Last week, a delegation led by Poland’s Deputy Minister of National Defence, Mr. Bartosz Kownacki, met with Pakistan’s Minister of Defence Production (MoDP) Rana Tanveer Hussain with the aim to promote defence cooperation between Poland and Pakistan.
According to a MoDP press release, both parties had agreed that defence ties between the two countries had not been up to par relative to the potential. This is despite the series of visits and exchanges that had taken place between in the previous decade.
Mr. Rana Tanveer Hussain also extended the Polish defence industry a formal invitation to Pakistan’s forthcoming defence exhibition, the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS), which will take place in November. Mr. Kownacki also met with Pakistan’s Secretary of Defence Production, Lt. General (R) Syed Muhammad Owais.
Comment and Analysis
Poland has a strong defence industry, but the majority of its functional areas are already being addressed within Pakistan (by the latter’s own defence industry). In other words, there are scarcely few things that Pakistan would require off-the-shelf from Poland.
However, it is possible that Poland is seeking to engage in a more fruitful relationship, namely one of technology development and industry collaboration.
In light of the Pakistan Army’s ongoing assault rifle competition, it is worth noting that Poland has a strong small arms industry. In fact, the firm Fabryka Broni (FB) Radom recently completed the development of the MSBS (Modułowy System Broni Strzeleckiej), the Polish Army’s next-generation assault rifle platform.
Like its contemporaries, such as the Czech CZ-806 BREN 2 and Italian Beretta ARX, the MSBS was designed to be configurable for 5.56 NATO and 7.62 NATO calibres. In other words, the MSBS design can be adapted for use as an assault rifle and battle rifle.
Zakłady Mechaniczne “Tarnów” S.A., another Polish small arms firm, specializes in sniper rifles and grenade launchers, among other products.
The two sides could benefit through industry collaboration. For example, Pakistan could potentially leverage its scale and demand for modern small arms as a means to procure Polish weapons – such as FB Radom’s MSBS – with transfer-of-technology and commercial offsets.
The former would enable Pakistan to produce the MSBS locally, and the latter could enable Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) to export certain MSBS components to FB Radom, enabling the country to accrue positive foreign exchange flows.
In exchange, FB Radom would gain a very large MSBS customer, one that would absorb the development costs, and in turn, position the MSBS to be very competitive in price and support.