Pakistan Ordnance Factories

Pakistan Ordnance Factories
Native name
Urdu: پاکستان آرڈننس فیکٹریز
State-owned enterprise
Industry Firearms, Defense, Machinery
Founded 1951 (1951)
Headquarters Wah Cantonment, Punjab, Pakistan
Area served
Key people
Omar Mahmood Hayat (Chairman)[1]
Products Pistols, Rifles, Submachine gun, Machine gun, Shotguns, Munitions, Explosives, Machine tools
Owner Pakistan Ministry of Defence
Number of employees

The Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) is a major firearms, defence contractor, and military corporation headquartered in Wah Cantt, Punjab, Pakistan.[2] It is "the largest defence industrial complex under the Ministry of Defence Production, producing conventional arms & ammo to international standards. POF Board headquarter is at Wah Cantt. Presently POF comprises of [sic] 14 ordnance factories and three commercial subsidiaries. Pakistan Ordnance Factories also manufacture commercial explosives, hunting ammunition and possess extensive facilities for the manufacture of brass, copper and aluminum ingots, extrusions and sections for non-military applications. A garments factory, which has state of the art cloth cutting facilities and modern stitching units, manufactures military uniforms and can also cater for the needs of the civil sector".[3]

Founded in 1951 by the government of Pakistan with early collaboration from the British Royal Ordnance Factory, the POF engineers, develops, produces, manufactures, and promotes a wide range of different types of infantry and special-purpose weapons, explosives, ammunition, mortars, rockets, and the military gear for Pakistan's military.[4] Its corporate leadership comes from a deputation by GHQ where the chief of army staff (COAS) approves the appointment, but POF is under the Ministry of Defense, so the COAS is not in the direct chain of command.[5] The POF is the earliest and one of the largest military corporations in Pakistan, and later influenced many other military corporations in the Pakistan Armed Forces.[6]

POF produces ammunition that meets requirements set by NATO specification.[6] Apart from military works, the POF also serves the civilian law enforcement agencies, paramilitary, and private security markets nationwide.[2]


Pakistan Ordnance Factories old logo
Pakistan Ordnance employees with ONUC in Leopoldville, Republic of the Congo, 1960

During their colonial rule, the British built sixteen ordnance factories in the British Raj, most of which were inherited by India. Pakistan's first Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, issued a directive within four months of the independence of Pakistan to establish an ordnance factory in collaboration with British Royal Ordnance Factory to manufacture 0.303 calibre rifles. In December 1951 Pakistan's second Prime Minister, Khawaja Nazimuddin, inaugurated the first four POF workshops in the small town of Wah Cantonment.[7]


Located 45 km from Islamabad and with main manufacturing facilities at Wah Cantonment, POF is a sprawling complex of fourteen production units and six subsidiaries producing conventional arms and ammunition. Research and development projects have been undertaken to minimize dependence on foreign suppliers. Efforts have been made towards self-reliance through innovation and indigenization, for achieving the following:-

1. Optimal utilization of surplus capacity of POF.
2. Generation of funds to supplement budget grant.
3. Participative collaboration with the private sector.
4. Enhancing exports.

POF uses technology and equipment that has been acquired from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and China. The factories in POF employ some of the latest state of the art processes, including computerized numerical controlled machines and flexible Manufacturing systems for the production of precision components.

A Stamp was also issued by Pakistan Post on the occasion of golden jubilee of POF (Dt. 28-12-2001) to honour the country's largest defense manufacturing unit's services.[8]

POF has been awarded standards by the International Organisation for Standardisation. These include ISO 9001 for quality management, ISO 14001 for environmental management, and ISO 17025 for meeting the general requirements for Competence of Test and Calibration Laboratories.In 2005, P.O.F was also awarded with safety and health environment standard OHSAS 18001.

During a visit to POF, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz made the following tribute:

"POF is an island of excellence for Pakistan. POF and its employees have played a critical and valuable role in bolstering Pakistan’s defence. We are all proud of what you have achieved. I wish you continued success in the future."

POF Industry

Mainstream Industries



POF produce approximately 70 major products for supply to the Pakistan Army, Navy and Air Force. The main products include automatic rifles, light/medium/heavy machine guns, a wide range of mortar and artillery ammunition, aircraft and anti-aircraft ammunition, tank and anti-tank ammunition, bombs, grenades, land mines, pyrotechnics and signal stores.


Aircraft and anti-aircraft ammunition

Artillery ammunition

A variety of grenades, artillery shells, mortar shells and other ammunition produced by POF, on display at the IDEAS 2008 Defence Exhibition in Karachi, Pakistan.

Mortar ammunition

Propellants and explosives

Pyrotechnics and demolition stores

Small arms ammunition


Tank and anti-tank ammunition

The Rheinmetall MG 3 machine gun, produced under license by POF, on display at the IDEAS 2008 Defense Exhibition in Karachi, Pakistan
Several HK MP5 and HK G3 variants produced by POF on display at an exhibition

Infantry weapons


Main article: POF Eye

POF Eye is a special-purpose hand-held weapon system similar in concept to the CornerShot that can fire weapons around corners. It was first revealed at the 5th International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS 2008), held at the Karachi Expo Centre in November 2008. It is designed for SWAT and special forces teams in hostile situations, particularly counter-terrorism and hostage rescue operations. It allows its operator to both see and attack an armed target without exposing the operator to counter-attack.


In addition to meeting the demands of Pakistan Defence Forces, POF products are in service with over 40 countries, in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas. Ammunition and rifles have been exported to countries such as Iraq, Croatia and Afghanistan for their respective military establishments.

POF specializes in the manufacturing of commercial explosives, hunting ammunition and possesses extensive facilities for the manufacture of brass, copper and aluminum ingots. A state of the art garments factory, manufactures military uniforms and can also cater for the needs of the civil sector.[11]

As of post 2010s, Pakistan has been aiming to push ahead with its export market but facing difficulties due to international guidelines enforced by the United Nations.[12]


August 2008 bombing

Main article: 2008 Wah bombing

On 21 August 2008, POF's industrial complex was the target of twin suicide bombings by the Tehrik-i-Taliban; 60 people were killed and 81 injured in the attack.[13]

See also


  1. Pakistan Ordnance Factories. "Contact Us". Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  2. 1 2 Haider, Mateen (28 November 2014). "Made in Pakistan". Dawn newspapers, 2014. Dawn newspapers. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  3. Pakistan Ordnance Factories. "About Us". Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  4. NTI Staff writers and editors. "NTI on POF". Nuclear Threat Initiatives. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  5. Pakistan Ordnance Factories. "Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  6. 1 2 staff writer. "History of POF". History of POF. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  7. John Pike. "Wah - Pakistan Special Weapons Facilities". Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  8. "Golden Jubilee of Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) Wah". Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  9. "Pakistan tests assault rifle" Jane's Defence Weekly (page 31), 07 March 2007 (can be viewed at URL:
  10., Homepage, Pakistan Ordnance Factories, Retrieved 23 October 2016
  12. "Pakistan finalising arrangements to target global arms market". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  13. "Pakistan suicide bombers hit arms factory in Pakistan". BBC. 21 August 2008. Archived from the original on 24 August 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2016.

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