After struggling with a series of inferior military hardware imported from China, Pakistan is mulling to explore business opportunities with its old friend — the United States. As per intelligence sources, Pakistan Air Force has been evaluating the V-BAT 128 Unmanned Aerial System under the ‘no cost, no obligation’ clause. It means that the Pakistan Air Force can use the product for a certain period of time at no cost.
Experts say that the Pakistani military leadership is frustrated with the kind of defence products and equipment being provided by China. They have even received inferior quality combat fighter jets and armed drones. This could be a reason to get back to its old friend. On the economic front, the country which gained an independent identity along with India has an external debt of $85.6 billion on June 20, 2021, against $77.9 billion in the same period last year.
V-BAT 128 Unmanned Aerial System
Manufactured by the US-based advanced aviation technology firm Martin UAV, the V-BAT 128 UAS is an upgraded version of the V-BAT vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone. It has an increased payload capacity of around 12-kg and an endurance of 11 hours.
The UAS can be used in defence and commercial applications, including border security, transportation, search and rescue, logistic resupply, rapid tactical deployment, firefighting and disaster management, infrastructure protection among others.
The V-BAT 128 UAS has a length of 2.74-meter and a wingspan of 2.95-meter with a weight of 56.6-kg, including fuel and payload.