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Project Azm: The expansion of Pakistan’s drone program

Pakistan is expanding its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) fleet through the procurement of new medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) drones, most notably with Project Azm (resolve), under which a MALE UAV is being developed along with a fifth-generation fighter (FGF) for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). Along with Project Azm, the PAF has also been testing – since at least 2016 – a Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG) Wing Loong. On January 05 the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College identified a Wing Loong at PAF Base M.M. Alam in Mianwali in November 2017.[1] In December 2017, Dawn News reported that the Project Azm MALE UAV will enter production in 18 months.[2]

In general, UAVs allow militaries to undertake long-duration intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations and airstrikes without needing to commit costlier manned assets. UAV usage can reduce operational costs while also negating the risk of losing personnel and/or expensive manned systems. UAVs have been a staple in the U.S.’ counterinsurgency (COIN) operations, notably in Iraq and Afghanistan. Due to China’s mastery of and willingness to sell MALE UAV technology, the means to emulate the U.S. in this regard has spread into the hands of other states, especially in the Middle East.

Through Project Azm – and (if unrelated to Project Azm) potentially through the Wing Loong – Pakistan is working to expand its use of drones in order to better fulfil its national security requirements. This article outlines the improvements MALE UAVs offer over Pakistan’s current UAV inventory along with an analysis of how Pakistan can leverage potential long-term areas of development, such as geostationary Earth orbit communications satellites, to maximize its UAV usage. The article concludes with an overview of potential opportunities for domestic and overseas industry firms interested in engaging Pakistan’s drone program.

Overall, the availability of a MALE UAV will (in part) enable Pakistan to impose constant ISR coverage over key areas of national security interest, such as border management and surveying infrastructure projects. Given the high-risk security environment of Pakistan’s geo-political surroundings, the incentive to build and sustain persistent ISR is in place. If there is a genuine drive to construct a UAV manufacturing base through Project Azm, the capabilities of Pakistan’s drones – and resultant ability for a sustained ISR presence – should grow through the long-term. For Pakistan, this would amount to a major shift from its tactically-driven drone usage (e.g. supporting COIN campaigns).

Pakistan’s UAVs

Pakistan’s mainstay UAVs for ISR comprise of the Leonardo Falco and the domestically sourced Shahpar, which is produced by Global Industrial & Defence Solutions (GIDS). The Falco and Shahpar have maximum take-off weights (MTOW) of 490 kg and 480 kg, respectively, along with payload capacities of 70 kg and 50 kg, respectively.[3],[4] Neither the Falco or Shahpar were meant to deploy live ordnance. Instead, Pakistan has been using these drones for ISR. For example, the PAF has been using the Falco for ISR as part of its COIN operations in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Deployed in that theatre in 2010 or 2011, the PAF had relied on the Falco for ground-surveillance, leveraging the drone’s ability to take-off and land from unprepared airfields and 8 to 14-hour flight endurance.[5] Interestingly, the PAF reportedly has had mixed results using the Falco, with some of the Falco drones crashing due to failures in the data-link control/connection.[6] The PAF reportedly opted to use its own ground control station (GCS) to operate the Falco instead of procuring Leonardo’s GCS for the Falco.[7] While evidently problematic for controlling the Falco, this information could indicate that Pakistan has data-link programs other than the tactical data-link (TDL) work for the JF-17 and Mirage III/5 (i.e. Link-17) The experience of using it with the Falco – with the occasional failure – can inform development of an improved version for use on a MALE UAV.

