KARACHI: Streit Group is all set to display their locally-manufactured armoured personnel carriers (APCs) during the 9th International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS), which will be held from November 22 to November 25 at the Expo Centre.
The Canadian company has been working in Pakistan since the establishment of their plant in Korangi in December, 2012, and it has 14 manufacturing plants worldwide with 25 global offices.
The display seeks to attract local and international markets along with paramilitary forces of the country. Previously, the company also participated in the exhibition in 2014 with seven imported APCs but this time the vehicles have been exclusively built in Pakistan.
Sharing details of his product, CEO of the group, Khalid Yousuf, said that they are showcasing two APCs, Chitta and Cougar, and five SUVs and Sedan, which are B6 level of armoured protection. Yousuf said that their APCs, which cost around Rs20 million, are much cheaper than the vehicles being sold in the market.
Built on Toyota Land cruiser chassis and engine, these APCs can reach speed of more than 100 kilometres (km) per hour while the existing APCs in the market can only reach up to a maximum of 20 or 40 km per hour, added Yousuf.
Pointing out the difficulties Punjab police faced during an operation against the famous dacoit, Yousuf said that the APCs used by the Punjab police found it quite difficult to go through the off-road track. However, the company’s APCs developed can travel on off-road tracks quiet easily.
With capacity of nine personnel inside, these APC provide capacity to keep weapons and possesses a turret on the roof that enables 360-degree firing. Even the fuel tanks, engine and battery of the vehicles are bullet-proof and the APC is mine-proof.
The incessant need for police to get new, stronger and better quality APCs was highlighted when seven officers were killed when armed men ambushed an APC in Lyari in 2012 and the bullets penetrated the vehicle killing and wounding officers inside.
We are also focusing on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as the government has decided to provide adequate security to the project, said Yousuf, adding that the federal government has acquired seven vehicles from them.
Talking about the vehicles, former Sindh IG Afzal Shigri said that these APCs are quite essential especially in areas where police encounter violent mobs.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2016.