Pakistan military’s new combat drone

Pakistan military’s new combat drone is ‘great national achievement’

Burraq unmanned aircraft capable of firing laser-guided missiles

US refused to share technology despite heavy use of drones in Pakistan

Pakistan, the country that has been subjected to more secret US drone strikes than any other, has hailed the development of its first unmanned combat plane as a “great national achievement”.

In a significant breakthrough, the country’s army announced on Friday it had successfully test-fired a missile from an indigenously developed drone – a technical feat few nations have managed.

Army chief Raheel Sharif was among the engineers and scientists who witnessed the demonstration of a technology that has largely been the reserve of a few countries, such as the US and Israel.

The army said the drone, named Burraq after the flying horse of Islamic tradition, successfully hit stationary and moving targets with its Barq laser-guided missile with “impressive pinpoint accuracy”.

The system would be a “force multiplier in our anti-terror campaign”, said an army spokesman, Asim Bajwa.

Developing homemade drones has been a priority for Pakistan given the extensive use made of them since 2004 by the CIA to target terrorist groups in the restive north-west tribal belt.

he controversial weapons have proved irresistible given their ability to linger over their targets for extended periods of time, collect intelligence and deliver deadly missiles far more cheaply than conventional aircraft.

But the US supplies only its most trustworthy allies with the capability and has refused repeated requests from Pakistan, which has been attempting to join the club of countries with armed drones for at least two years.

Read more » The Guardian
See more » http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/13/pakistan-military-new-combat-drone-great-national-achievement