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Pakistan and the Czech Republic to explore for growth in defence ties

On July 19, the Czech Republic’s Ambassador to Pakistan Jon Fury had met with Pakistan’s Minister of Defence Production (MoDP) Rana Tanveer Hussain. Mr. Fury invited the MoDP for an official visit to the Czech Republic and had discussed the state of bilateral defence ties between the countries.

In a statement released by Pakistan’s Public Information Department (PID), the meeting saw the MoDP reiterate Pakistan’s interest in collaborating with the Czech defence industry. The MoDP acknowledged that both countries “had greater potential in … defence production [that] needed to be explored.”

The Ambassador promoted the Czech Republic’s defence industry and its competencies to the MoDP. He also reiterated the mechanisms available in the memorandum-of-understanding (MoU) signed in 2010 for enhancing bilateral defence relations.

Notes & Comments:

The Czech defence industry has several areas of interest in Pakistan, most recently the opportunity to fulfill the Pakistan Army’s requirement for new assault rifles. In 2016, the Pakistan Army had solicited for assault rifle samples from numerous Western manufacturers, among them Česká zbrojovka (CZ).

CZ submitted its CZ-807 modular assault rifle, which can be chambered for either 7.62×39 mm or 5.56×45 mm NATO rounds. In November, CZ had signed a letter-of-understanding (LoU) with Pakistan Ordanance Factories (POF) to “intensively negotiate [the] delivery of complete technology for the production of small arms to [POF].” In April, CZ held a marketing demonstration in Quetta, Baluchistan showcasing the CZ-807 and its other products, such as the Scorpion EVO 3 sub-machine gun. If an assault rifle deal for service-wide adoption is inked, it would be the largest Czech defence program in Pakistan to-date.

The Czech turbine manufacturer PBS Velká Bíteš also has interests in Pakistan. In 2016, PBS exported its TJ100 miniature turbojet engine to Pakistan’s National Engineering & Scientific Commission (NESCOM), where it is used to power unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), such as target drones. The TJ100 has a thrust-output of 1.25 kN. There is scope for growth as Pakistan may express interest in other PBS products, such as the 140 kW TP100 turboprop engine, which can power a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV in the class of the Anka and CH-4B, which is among the possible MALE UAV forms under development in Pakistan Aeronautical Complex’s (PAC) newly established Aviation Design Institute (AvDI).

Denel Land Systems and Nexter use Tatra Trucks T815 8×8 trucks as platforms for their 155 mm/52-calibre self-propelled howitzers (SPH), the T5-52 and CAESAR, respectively. The Denel T5-52 is among the SPH systems to have been evaluated by the Pakistan Army for a large SPH requirement. Besides SPHs, Tatra could also position its products to Pakistan as platform solutions for multiple-launch rocket systems, logistics, mobile command and control suites, mobile radars and/or surface-to-air missile systems.

Aero Vodochody could consider exploring the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) requirements. However, it is less likely to see success than vendors involved in land or small aerial platforms. For example, the PAF has not been enthusiastic about lead-in fighter-trainers (LIFT), viewing them as too costly and overly-equipped for fighter conversion training. In May, aviation journalist Alan Warnes reported that the PAF leadership will use FT-7 and F-7Ps in the conversion role instead of new platforms. The L-39NG effectively overlaps with the K-8 Karakoram. For the PAF to consider the recently revived L-159 trainer, Aero Vodochody would need to offer a simplified and lower cost variant (i.e. without the current radar and avionics suite).

That said, Aero Vodochody could potentially be viewed as among those companies the PAF could engage for support in the Kamra Aviation City initiative. Aero Vodochody’s experience in forging supplier linkages, participating in multi-national aviation programs (e.g. Embraer KC-390) and aerostructure manufacturing could be of interest to the PAF. Aero Vodochody could emulate Turkish Aerospace Industries’ strategy of attaching offsets and local workshare to the T129 by offering a similar package with the L-159. This could include local workshare, parts production for third-party sales and investment in Kamra Aviation City.

Although the potential for off-the-shelf acquisitions is apparent, the two countries could attempt to pair specific agencies and companies for research and development and joint-production. Synergies may exist between NESCOM (and AvDI) and PBS in drone and munitions; the National Radio & Telecommunications Corporation (NRTC) and MESIT in radios; Shibli Electronics (a private company) and Meopta in optics for small-arms; and others. Collaboration can spur the development of new and mutually beneficial products.

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  • by John John Slade
    Posted July 23, 2017 11:25 pm 0Likes

    Czech Republic Military Industry has experience making advanced military. Thanks to Nato. They can be part of Al-Khalid II program as optional since they unveil T-72 Scarab Upgrade few(i think) months ago.

