Pakistan, AERO, and AWC

The FR notice that I cited in this post described illegal exports destined for the the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and Pakistan’s Advanced Engineering Research Organization (AERO). Whether and to what extent the PAEC is connected to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program isn’t clear to me. In fact, a 2011 BIS press release described the PAEC as ” the science and technology organization in Pakistan responsible for Pakistan’s nuclear program, including the development and operation of nuclear power plants in Pakistan.”

AERO, however, is a bit different. According to this 2014 FR notice, the organization “has procured items on behalf of Pakistan’s Air Weapons Complex [AWC], a Pakistani government entity responsible for Pakistan’s cruise missile and strategic UAV programs.” The AWC is itself a subsidiary of Pakistan’s National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM), says this 2016 FR notice.

There’s also some relevant evidence from the Pakistani government. Back in 2008, Pakistan’s ISPR depicted a connection between NESCOM and the AWC:

General Tariq Majid, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) visited Air Weapons Complex (AWC). On arrival he was received by Chairman National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) Mr. Irfan Burney and Air Vice Marshal Zubair Iqbal Malik, Director General Air Weapons Complex.

And this documentary on NESCOM has images of the Babur (4:28) and Ra-ad (4:48) nuclear-capable cruise missiles.

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