F-6 Rebuild Factory:
When Pakistan recieved its first Nanchang F-6 from China, it knew that the fighter with a 800h time between overhaul (TBO) would need to be supported locally. The decision was taken in 1972 to establish an F-6 Rebuild Factory. That factory has now grown into a sprawling Pakistan Aeronautical Complex.
The F-6 plant is the largest of the four factories with some 2,800 employees responsible for repair, overhaul, and in some cases manufacture of components and drop tanks for the ariforce's Chinese-built F-7P and A-5C aircraft. Since completing its first aircraft in 1981, the plant has overhauled 6000 F-6s and FT-5 trainers, 112 Nanchang A-5Cs by 2001. Its capabilities have been extended to include tandem seat Guizhou FT-7Ps, with the overhaul of the first two jets having been completed in November 1998. With over 30 years in servive and most having been through three overhauls, the air force finally replaced the old F-6 with the new F-7PG. The deliveries commenced in 2001 and the last two squadrons officially revieved the new jets in March of 2002.
The F-6 plant has accordingly shifted its main focus to supporting and upgrading the air force's 160 F-7Ps, the last of which were delvered in 1992. The factory rolled-out its 500th rebuilt F-7 on March 10, 2001.Each of this aricraft has to be rebuild after 800 flight hours or roughly 8 years. The fighter's Chinese-built WP7B powerplant has an even lower TBO (time between overhaul) of just 200 flight hours and has to be sent to Karachi.
F-7 airframe overhaul takes around 30 weeks, entailing a complete disassembly of all components for workshop-level inspection and repair. Before being reassembled, Chinese electrics are replaced with new Raychem thermo-sealed wiring for better insulation, and all rubber seals and some of the F-7's hydrolic and fuel piping are also replaced. The factory will also start to replace the aircraft's old GEC-Marconi Skyranger 226 ranging-only radar with new Fiar Grifo 7 systems.
In January 2002, the F-6 RBF started overhaul of half a dozen F-7s of the Sri Lankan Air Force under a $2.27 million contract agreed upon in 2001. The F-7, which are believed to have been in non-flying condition for several years now will get a new lease of life after their overhaul at Pakistan. SAAF CoAS visited Kamra and its related factories in September 2003 and was able to see the progress made first hand.
There are major plans to upgrade the facilities in Kamra to include manufacture jigs, fixtures and tooling in order to begin serial production of JF-17 Thunder. A Jig Assembly Machine is already under installation in Kamra for that purpose. Further upgrades are planned for mid-2004.
F-6 Rebuild Factory is also overhauling one C-130's Allison T56A-15 engine as a trial and hopes to take over the overhaul for the entire C-130 fleet. This will save precious foreign exchange, as Pakistan used to send its planes overseas for overhaul. This plan got a boost with the recent decision to upgrade all PAF C-130s with new cockpit avionics and displays, bringing them up to par with the new technologies. The deal signed with the US includes 6 surplus C-130s as well as engine upgrade kits for the ones already in service also. Pakistan's experience could attract other countries from the Middle East and Asia to utilize PAC Kamra's services in this regard as C-130 is a widely exported aircraft.
Mirage Rebiuld Factroy:
In 1978 The Mirage Rebuild Factory was inaugurated to avoid high costs of sending these planes to France for overhaul. It was established to overhaul PAF's Mirage III/5 fighters and their Snecma Atar 09C engines. The MRF has a site area of more than 810,000 sq. meters and a workforce of nearly 2000 trained engineers and technicians. It has a current capacity for overhaul of 8-10 aircraft and more then 60 engines per year. The factory has inspected or overhauled more than 140 aircraft and its work is made no easier by the 13 different marques of the Miarge III/5 in the PAF inventory. Atar 09C light and general overhauls number more than 600. MRF takes about nine months to overhaul a Mirage aircraft and it is estimated that a similar overhaul in France would take anywhere between eighteen to twenty months. MRF was the first facility to be granted the ISO-9000 certification for introducing quality control.
The factory undertakes two kinds of overhauls; GV1 after 1,200 flight hours and GV2 after 2,400 hours. The later entails a more extensive 11-month program including a complete diassembly of the wing and fuselage, landing gear teardown, and non destructive testing and repair. On November 11, 1998 a roll-out ceremony was held at the factory to mark the 100th Mirage upgrarded at Kamra. Under a 'buy-back' agreement with France, MRF manufactured approximately 139 parts of the Mirage fighter for supply to France.
