Chief Minister of Punjab and PML-N leader Shahbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan should improve cooperation with Chinese side to develop advance drone technology. He said this while talking to the media at Lahore airport at the end of his tour of china .
It has already been reported that Pakistan may have signed a contract to purchase around 20 CH-3 unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV) developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC). CH-3 is capable of carrying two 75kg FT-5 Chinese Small Diameter Bomb. FT-5 has a warhead of 35kg and a circular error probability of 15 meters.
CH-3 UAV is designed for reconnaissance in the combat zone, gathering intelligence and precision strike missions. CH-3 UAV has a cruising speed of 220 kilometers per hour and can stay in air for 12 hours. Its communication system allows it to go as far as 200 kilometer from the control station while sending live feed back home.
CH-3 unmanned aerial vehicle has maximum take-off weight of 640 kg and can fly at altitude of 5000 meters for over 12 hours. UAV has a maximum range of 2400 km. China has also developed a semi-active laser (SAL) seeker for terminal guidance of the FT-5 Small Diameter Bomb which will allow it to achieve CEP of 3 to 5 meters.
Chinese manufactures are also offering newly developed 45 kg AR-1 laser guided ground attack missile specifically designed to be carried by unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAV), such as the CH-3. Even though it was claimed that AR-1 can be equipped with three types of seekers, including TV, Imaging IR and semi-active laser homing, so far only AR-1 with TV seeker has been displayed.
Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) is already producing Medium Endurance Falco UAV System under license from Italy’s Selex Galileo at its facilities in Kamra. Falco UAV has an endurance of 9 to 15 hours depending upon the payload. Falco UAV is being used by the Pakistan Air Force for target detection, identification and designation through its on-board sensors including thermal imagers, color TV Cameras and laser designator.
Falco UAV can be launched from semi-prepared airstrips or by using a pneumatic catapult and it is recovered via automatic landing.
Pakistani media has also repeatedly indicated the presence of a domestic project to develop a hunter-killer unmanned combat aerial vehicle. Project is called Burraq unmanned combat aerial vehicle. It is reported that Burraq will be able to carry air to ground missiles to hit ground targets like US MQ-1 Predater UAV. So far both Ministry of Defence & Production and Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) has declined to confirm or deny the existence of the Burraq UAV program.