In terms of attack drones, Pakistan uses the Burraq UAV, which is produced by the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM). The Burraq appears to be a licensed version of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) CH-3.[8] Official specifications could not be secured, but the CH-3’s mock-ups show it armed with two AR-1 semi-active laser-homing (SALH) air-to-ground missiles (AGM), each weighing 45 kg.[9] If the Burraq/CH-3 uses the GIDS’ Zumr-1 electro-optical (EO) pod,[10] which weighs 30 kg, the payload of the Burraq/CH-3 would be around 120 kg. Confined to two anti-tank guided-missile (ATGM)-class munitions (or four potentially smaller AGM or guided-bombs), the Burraq is geared for targeted attacks against individuals and moving targets, potentially in a time-sensitive targeting (TST) mission. For a drone as lightweight as the Burraq, the close air support (CAS) value would be more limited than an attack helicopter or fixed-wing manned fighter, the latter two having the payload to carry more – and heavier – ordnance. However, in theory, MALE UAVs – especially the CASC CH-5[11] with its payload of 1,200 kg – can emerge to at least augment manned aircraft in CAS missions.

Finally, it currently appears that Pakistan is operating the Burraq, Falco and Shahpar UAVs through line-of-sight (LOS) data-link connectivity. ‘LOS’ refers to the range available the GCS to operate the drone before losing connectivity due to the Earth’s curvature. The original equipment manufacturers (OEM) of the Falco, Shahpar and the CH-3 (i.e. the Aviation Industry Corporation of China: AVIC) each state that the data-link ranges of their respective drones are 200-300 km. The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) prohibits the export of munitions and drones capable of carrying individual payloads of 500 kg or more with ranges of 300 km or more. However, this may have less to do with complying with the MTCR and more with technical limitations of the (likely) very-high-frequency (VHF) or ultra-high-frequency (UHF) radio frequencies being used by the drone GCS. Exceeding 300 km would likely necessitate beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) communication, in which case satellite communications (SATCOM) would be a factor.

While Pakistan’s public and private sector firms had undertaken drone production through the 1990s and early 2000s, these early designs were primarily very short-range/area-wide surveillance drones (e.g. the Integrated Dynamics Border Eagle) and target-drones. The actual ‘beginning’ of Pakistan’s drone program in the traditional sense (defined by the U.S.’ use of Predator UAVs) began with the Falco – and later – the Shahpar and Burraq. Compared to the Border Eagle (with its three-hour endurance), the Falco et. al could provide Pakistan with sustained ISR coverage for supporting combat operations. The Burraq introduced a new layer by enabling Pakistan to have live ordnance loiter over a target area for an extended time period, raising the effectiveness of TST against individuals (i.e. strategic COIN objectives).

However, the Falco, Shahpar and Burraq are limited in their respective payload, endurance and range, which in turn limit their value for a ‘strategic’ drone program. The way Pakistan uses its drones today is ‘tactical’ in that the Falco et. al are brought in to support or lead-into a COIN operation, such as Zarb-e-Azb. This is unlike a ‘strategic’ program where UAV operations are managed as parallel programs for broad national security objectives, such as securing borders from insurgent mobility or weakening an insurgency by searching, identifying and neutralizing individuals. The latter could be of particular value to the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). While this also necessitates an organizational element in terms of facilities, trained personnel and proper procedures (e.g. to manage inter-services interaction regarding drone use), Pakistan cannot achieve it with its current drone fleet. The MALE UAV program – along with potential use of SATCOM – could push Pakistan into maturing its drone program into a strategic factor. Pakistan could emulate the U.S., which has intelligence-driven drone operations for strategic effect (e.g. in Yemen and Somalia). The obvious difference would be the fact that any Pakistani drone program would be localized, i.e. focused on Pakistan’s borders, but still a distinct program in its national security doctrine.

