ISLAMABAD, July 24: After delivering two armoured personnel carriers to Balochistan police, the Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) is set to deliver 11 APCs to Sindh police under a US aid project.
The Narcotics Affairs Section (NAS) of the United States had placed an order for 25 APCs in April last and the remaining 12 vehicles will be delivered to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police in September.
“The delivery date is in November but the project will be completed by the end of August and the deliveries will begin in September,” an HIT official said.
“We have completed the manufacturing of 25 APCs ahead of time to prepare for the next order.”
The NAS last week floated an international order for 50 APCs of B-6 protection grade and the HIT is preparing to participate in the bidding process.
A HIT spokesman, talking to a select group of journalists on Tuesday, said the APCs provided to the NAS were not only cost-effective but met the international quality standard requirements.
“International inspection agencies ensure the quality of our products and these standards are recognised by Nato,” he claimed.
The APCs supplied by the HIT cost $180,000 to $200,000 per vehicle, while the price offered by the closest rival from Turkey was almost double.
Most of the country’s civil forces, including police, have demanded Mohafiz – the APCs made by the HIT for the B-6 protection level. B-6 is the armour protection level against the standard Nato bullets of 7.62mm, while B-7 has higher degree of protection, mainly used by armies.
“However, in wake of growing sophistication in arms being used by terrorists and militants, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police have demanded one B-7 Mohafiz,” the spokesman said.
He said that after the Lyari operation held in April and May the Sindh police were also planning to procure one B-7 Mohafiz APC, while an order for 20 more vehicles had been signed with the provincial government.
Sindh has a fleet of 35 APCs of which 15 are with tracks and 20 are of Mohafiz class which have wheels.