The Pakistani military deployed its first fleet of domestically developed drones on Monday. The new Burraq and Shahpar drones will be used by Pakistan’s army and air force, the military said in a statement. It was unclear whether the aircraft are armed or unarmed, and military officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Pakistani Burraq Drone In-Flight
Pakistan has struggled with a lack of precision munitions and advanced targeting technology, according to Pakistani military officials and civilians involved in the domestic drone industry. Even if Pakistan had the technology, the small drones it has developed would have trouble carrying the kinds of missiles fired by the American aircraft. The Pakistani drones also have much more limited range than those developed by the United States.
Chinese CH-3 UCAV at Air Show
The announcement coincided with a move by the Pakistani police in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province to prevent activists who were protesting against American drone strikes from blocking trucks carrying NATO troop supplies to and from Afghanistan. The federal government has also criticized American drone strikes, but the actions by the police on Monday indicated that the government had decided to intervene to stop the NATO blockade in order to avert a dispute with the United States and other NATO countries.