Karachi Defense Expo 2022: Pakistan Military's Focus on AI, Connectivity and Drone Warfare

Pakistan displayed its latest drones at IDEAS 2022 (International Defence Exhibition and Seminar) Defense Expo held in November in Karachi. It also presented sessions on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and connectivity. The event attracted more than 50 countries, including large pavilions set up by Pakistan's closest friends China and Turkey.  The four-day IDEAS 2022 opened on November 15, 2022 at Karachi Expo Centre, bringing together 300 leading national and international defense manufacturers and over 300 foreign delegates from 57 countries.

Pakistan's Shahpar 2 Attack Drone

Shahpar 2 Drone:

On display at IDEAS 2022 was Shahpar-2 Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) attack drone  produced by Global Industrial and Defense Solutions (GIDS), a Pakistani state-owned defense conglomerate. It can fly at a maximum speed of around 222 kilometers per hour (kph) with maximum range of around 1,050 kilometers, and the data link range of 300 kilometers. It can contact satellites in day or night operations.   

Shahpar 2 drone can locate, surveil, track and attack targets.  Its Zumr-II (EO/IR) turret is an improved and lighter version of Zumr-I (EP) turret. It can also be equipped with SAR, COMINT/ELINT payload. For sensors and targeting systems drone has an internal hard-point where it carry 50 kg (110 lb) payload. (Zumr-I weighs 36.5 kg (80 lb) while Zumr-II weighs 49 kg (108 lb)). The drone has two external hard-points where it can carry laser guided weapons, AGMs 60 kg (130 lb) each. Shapar 2 has already been inducted into service with Pakistan’s Army, Navy, and Air Force. 

Pakistan Navy's Cruise Missiles: Babur, Harba and Zarb. Source: Quwa

Also on display were advanced Harbah anti-ship cruise missiles made by Pakistan's state-owned Global Industrial and Defence Solutions (GIDS) and electronic warfare system produced by National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC). The locally developed Al-Khalid tanks and modern assault rifles manufactured by Pakistan Ordinance Factories (POF) were also exhibited. Visitors also got a close look at the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) JF-17 Thunder fighter jets produced jointly by China and Pakistan. 

JF-17 Block III: 

JF-Block-III is a BVR (Beyond Visual Range) multi-role fighter jet capable of firing long range air-to-air missiles like China's PL-10 and PL-15. It features active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system, making it Pakistan Air Force’s first AESA-equipped fighter aircraft. Combination of AESA radar and 120-mile range PL-15 missiles make the JF-17 Block 3 an extremely lethal fighter for beyond visual range combat, considerably more capable than any fighter in Pakistani service including the F-16.  It also has a new electronic warfare system, upgraded avionics including a three-axis fly-by-wire digital flight control system, and a helmet-mounted display and sight (HDMS) system. With its new integrated sensor package, the aircraft will have the capability for quick information sharing and network-enabled operations that facilitate earlier detection and interception of enemy aircraft. 

Pakistan JF-17 Block 3 Fighter Jet

Chinese and Turkish Pavilions:

Pakistan’s longtime allies China and Turkey had the largest foreign presence at IDEAS 2022. Chinese state-run defense conglomerate China North Industries Group Corporation Limited (NORINCO) displayed missiles and weapon systems including the Red Arrow 9A anti-tank guided missile.  

Turkey displayed a scale model of its fifth-generation fighter, codenamed the TF-X, at Pakistan’s IDEAS expo 2022. Over two dozen Turkish defense manufacturers participated in Pakistan’s IDEAS defense expo this year. 

Top Turkish defense manufacturers, including Roketsan, state-run STM and ASFAT, showcased their products ranging from modern armed drones to tactical mini-UAV systems. Turkish Aerospace exhibited the models of the T129 ATAK helicopter, Gokbey multirole helicopter, Gokturk-2 observation satellite, as well as Anka unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and Aksungur medium-altitude long-range endurance (MALE) UAV.

