Defence industry of Pakistan

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The Defence Industry of Pakistan (Urdu: دفاعی صنعتِ پاکستان), established in September 1951, mainly falls under the purview of the Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP). It aims to foster collaboration and oversee the diverse range of military production facilities that have emerged since Pakistan's independence. The MoDP comprises specialized organizations, each dedicated to various aspects of the defence industry, including research and development, production, and administration.[1][2]


Early Years (1947-1965):[edit]

At the time of its creation in 1947, Pakistan inherited virtually no military industry or production capability. Its heavy industry was limited to the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW), mainly focused on civilian maritime construction. [3] To meet its defense needs, the newly formed nation relied solely on inherited equipment or imports, primarily from the United Kingdom.

Recognizing the need for self-reliance, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan established the Pakistan Ordnance Factory (POF) in Wah in 1951. Led by Dr. Abdul Hafeez, a distinguished scientist, the POF initially focused on producing small arms, ammunition, and chemical explosives.

However, from 1955 to 1964, Pakistan heavily relied on the United States for military equipment due to its membership in SEATO and CENTO. This period saw minimal development of the domestic arms industry.[1]

Turning Point and Expansion (1965-1972):[edit]

The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 and the subsequent cutoff of U.S. military assistance marked a turning point. Realizing the vulnerability of relying solely on external sources, Pakistan sought help from China to expand its military capabilities. China played a crucial role in modernizing the POF facilities and fostering domestic production.

Self-Reliance and Growth (1972-Present):[edit]

In 1972, the aftermath of the 1971 war further emphasized the need for self-reliance. The government established the Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) to coordinate and promote a growing network of military production facilities established since independence.

PAC played a key role in propelling domestic aircraft production. It reverse-engineered various aircraft technologies, built the Mushshak trainer, and maintained vital radar and avionics equipment. This success paved the way for further advancements, including the Super Mushshak and the Karakoram-8 advanced training jet.[4]

By 1999, the Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW) completed its first long-range attack submarine, the Agosta 90B. This submarine marked a significant advancement, incorporating air-independent propulsion (AIP) technology acquired from France in 1995.[5] Early 2000 saw further progress through joint ventures with China. These collaborations led to the introduction of the JF-17 fighter jet, developed by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), and the Al-Khalid main battle tank, produced at Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT). Since 2001, Pakistan has made significant strides towards self-sufficiency in aircraft overhaul and modernization, as well as in the export of defence equipment.

In 2016, the Pakistani government managed to reduce its defence imports by 90%.[6] Today, the MoDP oversees a vast network dedicated to research, development, production and administration, solidifying Pakistan's position as a significant regional military force.[7]


Youm-e-Takbir (Urdu: یومِ تکبیر, lit. "The Day of Greatness") is a national day celebrated in Pakistan on May 28th each year. It commemorates the Chagai-I and Chagai-II nuclear tests conducted by Pakistan in 1998. These tests made Pakistan the seventh country to possess nuclear weapons and the first Islamic-majority nation to do so.[8][9]

Domestic Industry[edit]

A CAC/PAC JF-17 Thunder of the Pakistan Air Force.
HIT built Al-Khalid tank on display.
A variety of grenades, artillery shells, mortar shells and other ammunition produced by POF.



  • Advanced Systems (Pvt) Limited [19]
  • SATUMA [20]
  • Shibli Electronics Ltd [21]
  • Cavalier Group [22]
  • Daudsons Armoury [23]
  • Integrated Dynamics
  • Advance Systems (Pvt) Ltd, Gujranwala [24]
  • Afridi Hunting Arms [24]
  • AKSA Solutions Development Services (Pvt) Ltd [24]
  • Alpine Industries (Pvt) Ltd [24]
  • Alsons Industries (Pvt) Ltd [24]
  • And-Or Logic Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd [24]
  • Aero Engine Craft (Pvt) Ltd
  • Automobile Corporation of Pakistan [24]
  • Bismillah Electronics [25]
  • Center for Advanced Research in Engineering (CARE)
  • East West Infinity (Pvt) Ltd [24]
  • Elektro Control Industries, Islamabad [24]
  • ElectraTech PCB [26]
  • Fast Cables Ltd, Lahore [24]
  • Haseen Habib Corporation, Lahore [24]
  • International Fabrication Company, Lahore [24]
  • International Polymer Industries (Pvt) Ltd [24]
  • Lyra (Pvt) Ltd [24]
  • Machine Craft (Pvt) Ltd [24]
  • Meraj (Pvt) Ltd, Karachi [24]
  • Metal Engineering Works (Pvt) [24]
  • MICRO Electronics International (Pvt)
  • M/s Genesis Solutions (Pvt) Ltd [24]
  • New Stainless Industries [24]
  • NexTek Service, Islamabad [24]
  • PHSADC, Peshawar [24]
  • Pakistan Vehicle Engineering [24]
  • Steelex (Pvt) Ltd, Karachi [24]
  • TASH International (Pvt) Ltd [24]
  • Teresol [27]
  • United Industries LHR [24]
  • Zuflah International Company [24]
  • Soft Innovative Systems, Islamabad [24]
  • DATA Communication & Control (Pvt) Ltd [24]
  • Multisupport Engineering & Consultancy Service, Islamabad [24]
  • Sipka Manufacturing (Pvt) Ltd, Karachi [24]
  • Sysverve Aerospace, Rawalpindi
  • Zeeshan Electronics [28]

