In recent weeks, Pakistan has increased ammunition and other defence supplies via third countries that border Ukraine, they said.
Karachi-based shipping firm Project Shipping last week reportedly facilitated supplies of 146 containers from Pakistan Ordnance Factories, said people privy to the information. It came days after another shipment of 50,000 defence stores was sent by Pakistan Ordnance Factories via Karachi, they said, adding that the shipments from Pakistan are being transferred to Ukraine through Gdansk Port, Poland.
A vessel named BBC Vesuvius, carrying 155 mm projectiles, M4A2 Propelling bag charges, M-82 primers and PDM fuses, was reportedly sent from the Karachi Port via Ukraine earlier this month, 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 said to be working in collaboration with defence firms in eastern Europe for transferring orders placed by the Ukrainian military.
In return, Ukraine has promised Pakistan assistance in upgrading 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 reportedly 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 reportedly avoided Iran and Afghanistan airspace and 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. 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 concluded arms contracts worth nearly $1.6 billion with Pakistan. The Pakistan government 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 the defence production, training, counterterrorism activities and intelligence domains, ET had earlier reported.
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