Pakistan has reportedly stepped up military supplies to Ukraine via a German port, simultaneously with the Poland route, to transfer rockets for use in multi-barrel rocket launchers, said people familiar with the matter.
Supplies of rockets were dispatched from the Karachi Port earlier this month and will enter Ukraine via Emden Port in Germany, said the people. More than 10,000 rockets meant for use in Grad multi-barrel rocket launchers have been shipped, they said.
Although Pakistan has been pleading with Russia for discounted oil amid its economic crisis, it has been supplying arms to Ukraine on a regular basis, said one of the persons, who did not wish to be identified.
ET was the first to report that Pakistan had stepped up ammunition and other defence supplies via third countries that border Ukraine. Karachi-based shipping firm Project Shipping last month facilitated supplies of 146 containers from Pakistan Ordnance Factories, ET had reported. Last month, yet another shipment of 50,000 defence stores was reportedly sent by Pakistan Ordnance Factories via Karachi. The shipments from Pakistan are reportedly being transferred to Ukraine through Poland's Gdansk Port, ET had reported.
Defence firms located in some eastern European states bordering Ukraine have emerged as a gateway for transferring Pakistan-manufactured military equipment, ET had reported. Islamabad-based arms supplier DMI Associates is working in collaboration with defence firms in eastern Europe for transferring orders placed by the Ukrainian military. In return, Ukraine promised Pakistan assistance to upgrade its Mi-17 helicopters. A Ukrainian firm involved with manufacturing of aircraft engines as well as industrial marine gas turbines is reportedly assisting in upgradation of Pakistan helicopters, according to people familiar with the matter, ET had earlier reported.
Last year, Pakistan played a critical role in transfer of arms on behalf of the UK to Ukraine. ET had then reported that the Nur Khan air base in Rawalpindi was part of the air bridge used by the UK for military aircraft flights to Avram Iancu Cluj International Airport in Romania via a British air base in the Mediterranean to transfer arms to Ukraine. The air bridge had avoided Iran and Afghanistan airspace and reportedly used the West Asian air space to transfer arms between August 6 and 15. A Globemaster plane was used to transfer the arms. A British Air Force C-17A Globemaster III (call sign: ZZ173) is also said to have been used for daily sorties between the aforementioned period using the Pakistan air bridge, ET had reported in September 2022.
Artillery ammunition for the Ukrainian army may have been ferried via this air bridge.
Ukraine and Pakistan share close military and industrial ties. Pakistan had purchased more than 320 Ukrainian T-80UD tanks in service with a fully formed ecosystem for their upkeep, use, ammunition and spare parts. Between 1991 and 2020, Ukraine and Pakistan concluded arms contracts worth nearly $1.6 billion. Pakistan has reportedly clinched a deal with Ukraine for the repair of its T-80UD fleet at a cost of $85.6 million.
In 2021, Pakistan and Ukraine agreed to optimise military ties, particularly in defence production, training, counterterrorism activities and intelligence domains, ET had earlier reported.
Supplies of rockets were dispatched from the Karachi Port earlier this month and will enter Ukraine via Emden Port in Germany, said the people. More than 10,000 rockets meant for use in Grad multi-barrel rocket launchers have been shipped, they said. Although Pakistan has been pleading with...