Pakistan looks to boost defense industry funding– for self-sufficiency

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MAMOSA Report — The Pakistan government is looking to provide additional funds to its national defense industrial base to support self-sufficiency, the country’s state-run Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) has reported.

The move was called for by the country’s Senate Standing Committee on Defense Production, which stated at a recent hearing that the additional funds should be allocated to government’s Ministry of Defense Production (MoDP) through a dedicated funding stream.

Funding is currently provided in the state budget for the Defense Production Division, but this refers to a previous agency under the Ministry of Defense (MoD), which was reclassified and upgraded to the MoDP in 2004, IHS Jane’s reported.

Pakistan seeks to reliance on defense purchases and enhance export of locally manufactured arms, JF-17 fighter jet (co-produced with China), surveillance UAVs, and the aircraft trainer Mushhak in the Asia-Middle East-Africa region.

Pakistan is the world’s ninth-largest arms importer, according to the Newsweek. In 2015, Pakistan spent $9.5 billion on military expenses, up from its expenditure of $8.7 billion in 2014, according to data published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

India, its eastern neighbor, had a military spending of $51.3 billion in 2015 — five times what Pakistan had spent, according to a SIPRI report.

Meanwhile, IHS Jane’s has reported that Pakistan’s Global Industry and Defense Solutions (GIDS) is also in the process of enhancing the capabilities of its Shahpar unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and working to develop a larger system.

Shahpar provides a tactical-level intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability and does not feature an offensive capability – unlike the Pakistan military’s other tactical system, the Burraq, which is manufactured by the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM).

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