Saturday, September 30, 2023

Pakistan’s Rocket System Export Potential Spurred by Russia-Ukraine War

Pakistani defense conglomerate Global Industrial & Defence Solutions (GIDS) exhibited several new weapon systems at IDEF 23 held last week in Turkiye including the FATAH-1 and 2 Guided Multi Launch Rocket System (GMLRS). FATAH-1 is a guided rocket capable of destroying various targets up to ranges of 140km, with CEP of <50m and INS+GNSS guidance. Its under-development iteration FATAH-2 has an even increased range of 170 km and is more precise with a CEP of <10m. The positioning of this system for export is significant amid the rising success of, and dependence upon, rocket artillery systems in the Russia-Ukraine war.

Ukraine and Russia have both heavily depended upon artillery and rocket systems in the war with NATO and US providing increasing numbers of launch platforms and ammunition to the Ukrainian Land Forces. Recent supply of controversial cluster munitions by the US is evidence of Ukraine’s reliance on such long-range systems. Noteworthy in their efficacy are the US-origin M270 and HIMARS MLRS system due to high mobility and long engagement range (80km) which outranges the Russian BM-30 Smerch MLRS (70km). Even so, on July 25th the US Department of Defense (DoD) has announced a fresh $400 million weapons package for Ukraine including ammunition for HIMARS.

The success of rocket artillery systems in the war can be capitalized on by GIDS through its own offerings as militaries around the globe closely monitor efficacy of platforms in the war, as seen from the booming market for the Bayraktar TB-2 UCAV and Kamikaze drones. FATAH-1 and 2 have high export potential for Pakistan due to relatively lower cost than western MLRS systems, however, provide saturated firepower, high precision and can engage enemy installations, personnel and high value assets at standoff ranges.


Author: Muhaimin Zia is a student of Mechanical Engineering at National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST). He has keen interest in Pakistan’s defence industry and weapon systems.

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