KARACHI, Nov 21: The Pakistan Ordnance Factories Wah and the Geat Industries of France on Tuesday signed an MoU for co-production of 155mm state-of-the-art artillery ammunition, extended range and reactive armour bricks for tanks at the ongoing Ideas-2006 exhibition of military hardware.

President General Pervez Musharraf, Minister for Defence Production Habibullah Waraich and the Chief of Naval Staff were present when Lieutenant-General Syed Sabahat Hussain, Chairman, POF Wah Board, and Mr Pascal, representing the Geat Industries of France, initialled the MoU.

Co-production of the product would start at POF Wah in January 2007 and would be geared up for exports by next year. Both companies have also agreed for joint marketing of the product and export.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's prestigious National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) also signed a $ 50 million defence sale MoUs with some Muslim and African states at the international defence exhibition and seminar at the Expo Centre in Karachi on Tuesday, said Pakistan's renowned scientist Dr Samar Mubarakmand while talking to newsmen at the Ideas-2006.

He said NESCOM exported conventional defence products worth US dollars 500 million during the last three years to friendly countries. He claimed that the NESCOM had achieved a minimum level of strategic defence for the country — a total indigenous effort with no transfer of foreign technology.

It may be mentioned that Pakistan had exported air combat manoeuvring instrumentation system to Bangladesh and some other products to the UAE.

We indigenously produced weapon system of Shaheen-1 and Ghaznavi-1 missiles, co-produced Ghauri missile weapon system and twice test-fired Babar 600km-plus cruise missile.

He said that the NESCOM provided ground weapon system for Al-Khalid, a top main battle tank in the world and was now doing the same for Al-Zarrar MBT.

The Commission also provided radar-integrated system and batteries to the armed forces.

Meanwhile, the Institute of Industrial Control Systems (IICS) produces some of most valuable weaponry and defence equipment for the country's armed forces and emerged as a formidable exporter of such products.

IICS's indigenous Anza MK-II, a man portable shoulder-fired surface-to-air guided missile weapon system will soon have advanced version in Anza MK-III, and work on it is under way, said Karim Ahmed, renowned scientist and chief executive of the IICS.

Talking to newsmen, he said work was in progress on increasing range of Baktar Shikan anti-tank-guided missile system with a laser aiming device, with a capability of day and night firing and high-hit probability.

Answering a question, Karim Ahmed said: We have exported our defence products valued at $4 million during the year.

It may be pointed out that this export was in addition to the one that was made by the government. Pakistan had exported Baktarshikan to Bangladesh.

The IICS has also set up a state-of-the-art Printed Circuit Boards manufacturing plant being operated commercially. Other defence products include laser range finder which can simultaneously range multiple static and moving targets from 150m to 20m and automatic fire control system 37 MM anti-aircraft guns.

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