Saudi Arabia pays for Pakistan’s high-tech weapons purchase

The two countries are eyeing a joint bid for airborne-early warning systems

It’s all right if your economy cannot afford it — as long as you have rich friends who outsource their dirty work to you.

Saudi Arabia has long outsourced major military tasks to Pakistan, besides bankrolling the production of the ‘Islamic bomb’.

For some time, Pakistan has been in negotiations with Sweden on the purchase of the Erieye airborne early warning system, mounted on Swedish SAAB2000 turbo-prop airplanes. At US$1.7 billion, Pakistan would have been hard pressed to afford this alone, even after accounting for the financial assistance that it is receiving from the United States. So Saudi Arabia stepped in to help Pakistan foot the bill. Although both countries are in ‘areas of conflict’, the Swedish government is expected to approve the sale of the SAAB/Erieye systems because these systems can only be deployed in a ‘defensive’ role.

Military Process Outsourcing is proving to be as lucrative as ever for Pakistan.