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 December 24, 2022 at 10:25am

News From India:

Myanmar expands defence industrial partnership with Pakistan for JF-17


Myanmar is indulging in a delicate balancing act by stepping up military engagement with the China-Pakistan axis on one hand and Russia on the other by near simultaneous hosting of military delegations from Pakistan and Russia.

While a Pakistani delegation led by Colonel Imran Khan visited Myanmar capital Naypyitaw last week to discuss military cooperation with the junta, in continuation of a series of visits from Pakistan military establishment to Myanmar since September, the junta al ..

The Pakistani team visited Myanmar regarding technical support for JF-17 aircraft jointly developed by China and Pakistan, ET has further learnt.

A 10-member team from Myanmar Air Force (MAF) is currently in Pakistan undergoing training for four weeks on precision targeting in air operations and on the JF-17 jet fighter.

Myanmar bought 16 JF-17’s from China. The first batch of six aircraft was delivered in 2018, but details about the delivery date for the other 10 remain unclear. Myanmar was the first country to buy the JF-17, sources told ET.

In October, a senior-level Pakistani military delegation visited Myanmar to provide technical assistance to manufacture weapons, ET had reported earlier

In September, a Myanmar military team had visited Pakistan to inspect delivery of bombs and bullets that it had ordered from Islamabad, according to persons familiar with the development. This team again visited Pakistan earlier this month for pre-shipment inspection of deliveries.

Pakistan was also reportedly considering selling heavy machine guns, 60 mm and 81 mm mortars and M-79 grenade launchers to Myanmar, ET had earlier reported.

Pakistan was formerly a strong critic of the Myanmar government for what it alleged was a “state-sponsored campaign” against Rohingyas in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state. Myanmar had in the past accused Pakistan of arming and training a radical group, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 25, 2022 at 10:20am

Why Pakistan is not a walkover


FORCE editor Pravin Sawhney explains why India must take Pakistan military seriously. And how it is as professional a force as any. Visit us at www.forceindia.net

China-India military interoperability is a threat to India.

Professional Military:

1. Clearly defined threat

2. Balance at strategic and operational level.

3. Bring technologies and capabilities to the theater.

Pakistan meets all of the above criteria.

Bulk of India's attention is on Pakistan, not China.

Pakistan used proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir to keep Indian military engaged and to balance India's numerical advantage.

Both strategic and conventional forces report to Pakistan Army Chief.

Pakistan has created a strong air defense network.

Then Pakistan developed tactical nukes and refused to say "No First Use" to maintain ambiguity.

Pakistan has never lost in the western sector.

That's why India has failed to obliterate the Line-of-Control in Kashmir.

Pakistan developed and deployed nuclear weapons delivery system.

Now Pakistan is confident it can take on India.

Why? Because Pakistan and China have developed interoperability.

There is commonality of equipment, timely upgrades, ammunitions and spare parts.

China-Pakistan doctrinal compatibility.

CPEC has added the economic dimension to the relationship.

China now has an economic interest in defending its assets in Pakistan.

China can now shares non-kinetic capability cyber capability with Pakistan.

It makes no sense for Indian military leaders to make tall claims and issue threats to Pakistan.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 25, 2022 at 10:41am

Book Excerpt: How Will a India-China War Pan Out? In his book 'The Last War: How AI Will Shape India’s Final Showdown With China', Pravin Sawhney imagines how an AI-supported Peoples Liberation Army might target critical Indian military assets.
Sep 17, 2022 | Pravin Sawhney


