Pakistani army welcomes locally-made ‘M113’ anti-tank vehicle

The military power of Pakistan is now reinforced by a locally-produced tank vehicle, the MAAZ anti-tank unit, according to sources within the country. 

Pakistani army welcomes locally-made 'M113' anti-tank vehicle
Photo credit: jjamwal.in

Renowned as a marvel of Pakistani military design, the MAAZ anti-tank vehicle is equipped with advanced capabilities designed to confront formidable armored threats in warfare. This tactical vehicle is the product of the celebrated Pakistani defense industry, Heavy Industries Taxila [HIT]. In an impressive blend of engineering and design, the MAAZ is modeled on the Talha Armored Personnel Carrier – a notable Pakistani adaptation of the traditional American M113 APC.

With its compact dimensions, the MAAZ anti-tank vehicle is an agile and highly adaptable asset in battle situations. It measures approximately 5.2 meters in length, 2.5 meters in width, and 2.7 meters in height, a size that enables it to skillfully navigate through challenging terrains and cityscapes. 

Pakistani army welcomes locally-made 'M113' anti-tank vehicle
Photo credit: jjamwal.in

Powered by a 275 horsepower diesel engine, the MAAZ can reach maximum speeds of around 70 kilometers per hour on paved surfaces, and approximately 30 kilometers per hour on uneven terrains. With a remarkable range of about 500 kilometers, it’s excellently equipped for long-term mission operations. This vehicle is designed with a fully tracked drive, significantly enhancing its off-road capabilities.

When it comes to technological superiority, the MAAZ leads the pack with numerous advanced systems designed to enhance its battle effectiveness. The vehicle boasts an automated fire control system, improving the precision of aiming and shooting. Additionally, it’s equipped with night vision, allowing seamless operation in low-light conditions. The MAAZ also features a state-of-the-art communication system to foster efficient coordination with other units. 

The MAAZ anti-tank vehicle is armed with formidable weaponry. Its primary weapon is the Baktar-Shikan anti-tank guided missile system, a localized Pakistani version of China’s robust HJ-8, or Red Arrow 8 anti-tank missile. Always ready for action, the vehicle houses a total of eight missiles. Simultaneously, it’s equipped with a 12.7mm machine gun, enabling it to engage in close-quarter combat and defend against foot soldiers.

Pakistani army welcomes locally-made 'M113' anti-tank vehicle
Photo credit: pakstrategic.com

Pakistan developed an anti-tank-guided missile system named the Baktar-Shikan. Essentially, this is an upgraded version of the Chinese HJ-8, or Red Arrow 8. Since the 1990s, Pakistan has been manufacturing this missile system under license. Its primary function is to obliterate armored vehicles, fortified bunkers, and similar targets. 

This missile system isn’t cumbersome. In fact, a team of two operators can manage it quite effortlessly. The Baktar-Shikan is impressive for its flexibility regarding launch platforms, as it can be launched from vehicles, helicopters, and ground-based launchers. Furthermore, it’s notable for its versatility on the battlefield, courtesy of its design that includes direct and top attack modes.

When discussing dimensions, the Baktar-Shikan missile measures around 1200mm in length and has a diameter of 120mm. It weighs roughly 11.8 kg. The launcher weighs in at around 22.5 kg, making the entire system light enough for relatively easy transportation. 

Featuring a Semi-Automatic Command to Line of Sight [SACLOS] guidance system, the Baktar-Shikan requires its operators to keep their target in sight until the missile reaches its destination. Its propulsion system relies on a two-stage solid propellant rocket motor, and it is guided by wire.

The operational scope of Baktar-Shikan definitely commands attention. Its capability to hit targets ranging from 100 to 3000 meters allows for deployment from a safe distance, effectively keeping the personnel operating it shielded from immediate danger. 

The missile employed in the Baktar-Shikan system is a tandem-charge High-Explosive Anti-Tank [HEAT] missile. It’s explicitly built to overcome reactive armor routinely found on modern tanks. With a warhead that can penetrate up to 800mm of armor, this missile poses a significant threat to armored targets.

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