Reports claim that Pakistan is coordinating on a joint drone program with Turkey and China. The countries are working on a joint unmanned drone program, which includes loyal wingman unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs).
One of Pakistan’s leading defence experts Aerosint Division PSF revealed the news in a series of tweets.
“We have confirmed from official sources that Pakistan, China, and Turkey are currently working on a joint unmanned drone program that features ‘Loyal Wingman’ UCAVs,” the tweet read.
We have confirmed from official sources that #Pakistan 🇵🇰, #China 🇨🇳 and #Turkey 🇹🇷 are currently working on a joint unmanned drone program that features ‘Loyal Wingman’ UCAVs.
These drones would be networked to fighters in the future, providing the ability to conduct pic.twitter.com/u9n3BdOP2n
— AEROSINT Division PSF (@PSFAERO) January 23, 2022
According to details, the drones have the ability to conduct ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance) and neutralize aerial threats while keeping fighters at standoff distances.
The defence expert also said that the three countries are developing components of the MUM-T (Manned-Unmanned Teaming) system together. The drones would be able to fly independently and in support of manned aircraft, as well as in swarms.
Important to note, while this may be an important development, it is being believed that the joint UCAV will not materialize before 2025.
— 🇵🇰 (@isipuppet) January 23, 2022
Pakistan’s strong military relations with Turkey & China
Lately, Turkey’s combat drone technology is making waves in the international community, especially after Azerbaijan’s victory in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. During the six-week conflict, Azerbaijan deployed Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones which gave it an edge over Armenia. As a result, many countries began eyeing Turkish drones owing to their successful military capabilities.
Pertinent to mention, Pakistan and Turkey enjoy friendly ties with strong bilateral cooperation in trade and military.
In August 2021, Pakistan’s National Engineering and Science Commission (NESCOM) signed a contract with the Turkish Aerospace Industries for the joint production of “ANKA Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan and China are “iron brothers.” Pakistan often turns to China to boost its military arsenal. Earlier this month, reports emerged of Pakistan approaching China to acquire helicopter gunships. Pakistan also approached China for the procurement of the J-10C to counter the Indian Air Force’s purchase of the Dassault Rafale.