like shit , praising Nawaz and democracy (wtf). The speed at which India is spreading its defense and economy its becoming impossible for Pakistan to keep its deterrence . After 2020 Pakistan external debt would be above 90 billion dollar and next bailout would only be possible on special condition just like to roll back nuclear program . If India seems a chance to divide Pakistan into 5 or 10 parts they will do it for sure . The only way Pakistan can become prosperous and become better is to be the part of China . Our identity would be protected and we will have our freedom Pakistan can live for next 1000 years..
There is easier way–Make Peace with India–STop supporting jihad in kashmir–Give up terrorism and India will not bother!
Give up kashmir occupation, stop financing terrorists in afghanistan to kill little school going pakistani kids, stop making false flag ops, stop giving sermons to your own university children on how to destroy pakistan, and things may improve.
Currently India is happy with status quo–with the military budget going up from 6.5:1 to 10:1 in other 3-4 yrs & departure of American, Pak will have to spend all their money to fund their oversized military!
India will make it hard for Pak to sustain its military in POK–Pak will have to buy peace with India or be lost in history!
In your dreams.
India is not in any status quo. It is financing a brutal proxy terrorist war thru Afghanistan to attack pakistani people in past, military installations, and now school kids. The mode of war has changed. There is no status quo. There never was. India’s whole life purpose is Pakistan, pakistan obsessions, and how to damage it or undo it.
We’ll see who is lost and who is found in history. YOU HAVE NO HISTORY to start with of last 1 billion years.
Come on–India doesnt kill poor kids—-We have issues with Pak jihadis and ISI, Army–
If India really had those capabilities then we would first eliminate Hafiz saeed, Azhar masood and all other anti indian terrorist in Pakistan!
Indian govt is engaging with Pakistan—Its for Pakistan to realize that its progress lies with mutual co-operation with India–give up jihad,give up obsession for Indian territory and we have no issue with Pakistan!
Pakistan havent gain an inch from its obsessive anti Indian pro jihad game plan since 1990—
Its not just India but Afghanistan,china,tajikistan blaming Pak for all the mess in region!
So learn to accept the mess and stop the jihad game in region
You don’t have issues with jihadists, you just have a problem with Pakistan. You opposed Pakistan even before it was created. You have a problem with the country of Pakistan, its army, and ISI. And by you, i mean the hindus you are playing pimp for. I understand you have to prove your utmost loyalty to your masters, but that does not mean you can twist anything you want. If you indians had a problem with Jihadists, you would not be funding the taliban to attack pakistani kids (of which Pakistan has given proof to afghan gov), and neither would your hindu masters be calling the kafir soldiers as “shaheeds” for glory who do not even know the meaning of the very word or concept. you know well what a shaheed means. Therefore, please cut out the crap.
Indian gov is not engaging with Pakistan. It is a lie that has been told to you indians on media over and over again. The fact is you people are so cheap, you have brought politics into cricket. You have broken the sport relations with Pakistan. you have cut the diplomatic talks with pakistan while you keep staging pathankot and mumbai type dramas.
If Pakistan hasn’t gained an inch, you haven’t done any wonders either. Pakistan has entertained you begging to return the land in 1964 as well as kargil. It would have been better to let you people begging.
Again, please keep your mess to yourself. You are at conflict with every neighbor in south asia. Heck indians are even at war inside india with tamils, naxals, sikhs, muslims, dalits and every other minority.
There is a saying. Every d0g has its day. The problem is india has become recently richer than it ever could have expected, and its a all ape-hell breaking loose.
Play your game to the fullest because it just might be the only time you people have. Thing change and they will.
calm down we opposed Pakistan coz we never believed in partition just for religion rather what about a country extending from Afghanistan to Myanmar but anyway that does not mean we want to disintegrate u othewise why would have we given 90000 soldiers back
and about internal wars u seem to have wrong info
insurgency in my punjab was from 1984-96 since 2 decades there is no sikh rebellion rather there is much more economic progress and farmers in punjab are comparitively richer than other aread
there was never tamil rebellion rather that was issue in sri lanka
now only insurgency is in tribal and Kashmir areas and some in small eastern states much less percentage than in Pakistan itself
i dunno why you guys want to extend ur country this much while u guys ca;nt control poverty in ur country
dont worry though u r soon going to become part of china
Like you’re going to become a colony of USA? Being the largest beggar of USAID, you are on track.
Also, you forgot to upvote yourself.
And i believe upvoting yourself really makes you the truth blower here?
Get a life.