Pursuit of MALE UAVs

Project Azm’s MALE UAV is being managed by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), with the newly-raised Aviation Design Institute (AvDI) spearheading its design work.[12] In his speech for the Kamra Aviation City’s breaking-ground ceremony in July 2017, the PAF Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Sohail Aman stated that the MALE UAV program was in its “final stages.” In December 2017, ACM Aman had reportedly stated the MALE UAV would enter production in 18 months.[13] Neither PAC or AvDI have given an official and finalized mock-up or illustration of the UAV, but an official promotional video for the Air University Aerospace and Aviation Campus in Kamra had shown design concepts and mock-ups by AvDI.[14]

Mock-up of an unmanned aerial vehicle design at the Aviation Design Institute (AvDI)

One of the mock-ups resembles a formulaic MALE UAV – i.e. a design clearly inspired by the Predator (like other MALE UAVs, such as the Wing Loong, Anka and CH-4B). On first glance observers sought to link the AvDI mock-up to the Wing Loong, which the PAF is test-flying. However, while it is similar in a broad sense – just as the Wing Loong, Anka and CH-4B are to the Predator – there are specific differences. Unlike the Wing Loong I and improved Wing Loong II, the AvDI mock-up has top-mounted wings similar to the Anka. The AvDI design’s fuselage is also different from the Wing Loong I, though it resembles the Wing Loong II. However, the engine intake is underneath the fuselage, whereas the Wing Loong II’s intake is above.

Because of the Burraq, which is identical to the CASC CH-3, some are suspicious of Pakistan having an original UAV program. However, AvDI is a unique entity in that it is tasked with aircraft design work, i.e. “phase-wise designing, production and evaluation of fifth-generation aircraft indigenously.”[15] This contrasts with the production-focus of PAC, in which one can insert an off-the-shelf design to be produced under-license. While one cannot discount foreign assistance in the design process, AvDI’s purpose is to nurture an aircraft design and development base in Pakistan. If it was simply a matter of production, then fast-tracking an off-the-shelf design to PAC would be sufficient (e.g. Burraq), but with AvDI, Pakistan is looking to build domestic design competency. Even if foreign assistance is sought to plugin for domestic deficiencies, it would not reduce the prospect of the AvDI MALE UAV being an original design. While an off-the-shelf design would certainly expedite the process, it would deny AvDI the opportunity to mature and become a credible factor for domestic industry progress. While AvDI has fiscal and capacity constraints, an alternative to an off-the-shelf purchase could be to partner with another company such as CAIG, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) or Denel Aeronautics to jointly develop a solution (and enable AvDI to learn from the process and ultimately possess a platform it can iterate and further develop).

The technical specifications of the Project Azm MALE UAV are not yet known, but it could vary given the diversity of the MALE UAV space in general. Conservatively, the baseline of the Project Azm UAV could be in the size and capability range of the TAI Anka and CAIG Wing Loong. The Anka has a payload capacity of 200 kg and endurance of 24 hours.[16] This is similar to the Wing Loong, which has a payload of 200 kg and endurance of 20 hours.[17] However, this would be the baseline. The newer Wing Loong II has a payload of 480 kg and endurance of 32 hours.[18] CAIG’s Chinese competitor, CASC, is offering the CH-4B (payload: 345 kg; endurance: 40 hours[19]) and the CH-5 (payload: 1,200 kg; endurance: 60 hours[20]). If the Project Azm UAV is an original design primarily driven by AvDI – with its inexperience in the field –  then a design closer in capability to the Anka and Wing Loong is likely. While this is lighter-weight and shorter-legged than the CH-5, it would be a substantial improvement over the Falco, Shahpar and Burraq.

The immediate gain of an Anka/Wing Loong-class drone would be heavier payload and longer endurance. Immediately, this would provide Pakistan with the ability to sustain a longer loiter period over an area. It would also enable these drones to carry heavier munitions, such as 125 kg precision-guided bombs (PGB) for attacking fixed installations, or a larger ordnance load of more 45-50 kg AGMs. The increased payload capacity could also enable Pakistan to deploy more power-consuming sensors, such as synthetic aperture radars with ground-moving target-indication (SAR/GMTI). SAR/GMTI would provide situational awareness of a combat area by providing imagery of the terrain along with a real-time feed of targets. For example, this could improve Pakistan’s battlefield management by enabling more assets – such as artillery units – to have a picture of the combat area and, in turn, engage those targets using guided shells and/or rockets.