AI and Connectivity:   

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) launched a Cognitive Electronic Warfare (CEW) program in 2020 at its Center for Artificial Intelligence and Computing (CENTAIC). Modern connected weapon systems generate vast amounts of data requiring artificial intelligence and machine learning software for speedy analysis and rapid decision-making on the battlefield.  

A seminar titled ‘Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Defence Market: A Paradigm Shift in Military Strategy and National Security’ was organized as part of IDEAS-22. Also discussed was ‘One Network’, an advanced communication project, under which 3,000 kilometers of underground fibre optic cable is being laid along the motorways in Pakistan.  

An example of connectivity and integration was demonstrated in Operation Swift Retort against India in February 2019. The success of this operation was the result of combat-proven PAF fighters which are fully integrated with the air defense system (e.g. AWACS), and are mutually data-linked, alongside all AEW (Airborne Early Warning) and ground sensors. 

Rethink After Ukraine War:

The war in Ukraine is forcing a defense strategy rethink in countries around the world. This is particularly true of  countries such as India that rely mainly on Russian equipment and training. Hindustan Times has quoted an unnamed former Indian Army Chief as saying:  “War videos available show that the Russian Army has tactical issues in Ukraine war. Tell me, which tank formation goes to war in a single file without air or infantry cover when the opponent is equipped with the best anti-tank guided missile like Javelin or Turkish Bayraktar TB2 missile firing drones? There is question on Russian air supremacy with Ukraine Army armed with shoulder fired Stinger surface to air missiles as well as the night fighting capability of the Russian Air Force.”

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Comment by Riaz Haq on November 30, 2022 at 10:15am

Pakistan’s Integrated Dynamics Reveals Pseudo-Satellite Project

https://quwa.org/2019/12/16/pakistans-integrated-dynamics-reveals-p...


Integrated Dynamics, a privately-owned company in Pakistan, revealed that it was developing its own line of High-Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) platforms in the form of solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) at the 2019 Dubai Air Show, which took place in 17-21 November.

Integrated Dynamics’ first HAPS UAV, which is listed in the company’s product portfolio, carries the name SOLARIS. The SOLARIS offers an operational range of 200 km at line-of-sight (LOS), which is extendable to over 1,000 km, and can operate at an altitude of 6-10 km (i.e., 19,500+ ft to 32,800+ ft).

Marketed as a low-cost civilian UAV, which will reportedly cost under $100,000, the SOLARIS has a mass of 13 kg and can operate in the air for up to 24 hours. Integrated Dynamics is now working on increasing the SOLARIS’ endurance to up to four days, but it is not known when this version will be available.

Integrated Dynamics is also working on the STRATOS, a larger design that will be capable of operating at up to 22 km (72,000+ ft) and reportedly stay in the air at up to four months at a time, which could make it at-par with some industry-leading designs. The STRATOS is to carry a payload of up to 12 kg,

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 1, 2022 at 4:37pm

Turkey has unveiled its indigenously developed AESA radar that will be integrated into the F-16 fighter jets, among other manned and unmanned aircraft in the Turkish Air Force.

https://eurasiantimes.com/trailing-rafale-jets-turkey-develops-own-...

The spokesperson for President Tayyip Erdogan recently announced that the process of the United States authorizing the sale of F-16 fighter jets to NATO member Turkey is progressing and could be completed in upcoming months.

However, Turkey seems to have taken upon itself the responsibility to upgrade its F-16 fleet with domestically built radars.

The president of Defense Industries, Ismail Demir, unveiled the new Aselsan AESA radar on November 10 and stated that the Turkish Air Force’s (TuAF) Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft, the Akinci unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), as well as the upcoming Turkish Fighter Experimental (TF-X)/National Combat Aircraft, will be retrofitted with the system.

“It is a radar project equivalent to the most advanced radars in the world at the moment,” Demir said at the event. While the F-16s have been in the Turkish fleet for decades, the delivery of Akinci UAV twin-engined UAV is just getting started. The TF-X/MMU is Turkey’s next-generation combat aircraft currently under development.

In March this year, a local Turkish portal informed that the F-16 active electronically scanned array [AESA] radar prototype developed by Aseslan was expected to be delivered by the end of this year. The report could not be corroborated at the time.