The PLA’s space war will destroy Indian intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance, communications, and navigation satellites by groundbased or Direct Ascent Anti Satellite (DA-ASAT) missiles, co-orbital ASAT, satellite jammers, and offensive cyber capabilities. This will be done by SSF’s two deputy theatre command-level departments: the space systems department responsible for military space operations, and the information operations which comprise cyberwar, electronic war, and political war. Since 2019, the SSF has been participating in joint exercises and training throughout China, and with the WTC against India.In massive pre-emptive attacks with remarkable speed, lethality, and intense salvos, the Rocket Force with advanced and accurate missiles would wipe out the majority of IAF combat aircraft on the ground before they get airborne. The RF inventory comprises surface-to-surface missiles, air-launched ballistic missiles, subsonic and supersonic missiles, hypersonic cruise missiles, hypersonic glide vehicles, submarine launched ballistic missiles, fractional orbital bombardment system, LAWs or killer robots, and swarm of missiles.
The PLA will build its Rocket Force missiles surge needed for India over time. Just as China took three years to prepare for the 1962 war even as its leaders were hoping for peace with India, preparations for large numbers of indigenous missiles will start early. Based on AI-enabled mathematical modelling of identified targets, and with automated production capability, the PLA will calculate the surge requirement for long range rockets, and smart and precision munitions including missiles, and build them. On the Indian side, the IAF inventory will be finite with little possibility of making up attrition rates.The RF focus will be bases with Rafale and Su-30 MKI aircraft. The missiles will crater runways, blow up fuel storage tanks, ammunition underground bunkers, hardened shelters, forward maintenance areas, command and control centres, and forward logistics centres of the IAF’s main and diversionary bases. This would ensure that even if airstrips get repaired, aircraft, in absence of payloads and fuel, will not be able to get airborne. Moreover, units of S-400 air and missile defence system, BrahMos cruise missile, Smerch and Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launchers, radar sites, long-range artillery, and communication nodes would be destroyed. The PLA could use swarms of autonomous long-range missiles, which on reaching its target, say a S-400 unit or regiment, would on its own decide how best to destroy the air defence system in the least amount of time. Or destroy its kill chain by cyberattacks on indigenous Akash surface-to-air missiles which would be integrated with S-400 for broad air defence cover.
Moreover, all field headquarters of the IAF and the Indian Army will be flattened by missile rain. There will be no carpet bombing, but accurate targeting with least collateral damages. With an area of 84,000 sq km, Arunachal Pradesh has a population of just 16 lakh concentrated in urban areas.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 25, 2022 at 10:43am

Book Excerpt: How Will a India-China War Pan Out? In his book 'The Last War: How AI Will Shape India’s Final Showdown With China', Pravin Sawhney imagines how an AI-supported Peoples Liberation Army might target critical Indian military assets.
Sep 17, 2022 | Pravin Sawhney


Priority would be accorded to communication towers, power centres, bridges, tunnels, radar sites, air defence systems, and command and control hubs. Since most Indian targets will be static, well-mapped, and watched, it will not be difficult for the PLA to hit them with precision. Political (information) warfare will be used to keep the enemy’s cognitive capabilities (decision-making) under pressure.
Considering that Rocket Force’s capabilities and employment is well documented and articulated by US and Chinese analysts, it is surprising that the IAF panel at the Military Literature Festival downplayed the fact that missiles will be the first line of attack in the PLA war. In September 2010, a three-star officer at the Eastern Air Command said as much. In an interaction with me at his headquarters in Shillong, he admitted that the IAF had no answer for the PLA’s surface-to-surface missiles.A decade later, IAF officials decided to downplay the monstrous missile threat in the absence of a corresponding response. This is what the US military does not do. The US INDOPACOM chief, Admiral Philip Davidson, said in March 2021 that the US will deploy its IndoPacific military presence far and wide rather than keep it concentrated at a handful of bases as it seeks to protect itself from China’s advanced missile capabilities. And yet, the former IAF chief Dhanoa thought that closeness of IAF main and diversionary bases would be an asset instead of being lucrative targets for the Chinese missiles.The IAF combat aircraft in the Indian hinterland (allocated for the Pakistani front) which manage to get airborne against China will find it impossible to penetrate the complex and compact A2/AD weapons bubble which will cover the spectrum from space to atmosphere with few gaps. In certain areas, such as some categories of hypersonic, ballistic, and cruise missiles, air defence, electronic warfare, and cyber capabilities, the PLA ranks among the world’s leaders. With ground communications jammed, Indian satellites disabled, destroyed, or thrown out of orbit, these combat aircraft will be blinded. The Indian armed drones and swarm drones that are touted to be game changers by the Indian military will meet a similar fate. The zone of operations of the A2/AD will be expanded by the PLA pushing IAF aircraft far away from the Chinese airspace.Incidentally, China’s ‘robust and redundant Integrated Air Defence System over land area and within 300 nautical miles (556 km) of its coast (within the first island chain in South China Sea) relies on an extensive early warning radar network, fighter aircraft, and a variety of surface to air missiles.’ As mentioned earlier, the PLA had created a similar A2/ AD firewall or counter invention force against India.Asked if it would be possible for Predator, the US drone, to carry out target killing inside Chinese airspace, similar to the killing of Irani general Qasem Soleimani at Baghdad airport in January 2020, Chinese analyst Wei Dongxu said:‘China has a complete air defence system, making it capable of defending surprise and targeted strikes from drones. Since China operates detection and early warning radars from multiple angles and levels, drones will face China’s aircraft interception network consisting of long, intermediate, and short range, as well as high, mid, and low altitude anti-aircraft missiles and guns. Soft kill is also an available option, which means China can jam enemy drones.’