The Engine Overhaul Wing at MRF was established in March 1982. It was initially tasked to carry out general overhaul of the Atar 09C engines and its accessories. Until 1990, an average of twenty engines, twenty jet pipes with junction sections and 1,750 accessories were produced each year. Assistance also provided in repairing of other engines in operation with the PAF such as J-69 and F100-PW-220 (described below). In 1991, MRF was tasked to commission the Atar engines of the ex-Australian mirages. The overall production task was increased from twenty-four to thirty-six to an eventual sixty engines per year due to a gradual increase in requirements by the PAF. A need to move progressively into manufacturing of engines, MRF contacted SNECMA as early as 1983. After arrangements and subsequent training of personnel, manufacture of eleven hardware line items (pins and nuts) of Atar 09C was commenced in November of 1995. By 1998 this was increased to fourteen items while another thirty-five were under development.
In December 1987, MRF was able to conclude a contract with UAE for rebuild of its fleet of 26 Mirage aircraft. Under the terms of the contract, UAE government was to procure the spares from France, while MRF was to provide maintenance services and overhauling of the aircraft. However, the spares could not be purchsed and the deal was shelved after only a overhaul of six aircraft and the exercise has not since been repeated with any other country. According to the Director General PAC, the French deliberately withheld the spares as to discourage states from utilizing other sources of overhaul other than itself.
In March of 1988, a purchase order for a fuselage repair jig was placed with France. Personnel training was held in France from November 1988 through April 1989 and the repair jig was transfered to a new hanger in December 1989 and formed the Fuselage Repair Facility. The older hanger was then converted into a structural repair facility. There a wing refurbishing facility was established as well. The work inculded repairing the cracks in rib 4 of the wing by replacing the rib, repairing the decanting hole, refurbishing the main spar, replacing the rear lower panel of the wing, and replacing ribs 1 and 2 with those of thicker material. Equipment such as jigs and fixtures were recommisioned from the ex-Australian equipment recieved in 1991. By 1998, thirteen wings had been refurbished. A CNC pipe-bending facility has also been established, which is producing nearly 85 percent of the pipes required for Mirage aircraft
In June of 1998, the Mirage Rebuild Factory completed the last cockpit upgrade for 33 ex-Australian Mirage IIIOs as part of Project ROSE (retrofit of strike element). The contract for the upgrade was signed in January 1992. Initially, KARF was assigned the management of the project. The first aircraft inducted on 13 April 1992 by the KARF was a Mirage IIIDP. One more Mirage IIIO was undertaken for upgrade on 5 August 1993. However, KARF did not have the technical platform to accomplish maintenance, structural modification and wiring changes on the aircraft. Therefore, in January 1994, Project ROSE was shifted to MRF. KARF involvement in the program was limited to the maintenance and inspection of the upgrade equipment. The work commenced in 1995 and was completed by 1998. The avionics package include inertial navigation system (INS), Heads-up Display (HUD), airborne video recording equipment, multifunctional displays, HOTAS, self protection systems such as RWRs, chaff and flares. A second planned phase included installation of Grifo M multimode radar now also complete.
After in the induction of F-16s in PAF service, it was decided to establish overhaul and repair facilities for the F-100 engine. MRF was choosen to undertake this task due to its experience with the Mirage aircraft's Atar 09C engine. A four member team from the USAF and Pratt & Whitney surveyed the site in mid-1985. In early 1986, a project team headed by Wing Commander Athar Quershi was formed and charged with the responsibility of its execution. Thirteen officers and sixty-one technicians were trained in the USA in twenty-one different specialities. For economy and efficieny reasons, both Atar and F-100 engine assembly and disassembly operations were moved to a new building. After 1990, the F-100 program recieved a setback and in order to continue work spares to carry out increased life cycle (ILC) modifications of core modules a commercial contract was signed with P&W. After the passage of Brown Amendment, PAF recieved upgrade kits for the improved F100-PW-220E engine. The upgrade entails 26 major modifications and increases the engines from a 1850-hour cycle to a 4000-hour cycle. By the end of 1998,
They recommended adding a number of machines and testers. This followed a contract with the US government for thirty-three machines in 1989-1990. After Brown Amendment, an additional seventy-five machines were procured in 1996 under a commercial contract with P&W. Later another fourteen testers/machines were added to this facility. By the end of 1998, sixteen F-100 engines had been successfully tested.
The F-6 and Mirage factories are also fitting all the airforces front-line fighters with new chaff anf flare dispensers and Chinese-designed BM/KJ8602 radar warning recievers produced locally by KARF.
Aircraft Manufacturing Factory:
The Aircraft Manufacturing Factory (AMF) opened in 1981, originally established to manufacture the Saab-designed MFI-17 Supporter/ Mushshak trainer and light observation aircraft. Major facilities at the AMF include equipment to manufacture all the GFRP (Glass Fiber Rienforced Plastics) components of the Mushshak. Engines, instruments, and electrical equipment including radios are imported, but almost all other items are manufactured locally. Progressive assembly of the first 90 Mushshak aircraft began in 1975 from partially and completely knocked down kits supplied by the Saab of Sweden.
