ISLAMABAD: Islamabad and the UAE have agreed to explore new avenues for the indigenization of the defense industries in both countries, Zobaida Jalal, Pakistan’s federal minister for defense production told Arab News on Friday.
“My meeting with Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, and other meetings in UAE were beneficial as these reestablished our old ties with our tried and trusted friends,” Jalal said in a phone interview, adding that she hoped “we will be able to sign some MoUs or agreements soon to strengthen our collaboration.”
“Pakistan and the UAE stressed the commitment of the leadership of the two countries for an enhanced bilateral relationship,” Jalal said, before praising the UAE for working toward maintaining regional peace and security.
Jalal cited the Dubai Air Show (DAS) as one of the prime examples of this fact. As one of the biggest events in the aviation sector, she said it provides the ideal platform for aviation tycoons to showcase their products and provide “opportunities for interactions at the governmental-cum-political level.”
“We have sold Mushshak and Super Mushshak, along with spares, to countries like Turkey, Oman, Qatar, Iran, Nigeria and South Africa. Moreover, proposals have been submitted to UAE, Kuwait Iran, Iraq, Zimbabwe and Qatar and responses are awaited,” Jalal said.
Work is underway to provide 52 Super Mushshak (SMK) aircraft to Turkey in the next five years, in addition to providing 10 SMKs and 3 JF-17 aircraft to Nigeria, 10 SMKs to Azerbaijan, eight SMKs to Qatar, eight Mushshaks to Oman, six Mushshaks to Syria and 25 Mushshaks to Iran.
In response to a question by Arab News, the Pakistan Air Force’s media wing said that the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) has been participating in the Dubai Air Show since 2003.
“In the current chapter of DAS-2019, PAC participated in the event as an exhibitor with 01 SMK Super Mushshak aircraft on static park and establishment of an indoor stall to showcase its frontline products including the JF-17 Thunder aircraft. During the event, number of meetings were conducted with the visiting delegates, potential customers and business entitles at the indoor stall and static area,” the statement said.
The annual DAS attracts leading manufacturers from the aviation industry such as Rolls-Royce, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, General Electric, Dassault, Saab, Boeing, and Airbus.
The 2019 event was by far the biggest DAS, attracting 1,300 exhibitors with 165 aircrafts on display.