On 12 December 2019, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) paid an official visit to Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). During the visit, PAC had briefed the COAS about on its ongoing projects, and also showed glimpses of a number of programs that it is undertaking across a range of platforms.
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) reportedly has at least 50 ASELPOD targeting pods on order from the Turkish defence company Aselsan. In the video footage of the COAS’ visit to PAC, one can see an ASELPOD system alongside other avionics hardware (ostensibly for integration and testing activities).
The PAF made its initial ASELPOD order of eight units in 2016 for $25 million US. In 2017, Aselsan disclosed that it inked a second ASELPOD order from Pakistan for $24.9 million US. In 2018, Aselsan confirmed that the PAF integrated the ASELPOD to the JF-17 multi-role fighter.
PAC briefed the COAS on the IREK precision-guided bomb (PGB) kit. It is among the handful of stand-off weapons currently qualified for use from the JF-17. The end-user can configure MK-82 and MK-83 general purpose bombs with the IREK, and achieve a range of up to 100 km depending on the launch altitude.
The first of PAC’s original projects was a high-speed target drone. The COAS’ visit offered likely the clearest footage of the target drone yet.
Possible MALE UAV manufacturing jig on the right hand side (behind the IREK PGB).
Finally, it appear to be jigs at PAC for an unidentified aircraft. It could be the fuselage of PAC’s MALE UAV program, which it is undertaking through its newly established Aviation Design Institute as well as Aviation Research, Indigenization and Development (AvRID) directorate.
The first MALE UAV prototype was supposed to have flown in 2019, though it is unclear if it did (or if the jigs are showing the very first aircraft under production). However, PAC did release a tender for data-link items for its MALE UAV in April 2019, so it is possible that the first prototype is still under production.
During the 2019 Dubai Air Show, PAC revealed an illustration of its MALE UAV. It seems to be an armed design with an electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) turret. It is not known if it will be powered by a piston engine or by a miniature turboprop engine.
Finally, there is a JF-17B – i.e., twin-seat JF-17 – undergoing final assembly at PAC. The PAF has 26 JF-17Bs on order, with PAC planning to assemble eight of them in 2019 followed by 14 in 2020 and four in 2021.