Earlier on TFB we reported that POF had increased their ammunition production in Pakistan three-fold. We speculated that rising security concerns might have been the cause for this but this has turned out to perhaps not be the case at all. This week at IDEX 2017, POF released a statement that indicated a very dramatic increase in sales to the UAE and MENA region in general (through Abu Dhabi). Essentially POF is forcasting doubling all of their sales to the region for the next year. The article additionally mentions that POF will try to push “affordability and technological upgrades” as a prime company offering. Although the Pakistani state owned weapons company might not be providing DARPA with the latest and greatest, I can see a niche that POF can occupy in catering to militaries that don’t have budgets like the United States and Russia, but still want technological upgrades to keep up with the competition. On top of this projection, POF has signed a letter of understanding with Beretta on importing and selling Beretta products in Pakistan. Beretta’s ARX-200 was in competition for the Pakistani’s next service rifle, but appears to have lost out to CZ. This understanding with Beretta, if not for military and LE needs, might just be for civilians, as the shotgun sporting industry in Pakistan is very relevant. Along with the CZ deal, and POF’s prior agreement with Fiochi, international business has been relatively good at POF.
From the Khaleej Times–
What we are planning to do is to open a sales and marketing office in the UAE not only to cater to this country but also to the entire region. The UAE has become the commercial hub of the Middle East so it makes a lot of sense for us to set establish an office within the year,” Hayat underlined.
The POF chairman added that they are projecting at least a 100 per cent increase in sales only in the UAE.
Last year, POF registered its single largest export order with a $100m (Dh367m) sale to Saudi Arabia.
And from Quwa on the Beretta signing-
On the second day of the 2017 International Defence Exhibition and Confernece (IDEX), which is taking place in Abu Dhabi, Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) and Beretta have signed a letter-of-understanding (LoU) to propel the sale of Beretta pistols, shotguns and apparel in Pakistan, Geo News reports.
The LoU was signed by POF chairman Lt. Gen. Omar Mahmood Hayat, and Beretta’s Director of Sales Antonio Biondo. Celebrating the LoU, Lt. Gen. Hayat said that “joint marketing and cooperation will be made in order to enhance the export marketing.”
The projected rise in sales is certainly being pushed by legitmate factors, or else POF wouldn’t have tripled ammunition making capacity in the company’s brass factory in Pakistan. Even if the sales figures aren’t going to completely double in size, I don’t believe POF is losing out on whatever deal the company is currently pushing in the UAE. The reason for this increase is most likely the result of some internal competition that POF won, or the falling out of a traditional ammunition supplier in Abu Dhabi. I highly doubt it has anything to do with a conflict in MENA, or a preparation for one. Usually militaries or governments order more ammunition on a rolling basis as it is needed during times of conflict, and don’t build up a massive stockpile in preparation for war (although that does happen, I don’t think this is the case).