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Forging military strength through pumping iron

“And We sent down iron, wherein is great military might and benefits for the people……….” (Al-Quran 57:25)

“And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war (tanks, planes, missiles, artillery, etc.) to threaten the enemy of Allah….” (Al-Quran 8:60)

One of the most important stimuli for the military revolution was the discovery and use of iron. Iron weapons were heated and hammered into shape rather than cast, making them stronger, less brittle, and more reliable than bronze weapons.

The importance of iron in the development of ancient warfare does not lay in its strength or ability to hold a sharp edge. Iron’s importance rested in the fact that unlike bronze, which required the use of relatively rare tin to manufacture, iron was commonly and widely available almost everywhere. It was also somewhat easier to extract from its ore and the plentiful supply of this new strategic material made it possible for states to produce enormous quantities of reliable weapons cheaply.

The military revolution made itself felt in a number of key areas of military development, all of which had the cumulative effect of changing the nature, scope, and scale of war. Among the more important military developments of the Iron Age were changes in:

  1. The size of armies
  2. Logistics and transport
  3. Strategic and tactical mobility
  4. Siege craft and artillery
  5. Staff organization
  6. Military training

In almost every one of these military capabilities the armies of the Iron Age reached a level of development which required the invention of mechanical weapons and powerful machines of the present age to surpass the level of operational ability demonstrated by the ancient armies. Following are some of the mechanical complexes that are engaged in manufacturing of engineering goods both for civilian as well as military organizations:

Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC), Taxila

Heavy Mechanical Complex (Private) Limited is the leading engineering goods manufacturing enterprise in Pakistan located at Taxila near Islamabad. It is a professionally managed progressive organization with over 160,000 sq. meters covered facilities. It has the resources to handle large projects with demanding delivery schedules. Being the largest and most extensive fabrication and machining facility equipped with state-of-the-art technology. HMC provide manufacturing services both on its own or customers design. HMC have gained rich experience in designing and manufacturing of large projects through collaboration with internationally reputed engineering organizations. All its processing facilities are in-house including designing, fabrication, machining, iron and steel castings, forgings, heat treatment, assembly, sand blasting, painting and galvanizing etc.

 

Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Kamra

Pakistan Aeronautical Complex is an organization which comprises of four co-located factories which virtually take care of maintenance of all operational assets of Pakistan Air Force for the purpose of effective control and efficient working. The complex houses multi-faceted engineering capabilities which enable it to undertake aircraft structure overhaul, aircraft component overhaul, aircraft engine overhaul, radar and avionics maintenance and overhaul. To cater for the needs of all these tasks, the complex provides comprehensive aviation standard testing and manufacturing facilities at one place. The pace of development of complex provides a silver lining on the horizon for the Pakistanis that in the near future Pakistan would stand out as a country which can produce future generation aircrafts indigenously.

JF-17 Thunder is an advanced, light-weight, all weather, day/night multi-role fighter aircraft; developed as a joint venture between Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Kamra and Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAC) of China. It possesses excellent air-to-air and air-to-surface combat capabilities. The state-of-the art avionics, optimally integrated sub-systems, computerized flight controls and capability to employ latest weapons provides decisive advantage to JF-17 over adversaries of same class. This, all weather, multi-role light combat fighter has remarkable high combat maneuverability at medium and low altitudes. With effective firepower, agility and combat survivability, the aircraft is likely to emerge as a potent platform for any air force.

Pakistan Machine Tool Factory (Pvt) ltd (PMTF)

PMTF is a precision engineering goods manufacturing enterprise in Pakistan, established in technical collaboration with M/s. Oerlikon Buhrle & Co. of Switzerland who are the world’s renowned manufacturers of machine tools. The factory came into regular production in 1971. It is a unit of State Engineering Corporation of Pakistan and is engaged in the production of machine tools, automotive transmissions and axles components, gears for locomotives, pressure die cast parts and other products. It has rich experience in designing and manufacturing of precision engineering goods and its facilities include designing, machining, forging, heat treatment, assembly and die casting etc. It is certified by ISO 9001 Quality Assurance System and has excellent quality control and testing facilities to meet the international quality requirement.

The writer is a Karachi based freelance columnist and is a banker by profession. He could be reached on Twitter @ReluctantAhsan

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