  • by Shakeel
    Posted July 24, 2017 3:11 am 0Likes

    Pakistan should actively explore turboprop manufacturing capabilities with the Czech republic.It is the only country whereby a GE turboprop has been built outside of the US.
    It also has excellent education for potential Pak students.

    With the economy in a downward spiral, it may be wishful thinking on my behalf.

  • by Steve
    Posted July 24, 2017 4:25 am 0Likes

    I agree Shakeel and your economy comment is also valid. We need a single minded national effort by a competent sincere government, will full engagement of the military and civilian side in a cooperative cohesive atmosphere. Not going to happen with this lot of corrupt politicians who are firstly incompetent and secondly can’t think beyond their family’s interest. The Panama drama is ongoing and taking up all our efforts ATM, and dominating national discourse. The army can’t do everything. I don’t understand why we are cursed with this lot of politicians whereas an increasing numer of countries are finally getting competent sincere people at the helm. We are behaving like a banana republic.

  • by ali amanat
    Posted July 24, 2017 9:31 am 0Likes

    Most interesting prospect is turbo jet engines if local manufacturing is possible with TOT for pakistani future aerial weapon systems, long range radar already tested by pakistan but denied by CZECH REPUBLIC UNDER AMERICAN PRESSURE.

  • by Kazmi
    Posted July 24, 2017 9:43 am 0Likes

    I second Shakeel and Steve. There is no denying the fact that Pakistan direly needs to manufacture the aircraft engine. It may be turbo jet, turbo shaft or turbo prop of different powers and for different type of aircraft, helicopters or UAVs, either for existing fleet or future’s programs. For that it is pertinent to establish an Engine Manufacturing Complex like That of PAC. Although it requires tremendous investment, time, research and transfer of technology. But as it is said that Rome was not built in a day. If it starts today, it may come to fruition after couple of decades or prior to that. But, I am optimistic that the day will come when our kites would be flying with our own power plants. I wish to see all that if such bold words are accorded by the promises of earthly life. Insha Allah.

  • by kaster
    Posted July 24, 2017 9:59 am 0Likes

    We don’t get sincere leaders because we are not sincere to ourselves.

  • by Steve
    Posted July 24, 2017 11:00 am 0Likes

    Engine Manufacturing Complex sounds great. Maybe as an addition branch of Air university/Aviation city. This is an area where we are the weakest. Like you said Kazmi if we never start on this journey we will never get there. Start with turboprop and make small civilian airplanes too for commercial sales abroad and locally. That tech is only 100 years old!

  • by Steve
    Posted July 24, 2017 11:30 am 0Likes

    Americans don’t want us to have anything that will make their job even marginally more difficult, if at some stage they decide to attack us. It’s always tomahawks followed by stealth SEAD followed by large package attacks followed by heavy bombers. You can bet they have contingency plans for that scenario, and are acting accordingly, egged on by the poisonous neighbours on both east and west of course. We need effective asymmetrical defences, like dense integrated layered air defence systems like S-400/HQ-9 and long range antiship missiles as a deterrent. Being nuclear is not enough, and did not stop “Stone Age” threats historically.

  • by Kazmi
    Posted July 24, 2017 12:20 pm 0Likes

    Thanks Steve for your valuable comments. I would like to add a bit more to my previous comments. Factually, we don’t need heavy investment and huge infrastructure. We simply need to establish an Engine Design and Development facility at first and then some sort of Coordination and Integration body. As regard manufacturing capability and capacity, we already have enough sophisticated manufacturing machinery in different defense institutions like KRL, NDC, AWC, PAC, POF, PIA and civil manufacturers. We also have brilliant engineers and Technicians as well. We simply need a master mind and master plan and strong national will. Regards

  • by Khalid Riaz
    Posted July 24, 2017 12:28 pm 0Likes

    Just consider how many people pay taxes but we want leaders to be sincere. This comment is not meant to endorse panama corruption.

  • by Syed Arbab Shah
    Posted July 24, 2017 1:23 pm 0Likes

    Czechs also manufacture the VERA radar whose sale was blocked few years ago. Still one of the most advanced radars out there with NO strings attached.

  • by Ali Afzal
    Posted July 24, 2017 2:23 pm 0Likes

    Pakistan should only get CZ Bren 806 or 807 from CZECH republic & as far as training air craft is concerned then we should buy yak-130 from Russia.

  • by Ali Afzal
    Posted July 24, 2017 2:26 pm 0Likes

    And as far as drones are concerned then Pak should buy Latest Anka drones from Turkey

  • by Shakeel
    Posted July 24, 2017 3:08 pm 0Likes

    Thank you for your interesting feedback.

    Why have we not embarked on this Engine Manufacturing Complex thus far? Is it because our DNA cannot absorb the complexities of producing an engine.