In 1981, PAC bought the sole worldwide manufacturing rights to the aircraft. By February 1991, AMF had built exactly 100 Mushshaks as a follow-on to 92 assembled and 23 supplied from Sweden. It and has gone to produce about 185 Mushshak aircraft in service with various units of the Pakistan Army, Air Forceand the Navy, as well as for export to Egypt, Iran, Oman and Syria. Having recieved three Mushshaks earlier, Iran's Pasdaran (Revolutionary Guard) air unit took delivery of further 25 in ealy 1991.
The AMF has developed an improved Super Mushshak varient, powered by a 195kW (260hp), Textron Lycoming IO-540-V4A5 with three-blade MacCauley propeller. The aircraft has been developed to meet FAR part 23 certification in categories normal, utility and aerobatics. The new varient offers improved speed, range, rate of climb, higher seriice ceiling, and a shorter take-off and landing distance. Other refinements include new instruments and cockpit air conditioning, electrical instruments, and electric cum manual elevator and rudder trim. The modification was done keeping in view Pakistan's hot climate. The original engine resulted in a very long take-off run and low rate of climb in the summer months. The AMF has the capacity to produce 24 Mushshaks annually. Around 30-40 of the Mushshaks at the air force academy at Risaplpur are to be retrofited. Pakistan Army is also undertaking user trials and will eventually switch some or most of its original aircraft.
Pakistan has already gained export success from Super Mushshak with orders Saudi Arabia and Sultanate of Oman. The RSAF is reportedly acquiring around 40 aircraft. A contract worth $2.9 million was negotiated with RAFO for sale of five Super Mushshak and upgrading three of the original Mushshaks delivered earlier to the later standard. Five aircraft were delivered in August 2003. The contract stipulations include logistics support as well as training over the next 3 years.
Recently, AMF has decided to allow private companies and individuals to buy the Mushshak as well. However, relatively high price might not yeild the expected sales. Part of the reason is still dependence on foreign parts for major components such as the gear-box, engine, and instruments. The 8000 parts produced at Kamra mainly comprise of sheet metal and machine parts.
Aircraft Manufacturing Factory is also involved in the manufacturing of K-8 fuselage components. It handed over the first of the three front fuselages of K-8 aircraft to Peoples Republic of China on November 5, 2002. AMF was confident in completing the other two fuselages within the stipulated 15 month period. The contract for the manufacture of the front fuselage was signed in 1999. The handing over documents were signed by the managing director of the PAMF, Air Cdre Zakir H. Khan, and the Chinese defence attache, Maj-Gen Saa E. Chee Khua. Air Cdre Zakir said that front fuselage comprised of aircraft nose cone, front and rear cockpit, nose landing gear, aircraft gun and canopy.
Kamra Avionics & Radar Factory:
The AMF was joined two years later by an adjoining radar maintaince depot, which became the Kamra Avionics and Radar Factory (KARF) in 1987. It was established to assemble radars and other electronic equipment. It currently produces radar warning recievers for the air force as well as Grifo 7 radars for the F-7P fleet. It will also support the larger version of the radar, Grifo M already in service on PAF's Mirages as well as the service's mobile pulse-Doppler radars (MPDR).
The rebuilding of the MPDR, Control and Reporting Centers (CRC) both of Siemens origin and power generator of various capacities. The process involves work on the mechanical, hydraulic, electrical and electronic elements of the system. The facility actually only assembles the L-band low-level ground based radar and associated generators. KARF produces about 5 radars annually, though most of the electronic components are imported.
PAF Maintenance Depots:
In the PAF there are four major Air Engineering Depots (AEDs) namely No.102 AED. No 107 AED, No 108 AED and No130 AED. No 102 Air Engineering Depot at Faisal, Karachi is overhauling all Chinese origin aircraft engines. Its support to the PAF has been tremendous for the last 50 years. The unit in addition has the capability to conduct major repairs on airframe of all aircraft. Similarly. No 107 AED has contributed significantly to the aviation industry by overhauling/repairing the avionics components related to aircraft and radars. In addition, the depot is also repairing sophisticated testers. No 108 AED is conducting major repairs on radars of the PAF. C-130, the main transport aircraft in the PAF fleet was being overhauled abroad. To avoid dependence on foreign resources, No 130 AED was established at PAF Base. Chaklala in 1993. Over the past 6 years, no C-130 has been dispatched abroad and the Depot is successfully meeting all PAF requirements. The factory has not only saved heavy foreign exchange but also reduced the overhaul time.
