''The industry is also meeting domestic requirements of sophisticated arms and ammunition,''Dawn newspaper quoted chairman of the Pakistan Ordnance Factories Lt-Gen Syed Sabahat Husain as saying He said the POF's aggressive marketing efforts had helped it enhance defence exports in 2006-07 and now it aimed to get more orders, adding that some other countries, including Malaysia and Argentina, had also decided to offer joint ventures.
He also stated the POF has signed a cooperation agreement with Poongsan of South Korea for co-production and co-marketing of complete rounds of 155mm base-burn dual-purpose improved conventional munition (BB-DPICM) by the POF. According to the agreement, the first lot would be delivered to the GHQ in 2007-08.
The POF's share of work would gradually increase to 50 per cent, starting from 10 per cent. ''On our request, the procurement of complete rounds planned by the Pakistan Army was diverted to the POF,'' Gen Husain said.
"The POF renegotiated the price of the ammunition with M/s Poongsan on C&F basis, which resulted in a saving of 2.726 million dollars" added Gen Husain.
Mr. Husain said Pakistan would be getting technology transferred through the joint venture. The joint venture, he said, would provide new market access to Pakistan.
He said the POF and MKEK of Turkey had agreed to share expertise in joint R&D projects to meet requirements of both Pakistani and Turkish armies adding that Pakistan Army was interested in extending the range of its existing stock of 122mm multiple-barrel rocket launchers from 20kms to 40kms. POF has short listed Edepro of Serbia in this regard.Modalities of the joint venture will be finalised subject tosuccessful trials and acceptanceby Pakistan Army.
" Also, Nexter of France has agreed to join hands for co-production and co-marketing of 155mm hollow base/base bleed LU211 artillery," he said adding that trials were expected in September 2007.
Lt-Gen Syed Sabahat Husain also stated that the POF was planning to build CNG cylinders in cooperation with an Argentine company.
He said that POF was planning to outsource some of its work to the private sector to concentrate on its core businesses. The outsourcing to the private sector, he pointed out, would be in the downstream industry.
The POF has been tasked by the Ministry of Defence Production to prepare feasibility for manufacturing third generation ammunition.
POF has developed an indigenous version of 9mm pistols and is negotiating with international firms, including FN Herstal of Belgium for co-production and co-marketing.
POF is also exploring the possibility of joint venture with Hiehl of Germany for smart and advanced ammunition. Nitrocheme, one of the top manufacturers of the modular charge system for artillery ammunition, has also agreed to cooperate with POF.
POF is engaged with Rocketsan of Turkey to produce 122mm extended range rockets subject to successful trials and acceptance by Pakistan Army. Lanx of US has offered to co-produce protectivesuits for the army by utilising POF facilities.