Oh man, u are direly and deadly wrong in yr calculations and analysis……If by only spending money on troops/weapons is the power, then USA may have eliminated Taliban till now……..Or USSR may have succeeded in Afg……..Or USA in Naam……..But everyone with mighty weapons and forces failed. Becoz the people of these regions were so resistant. The people were not going anywhere. they remained in their homeland to kick the butts of occupiers. In contrast, India was a country which used to be occupied by many nations in the past….. Indians are in habit of welcoming attackers. You know, muslims ruled indians for 1000 years.
Once, there was no muslim in Hindustan, but now about 600 millions jointly in India, BD, Pak. So, we surely will come back to you.
World knows India is suffering with so many insurgencies + extreme poverty and you know it. The world also knows about your red corridor. The reality is that India is not even close to that position it can attack Pak bcoz the consequences will be so dangerous for India. Forget about 71, it was a pre-planned Political decision to abandon Dhaka.
Now my friend Jigsaww have put some analysis about Pak political situation which I do not agree at all. Surely there is corruption in elite, but it is the same case with most of the world. In my opinion, the situation in Pakistan is improving day by day. Terrorism now under much control and even USA Generals appreciating and accepting that Zarb e Azb got significant success against Terrorists.
Pakistani industrialist have started working on value added products besides Textiles. One example is electronics industry which is booming. Last year the auto sector witnessed about additional 130,000 plus car sales in Pak compare to previous years. Cement Sector is growing rapidly and big cities are expanding at fast pace.
The day Pak overcome its energy crises, the world will see Pak GDP moving up-ward. The business community is so committed and aggressive in Pak. I have no doubt in my mind that in next few years, the situation will be much improved. Moreover and which is actually a nightmare for india is CPEC. Let the project complete in next few years and the world will see the results. Chinese know the importance of Pak.
All I can say is that Pak is coming out of this quagmire……Just wait and see the future will be bright Insha Allah.
He is an Indian Muslim. Apparently he also shows himself as a shia to keep the shia-sunni divide alive which Pakistan is trying to remove from within and between Iran and saudia. He understands everything you say more than anyone, but as it comes he needs to prove his loyalty to his Hindu masters, praise them, offer himself for services to gain their respect. He knows what people like Modi will do to him eventually, but he won’t open his mouth there, not to mention indian RAW is having these indian muslims under strict check these days.
You know how it works. Muslims always had “loyalists” like him in other camps.
Whatever this MT or TM is, personally I dam care about these shitty n dirty black indians who even dont have toilets. They are just like barking dogs not to worry about. Also I am not worried about indian lies and false propaganda. The countries in the world have seen more than worst scenes than Pak. Alhamdulillah, we are in much better position with a proper functioning govt, a strongest Army willing to defend the motherland and a progressing economy where people are hardworking and intelligent. Of course, we are facing serious hurdles in trade and productions due to non supportive factors in the west, but we have many friends as well. Let us see the half glass filled.
Couldn’t agree with you more, except that Raheel Sharif has not done what he was required to do. The dilemma of Pakistan is that we are expected to gutless and corrupt politicians, but now we are also producing sissy generals. The man has no ba//s frankly. I hope he leaves the post fast and let some man of courage take on.
But remain hopeful. There is hope. I can tell you that and i don’t know how or when but there is.
I dont understand why do pakistani want equivalence with India-
Every Pakistani patriot dream of Mard-e-momeen Gernail who can fateh Lal kila-
Pakistan does not want any thing to do with India, but as it happens, we have an overly obsessed and hateful neighbour, that has taken oath on destroying Pakistan until last drop of blood, even if it means killing and spilling blood of innocent children. Pakistan understand that india will go to all extents in its hate.
India and Pakistan are a reality. If you are suggesting closing the eyes and ignoring india problem, won’t happen.
India returned back 11000 SQKM of land in 1972 in return for nothing.-
India could have easily forced Pak to sign on kashmir but we didnt do it–
India made mistakes–Pakistan was not worth any mercy–Those 11000 SqKm land shouldnt have been returned back-
Pakistani books are full of hatred while Indian dont care a damn about Pak if they stop poking their nose in Kashmir–
India should engage Pak in arms race and make it bankrupt–Let Pak keep buying chinese weapons: spend its social sector,education budget on chinese imports—
Imagine the amount of chinese parts in Shaheen, Ra’ad, Babur—I can bet–they are atleast 70-80%! Which is why, Pak cant mass produce them—You will always be dependent on chinese mercy!
Is that why you are poking your nose in every pakistanis discussion?
You did not return anything to Pakistan. Stop pasting your school books here. Pakistan’s very creation was by taking its rights from hindu dominated british india. You are not the ones to give anyone anything for free. The only thing india knows is occupation and cruelty. Start giving dalits the rights first before high talking of giving away.
Pakistan also did a mistake by not finishing india in 1962 with China once and for all or taking back kashmir. Consider it your lucky year.