    I hear day in, & day out about what great impact CPEC is having on the uplift on Pakistan.To be frank with you we are a drip feed economy that is suffering from cancer
    over the years, exacerbated by the likes of Mushies, Zardaris & Sharifeens
    and not to forget the notorious Raja rentals of the world. All these numpties
    have contributed towards Pak systematic decline. Textile accounted for more
    than 50% of or exports. To sustain this industry you need a stable energy supply
    to power your industries, coupled with adequate infrastructure.

    I find it rather nerve-racking that our economy has failed to add impetus to our textile
    exports, despite having favourable GSP Plus terms the EU. Even Bangladesh is
    producing more export orientated goods than Pakistan. China has already bailed
    us out on two occasions for the last couple of years.

    Without going adrift, the CZ-807 assualt rifle, offered by the Czech republic offers us
    the best ‘big bang for the bucks’ that we are willing to pay. For POF this will be
    quantum uplift by having Czech input (partnership). It baffles me that currently mulling over American assault rifles – a country which has imposed heavy sanctions on POF. This kind of relationship with the Czechs can also be utilised for engine making
    & knowledge sharing. If the answer is no from the Czechs, go to the Polish
    & then to Serbia.

    I feel sorry for those students from Pakistan who have just completed a Phd degree in
    aero-engines & metallurgical sciences from prestigious university such as
    Beihang (BUAA), Cranfield, Manchester, KAIST are not being given the
    opportunity to excel in their disciplines, bcz of the sheer incompetencies of a
    bankrupt system. If you want to watch a political circus tune to Geo or ARY etc.
    In a nutshell, yes we do need a engine manufacturing complex, but do we have
    the vision to do so – the answer is a resounding NO.

    Saad Rafique (PML-N) was asked by the Chinese what about high speed rail for
    Pakistan?. He rejected the idea outright – suggesting that Pakistan does not
    have means to do so. The Chinese were astonished by his shallow vision.

    As we speak Pakistan has both internal & external threats, & it is up to us to steer it in the right direction.

  • by Steve
    Posted July 24, 2017 4:59 pm 0Likes

    I understand your frustration. It is clear that the army alone can’t do everything. But what are they to do? With literacy rates abysmally low and a poisonous political system, we are hamstrung by public electing donkeys again and again, and never learning. The periods of martial law did not help and were similarly damaging, with corruption seeping into army as well. We need a democratic system but with severe checks and balances totally outside political control, especially law enforcement, anti corruption agencies, military, and judiciary. Need to have a system that will keep these bas…ds in check, and to do as they are told. They can have vision and make policy but within very narrow confines. Democracy is not good if everyone in politics is corrupt and only wants to make money. The West love our political class because they keep the country easily pliable. One generation and the problem should be solved.

  • by ali amanat
    Posted July 25, 2017 7:02 am 0Likes

    Its fact they have a deffered plan for such an action , it does not mean we should lay down our arms , pakistan is not IRAQ, LIBIYA, SYRIA OR AFGHANISTAN IF iran can stand and survive another NORTH KOREA,STILL RESISTING THE AMERICAN PRESSURE, we should be able to develop our own systems it will take time and money too but steps should be taken in this direction to break the shekels.

  • by ali amanat
    Posted July 25, 2017 7:41 am 0Likes

    Brother very precised and sqeezed analysis but our problem is a corruption and lack pf visionary leadership as far as capabilities is concerned we have all resources skilled and experienced man power and im the eye witnessed of an ENGINE project completed in the Pc kamra in mid 90s two decades before and a prototype was developed and tested accordingly,but further development and the future of that engine is unknown, so capabilities and infrastructure is available more interesting and astonishing to our max readers(that jet engine project was completed by the pac technicians and not by the pac engineers) after subsequent testing it was proved and cleared ,we can do it no need to look at others need to take 1st step and carry on .

  • by Steve
    Posted July 25, 2017 9:35 am 0Likes

    Thank you sir. Off topic so apologies. Conventional deterrence is what I was advocating in a scenario where our very existence is not threatened, but we are severely damaged. REAL deterrence involves being able to do the unthinkable. For that we need to have sub launched long range supersonic anti ship missiles or anti ship ballistic missiles tipped with 200KT thermonuclear weapons to kill carrier battle groups, and ICBM with 2MT thermonuclear devices to kill cities, to have a guarantee no attack even from superpowers. We should never again meekly accept a “bomb you back to the Stone Age” threat. It’s good to advocate a peaceful existence and not threaten anyone, but on the other hand we should not accept threats either. Let’s manufacture turboprops first lol.

  • by ali amanat
    Posted July 25, 2017 10:56 am 0Likes

    Thats true , as i mentioned before that we need a true , loyal and visionary leadership to take up the future challenges .

  • by Steve
    Posted July 26, 2017 11:56 am 0Likes

    If we can see the obvious need for this technology there is no reason why the powers that be cannot see it. Let’s wait and see

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