According to some sources, the development and integration of the AESA radar on the F-16 are one of the many upgrades in the modernization program undertaken by Turkey.

The single-seat C and twin-seat D variants of the F-16 are the cornerstones of the TuAF’s front-line combat aviation force. The domestic industry has conducted much of the upgrades on these fighters.

The need to upgrade the F-16 fighters becomes all the more important due to the growing might of the Hellenic Air Force with its acquisition of advanced fighter jets. Turkey remains locked in tensions with its Aegean Sea rival Greece, with the possibility of a spillover never being ruled out.

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The RBE2 radar allows high levels of situational awareness with early detection and tracking of multiple targets, thus denying an aerial advantage to the enemy.

Speaking on a CNN Türk show, military editor and analyst Özay Şendir admitted that Greece is gaining a significant advantage with its new fighters.

Besides operating the advanced 4+ gen Rafales, Greece could also acquire the F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighter jets. It is only evident that Ankara is looking to add more teeth to its existing fighter fleet.

In June this year, the US Air Force and Northrop Grumman announced the conclusion of a significant modernization project that installed powerful new AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array radars on 72 Air National Guard Block 30 F-16C Viper fighter jets.

At the time, it was informed these AESA radars, known as Scalable Agile Beam Radars or SABRs, were being ordered for hundreds more Air Force F-16s and other Vipers around the globe.

Announcing the breakthrough, Northrop Grumman’s Mark Rossi said, “It’s the closest thing an F-16 can get to F-35 performance within the limitations of the jet.”

Any AESA would be a significant improvement for Air Force F-16C/Ds and other Vipers around the world.

In general, AESA radars provide substantial advantages regarding target acquisition speed, the range at which threats and potential threats can be detected, and the precision and fidelity of the ensuing tracks, especially for smaller objects. They are significantly more reliable, resulting in more “up time” and better jamming resistance.

AESA radars are produced indigenously only by a handful of countries, and now, Turkey has joined the elite club. With the US sale still uncertain, Turkey seems alive to its challenges and is consistently taking upgrades to face the ensuing Greek threat.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 1, 2022 at 6:27pm
The Turkish defence electronics vendor Aselsan confirmed through its Annual Yearbook for 2017 that the ASELPOD advanced targeting pod was successfully integrated to and tested from the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter in 2017. The PAF ordered eight ASELPODs for $25 million US from Aselsan in 2016, with deliveries occurring in November 2016 as well as September and February 2017.
Comment by Riaz Haq on December 1, 2022 at 6:35pm

Aselsan’s software defined radios (SDR), which are radios with software-driven functions (e.g. signal processing, have been exported to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia with local production and customization. As with the competition, Aselsan markets its SDRs as encrypted and jam-resistant solutions.

In Pakistan, Aselsan SDRs have been co-produced at the National Radio Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) since 2013-2014. In Saudi Arabia, these SDRs are being co-produced locally at Military Industries Corporation (MIC), of which Aselsan is a co-owner. Aselsan assisted MIC with developing its own radio waveforms and software platform, which will enable Riyadh to yield control over the platform.

It appears a comparable package (to the Pakistan and Saudi programs) is being offered to Ukraine. Aselsan SDR suites come in multiple products, such as the PRC/VRC-9661, which can be supplied as a manpack radio (10W), vehicular radio (10W/50W) and base station radio (50W). In terms of financing, the Turkish government is intent on developing the mechanism to drive its exports (it is piloting a $400 million U.S. credit program for the MILGEM Ada corvette sale to Pakistan).

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 3, 2022 at 8:09pm

Ignite Conducts Karachi Qualifier Round of Digital Pakistan Cybersecurity Hackathon 2022

https://propakistani.pk/2022/12/02/ignite-conducts-karachi-qualifie...


Ignite National Technology Fund, a public sector company with the Ministry of IT & Telecom, conducted the qualifier round of Digital Pakistan Cybersecurity Hackathon 2022 in Karachi on 1st December 2022 after conducting qualifier rounds at Quetta and Lahore.

