Ground Warfare

Pakistan Unveils First Locally Made Haider (Lion Heart) Main Battle Tank


Pakistan Unveils First Locally Made Haider (Lion Heart) Main Battle Tank

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Pakistan Unveils First Locally Made Haider (Lion Heart) Main Battle Tank
Pakistan Unveils First Locally Made Haider (Lion Heart) Main Battle Tank

The unveiling of Pakistan’s first locally made Haider (Lion Heart) Main Battle Tank (MBT) marks a significant milestone in the country’s indigenous defense manufacturing capabilities. The collaboration between Pakistan’s Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) and China’s NORINCO underscores the depth of cooperation between the two countries in enhancing Pakistan’s military strength. The Haider, based on the Chinese VT4, represents a continuation of the longstanding partnership in defense technology between Pakistan and China. Its design influence is based on the Chinese VT-4, its existence was revealed in UAE’s IDEX in 2023, which was displayed on the Pavilion of Pakistan. This partnership extends beyond tank development, with notable examples like the JF-17 Thunder, a multi-role combat aircraft jointly developed by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and China’s Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC).

The design of Haider MBT is conventional with the driver seated at the front center of the hull, the turret in the middle and the engine in rear. The tank has a crew of three: Driver, Commander and Gunner. The main armament of the tank consists of a 125mm Smoothbore gun that is able to fire a variety of ammunition. The secondary armament consists of one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and a remotely operated weapon station mounted at the rear of the commander hatch that is armed with a 12.7mm machine gun. The tank’s Suspension system is made of six road wheels on each side with the first and former wheels mounted on hydraulic shock absorbers. The tank is also powered by a four-stroke turbocharged electronically controlled diesel engine that makes it of 1200 HP along with a hydro-mechanical automatic transmission. It can attain a maximum speed of 70 km/h (with maximum cruising range of 500 km).

The Haider’s Tank Armor on the turret and the hull is an amalgam of composite, reactive and spaced armor. Composite armor is made up of layers of Ceramics, Metals and Polymers that help to resist the penetration by external threats. They are lighter in weight and are effective. The ceramic materials absorbs projectile penetration by fragmentation, diminishing the penetration. The Reactive armor uses the charges from explosives to deflect the incoming projectiles. ERA’s are mounted on most vulnerable points on the tank such as the hull and the entire turret. Spaced armor is made of two layers of armor with a gap in between slowing the impulse of the incoming projectiles and increasing the collision time. In addition the front hull is protected by Explosive Reactive Armored Package.

The Haider MBT is equipped with an advanced fire control system that contains a variety of sensors and targeting device to enhance the tank’s accuracy and lethality. This system is designed to help the tank’s crew clear view of the battle field and to identify and engage threats effectively. The main gun of the tank is equipped with thermal imaging sight, Laser rangefinder and a Panoramic commander’s sight. The fire control system also includes a ballistic computer which calculates the firing solution for the main gun based on the target’s distance, angle and various other parameters. This assists the crew to ensure that the tank’s rounds hit their target accurately and with maximum effect. With addition to these features, the lethality of the tank is further increased by the addition of a sophisticated ballistic computer that with pinpoint accuracy, calculates the firing solution for the main gun. This feature promises accuracy with precision.

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