Suppose pak would have won some 2000 SQKM land in 1962—Do you think that Pak would have been able to sustain those grabbed lands for 3-4 yrs??
Probably, in next war:India would have dismantled Pakistan into 4-5 pieces–So you got lucky that you didnt attack–
Its size, economy which decides your muscle power which Pak always lacked since 1947—
Look Mr Jig—India is launching 52 SLV in next 4yrs- Indian GPS is ready with in 2months—1 SLV will have 2 satellites on avg–There will be 100 satellites–So out of which 40-50 will be Indian satellites– India will have mapped every inch of Pakistan Geo terrain by 2020 with multi spectral resolution satellite of swatch-64:128 KM—GPS, Space integrated cell, Ballistic missile defense–
These satellites will take care of all your Fighter jet, SAM, Cruise missiles, track submarines the time they dive into sea–
Eventually the only thing saving Pakistan from cold start doctrine will be some of the underwater subs-With 20 P-8 Orion inducted in next 4-5 –They will all be destroyed with in a week–
So year 2020: Pak wont sustain any war with India for more than 2 weeks
Its time to smell the coffee and sign peace deal with India & dismantle those terror networks-
Big dreams, small hearts.
Now don’t complain or go running about to Russia or US or Israel next time.
Do your best and bring it when you think you are ready. Pakistan is.
You have to understand that dictatorship has already failed and Pakistan already split up in two parts . General Raheel is a professional solider and Zarb e Azam is a great success and we have to acknowledge the sacrifice army has given for this country . Terrorism is under control now and we are gaining more strength in tribal areas and zarb e Azam 2 in cities is slow and the main hurdle is Pakistani politicians Raheel is putting his full effort he cannot do much . The other solution is a martial law which was never fruitful for our nation and country we have to live with his democratic system better is to find a leader who is the true representative of the nation
I would have given Raheel Sharif the trophy he wants or the public wants to give him if it was 90’s. This is not. He was required to deliver at 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. What he has delivered is 5. I do not have any questions on his integrity as a soldier or his tenure or his family, but when it comes to requirements, he has failed – to put it nicely. We need to understand that it is the utmost responsibility of the military to put the house in order. The country is going thru the process of a slow death, which is why public cannot see it. This is the beauty of modern warfare. You don’t see it coming. It’s like a morpheme injection that gets you slowly but gets you. The army knows this. The ISI knows this. Raheel Sharif knows it. They are hand in hand with this criminal negligence. You let this country run like this for another 10 years, and as you put it, there won’t be money to run it. There are three ways to fix any country in chaos. Either the politicians do it. Or the people do by taking things in their own hands, or the military does it. The former two won’t do it. And the military is watching the country go down the drain in a slow death. If God forbids, pakistan dismantles, you cannot give Gen Raheel the credit for doing enough what he could. He has dont nothing. He has not even started playing his part. Frankly i do not care of a marshal law or whatever. What is for sure is, you let PML N go on, followed by PPP another term and you won’t have enough money to buy bread, let alone keeping the military budgets. And i do not know, how people can not see this coming. Yes is the the damn responsibility of this Gen Raheel to grow some balls and deliver what the nation wants. You do not have to have a marshal law every time. There are ways to do it. What is missing is the courage. Otherwise, you can’t keep sitting silent thinking that this has failed and that has failed, so now just wait for a total failure.
We need to speak up to criticise the army here where it is going wrong. When everyone keeps saying he has done his job, he goes home and has a good sleep. No he cannot when you have your enemy killing your children. His uncle Aziz Bhatii didn’t sleep for days because he had a job to do. The man needs to rise up to the expectations. He will be considered a failure if he does not take pakistan out of this political mess and puts it on the road to recovery in next 10 months. And he can go to hawaii for all pakistan cares after that. We need results. Not conferences and talks and the results are NOT enough to get a star and A on the cheeks.
Man what ever you think and say I agree with you partly and your concerns are genuine . When it comes to financial terrorism starting from Ayyan Ali to doctor Asim zarb e azam 2 has already failed in cities of Pakistan first thing which I dont understand doctor Asim is in the hands of rangers & they have there own prosecutor and there is a military court. They dont have enough evidence to charge him with terrorism and money laundering or maybe they are just doing propaganda as they used to do in 1990 makes politican files and black mail them later. Another thing is Ayyan ali the money launder the day she was released Zarab e azam got failed and a great set back . Zardari , Nawaz USA India Afghanistan everyone in this world is gang up against one and only Pakistan army and General Raheel they will not let him deliver to Pakistan what the nation wants . Forget it there is no question Pakistan is already bleeding fast its economy defense nothing can happen except for a miracle to change the situation of Pakistan . The only thing which would led Pakistan to come back in its order is to finish constitution make a newer one with army in full power like a Martial thing than army will rule this country and make accountability of those who are responsible I do not think it will happen so forget it we have to live as we are living the only solution is to become a colony of China our identity will remain
I will say its better to die than to become a slave of India and Hindu bania than not acceptable
Your analysis of the Pakistani situation makes for a very sad and sobering read, my friend. It is true Pakistan is faced with seemingly insurmountable issues but I genuinely believe, without resorting to fatalistic tendencies or building castles in the air, there is light at the end of the long tunnel.