The Cybersecurity Hackathon aims to improve the cybersecurity readiness, protection, and incident response capabilities of the country by conducting cyber drills at a national level and identifying cybersecurity talent for public and private sector organizations.

Dr. Zain ul Abdin, General Manager Ignite, stated that Ignite was excited about organizing Pakistan’s 2nd nationwide cybersecurity hackathon in five cities this year. The purpose of the Cyber Security Hackathon 2022 is to train and prepare cyber security experts in Pakistan, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Asim Shahryar Husain, CEO Ignite, said, “The goal of the cybersecurity hackathon is to create awareness about the rising importance of cybersecurity for Pakistan and also to identify and motivate cybersecurity talent which can be hired by public and private sector organizations to secure their networks from cyberattacks.”

“There is a shortage of 3-4 million cybersecurity professionals globally. So this is a good opportunity for Pakistan to build capacity of its IT graduates in cybersecurity so that they can boost our IT exports in future,” he added.

Chief guest, Mohsin Mushtaq, Additional Secretary (Incharge) IT & Telecommunication, said, “Digital Pakistan Cybersecurity Hackathon is a step towards harnessing the national talent to form a national cybersecurity response team.”

“Ignite will continue to hold such competitions every year to identify new talent. I would like to congratulate CEO Ignite and his team for holding such a marathon competition across Pakistan to motivate cybersecurity students and professionals all over the country,” he added.

Top cybersecurity experts were invited for keynote talks during the occasion including Moataz Salah, CEO Cyber Talents, Egypt, and Mehzad Sahar, Group Head InfoSec Engro Corp, who delivered the keynote address on Smart InfoSec Strategy.

Panelists from industry, academia, and MoITT officials participated in two panel discussions on “Cyber Threats and Protection Approaches” and “Indigenous Capability & Emerging Technologies” during the event.

The event also included a cybersecurity quiz competition in which 17 teams participated from different universities. The top three teams in the competition were awarded certificates.

41 teams competed from Karachi in the Digital Pakistan Cybersecurity Hackathon 2022.

The top three teams shortlisted after the eight-hour hackathon were: “Team Control” (Winner); “Revolt” (1st Runner-up); and “ASD” (2nd Runner-up).

These top teams will now compete in the final round of the hackathon in Islamabad later this month.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 4, 2022 at 9:11pm

Pakistan’s JF-17 Block-3 Fighter Surfaces With ‘Deadly’ Upgrades; German Expert Compares With India’s LCA Tejas

https://eurasiantimes.com/pakistans-jf-17-block-3-fighter-surfaces-...


Reported to share some of the technology from China’s J-20 ‘Mighty Dragon’ stealth fighter, the JF-17 is expected to replace the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) aging fleet of Chengdu F-7 and Dassault Mirage-III/V.

The JF-17 Thunder is a medium-sized multi-role fighter plane developed jointly by China’s Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). The service has inducted more than 100 Thunder jets since 2007. Of these, 26 are Block II variants that were added in 2020.

JF-17 Thunder Block-3
A photo of a pilot inside the cockpit of a JF-17 Block III/JF-17C wearing a Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) similar to the ones J-20 pilots have been shown wearing in leaked images and official pictures and videos is the first indication of the rapid evolution of the jet.

An HMD beams all vital flight information that is usually shown on the screens and displayed directly on the visor in the cockpit.

This reduces the stress of flying and allows the pilot to focus more on the combat component of the mission. It is also one of the major systems a plane must possess to be counted in the Generation 4++ category.

Many social media discussion forums have claimed increased use of carbon fiber composites in the newer variants, which reduces the aircraft’s weight.

A report in Pakistan’s Express Tribune quoted an unnamed official of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) saying, “further upgradation (of the jet) is in progress.” The report came from the recently concluded International Defense Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) 2022 in Karachi.

The first images of the first batch of the JF-17C/Block III in serial production paint scheme fresh off the assembly line surfaced on the web in January this year. The photos showed seven JF-17s outside the PAC facility in Kamra.

A report on leading defense aviation portal Aviacionline said that while the picture showed eleven JF-17s, the serial numbers of the jets indicate they could be eleven units.