Space Development is Essential

While MALE UAVs would certainly improve Pakistan’s tactical COIN and CT operations, but it would be a continuation of its present – i.e. tactically-oriented – drone usage. However, those payload and endurance improvements would enable Pakistan to initiate a strategic drone program for fulfilling its broad national security interests, such as managing its borders with Afghanistan, Iran and India. In 2016, Pakistan’s then Minister of Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal (now Interior Minister) had identified border security as one of the objectives of the Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS-1) program.[21] The PRSS-1, which is due for launch in 2018, will be equipped with both SAR and EO systems, enabling Pakistan to undertake image intelligence (IMINT) activities.[22] However, a MALE UAV would augment this by providing a closer – and real-time – ISR feed. For example, the PRSS-1 could identify an inherent gap along the Afghan border suitable for infiltration, the MALE UAV can monitor that vicinity and, potentially, interdict unwanted movement in that area by deploying guided munitions at individuals and/or vehicles. One might see the ‘strategic’ nature of these operations as they would be constant – i.e. independent of an ongoing COIN/CT operation – and potentially be critical in averting the need for such operations in the first place.

However, Pakistan is unlikely to conduct such a drone program using solely its GCS for controlling drones. The line-of-sight (LOS) data-link ranges available to the Falco and Shahpar (and likely Burraq) are limited to 250 km. While Pakistan could theoretically have GCS positioned within those ranges at the border, this would not be as flexible as using satellite communication (SATCOM) to operate a drone at beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) range. With SATCOM, drone operations can be directly managed by a regional headquarter – such as the Pakistan Army and/or PAF’s respective southern commands – or an ISI facility located anywhere in the country. Pakistan might also have the baseline infrastructure already in place to operate drones through SATCOM using the PakSat-1R, which has been in orbit since August 2011.[23]

The PakSat-1R is equipped with 12 C-band and 18 Ku-band transponders.[24] Although the PakSat-1R is a commercial satellite, the use of such a system for operating drones is far from unprecedented. In fact, the U.S. had operated the Predator using the Ku-band SATCOM data-link (KuSDL) from L3 Communications.[25],[26] Besides leveraging ubiquitously available space infrastructure, using Ku-band had also enabled the U.S. to benefit from a higher bandwidth throughput to receive the Predator’s video feed. There is certainly a case for Pakistan to emulate the U.S. However, Ku-band is also a saturated frequency space, which in turn presents the risk of UAV operations causing interferences with other Ku-band satellites.[27] Furthermore, within PakSat-1R, heavy bandwidth use by the armed forces could negatively impact civilian Ku-band use, which can cause both operational (e.g. data-link failure during missions) and commercial problems (e.g. prohibiting the government from leasing spectrum).

Ka-band has been proposed as an alternative.[28] Ka-band transponders use smaller antennas, enabling for more transponders within a single satellite or, alternatively, to allow for lighter-weight satellites. Ka-band is the only band where civilian (i.e. 29.0 to 30.0 GHz) and military (30.0 to 31.0 GHz) bands are adjacent, which can allow for dual-usage using the same terminal (i.e. the system integrated on the drone or ship for communicating with the satellite), offering cost-savings in procurement and maintenance.[29] However, Ka-band is also susceptible to rain fade, i.e. a weakening – and potentially failure – in connectivity due to rain or cloudy weather.[30] Thus, recent and emerging military SATCOM programs are also incorporating X-band transponders to complement Ka-band units. X-band is lower in frequency, but less susceptible to rain fade. However, it also requires larger antennas whilst also benefitting from lower throughput, making it less efficient than Ka-band or Ku-band. Nonetheless, X-band is being viewed as a supplementary system. For example, Turkey’s indigenous satellite – TÜRKSAT-6A – will enclose two X-band and 20 Ku-band transponders.[31] Brazil’s recently deployed Geostationary Defence and Strategic Communications Satellite (SGDC) – manufactured by Thales Alenia Space – has 50 Ka-band and seven X-band transponders.[32]