You say “There are three ways to fix any country in chaos. Either the politicians do it. Or the people do by taking things in their own hands, or the military does it”. True, those are the three established ways to fix the countries from “within” and this is how it SHOULD be done but there is something else too which determines the fate of nations. That is the momentum of history at any given time and right now it is tilting in Pakistan’s favour. The two superpowers on the block are ONLY China and Russia. Period. Both superpowers are working in harmony with many common interests. China’s link to the Arabian Sea via Pakistan (CPEC) is of absolute critical importance for it’s on-going growth and rise (as I believe you yourself have stated too elsewhere). China and Russia are also integrating economically (New Silk Road). The destines of Pakistan, Russia and China are inextricably linked. And herein lies the momentum of history of which I speak.
It would be great to have capable leadership within Pakistan. It would be great if there were no external designs and interferences in Pakistan’s affairs. But in the final analysis neither any incompetence within or annoying flies hovering around the periphery can stop the steamroller of history. China and Russia will rise to greatness and Pakistan with them. Incompetence within and flies without alike will be flattened out of existence. There is no other way. There can be no other way It will be no other way.
I hope I have expressed my two pennies worth in the manner I intended.
I am basically an optimist and i agree with you. There is light at the end of the tunnel. That is what i said earlier, there is hope. I do not yet know how and when it will happen but it will and i am also pretty sure it will happen thru the Pakistan Army, and that is why it sickens me to see sissy generals like kayani and raheel taking charge of it, i know many would disagree but time will speak for itself, especially if Raheel sharif keeps things going at current pace in his entire remaining tenture. Everything he did will be and can be reversed in matter of few months. The whole solution is not going to work unless pakistan strictly implements NAP, shuts up opposers of CPEC, get’s rid of PML N and PPP and MQM, replaced by non-political people, undergoes massive military modernization (because of a demented dog set loose on pakistan), and starts taking steps to give up IMF. I m personally hopeful of Pakistan but same can’t be said about its people and what kind of tribulations they still have to see. How much of innocent blood need be spilled at hands of indians before a turn around. That is the depressing part of it all. The grand design of it all is a different level, yes China needs Pakistan more than ever. The CPEC is key to their growth in 21st century but preserving the country is foremost Pakistanis responsibility, not China’s. I think you’d agree.
Of course I agree preservation of the country is the responsibility of Pakistanis. It is just that I do not see how it can be done easily. I do see a difference between Kayani and Raheel but the difficulty as I see it is just how to “rid of PML-N and PPP and MQM”. For one they are (apparently) so deeply entrenched that uprooting them does not look at all easy, and two there is the whole issue of removing a “democratic elected” government and replacing with the a “military dictatorship”. Not that how anybody tries to sell the change matters as long as the supreme national interest is served. The tragedy is I do not see many Pakistanis screaming and yelling “enough is enough” and demanding change, showing outright support for the military in a matter that leaves absolute no doubt regarding what they want. If they continue to want a “democratic system” then Raheel’s option are limited.
I was actually going to refrain from commenting on Pakistan’s internal politics. Of my 45 years I have spent almost zero time in the country but then again I thought if the likes of Shariff, Zardari and Co can all comment on Pakistani issues, why not I as someone who actually feels some affinity towards the land and people.
Haha, i enjoyed the last paragraph. Well said.
There is surely a difference between Raheel and Kayani. Granted. But that difference in not getting shown on ground as it should have. For that matter Kayani also carried out major ops in his tenure in northern-west area with success. I think we can all agree that Raheel Sharif needed to “do much more” than what he has done by now. Again, if it was 90’s i would been contented, but it’s not.
There is no need for marshal law. The NAP had all the basic necessary ingredients required for an overhaul of the country, though i would like to add one more point on taking lawful action against all elements in political and non-political spheres that are damaging Pakistan’s core interests or working against it, at national and international level. This covers that bald brained traitor nawaz and grin faced devil zardari along with their accomplices. Guess for now NAP has sort of taken the back seat for except a few points.
Why is it that Pakistan is the only country that is failing to fix its problems for last 15 years.
Most of what Ukraine was produced by the Soviet Union. Since parting ways with Russia it will become insignificant. Pakistan should deal direct with Russia for any hardware especially with improving relations. The Russians are not fickle friends like the US.