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Pakistan Ordered Kornet-E Anti-Tank Guided Missiles in 2017-2018
November 21, 2019
soldier-firing-Kornet-E-anti-tank-missile
Photo Source: Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation (via Wikipedia)

Pakistan Ordered Kornet-E Anti-Tank Guided Missiles in 2017-2018

Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production’s (MoDP) yearbook for 2017-2018 states that the Directorate General of Defence Purchases ordered Kornet-E anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) for $62.46 million US.[1]

The MoDP yearbook lists that 52 units were ordered, but it is not clear if this refers to individual missiles, or launchers with accompanying missiles (in which case, the quantity of the latter is unknown). It is worth noting that Turkey had ordered 80 Kornet-E launchers with 800 missiles for $70 m US in 2008.

Thus, it is possible that Pakistan’s order is similar, in which case it would be 52 launchers with hundreds of Kornet-E ATGMs. Since this information is from last year, it is unclear if the Kornet-Es were inducted.

The Kornet-E offers a day-time range of up to 5,500 m (and 4,500 m at night). It weighs 26 kg and can be deployed by infantry and vehicles. It relies on a semi-active laser-homing (SALH) seeker.

Notes & Comments:

If the purchase is directly from Russia, then it would align (albeit more loosely) with Moscow’s willingness to only sell counterinsurgency (COIN)/counterterrorism (CT) equipment to Pakistan. However, it is clear that Pakistan intends to use the ATGMs on its eastern front more so than along the Afghan border.

However, in light of the US’ Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), this – as well as the small Mi-35M – purchase might be among Pakistan’s last from Russia for the time being. With Russia not selling big-ticket items to Pakistan since the thaw in defence relations in 2015, it is unlikely that Islamabad will antagonize Washington over limited transactions from Moscow.

That said, the Development and Promotion Director of Turkey’s Roketsan, Hüdai Özdamar, stated at the 2018 International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) that the Pakistan Army could test the OMTAS and UMTAS in 2019. Roketsan said that there is an additional ATGM requirement atop of the T129 ATAK.

Likewise, Ukraine’s UkrOboronProm also expressed interest in jointly developing and producing “high-precision weapons” with Pakistan, and this can potentially include ATGMs (among other missiles). Finally, Pakistan can also approach South Africa on Denel’s ATGMs, such as the Mokopa and Ingwe.

In any case, if the Pakistan Army’s ATGM requirement is still open, there are a number of options on the market, with preliminary talks already underway with some companies (e.g., Turkey’s Roketsan).

[1] Year Book (sic) 2017-2018. Ministry of Defence Production. Government of Pakistan. 05 September 2019. URL: http://www.modp.gov.pk/frmDetails.aspx

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