Granted, neither Ka-band or X-band are factors with the PakSat-1R. However, the PakSat-1R has a limited lifespan – i.e. 15 years or until 2026 – after which it will need to be replaced. Pakistan can certainly look to incorporate Ka-band and/or X-band in a future communications satellite. Interestingly, during the 2016 International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS), the Turkish SATCOM terminal manufacturer CTECH stated that the Pakistan Navy expressed interest in the company’s X-band SATCOM terminals.[33] While the intended use-case was for future Pakistan Navy ships, it would be rational for Pakistan to scale such procurement so that X-band connectivity can be had by many of its platforms, including drones. The potential cost of a new communications satellite could be in the range of $170 million (i.e. TÜRKSAT-6A)[34] to $558.1 million U.S. (i.e. SGDC).[35] The cost will vary depending on the number of transponders, original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and satellite launch provider. However, it should be noted that with the TÜRKSAT-6A, a substantial portion of the cost is being spent within Turkey as TAI and other Turkish firms are leading the satellite design, development and manufacturing process.[36] Quwa had discussed the value of Pakistan investing in its space development program, especially as it now intends to field satellites for national development and potentially national security purposes.[37]

Overall, SATCOM would enable Pakistan to utilize MALE UAVs at long-range, which would help for remote deployment in its border areas (while minimizing the risk of a GSC being attacked when in LOS range) and its maritime environment. In terms of the latter, a MALE UAV would support the border management role by monitoring Pakistan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) for criminal activity, such as narcotics and human trafficking. However, the utility of UAV usage in the maritime space might be proportional to the UAV’s size, range, payload and endurance. For example, a large UAV such as the CH-5 would likely deploy a long-range sea-surveillance radar for a longer period at sea – thanks to its greater payload capacity, which can handle the radar along with its power and cooling systems – than the smaller Wing Loong-class UAV.

To be clear, the rise of a distinct drone program would not be unique or isolated to Pakistan. Rather, it is due to the increasingly ubiquitous availability of the technology – i.e. the drones and the BLOS means to operate the drones – that is enabling Pakistan as well as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt (and potentially others) to undertake relatively robust drone programs. Pakistan has its own concerns in Afghanistan, especially in terms of perceived anti-Pakistan entities operating from Afghan territory, that it would like to prevent from entering Pakistan and, in turn, prompting a spate of costly COIN campaigns in FATA. Likewise, recurrent warnings about cross-border ‘surgical strikes’ and the like could be pushing the Pakistan Army and PAF to build robust real-time ISR through drones, which could – in theory – also be the first line of defence (i.e. the ability to launch guided munitions) against such activities.

Industry Opportunities

For ISR, Pakistan’s UAVs will require EO and, potentially, SAR/GMTI equipment. In terms of EO, Pakistan’s GIDS will likely have the lead with its Zumr-1. Given the messaging – i.e. supporting the domestic industry – Pakistan will likely prioritize local actors where possible, such as EO, GCS and data-link systems. In case of SATCOM, the latter would have to be managed with a potentially imported terminal.

China will likely be the primary source for lightweight air-to-surface munitions – Pakistan has already procured the AR-1 and FT-10 for the Burraq and Super Mushshak[38] trainer, respectively. However, this could change if a domestic vendor emerges providing comparable lightweight munitions, which could lend to potential co-production ventures for foreign OEMs (e.g. Turkey’s Roketsan, which had offered its munitions range – including UMTAS ATGM – to Pakistan for use from a variety of platforms[39]).

Besides sub-systems and munitions, the other main areas of opportunity would be in relation to the UAV’s propulsion and aerostructure/airframe. In terms of engines, Pakistan’s selection will depend on the UAV’s size and payload capacity. For example, the TAI Anka is powered by a 114 kW (i.e. 155 hp) engine.[40] If the Project Azm UAV is in that size class, then a comparable engine would likely be sought. It should be noted that Pakistan’s NESCOM is a customer of PBS Velká Bíteš, a Czech miniature engine manufacturer – it had ordered TJ100 turbojet engines for target drones in 2016 and 2017.[41],[42] PBS’ TP100 miniature turboprop engine, which has an output of 180 kW (241 hp) could plausibly be an engine option for the AvDI drone. In terms of aerostructures, PAC established an in-house composite manufacturing facility, which was used to co-produce the Leonardo Falco.[43] This facility will likely be developed further to support the AvDI drone.