Foreign suppliers[edit]

The Pakistan Armed Forces utilize a blend of domestically produced and internationally procured military equipment. As per the 2021 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report, Pakistan ranked 10th globally in terms of arms imports for the 2016-2020 period. During this timeframe, the People's Republic of China constituted the primary source of imported weaponry, accounting for 74% of Pakistan's total imports. The Russian Federation and the Italian Republic followed suit, contributing 6.6% and 5.9%, respectively. Notably, the 2016-2020 period witnessed a 23% decrease in Pakistan's foreign arms imports compared to the preceding five-year period (2011-2015).[29] Listed below are the main foreign suppliers to Pakistan:


Pakistan's defense industry has emerged as a notable exporter of military equipment in recent decades. Its offerings encompass a diverse range of products, including small arms and ammunition, armored vehicles like the Al-Khalid tank and the JF-17 Thunder fighter jet co-developed with China. Pakistan's ability to offer these products at competitive prices compared to Western alternatives has been a key driver of its success in the international market. This, coupled with close defense ties with countries in the Middle East and growing partnerships with nations like China and Turkey, has facilitated exports to regions like the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. [30]

However, Pakistan's defense exports also face challenges. Established players like the US, Russia, and European nations pose significant competition, and concerns have been raised about the level of technological sophistication in certain Pakistani defense products. Additionally, regional tensions and international arms control regulations can sometimes hinder export deals. [31]

Despite these challenges, Pakistan is actively working to expand its defense exports. The country aims to achieve this by focusing on several key areas: enhancing the technological sophistication of its products, exploring new markets in Southeast Asia and beyond, and forging strategic partnerships to bolster its production capabilities. Events like the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) further contributes to these efforts by showcasing Pakistani defense products and fostering interactions with potential buyers. Overall, Pakistan's defense industry exports represent a significant and evolving aspect of the country's economy and strategic landscape.


The International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) is a biennial defence exhibition and seminar organized by the Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO) since 2002 in Karachi Expo Center.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Pakistan moves swiftly to self-reliance in defence needs". Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-08-28.
  2. ^ "Pakistan Link Headlines". 2005-08-27. Archived from the original on 27 August 2005. Retrieved 2022-03-12.
  3. ^ "Pakistan Navy inducts two newly built tugs". Dunya News. 14 February 2008. Retrieved 2022-03-12.
  4. ^ "Ministry of Defence Production". 2014-03-07. Archived from the original on 2014-03-07. Retrieved 2024-02-25.
  5. ^ "SSK Agosta 90B Class Submarine". Naval Technology. Retrieved 2024-02-25.
  6. ^ "Issuance of NOCs for defence products' import curtailed by 90pc in three years". 2016-07-29. Archived from the original on 29 July 2016. Retrieved 2022-03-12.
  7. ^ Fagoyinbo, Joseph Babatunde (May 2013). The Armed Forces: Instrument of Peace, Strength, Development and Prosperity. Author House. ISBN 978-1-4772-1844-0.
  8. ^ "Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program - 1998: The Year of Testing". Retrieved 2024-02-26.
  9. ^ "Pakistan Nuclear Weapons". Retrieved 2024-02-26.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "PAKISTAN DEFENCE INDUSTRIES - Public Sector".
  11. ^ "ATCOP – Al-Technique Corporation of Pakistan". Retrieved 2024-02-26.
  12. ^ "Maritime Technological Complex (MTC, NESCOM) Islamabad Pakistan - Islamabad". Retrieved 2024-02-25.
  13. ^ "NRTC Official Website".
  14. ^ "Home -". Retrieved 2024-02-26.
  15. ^ "Wah Industries Limited". Retrieved 2024-02-26.
  16. ^ "..PMT LABS." Retrieved 2024-02-26.
  17. ^ "Public Sector". Retrieved 2022-03-12.
  18. ^ "Public Sector". Retrieved 2022-03-12.
  19. ^ "Advanced Systems Limited - EXCELLENCE IN ENGINEERING". Retrieved 2024-02-27.
  20. ^ "SATUMA". Satuma official website.
  21. ^ "SHIBLI". SHIBLI Official Website.
  22. ^ "MILITARY – Cavalier Group".
  23. ^ "DAUDSONS DEFENSE". Daudsons Armoury.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad "PAKISTAN DEFENCE INDUSTRIES - Private Sector".
  25. ^ "Bismillah Electronics - A HiTech Co". Retrieved 2024-02-26.
  26. ^ "Electratech". Retrieved 2024-02-26.
  27. ^ "Teresol". Retrieved 2024-02-27.
  28. ^ "Zeeshan Electronics". Retrieved 2024-02-26.
  29. ^, Reuters | (2021-03-15). "Pakistan ranks 10th among largest importers of major arms globally: report". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2022-03-12. {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  30. ^ "With China as its mentor, Pakistan triples arms exports". Nikkei Asia. Retrieved 2024-02-27.
  31. ^ Alam, Kazim (2022-11-17). "'Pakistan's share in global arms export market growing'". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2024-02-27.

External links[edit]