The Washington Post reports on Pakistan’s nascent drone program.
According to the WP, while Pakistan’s technology is some ways off the capabilities of U.S. or Israeli UAVs (Pakistan’s drones currently use the limited use ‘line of sight’ radio communication and unguided rockets), China is keen to export its drones–which on paper at least, rival the U.S.’ Predator and Reaper systems.
Washington has previously refused to hand over U.S. drone technology to Pakistan.
Under a secret program, Pakistan began weapon tests ‘seven or eight months ago’ with the ‘Falco‘, an Italian drone used for surveillance by the Pakistani air force, which has been modified to carry rockets. The country’s newest drone is called the ‘Shalpur‘, which has a wingspan of about 22 feet and a range of about 150 miles.
The Chinese state-owned company ‘Aerospace long-march International Trade Co, Ltd has offered to sell Pakistan its CH-3, which can carry two laser-guided bombs, and the CH-4, which is similar to the Reaper. Insiders say that China’s drones have yet to be proven.