Pakistan and Poland commit to enhancing defence ties
April 16, 2024
Poland’s Minister of National Defence Antoni Macierewicz and Pakistan's Minister of Defence Production at MSPO 2017. Photo source: Radio Pakistan

Pakistan and Poland commit to enhancing defence ties

In his official visit to Poland, Pakistan’s Minister of Defence Production (MoDP) Rana Tanveer Hussain met with Poland’s Minister of National Defence Antoni Macierewicz on Tuesday, September 05.

According to an official press release by the Pakistan Information Department (PID), the two sides agreed to strengthen bilateral defence ties between the two countries, especially in defence production. Hussain lauded Poland’s progress and called for regular bilateral engagement on this front.

The PID adds that Macierewicz accepted an official invitation from Hussain to visit Pakistan and reiterated Warsaw’s intent to “further enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in all areas and particularly in the defence sector.”

While in Poland, the Pakistani delegation was given a presentation about the Polish Armed Forces and the Polish defence industry. The MoDP observed a rescue and relief operation demonstration and had visited Polish firearms maker Fabryka Broni “Łucznik” Radom’s (FBLR) facilities.

Notes & Comments:

The Polish defence industry is not as large as those in the leading armament supplying countries, but in the areas where it is focused, such as small arms/infantry equipment or armour, it has shown an ability to be current with industry trends and have different entities work in concert for a common system.

For example, FBLR’s MSBS is a modular assault rifle platform comparable (at least in design and objectives) to the Beretta ARX, Heckler & Koch HK433 and others. Like competing designs, the MSBS was designed to encompass 5.56 NATO, 7.62 NATO and 7.62×39 mm rounds.

FBLR MSBS – Photo source: Defence24

Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ) also unveiled the ‘Dromader’ infantry platform. The Dromader comprises of new digital multi-layered fatigues, a plate carrier system with dedicated pockets for ammunition and other equipment, and ballistic Kevlar helmet with fittings for communications and optronics equipment.

Dromader. Photo source: J Sabak via Defence24

The Dromader sets the baseline. Units which specific tasks and specialized units can configure additional (or remove) equipment. The core equipment is standardized; thus, Poland can leverage its full economies-of-scale, distributing the development overhead through many units and reducing the unit cost.

Photo source: Robert Suchy

Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) unveiled a new tracked infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) proposal for Poland, the Borsuka (Badger). While the Borsuka IFV is still in development, it echoes prior Polish initiatives to develop unique requirement-driven designs, the OBRUM Anders being another. Granted, foreign assistance and technical collaboration with external partners are key to these programs, but the approach is something Pakistan can consider with its own available avenues (e.g. China, Ukraine, South Africa and Turkey).

Borsuka. Photo source: Paweł K. Malicki via Defence24

Overall, the Polish industry has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to leverage both domestic and foreign avenues in a manner to effectively produce original and compelling systems. Be it cost, a lack of means or inexperience, Pakistan has rarely ventured into this area, often choosing to acquire designs under license instead. However, this need not be the approach for every task, certain programs could be avenues to explore original products. By drawing upon foreign expertise and support of necessity, these projects can be platforms for building in-house design and development, which can be extended further for indigenous development. Overarching lessons, design, technical and/or advisory support can be drawn from Poland and other places.