IDEAS 2018: First-ever multipurpose battle vehicles launched

Pakistan joins hands with US firm to manufacture cargo vessels

Salman Siddiqui December 01, 2018

KARACHI: Pakistan has successfully launched the first-ever 'multipurpose infantry fighting vehicle' which will increase the combat capability of its armed forces in battlefields.

"We have launched for the first time in the history a multipurpose infantry fighting vehicle (MIFV) named [after the venomous snake] VIPER," Heavy Industries Taxila's (HIT) official told The Express Tribune at the 10th edition of the four-day International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS 2018), which concluded on Friday.

The huge vehicle is loaded with four major guns capable of shooting enemy and destroying tanks and other battle equipment and machinery from a distance of around four kilometres with the help of 'gunner sight'.

Besides, it has a built-in 'smoke grenade launcher' which if and when triggered creates a screen of smoke in front of the VIPER and helps it disappear to change its location in tactical battle.

"It is also capable of shooting low-flying fighter jets," the official elaborated.

"The multipurpose vehicle is capable of protecting the travelling troops," he said, adding that the vehicle contains capacity to mobilise as many as 13 seated troops at a time and move as fast as 75 kilometres per hour.

He said many international delegations, including those from brotherly countries in the Middle East and African regions, have expressed great interest in acquiring the VIPER.

Mining, IED protected vehicle

Cavalier Group Lead Design Engineer Hamza Khaliq said they have unveiled HAMZA 6X6 Infantry Fighting Vehicle, which is a ‘mining protected vehicle’.

IDEAS 2018: Overview of Pakistan's burgeoning defence capability

The giant vehicle is capable of protecting travelling troops from improvised explosive device (IED) and grenade attacks. "It is capable of travelling 100 kilometres after surviving a mining attack," he said.

Vessels hub

Pakistan is set to become a regional hub for manufacturing cargo vessels as Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works joined hands with the US firm Swiftships.

"A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been singed between Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works and Swiftships USA for collaboration regarding co-production of steel, aluminum and fibre hull boats for Pakistan Navy, local ports and fishing industry and other countries," he said.

The MoU enables Pakistan to manufacture vessels for foreign counties. "We have won the MoU on the basis of cost-effective labour," he said. "Pakistani labour is one-third to one-fourth cost effective in vessel manufacturing when compared to the world.

"It is also 25 per cent cost effective when compared with China. Cost-effective labour is our wining point of becoming the regional hub for manufacturing vessels for the world," he said.


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