The JF-17C/Block III is thought to have taken to the skies for the first time in December 2019. The PL-10E, which China describes as its most advanced short-range air-to-air missile, was also spotted being carried by the JF-17 Block 3/JF-17C in 2021.

The JF-17C has notable upgraded capabilities, such as Missile Approach Warning Systems (MAWS), Wide Angle Smart HUD, more hard points on the chin, and an integrated electronic warfare (EW) suite.

Another photograph that has gained popularity on the internet is thought to be the finest image of a PAF JF-17C. The photo was tweeted by noted Chinese military aviation expert Andreas Rupprecht.

A military expert in Beijing was quoted by Global Times in a 2021 report, “With the PL-10, the JF-17 Block III will gain tremendous dogfight capability and have an edge even against its heavier opposing counterparts in homeland air defense.”

The aircraft is equipped with KLJ-7A airborne active electronically scanned array (AESA) fire-control radar. There were previous reports that the JF-17 is poised to get some of the technology, avionics, and electronics used on the J-20, but it remained unconfirmed until now.

While the extent of the overlapping technology the JF-17C might share with the J-20 is unclear, reports and photographs indicate the claims were not entirely false.

The new jets boast improved “high off-boresight” capability. The “aircraft can fire from whatever position, and its missiles will adjust thrust, speed, and trajectory to hit targets.”

Asked whether the JF-17C/Block III is on part with India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Andreas Rupprecht, a Germany-based Chinese military aviation expert, wondered if the Tejas can match the Thunder.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 5, 2022 at 6:41pm

The Turkish Drone That Changed the Nature of Warfare

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/05/16/the-turkish-drone-tha...

The TB2 has now carried out more than eight hundred strikes, in conflicts from North Africa to the Caucasus. The bombs it carries can adjust their trajectories in midair, and are so accurate that they can be delivered into an infantry trench. Military analysts had previously assumed that slow, low-flying drones would be of little use in conventional combat, but the TB2 can take out the anti-aircraft systems that are designed to destroy it. “This enabled a fairly significant operational revolution in how wars are being fought right now,” Rich Outzen, a former State Department specialist on Turkey, told me. “This probably happens once every thirty or forty years.”

Much of the drones’ battlefield experience has come against Russian equipment. Russia and Turkey have a complicated relationship: Russia is a key trading partner for Turkey, Turkey is a popular holiday destination for Russian tourists, and Russia is overseeing the construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, which, when completed, will supply a tenth of the country’s electricity. In 2017, Turkey angered its allies in natowhen it bought a Russian missile system, triggering U.S. sanctions. Still, both Turkey and Russia are seeking to restore their standings as world powers, and even before the war in Ukraine they were often in conflict.

In the Libyan civil war, Turkey and Russia backed opposing factions, and the TB2 faced off against Russia’s Pantsir-S1, an anti-aircraft system that shoots missiles at planes and can be mounted on a vehicle. At least nine Pantsirs were destroyed; so were at least twelve drones.

Another theatre opened in the Caucasus in 2020, when Azerbaijan attacked the ethnic-Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. Last month, I met Robert Avetisyan, the Armenian representative to the United States from Nagorno-Karabakh, at a café in Glendale, California. Avetisyan told me, “During the first several days, Azerbaijan was not successful, in anything, until the Turkish generals took the joysticks.” Armenia has a security alliance with Russia, which provides most of its military equipment, some dating to the Soviet era. For six weeks, TB2 drones bombarded that equipment relentlessly; one independent analysis tallied more than five hundred targets destroyed, including tanks, artillery, and missile-defense systems. “We lost the air war,” Avetisyan said. TB2s also targeted Armenian troops, and footage of these strikes was shared by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense. A six-minute compilation of the videos, posted to YouTube midway through the war, shows dozens of variations on the same scene: Armenian soldiers, cowering in trenches or huddled around transport trucks, alerted to their impending death by the hiss of an incoming bomb before a blast sends their bodies hurtling through the air.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 5, 2022 at 6:45pm

#Ukraine #drone attack hits 2 military bases deep inside #Russia. The unprecedented strikes were the first time Ukraine has hit so far into Russia, targeting air bases that had generally been thought of as untouchable. - ABC News

https://abcnews.go.com/International/ukraine-drone-attack-hits-2-mi...