In theory, PAC could source from the domestic private sector, but this is contingent on the local industry sensing sufficient opportunity to justify the investment of raising composite manufacturing facilities. The PAF would have to commit to ordering a sizable proportion of the AvDI UAV’s airframe from the private sector. However, unless the private sector has other opportunities drawing on composite aerostructure work, it is unlikely there is enough local scale to sustain many drone-centric companies. The armed forces can increase that scale to an extent by also including aerostructure work for cruise missiles and drone-like systems, such as loitering munitions. However, like PAC, the company supplying for the drone program would likely be involved in other aerostructure work, namely for mainstay combat and civilian aircraft (so as to scale the investment made to raise the requisite manufacturing facilities). In any case, this is unlikely to be a near-term factor – PAC will be the leading aerostructure supplier for the foreseeable future.

In conclusion, the emergence of a distinct drone program in Pakistan – i.e. a program not relegated to a support role, but a central driver of fulfilling national security interests – can spur growth in the country’s space development procurement, composite aerostructure manufacturing and subsystems purchases.  For a national security-centric drone program to be effective, it cannot remain stagnant in the way of the aircraft being used. A MALE UAV along the lines of the Wing Loong or Anka would be sufficient for certain roles, such as ISR over the border. However, the future rests in extending the low-cost and low-risk (for one’s own military personnel) benefits of drones to conventional warfare as well, such as suppression of enemy air defence and deep-strike. Commercial availability of such assets cannot be assumed, especially when they could also become integral to the defence strategy of the prospective seller, such as China. In such a case, the optimal system might not be available for sale (as a security precaution).

Advancement will be costly, but partnerships can be had to distribute the burden and increase viability. It is interesting to note that AvDI’s apparent stage of progression is not far (relatively speaking) from where Turkey’s TAI and PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) are with their respective programs. Granted, it is unclear if the AvDI program is an original design (though available signs indicate this is the case), but with several countries in a broadly similar state in MALE UAV development, partnerships can emerge for sharing costs and joint development. In fact, TAI and PTDI are already partnering for the latter’s MALE UAV program.[44] If not for AvDI’s launch MALE UAV, it would be prudent for PAC/AvDI to consider partnering with TAI and/or others for large UAV (e.g. CH-5/Reaper-class) and more sophisticated aircraft development.


[1] Dan Gettinger. “Drone Bases Updates.” Center for the Study of the Drone. Bard College. 05 January 2018. URL: (Last Accessed: 19 January 2018).

[2] Naveed Siddiqui. “Intruders traced on radar won’t be able to go back, warns air chief.” Dawn News. 07 December 2017. URL: (Last Accessed: 19 January 2018).

[3] Promotional Material. Falco. Leonardo. URL: (Last Accessed: 19 January 2018).

[4] Promotional Material. Shahpar. Global Defence & Industrial Solutions (GIDS). URL: (Last Accessed: 19 January 2018).

[5] Alan Warnes. “Putting Plans to the Test.” Air International. December 2012

[6] Chris Pocock. “Leonardo Delivers More Falco UAVs To The Middle East.” Aviation International News (AIN) Online. 11 January 2018. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[7] Ibid.

[8] Neil Gibson. “Analysis: Pakistan’s ‘indigenous’ UAV, missiles may not be as homegrown as claimed.” Jane’s Defence Weekly. 26 March 2015. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[9] Gabriel Dominguez. “China’s AR-2 UAV-capable air-to-surface missile ready for export, says report.” Jane’s Defence Weekly. 06 February 2017. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[10] Promotional Material. Zumr-1 (EP). Global Defence & Industrial Solutions. URL: (Last Accessed: 19 January 2018).

