New Delhi: According to reports, Pakistan is a surprising source of ammunition for Ukraine.
According to videos showing Pakistan Ordnance Factory Board-produced long-range artillery shells being packaged in Ukraine, this appears to be the reality.
The information provided by defence journalist Elizabeth Gosselin-Malo, who noted that a UK Royal Air Force aircraft has been travelling twice daily for more than three weeks via Cyprus or Romania to pick up military supplies from an air force base in Pakistan, adds another perspective to the development.
She claimed that the shipment was going to the Ukrainian army. At Pakistan’s Nur Khan Air Force Base in Rawalpindi, Punjab, the supplies were being loaded.
The daily sorties by the RAF C-17 Globemaster were to obtain supplies of 122mm Howitzer Projectiles made by the state-owned Pakistan’s Ordnance Factory, according to Ukraine Weapons Tracker, a Twitter account that tracks the use and seizure of military equipment and materials in Ukraine.
The Howitzer, a long-range artillery weapon, uses 122 mm rounds, which are semi-fixed ammunition.
According to the report, Pakistan participated in an air bridge that supplied Ukraine with weaponry. According to Ukraine Weapons Tracker, the projectiles’ “distinctive British-origin packaging, which is frequently employed by Pakistan Ordnance Factory, and later LIU-4 fuzes, specific to Pakistani 122mm, have been utilised to identify them as Pakistani.
According to Ukraine’s Weapon Tracker, the rounds may have been produced “explicitly for transfer to Ukraine.”
Russian and Pakistani military links
The Ukraine is receiving weaponry at a time when relations between Pakistan and Russia are improving. Imran Khan, a former prime minister of Pakistan, arrived in Moscow on February 14, the same day that Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. What an exciting time it is for me to be here, Khan said.
Four Mi-35 M attack helicopters were purchased under a 2015 agreement between Russia and Pakistan; these helicopters have already been delivered. The first joint military drill between Pakistan and Russia took place the following year.
The forces of the two nations also collaborated on training exercises last October, known as “Druzhba-VI,” in the southern Russian Krasnodar area.
The establishment in India was concerned about the ties that were developing, which prompted the Russians to say explicitly in 2019 that they would not supply any weapons to Pakistan.
However, Pakistan and Ukraine have had a long-standing military relationship. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reports that up until 2020, Ukraine would have sold Pakistan weaponry totaling around $1.6 billion. In the 1990s, Pakistan received 320 T-84UD tanks from Ukraine as part of a $600 million contract.
Ammunition has a projectile with a 15,300-m range.
The 122mm Howitzer Projectiles being shipped to Ukraine are described in full in the Pakistan Ordnance Factory Board’s 2021 catalogue.
The projectile has a maximum range of 15,300 metres and a muzzle velocity of 690 metres per second.
The projectile’s shell is entirely forged steel, and it weighs more than 21 kilos. It has a LIU-4 type fuze, which is a high-voltage fuse in essence. The round weighs more than 28 kg in total, including the projectile and shell.
Additionally, it has a 2500 kilogrammes per centimetre detonation capability, which is effectively a ratio of the explosive’s weight to the volume of the explosion.