Air Weapons Complex:
AWCs foundations were laid by the Government in 1993-94 and it offers the most diverse range of products and services in the region to achieve self reliance in the Aerospace and Defence industry. It is also perhaps the only state-owned facility that tries to maximize profits by adapting a more commercial approach. It gives its own corporate objective as utilizing and developing local industry in a bid to attract investment. Historically, AWC has worked with international companies in joint-ventures and technology transfer agreements. The Air Weapon Complex, located in Wah/Kamra, is involved in developing and manufacturing different kinds of air and ground weapons. Oversight is provided by the National Weapons Complex, the regulatory authority that is also incharge of the National Development Complex (NDC). AWC is headed by serving Air Force officers and manned by civilian specialists while supervised by a board of governers. The Prime Minister chairs the board. The idea behind the working of AWC was to acquire core technologies and use them for local production. For this objective, dual-use technologies were developed and AWC sells its products to other companies in the public sector. AWC has an independent marketing wing to sell its services and products both domestically and in international markets.
Today, AWC is one of the leading organisations in Pakistan in the field of Air Delivered Weapons/Systems. The Air Weapons Complex manufactures a variety of air delivered weapons, including extended range bombs, target penetration bombs, Infra-Red Search and Track Systems, battlefield interdiction / tactical support weapons, airfield attack and denial weapons, navigation and communication systems, EW systems, bulletproof jackets and helmets, UAVs and air defence systems.. The AWC product range includes:
MK-80 series General Purpose (GP) Steel Bombs: AWC produces the entire range of these NATO-standard steel bombs (125 kg MK-81 Steel Bomb; 250 kg MK-82 Steel Bomb; 500 kg MK-83 Steel Bomb; 1000 kg MK-84 Steel Bomb) used for anti-personnel and anti-light vehicle missions.Pre-fragmented Bombs: aerodynamically similar to the GP Bombs, the lethality of these bombs is six times greater. Thousands of uniformly shaped steel balls along with explosives turns them into real force multipliers. One of the recent developments of AWC is the pre-fragmented incendiary bomb, extremely effective against POL targets. Electronic Fuzes: AWC has complete development, manufacturing and testing capabilities for all types of electronic fuzes. We specialize in air burst electronic impact and proximity fuzes as well as time-based fuzes. Anti-runway Bomb: our anti-runway bomb, known as HAFR-2, has the capability to effectively neutralize runways and underground concrete bunkers. Combined Effects Munitions (CEM) Bomb: produced by AWC, this is equipped with three kill mechanisms (anti-personnel, anti-armour and incendiary) incorporated simultaneously in each of its 247 bomblets. Global Positioning System: the indigenously developed Global Positioning System of AWC is a 12-channel parallel processing machine. It is available in two versions, the panel-mount AEROSTAR AV-12 and the hand-held PATHS+, designed for ground troops. Speech Security Equipment: AWC has also developed the secure communication equipment known as MAHFOOZ, which utilizes the latest encryption techniques for secure transmission of data via telephone lines, fax and internet. Our system offers a higher level of security through parallel algorithm implementation, large key length and probabilistic design. AWC has developed a state-of-the-art chaff and flare dispenser, known as MOHAFIZ Counter Measures System, which has been installed on various aircraft of the Pakistan Armed Forces. It can be integrated with the radar warning receiver, also produced by AWC, for the automatic dispensing of chaffs and flares. Multi-Spectral Camouflage Nets: AWC's multi-spectral camouflage nets provide effective concealment of land platforms against surveillance methods. They have anti-vision, anti-night vision, anti-IR and anti-radar features. They are available in twin colours (grass and sand) and are weatherproof and fire-resistant. Extensive research in composites has led to the development of lightweight bulletproof helmets and jackets, which provide exceptional battlefield protection against 9mm and 7.62mm ammunition. The air defence automation system has been indigenously developed by AWC. The designed system collects information from all air defence sensors and radars and displays it in real-time at any desired location. The Multi Radar Tracker (MRT) uses the latest tracking algorithms to detect and track all modern, fast and highly manoeuvrable targets.
The Air Weapons Complex embarked on a project for the indigenous development of UAV's in the middle of 1998. The Sky Tracker and Sky Navigator suite of software were developed for the ground-based tracking of remotely piloted vehicles (RPV's) / unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's). The software gets the UAV's GPS positional data from a radio data link. This data is used to show the position of the UAV as a 2D plot along with essential UAV data like, speed, altitude, heading etc. This plot can be overlaid onto area maps also. This information is used by the pilot for flying the UAV beyond visual range.