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 25, 2022 at 11:08am

Opinion A ‘good’ war gave the algorithm its opening, but dangers lurk

By David Ignatius


NORTHEASTERN ENGLAND — To see the human face of the “algorithm war” being fought in Ukraine, visit a company of raw recruits during their five rushed weeks at a training camp here in Britain before they’re sent to the front in Ukraine.

They will soon have a battery of high-tech systems to aid them, but they must face the squalor of the trenches and the roar of unrelenting artillery fire alone. The digital battlefield has not supplanted the real one.

At the British camp, instructors have dug 300 yards of trenches across a frigid hillside. The trenches are 4 feet deep, girded with sandbags and planks, and slick with mud and water at the bottom. The Ukrainian recruits, who’ve never been in battle before, have to spend 48 hours in these hellholes. Sometimes, there’s simulated artillery fire overhead and rotting animal flesh nearby to prepare the trainees for the smell of death.

The recruits practice attacking the trenches and defending them. But mostly they learn to stay alive and as warm as they can, protecting their wet, freezing feet from rot and disease. “Nobody likes the trenches,” says Oleh, the Ukrainian officer who oversees the training with his British colleagues. (I’m not using his full name to respect concerns about his security.) “We tell them it will be easier in battle. If it’s hard now, that’s the goal.”

The paradox of the Ukraine conflict is that it combines the World War I nightmare of trench warfare with the most modern weapons of the 21st century.

“It’s hard to understand the brutality of contact in that front line. It’s Passchendaele in Donetsk,” explains Brigadier Justin Stenhouse, referring to one of the bloodiest battles of World War I. He oversees training for the British Ministry of Defense in Whitehall and arranged my visit to the training camp.

Silicon Valley Pentagon
The Ukraine war has fused the flesh-and-blood bravery of these Ukrainian troops on the ground with the stunning high-tech arsenal that I described in Part 1 of this report. The result is a revolution in warfare. This transformation, rarely discussed in the media, has been evolving for more than a decade. It shows the lethal ability of the United States and its allies to project power — and it also raises some vexing questions about how this power will be used.

One of the leading actors in this underreported revolution has been Palantir, which developed its software platform after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to help the CIA integrate data that was often in different compartments and difficult to share. News reports have frequently said that Palantir software helped track al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, but the company won’t confirm that.

The Pentagon’s use of these ultramodern tools was encouraged by a very old-fashioned commander, Gen. Mark A. Milley, the gruff and often profane chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. When he was Army chief of staff in 2018, the service began working with Palantir and other tech companies to integrate data through a program called Army Vantage. Milley was frustrated by an antiquated data system that made it hard to gather details about what units were ready for battle. The Army, like so many government institutions, had too many separate repositories for information.

Palantir technicians showed me an unclassified version of the Army database they helped create to address that problem. You can see in an instant what units are ready, what skills and experience the soldiers in these units have, and what weapons and ammunition are available. Logistics problems like this once took weeks to solve; now there are answers in seconds.

“The U.S. military is focused on readiness today and readiness in the future,” Milley told me in an email last week. “In defense of our country, we’re pulling together a wide variety of technologies to remain number one, the most effective fighting force in the world.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 25, 2022 at 11:09am

Opinion A ‘good’ war gave the algorithm its opening, but dangers lurk

By David Ignatius


The Army began testing ideas about algorithmic warfare with individual units around that time as well. The first choice was the elite 82nd Airborne, commanded in 2020 by Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue; it was part of the XVIII Airborne Corps, then headed by Lt. Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla. These two worked with Palantir and other companies to understand how the Army could use data more effectively.

Simultaneously, the Pentagon was exploring the use of artificial intelligence to analyze sensor data and identify targets. This effort was known as Project Maven, and it initially spawned a huge controversy when it was launched in 2017. The idea was to write algorithms that could recognize, say, a Russian T-72 tank in drone surveillance images in the same way that facial recognition scans can discern a human face.

The military’s AI partnership with Silicon Valley got off to a bad start. In 2018, engineers at Google, initially the leading contractor for Maven, protested so angrily about writing targeting algorithms that the company had to withdraw from the program.

Maven has evolved. It’s now supervised by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and it generates AI models on a fast, one-month cycle. A tech executive explained to me that companies now compete to develop the most accurate models for detecting weapons — tuning their algorithms to see that hypothetical T-72 under a snowy grove of fir trees, let’s say, rather than a swampy field of brush — and each month the government selects a new digital array.

For a Pentagon that usually buys weapons that have a 30-year life span, this monthly rollover of targeting software is a revolution in itself.

When Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, the U.S. Army had these tools in hand — and commanders with experience using them. Donahue had moved up to become head of the XVIII Airborne Corps, which transferred its forward headquarters to Wiesbaden, Germany, just after the Russian invasion. The 82nd Airborne moved to forward quarters near Rzeszow, Poland, near the Ukraine border.

Kurilla, meanwhile, became head of Central Command and began using that key theater as a test bed for new technologies. In October, Kurilla appointed Schuyler Moore, a former director of science and technology for the Defense Innovation Board, as Centcom’s first “chief technology officer.”

For the Army and other services, the impetus for this technology push isn’t just the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but the looming challenge from China — America’s only real peer competitor in technology.

A tool for good and ill
In the age of algorithm warfare, when thinking machines will be so powerful, human judgment will become all the more important. Free societies have created potent technologies that, in the hands of good governments, can enable just outcomes, and not only in war. Ukrainian officials tell me they want to use Palantir software not just to repel the Russian invasion but also to repair Ukraine’s battered electrical grid, identify hidden corruption and manage the vast tasks of reconstruction.

Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s minister for digital transformation and vice prime minister, explained in written answers to my questions how he plans to use technology not just to beat Russia but also to become a high-tech superpower in the future.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 25, 2022 at 11:09am

Opinion A ‘good’ war gave the algorithm its opening, but dangers lurk

By David Ignatius


Fedorov said Ukraine is “massively” using software platforms “to deal with power shortages and in order to ensure telecom connection.” To repair electricity cutoffs and damaged energy infrastructure, the country uses Starlink terminals, Tesla Powerwall systems, and advanced generators and lithium batteries. It backs up all its important data on cloud servers.

“For sure, I’m convinced that technologies will also allow us to build a bright and safe future,” Fedorov said. “Only the newest technologies could give us such an advantage to run and create the country we deserve as fast as possible.”

But these technologies can also create 21st-century dystopias, in the wrong hands. The targeting algorithms that allow Ukraine to spot and destroy invading Russians aren’t all that different from the facial-recognition algorithms that help China repress its citizens. We’re lucky, in a sense, that these technologies are mostly developed in the West by private companies rather than state-owned ones.

But what if an entrepreneur decides to wage a private war? What if authoritarian movements gain control of democratic societies and use technology to advance control rather than freedom? What if AI advances eventually allow the algorithms themselves to take control, making decisions for reasons they can’t explain, at speeds that humans can’t match? Democratic societies need to be constantly vigilant about this technology.

The importance of the human factor is clear with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk, who illustrates the strength — and potential weakness — of America’s new way of war. If Musk decides he isn’t being paid enough for his services, or if he thinks it’s time for Ukraine to compromise, he can simply cut the line to his satellites, as he briefly threatened this fall.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 25, 2022 at 11:10am

Opinion A ‘good’ war gave the algorithm its opening, but dangers lurk

By David Ignatius


Looking at the Ukraine war, we can see that our freewheeling entrepreneurial culture gives the West a big advantage over state-run autocracies such as China and Russia — so long as companies and CEOs share the same democratic values as Western governments. That’s why we need a broader public debate about the power of the technologies that are being put to noble use in Ukraine but could easily be turned to ignoble purposes in the wrong hands.

Ukraine, which has suffered so much in this war, wants to be a techno-superpower when the conflict finally ends. Fedorov, who’s overseeing Kyiv’s digital transformation, explains it this way: “Let’s plan to turn Ukraine into the world’s ‘mil-tech valley,’ to develop the most innovative security solutions, so the world will become a safer and more digital place.”

But first, the Ukrainians freezing in the filthy trenches will need to prevail.

Lt. Col. Harris, the commander of the camp in northeastern England, says he’s humbled amid the recruits there. Through five combat tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq, though, he knows he has never faced anything as horrifying as many of them will see in a month or two.

On the firing range, 10 Ukrainian recruits squeeze off shots from their AK-47s. They’re on the second day of live-fire exercises, with eight more to come. They’re accountants, cooks and college students; some unsteady with their weapons, others newly bold. As they take aim at targets 50 feet away, a British sergeant commanding the range barks at them through an interpreter: “You need to kill the enemy before he kills you.”

And it’s as simple as that. This is a war of survival for Ukraine. But it should comfort the recruits that whatever their misery in coming months, they will have a level of technological support beyond anything the world has seen.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 25, 2022 at 1:29pm

12 Biggest Militaries in the World: Does Size Matter?


1. US, 2. Russia, 3. China, 4. India, 5. UK, 6. Japan, 7. South Korea, 8. France, 9. Pakistan, 10. Israel, 11. North Korea, 12. Iran

9. Pakistan

Aircraft: 431

Tanks: 4148

Strategic Warships: 18

Submarines: 8

Nuclear Weapons: 165

Pakistan is one of the strongest military powers in Asia. The country has historically had a rocky relationship with neighboring India over Kashmir, leading to three wars.

