Country Listing

Pakistan Table of Contents


Military Production

Pakistan began with virtually no military production capability, and, because of its limited economic means and lack of foreign markets, there is little prospect of the country's ever developing industrial facilities that could cover its equipment needs. However, it has taken a series of partial steps in some of the most crucial fields and aspired to become selfsufficient , at least in such basic areas as aircraft overhaul and modernization and tank and helicopter sales. Symbolic of Pakistan's determination to move to a degree of self-sufficiency was the creation of the Ministry of Defence Production in September 1991.

The Ministry of Defence Production has been responsible for promoting and coordinating a patchwork of military production facilities that have developed since independence. The oldest of these facilities is the Pakistan Ordnance Factory at Wah Cantonment, near Rawalpindi, established in 1951, to produce small arms, ammunition, and explosives. During the period of reliance on United States supply, there was little attention given to domestic production, but after the assistance cutoffs in 1965 and 1971, Pakistan--with China's help--set about expanding its facilities, including the modernization of Wah. The Heavy Industries at Taxila was established in 1971 as an equipment rebuilding facility, followed in 1973 by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex at Kamra, north of Islamabad. The air force assembled Chinese F-6s and French Mirages; produced the Mushshak trainer, which was based on the Swedish SAAB Safari/Supporter; maintained radar and avionics equipment; and in the mid-1990s was in the process of developing the Karakorum jet trainer in a joint project with China.

The ministry also includes seven other specialized organizations devoted to research and development, production, and administration. Total personnel strength in 1993 was more than 50,000, including 2,600 professionals. The government estimated annual production in the early 1990s at US$500 million including about US$30 million in exports. For example, Mushshaks were provided to Iran as light trainers and observation aircraft. Exports ranked high among the ministry's goals.

The navy is supported mainly by a facility at the Karachi Shipyard, which has limited production capacity and in 1994 had to its credit only an 831-ton tanker and a prototype 200-ton coastal patrol vessel. In 1987 development of a submarine repair and rebuild facility at Port Qasim was begun.

Pakistan's nuclear program is shrouded in secrecy, but there is little doubt that nuclear weapons have been produced or at least have reached the developmental stage of a final "turn of a screw"; and, although the program is believed to have been technically arrested in 1992, the capability to produce weapons exists. Estimates put the inventory at between seven and fifteen weapons, at least some of which are deliverable by airdrop from C-130 or F-16 aircraft. Although F-16s supplied by the United States had the electronic wiring removed (necessary for launching nuclear weapons), some United States observers reported that Pakistanis could easily overcome this technological obstacle.

In the early 1990s, Pakistan was also engaged in a missile development program, for which it had received substantial Chinese assistance. The Hatf-1 surface-to-surface missile, which can carry a payload of up to 500 kilograms as far as eighty kilometers, was introduced in 1992; the Hatf-2, which could be in service by 1995, also carries a 500 kilogram payload but has a 300 kilometer range. In 1994 there were unconfirmed reports of a longer range Hatf-3 missile under development.

Data as of April 1994