During IDEX 2023, an International Defense Exhibition held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) of Pakistan introduced their latest locally-manufactured Main Battle Tank named “Pakistan’s Haider Main Battle Tank”. This tank was initially showcased at the IDEAS defense exhibition in Pakistan in November 2022.
Pakistan has been producing domestic Main Battle Tanks for several years now, such as the Al-Zarar which is derived from the Chinese Type 59, and the Al-Khalid which is built using the design and technologies of the Chinese MBT-2000.
The Haider Main Battle Tank (MBT) is designed using the Chinese VT4 and follows in the footsteps of the Al-Zarar and Al-Khalid tanks. At IDEX 2023, a scaled model of the Haider was showcased at the Pakistan Pavilion. According to a Pakistani manufacturer, the new Haider MBT has been created using the blueprint of the Chinese VT4.
The VT4, which is also referred to as the MBT-3000, is a third-generation main battle tank manufactured and developed by the Chinese firm NORINCO. It is an exported version of the Type 99G tank that is currently used by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
The Haider has a conventional design, with the driver located at the front center of the hull, the turret positioned in the middle, and the engine situated at the rear. The tank has a crew of three, comprising a driver, commander, and gunner.
The Haider’s primary armament is a 125mm smoothbore gun capable of firing a variety of ammunition types, such as APFSDS (Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot), HE (High Explosive), HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank), and anti-tank guided missiles. The tank can hold up to 38 rounds of ammunition. Additionally, it is equipped with a secondary armament consisting of a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and a remotely operated weapon station mounted at the rear of the commander hatch, which is armed with a 12.7mm heavy machine gun.
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The Haider tank’s turret and hull are protected by a combination of composite, reactive, and spaced armor. The composite armor is composed of multiple layers of materials such as ceramics, metals, and polymers that collaborate to resist penetration by projectiles. Reactive armor incorporates explosive charges to interrupt and deflect incoming projectiles, while spaced armor comprises two layers of armor separated by a gap that helps to absorb the energy of incoming projectiles. Additionally, the front of the hull is equipped with an ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor) package.
The Haider tank is equipped with a torsion bar suspension system, which includes six road wheels on each side. The first and last road wheels are mounted on hydraulic shock absorbers. Each road wheel is mounted on its own torsion bar. The tank’s idler is located at the front, while the drive sprocket is at the rear. The tank is powered by a four-stroke turbocharged electronically-controlled Diesel engine capable of producing 1,200 horsepower, which is connected to a hydro-mechanical automatic transmission. The tank has a maximum road speed of 70 km/h and a maximum cruising range of 500 km.
The Haider tank is equipped with a state-of-the-art fire control system that features a range of sensors and targeting devices, which improve the tank’s accuracy and effectiveness in combat. The system is designed to provide the tank’s crew with a clear view of the battlefield and assist them in identifying and engaging targets quickly and precisely.
The Haider tank’s primary weapon is fitted with a thermal imaging sight, which enables the gunner to detect heat signatures from targets at long distances, even in low-light environments. The sight also includes a laser rangefinder, which helps the gunner to determine the precise distance to a target. Apart from the thermal imaging sight, the tank also features a panoramic commander’s sight, which offers a 360-degree view of the battlefield. This allows the tank commander to detect potential threats and direct the tank’s movement and firepower accordingly.
The Haider tank’s fire control system also incorporates a sophisticated ballistic computer that accurately calculates the firing solution for the main gun, taking into account the target’s distance, angle, and other relevant parameters. This advanced feature guarantees that the tank’s ammunition hits its intended target with precision and maximum impact.
In summary, the Haider tank’s advanced fire control system provides its crew with exceptional situational awareness and targeting ability, making it a potent and effective combat vehicle on the modern battlefield. The tank’s combination of advanced sensors, targeting devices, and ballistic computer technology enable its crew to identify and engage targets with precision and speed, giving them a significant advantage in combat situations.
In conclusion, the introduction of “Pakistan’s Haider Main Battle Tank” at IDEX 2023 is a significant achievement for Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) and the Pakistani defense industry. With its cutting-edge features and capabilities, the Haider tank is set to make its mark on the global battlefield. As HIT continues to innovate and push the boundaries of technology, it is clear that Pakistan is positioning itself as a key player in the international defense industry. We look forward to seeing how this latest addition to Pakistan’s military arsenal performs in the field and its impact on the country’s defense capabilities.