Faults in Chinese-made Unmanned Aerial Systems damaging Pakistan’s military capability

Islamabad [Pakistan]: The faults in Chinese-made Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) has been damaging Pakistan’s military capability, said a Bangladesh based think tank.
A critical part of Pakistan’s military capability has run into serious trouble with the UAS remaining on the ground due to crippling defects within days of induction. According to Ourtime BD, three armed drones, designed by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group of China and sold by China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC), were inducted into Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in January 2021.
These aerial combat drones are part of a larger deal between Pakistan and China to co-produce 50 of them in Pakistan.
Both Pakistani and Chinese military officials had boasted that these armed drones, capable of firing laser-guided bombs and missiles to attack and destroy air or ground-based targets.
According to the think tank, PAF officials who are grappling with the nightmare of these armed drones running aground due to serious faults.
The Pakistan Air Force’s misery is the pathetic service and maintenance provided by the Chinese firm. CATIC has so far been indifferent to desperate calls for repair and maintenance of the grounded drones.
The spares supplied by the firm were substandard and mostly unfit for use. The engineers dispatched to Pakistan to make the grounded aerial vehicles operational at the earliest proved to be incompetent. Pakistani officials have now asked the Chinese firm to send a better trained group of professionals to tide over the serious crisis, the Ourtime BD said.
According to the think tank, there are many failures in Chinese made UAS which include GPS, a key component of an armed drone.
Two of the three drones experienced repeated GPS failures during test flights and had to be grounded.
Equally serious problem was the leakage of nitrogen from EO/IR cameras mounted on the UAVs, which rendered Electro-Optical / Infra-Red (EO/IR) systems useless.
Serious faults were also detected in High-Performance Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) within hours of its putting the drones into operation.
Another critical failure has been that of SATCOM in some of these drones during launch and take-off stage. On the ground, the SATCOM antenna failed during the Site Acceptance Test (SAT).
Other defects included the failure of the rear fuel pump on the UAV.
The think tank further reported that this is not the first time that Pakistan military brass is realising the unreliability of Chinese military hardware and poor, substandard servicing and maintenance.
Pakistan Air Force has been coping up with a series of inferior military hardware imported from China, including combat aircraft and armed drones, two critical operational components, it added.

Leave a Comment