ISLAMABAD - Country’s foremost firearms and ammunition manufacturer, the Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF), needs million of dollars to modernise its manufacturing facilities, sources said on Sunday.

The POF, according to the sources, has requested the government to release funds to replace some of its machinery, which is about 30-year old.

The sources also said that the government is considering the POF request on priority and is expected to release the required funds, so that the POF could upkeep its manufacturing facilities in order to meet the country’s defence needs.

The POF, which has been meeting its needs by exporting surplus manufactured goods, can double its exports to earn precious foreign exchange, provided its manufacturing facilities are modernised.

With 14 ordnance factories and three commercial subsidiaries, the POF is country’s primary supplier of small arms and sole supplier of ammunition.

Apart from armaments, the POF also manufactures commercial products including hunting rifles and brass.

The POF started taking some steps for modernising its manufacturing facilities in 2016, which included signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Italian company Sir Meccanica, a supplier of machining and other manufacturing equipment.

The POF also signed letters of understanding (LoUs) with various foreign companies for exploring business opportunities and developing new products for the POF.

However, the POF immediately needed millions of dollars to expedite the process.

The POF authorities in a recent meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence Production also highlighted challenges the POF is facing with the amount of funds its needs to modernise its facilities.

The committee after detailed briefing by the POF endorsed its request and asked the government to release the funds without further delay.