Pakistani government has made repeated requests to provide Pakistan army with its own surveillance and attack drones to effectively fight against the militants which use the long Pak-Afghan border to hide themselves. Last year, US offered to provide six tactical Shadow-200 UAV systems but the project has made no headways while whole year has passed.
Shadow-200 UAV carry infrared cameras to allow surveillance day and night but these light weight UAVs will not be able to carry weapons to attack the terrorists.
Pakistan’s Army has asked for the larger UAV with high endurance and they want it to be capable of carrying weapons to attack the terrorists but USA has denied this request several times by saying that this kind of UAV can be use against the Indians therefore USA is not allowing such UAVs.
Shadow-200 UAVs offered to Pakistan is also facing many hurdles like high price quoted be the Americans is well above the price of similar systems and order to delivery time is quoted at three to four years.
Price quoted to Pakistan for the Shadow-200 system is about $40 million while Sweden has ordered two such systems last year for $31.4 million.
Shadow-200 system consists of three operational Shadow-200 UAVs (and another Shadow-200 UAV as spare air vehicle), two Ground Stations, Portable Ground Station, different kind of payloads to meet the mission requirements of the user and other support equipment.
Shadow-200 RQ-7A can carry payload of 25 kg and have endurance of over five hours. Improved Shadow-200 RQ-7B has a endurance of 6 to 7 hours and can carry payload upto 27kg.
Pakistan Air Force is already using the Falco UAV system which is being produced at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in Kamra with help from Italy. Falco has endurance of over 14 hours and can carry payload of 70 kg.
Pakistan Army is also using locally developed Uqab tactical UAV which performed its final test flight in front of the Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on March 20, 2008. Uqab tactical UAV has a range over 150 km and endurance of over 4 hours.