ISLAMABAD: At least three suspected militants were killed while a militant hideout was destroyed in Shawal valley of North Waziristan in the first ever air strike by a Pakistan made drone “Burraq”.
The armed drone was used for the first time since its development in November 2013.
Director General of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asim Bajwa announced the first ever use of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on his Twitter page adding that a terrorist compound was hit and three militants were killed in the air strike carried out by “Burraq”
This information, however, could not be independently verified as reporters have limited access to the restive agency.
Pakistan already has several types of unarmed surveillance drones in operation, but ‘Burraq’ and ‘Shahpar’ were the first surveillance drones to be developed locally.
‘Burraq’ was developed alongside ‘Shahpar’ in cooperation with the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM), which is a civilian controlled Pakistani scientific research organisation.
Pakistan Army had tested ‘Burraq’ armed with laser-guided ‘Barq’ missile for the first time on March 14, 2015. Both Burraq drone and Barq missile, according to the army, have been indigenously developed.
The trials were witnessed by Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif who said it was a “great national achievement and momentous occasion”.
Pakistan had long aspired to have armed drones for bolstering its counter-terrorism capacity, but was only offered surveillance drones.
The efforts to indigenously develop drone capability were first reported in 2009.