The Defense Industry: Turning Liability into Opportunity
When one thinks of Pakistan’s defence industry, they think of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that operate under thick veils of secrecy and produce systems of a strategic nature…Large R&D centers with thousands of trained engineers lie mostly idle. All that is needed is to manage these organizations like businesses with actual incentives to innovate. This has the very real potential of turning these burdens on our economy to assets.

NASTP: Birthing an Industry
Starting in 2017, coming off the successful manufacture of a fourth generation JF-17 in Pakistan, PAF planners felt the need to take the next logical step and indigenize aerospace R&D. One may hypothesize that the benefits of such an endeavor may have been considered

Pakistan Reveals its Own ‘Space Command’
On 15 September 2021, the Pakistan Army (PA) Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) Air Headquarters (AHQ) in Islamabad. The COAS was given a tour of specialized facilities. On casual inspection, the official video shows a VIP making a routine visit. However, a closer look reveals that the video is filled to the brim with details and could be thought of as a “soft” announcement of capability, or at the very least, an intention.

Analysis: How Can Pakistan Design A Loyal Wingman Drone
With the withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan imminent there is a serious The proposed program envisions two UCAV’s (named ‘Vafadar-1’ and ‘Vafadar-2’ for the purpose of this article). Vafadar-1 would serve as the first step in PAC’s quest towards developing a loyal wingman program. It can serve as a testbed for technologies and be a relatively lower-risk and lower-cost UCAV program. Towards the end of the Vafadar-1 program, the Vafadar-2 program could be started, which will build upon the successes of its predecessor. Vafadar-2 would be bigger, more capable, and more expensive than Vafadar-1.

Realigning Project Azm: Balancing Ambition and Pragmatism
The flagship project of Project Azm is the development of a 5th-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA). However, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) has no prior experience developing a fighter jet, let alone an FGFA. The design and development of the 4th-generation JF-17 were primarily carried out in China with small design inputs from the Pakistani side…

Sealing the Afghan-Pakistan Border – A Case Study
With the withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan imminent there is a serious concern among Pakistani planners about the effects of the situation in that country spilling over into Pakistan… However, detection of crossings will be a serious capability gap as ground-based surveillance systems cannot see distances as long as 6 km over uneven. The solution to this gap is obvious: unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and this article will provide a case study for surveilling the AfPak border using UAVs.

The Real Threat to Pakistan’s National Security – Part 3
In parts one and two we discussed the various policy and administrative measures that could be taken to rescue Pakistan’s R&D capability from a dangerous slump. Where part-two discussed management styles, secrecy, and compartmentalization, part-three will discuss the right approach to research.

The Real Threat to Pakistan’s National Security – Part 2
Part-two will present a medium term, and perhaps more pressing, administrative policy plan that can rescue Pakistan’s deteriorating R&D capacity. Where part-one presented a roadmap for the establishment of new companies over decades, this article will present a roadmap for overhauling the administration of Pakistan’s extensive, existing network of military and strategic state-owned enterprises.

The Real Threat to Pakistan’s National Security – Part 1
Due to being located at the crossroads of three key regions (South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East), Pakistan has ‘geostrategic importance.’ However, that ‘importance’ has been both a blessing and a curse for Pakistan. It is no secret that Pakistan resides in a dangerous neighborhood, nor is it a surprise that the country’s defence requirements take priority over other spending needs.…

Project AZM: Updates on Pakistan’s Next-Gen Fighter Aircraft
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) recently revealed a wide range of updates on its projects, including its next-generation fighter aircraft (NGFA) program under Project AZM, the status of the JF-17 Block-III, and several other key focus areas…

The US NGAD and Digital Engineering: Lessons for Pakistan
From the onset, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) cannot – and should not – try mimicking the USAF’s approach. However, it can learn important lessons from the U.S.’ use of digital engineering, and the Digital Century Series…

“Industry-Academia Linkages” in the Pakistani Context
Pakistani industries and universities advertise deep & fruitful industry-academia linkages in their promotional materials. However, one struggles to see the fruits of these so-called linkages in either academia or industry. The results are not apparent…

A Pragmatic Vision for Project Azm
The central goal of Pakistan’s ‘Project Azm’ is the development of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA). Since the first announcement of Project Azm in 2017, the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) Air Staff Requirements (ASR) for the…

Pakistan’s UAV Development, Deployment, and Future
The importance of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the modern battlespace is widely recognized in our times. With the success that UAVs have had in military operations in Libya and Syria, the importance of UAVs has…

The Culture and Foundations for Research at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex
Unfortunately, the entities under Pakistan’s Strategic Plans Division provide many examples of what not to do in R&D organizations. Therefore, a quick study of the practices of the SPD’s organizations is extremely helpful in charting a…

How To Establish a Flight Dynamics and Control Institute at PAC Kamra
In this article, we will attempt to outline broad goals of this FDCI, and the ingredients needed to establish such an institute keeping in mind various practical aspects…

Why PAC Needs In-House Development of Flight Control Systems
Major fighter-jet producers have extensive flight dynamics and control groups and invest heavily in flight dynamics and control technologies and human resource. The lack of emphasis on this key technology in the institutional breakup for Project…

Fan moment with Brian Douglas at ACC 2018.

Models of the V-22 Osprey and an original gunship helicopter that I carved out of wood. V-22’s engines and propellers turn and the helicopter’s rotor and turret turns. The quality of the pictures tells you how old these are.

Touching planes is a thing for me.
The obligatory SR-71 picture at Udvar-Hazy Center.
Three year old me with my mother, brother, and an F-86 Sabre.