Strengthening its defence partnership, Pakistan is buying anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) from Turkey, according to a report by ThePrint.
Sources indicate that Islamabad is also exploring the possibility of jointly producing these ATGMs with Turkish weapons manufacturer Roketsan.
These ATGMs, designed to target tanks and armoured vehicles, vary in range from short to long. Roketsan's range includes the KARAOK, a portable, short-range missile, and longer-range systems like the OMTAS and UMTAS, the latter being designed for attack helicopters.
Pakistan's defence relationship with Turkey has grown recently, with collaborative projects in combat jets and missiles.
This includes involvement in the Turkish Aerospace Industries' (TAI) Kaan fighter aircraft programme, TF-X, where about 200 Pakistani officials have reportedly been working even before formal agreements.
In August, Pakistan was reported to be joining the TF-X programme. The TF-X stealth aircraft, with a taxiway trial earlier this year, is expected to weigh 27,000 kg and reach speeds of Mach 2.
A source mentioned that Pakistan and Turkey aim to have the TF-X’s first flight by December 2023.
Last November, former Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inaugurated the PNS Khyber, an anti-submarine ship built by Turkey. It’s one of four being made for Pakistan’s Navy.
In 2018, Turkish company STM won a contract to upgrade one of Pakistan Navy’s Agosta 90B-class submarines.
Pakistan also operates several Turkish-made Baykar UAVs, including the Bayraktar Akinci, TB2 and TB3. An agreement was signed in 2021 between Pakistan's National Engineering & Scientific Commission (NESCOM) and TAI to produce Anka UAVs in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s reliance on Turkey for military maintenance and upgrades has increased, particularly due to tensions with Western countries.
TAI upgraded 41 F-16 aircraft for the Pakistan Air Force under a 2009 contract, with the last delivery in 2014. This included avionics and structural modernisation and pilot training.
Additionally, the Pakistan Army has contracted Italian firm Elettronica for an Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) system, with testing likely in Pakistan. ELINT systems collect and analyse electronic signals like radar transmissions.
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