Explosions that struck two military airbases deep inside Russia on Monday were the result of drone attacks launched by Ukraine, according to Russian and Ukrainian officials, in what appeared to be an audacious attempt to hit the long-range bombers Russia has used to devastate Ukraine’s power grid.

Russia’s defense ministry on Monday confirmed the attacks on the bases that are located hundreds of miles from the frontline, saying two of its aircraft were damaged and three military personnel killed.

The unprecedented strikes were the first time Ukraine has hit so far into Russia, targeting bases that had generally been thought of as untouchable, according to military experts.

A senior Ukrainian official from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s circle, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told ABC News that Ukrainian drones had struck the Russian military airfields Monday.

Russian media reported an explosion early Monday morning at the Engels-2 airbase in the Saratov region in southern Russia, a key airfield that houses Tu-95 and Tu-60 nuclear-capable bombers.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 6, 2022 at 7:59pm

#Ukraine strikes #Russian air bases again with #drones, exposing #Russia's #air #defense vulnerability. Experts say it doesn't bode well for Russians' war fighting capability against #US, #NATO #drone https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/12/06/ukraine-drones-russ...

A drone strike attributed to Ukraine rocked an airfield inside Russia on Tuesday, demonstrating once again Ukraine’s ability to reach into Russian territory one day after its forces struck two other air bases hundreds of miles inside Russia.

The attacks have revealed major vulnerabilities in Russia’s air defenses and sent a signal to Moscow that its strategic assets far from the active combat zone are not off limits to the emboldened Ukrainian military.

Officials in the Russian city of Kursk, just north of Ukraine, said the Tuesday drone attack set an oil storage tank ablaze at an airfield.

The two airfields struck by drones on Monday — the Engels-2 base in the Saratov region and the Dyagilevo base in Ryazan, a few hours’ drive from Moscow — are home to jet bombers that can carry conventional missiles used to target Ukrainian infrastructure but can also carry nuclear weapons and normally serve as an important component of Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrent.

Ukraine did not officially claim responsibility for the attacks and has been deliberately cryptic about its role in several explosions at strategically important Russian military sites in recent months.

But a senior Ukrainian official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive operation, told The Washington Post on Tuesday that all three attacks were carried out by Ukrainian drones.

“These were Ukrainian drones — very successful, very effective,” the official said of the strikes. The official added that the Russians have “sowed the seeds of anger, and they’ll reap the whirlwind.”

The Russian Defense Ministry blamed the Monday attacks on Kyiv but said the damage done was minimal.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 7, 2022 at 5:38pm

5G technology to be launched next year

https://www.nation.com.pk/06-Dec-2022/5g-technology-to-be-launched-...

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication is likely to launch 5G technology next year in the country to cope with the challenges of the digital world. The official of ministry of IT and telecommunication said that the provision of broadband services across the country was the topmost priority of the ministry of IT. He said that the ministry of IT through the Universal Service Fund (USF) had launched some 70 projects of optical fiber cable (OFC) and broadband infrastructure development in four provinces at a cost of Rs 65 billion. “All projects are underway in far-flung areas would be completed by June next year,” he added. “In the province of Sindh alone, 20 projects of NGBSD and OFC worth Rs16.3 billion have been started so far in 20 districts, including Tharparkar, Nawabshah, Khairpur, Larkana, Badin, Jacobabad, Shikarpur, Mirpurkhas, and Dadu,” the official said. He said that projects of connectivity of the un-served and underserved communities of Balochistan, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) provinces had also been launched. He said, through USF aimed to connect all the citizens of the country as digitalisation had become a priority for businesses and communities. Under its Next Generation Optic Fiber (NG-OF) Network and Services programme, USF had contracted over 16,000km of Optic Fiber Cable (OFC) to benefit 31.5 million populations across the country.

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