This has led Pakistan to develop a powerful military arsenal. Its military doctrine was based on conventional war with India, but instability in the neighboring Afghanistan and the resulting insurgency in Pakistan’s FATA during War on Terror led the country to develop counter-insurgency capability as well.

Pakistan maintains 165 nuclear warheads as of 2021, a vast array of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, nearly 4,200 tanks, 97 attack helicopters, 8 submarines and 18 strategic warships including 10 frigates, 2 destroyers and 6 corvettes.

Its aircraft inventory consists of 431 aircraft and spans attack, multirole, bomber and utility airplanes. Its notable fighters include the F-16 Falcon and JF-17 Thunder. Pakistan has 1.2 million military personnel, with more than half being on active duty.


4. India
Aircraft Carriers: 2

Aircraft: 2,186

Tanks: 4,740

Strategic Warships: 41

Submarines: 21

Nuclear Weapons: 160

Military Satellites: 15

India is the biggest military power in South Asia. The country has border disputes with both China and Pakistan and numerous insurgencies in its Northeastern region. This has led India to develop a robust military capability. In 2021, it spent 2.7% of its GDP on its military.

It has two aircraft carriers, 4,740 main-battle tanks, 41 strategic warships (10 destroyers, 12 frigates and 19 corvettes), 21 submarines (including 2 under-construction), 41 attack helicopters and 2,186 fixed-wing aircraft. Its aircraft inventory includes fighters like Su-30, Dassault Rafale and Mig-29. Currently, India does not have any fifth generation stealth aircraft in its air fleet.

The country has 160 nuclear weapons in service. It’s one of the only four countries that has based its nuclear force structure around the Nuclear Triad – the capability to launch nuclear warheads from sea, air and land. The other three countries are China, Russia and the US.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 26, 2022 at 10:29am

Pakistan Holds Keel-Laying And Cutting-Steel Ceremonies For The Hangor-Class Submarines


The indigenous submarine development project in Pakistan has reached another milestone. The keel laying of the first HANGOR-class submarine (5th overall) and the steel cutting of the second submarine (6th overall) were carried out at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW) on December 24, 2022.

The defense agreement between Pakistan and China included the development of 08 x HANGOR-class Submarines including four submarines under construction at Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group (WSIG) in China and the remaining four being built at KS&EW under the Transfer of Technology (ToT) agreement. The construction work of the first submarine to be made at KS&EW Pakistan commenced on Dec 21 and now the Keel Laying is being laid which is a major milestone in the history of any naval vessel being constructed. Concurrently, construction work on the subsequent submarine has started with its Steel Cutting at the same shipyard.

HANGOR-class Submarine is capable to undertake a variety of missions as per operational dictates. The submarine possesses advanced stealth features and is fitted with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors to operate under a multi-threat environment and can engage targets at stand-off ranges.

The Pakistan Navy does not offer any details about the Hangor-class submarines’ subsystems or specific weapon systems. The Stirling AIP system is used in China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Company’s (CSOC) S26 design, on which many experts assume the Hangor is based, but Pakistani officials have not publicly revealed the propulsion system of Hangor-class sub


Naval News comments on Hangor-class project:
The Hangor-class submarines are an export variant of the PLAN’s Type 039A/041 Yuan-class submarines. Pakistan accepted the purchase of eight submarines from China in April 2015. According to the agreement, four of the submarines will be built in Pakistan’s KSEW at the same time as the other four would be produced in China.
According to the Pakistani defense blog Quwa, Hangor-class submarines will be 76 meters long and have a displacement of 2800 tons, making them slightly shorter but heavier than the original S26 design.

Currently, PN operates three Agosta 90B air-independent propulsion (AIP) submarines and two Agosta 70 diesel-electric submarines. Three Agosta 90B subs have been undergoing a mid-life upgrade under a contract signed in 2016 with the Turkish STM Company as the prime contractor. STM delivered the first upgraded submarine, PNS Hamza, in 2020. The scope of modernization is the replacement of the Fire Control System, Sonar Suite, Electronic Warfare System, Radar, and Periscope System (Navigation and Assault).

The eight Hangor Class submarines will significantly strengthen the Pakistan Navy. Pakistan is likely to improve its A2/AD capabilities in the region after the project is completed. Though no official confirmation has been made on the weapon systems, it is clear that Pakistan would obtain deep strike capability if the Hangor-class submarines were outfitted with Babur-3 SLCMs.


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