[11] Kelvin Wong. “Heavily armed CASC CH-5 UAV makes public debut.” IHS Jane’s International Defence Review. 07 November 2016. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[12] Press Release. “Groundbreaking Ceremony of Aviation City and Air University Aerospace & Aviation Campus held at Kamra.” Pakistan Air Force. 06 July 2017. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[13] Naveed Siddiqui. “Intruders traced on radar won’t be able to go back, warns air chief.” Dawn News. 07 December 2017. URL: (Last Accessed: 19 January 2018).

[14] Video Accessible in YouTube:

[15] Press Release. “Groundbreaking Ceremony of Aviation City and Air University Aerospace & Aviation Campus held at Kamra.” Pakistan Air Force. 06 July 2017. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[16] Promotional Material. Anka. Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[17] Kelvin Wong. “Eastern promise: China grows unmanned capabilities” Jane’s International Defence Review. June 2017. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[18] Ibid.

[19] Kelvin Wong. “China’s CH-4 armed reconnaissance UAV receives upgrades.” Jane’s International Defence Review. 04 August 2017. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[20] Kelvin Wong. “Heavily armed CASC CH-5 UAV makes public debut.” IHS Jane’s International Defence Review. 07 November 2016. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[21] “Satellite to be launched for monitoring CPEC projects.” Dawn News. 21 April 2016. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[22] “STAND with SUPARCO.” Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO). Government of Pakistan. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[23] Promotional Material. PakSat-1R Technical Parameters. PakSat. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[24] Ibid.

[25] Promotional Material. “Ku-band SATCOM Data Link (KuSDL) Predator.” L3 Communications. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[26] Richard Whittle. “Predator: The Secret Origins of the Drone Revolution.” Henry Holt and Company, LLC. 2014. p.151

[27] Peter B. de. Selding. “Test Data Indicate Possible Ka-band Weakness for UAV Links.” Space News. 11 April 2011. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[28] Ibid.

[29] “Ka vs. Ku – An Unbiased Review.” Skyware Technologies. 02 July 2015. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[30] Peter B. de. Selding. Space News. April 2011.

[31] Promotional Material. TÜRKSAT 6A. Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[32] Press Release. “Thales Alenia Space wins contract for Brazil’s SGDC government communications satellite system.” Thales Alenia Space. 12 December 2013. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[33] “CTECH Pushing Forward with Satellite Communication and Simulation Solutions.” MSI Turkish Defence Review. January 2017. Issue: 34

[34] “Turkey’s first domestic satellite enters test production phase.” Anadolu Agency (via Daily Sabah). 15 August 2017. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[35] Peter B. de Selding. “Brazil Orders Civil-Military Telecommunications Satellite.” Space News. 29 November 2013. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[36] Promotional Material. TÜRKSAT 6A. Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[37] Bilal Khan. “The Push to Boost Pakistan’s Space Program.” Quwa Premium. 01 January 2018. URL:

[38] Alan Warnes. “Pakistan looks at COIN role for Super Mushshak aircraft.” Jane’s Defence Weekly. 19 May 2017. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[39] “Turkey-Pakistan Defence Relations Moving to Next Level.” MSI Turkish Defence Review. January 2017. Issue 34.

[40] Promotional Material. Anka. Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[41] “PBS TJ100 Jet Engine for UAVs and Target Drones.” První brněnská strojírna Velká Bíteš, a.s. (PBS). URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[42] As per EXIM Trade Info, NESCOM registered two imports from PBS for turbojet engines in 2016 and 2017. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[43] Promotional Material. Aircraft Manufacturing Factory. Pakistan Aeronautical Complex. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

[44] “Indonesia, Turkey team up to develop military drones.” The Jakarta Post. 16 January 2018. URL: (Last Accessed: 18 January 2018).

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