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Heavy build factories -- a step towards self-reliance.

Heavy Build Factories - A Step Towards Self-Reliance

Pakistan Army is maintaining a large fleet of Chinese origin tanks T-59, which have been in service for the last over 20 years. A need for establishing facilities to rebuild these tanks and manufacture fastmoving items arose when mechanical condition of this vital equipment deteriorated due to continuous use. The situation further got aggravated after Indo-Pak War of 1971. It was then realised that the establishmewnt of comprehensive facilities to rebuild these tanks was inevitable. After evaluating the problem in detail, it was decided to install these facilities in Pakistan, which will have the following distinct advantages: - Economical - Achievement of self-reliance - Less turnaround time

Since the equipment was of Chinese origin, the government of Peoples Republic of China offered to undertake this assignment. Consequently, an agreement was concluded with it and Project P-711 came into existence. This project has come a long way from its inception in 1971 to its inauguration in 1979 and successfully went into regular production thereafter. In its short history of about 11 years HRFs successfully ran through the first rebuild cycle of almost all the fleet of Chinese tanks. This established a firm industrial base which could either be used to undertake the second rebuild cycle of these tanks or it could be suitably balanced and expanded for the manufacture of important defence equipment in addition to the assigned task. After long deliberations second course of action was approved for execution and, consequently, the following additional projects were sanctioned by the government for the progressive manufacture of Pakistan's most modern tanks MBT-2000 and Armoured Personnel Carriers M-113A2P: - APC Manufacture - Hull Fabrication - Turret Manufacture - Engine Manufacture - Gun Barrel Manufacture - Flexible Mechandising Centre - Management and Information System


All these projects are now under implementation and progressing satisfactorily as per laid down schedules.

Rebuild Projects

T-Series Factory (P-711): This is an extremely versatile set-up which has been established with the assistance of Peoples Republic of China. It has performed exceedingly well in the execution of its assigned task. In addition, it has nourished all the new projects by rendering active support in men and materials, thereby, providing a firm base from where a gigantic Tank Manufacturing Project has emerged. Major achievements of this project are: - Completion of the first rebuild cycle of

T-59 Tanks - Out of approximately 11,000 replaceable

tank components, 9000 are now

made in Pakistan. Half of these in

HRFs and almost equal number

through 350 private industrial units. - Reclamation of over 900 components - Up-gradation of T-59 Tanks - Manufacture of Tungsten Carbide Tips

and cutting tools like Broaches, Reamers,

Cutter etc.

Project P-711K: This project is an extension of P-711. It has also been established in collaboration with Peoples Republic of China. Initially, it was planned to carry out in-house manufacture of 3169 fast-moving parts to support our Own rebuild programme. During early 80s, HRFs fully absorbed the technology to carry out mass production of these items. In order to achieve self-reliance, it was decided to undertake in-house manufacture of more complicated components in such a way that production of 26 complete major and minor assemblies of a tank was possible. This project has since been commissioned and pilot production commenced. This will substantially reduce the inventory items presently being imported from China.

M-Series Project: Pakistan Army is holding a large number of Tracked Vehicles of American origin. These have been in use for quite sometime and a large number of tanks, as well as Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), are now due for rebuild. After detailed technical evaluation, it was decided to establish independent facilities to rebuild these vehicles. Keeping in view the intricacy of the equipment to be rebuilt, it was planned to collaborate with foreign firms having adequate experience in this field. As a result of negotiations with a a number of firms abroad and critically examining their offers, M/s. General Dynamics of USA were considered most suitable to undertake this project successfully. "A team of experts from M/s. General Dynamics is now in position and Project is progressing according to Schedule. Rebuild of APC M113 A2, on trial basis, has since commenced.

Manufacturing Projects

Manufacture of Main Battle Tank (MBT) T-69 II MP: HRF's has been asked to produce Tank T-69 II MP by the end of December 1990. In order to accomplish the assigned task within allocated period, a protocol was signed with China on December 7, 1988, which included establishment of the following factories: - Hull Fabrication Factory - Turret Manufacturing Factory - Engine Manufacturing Factory - Gun Barrel Manufacturing Factory - Flexible Machining Centre.

The aforementioned factories are being established by specially dedicated projects with the active participation of M/s. NORINCO of Peoples Republic of China. The work on these projects has since commenced in the right earnest and it has been planned to make these facilities operational by December 1990. Present status and anticipated progress during next 1-1/2 years are briefly indicated in succeeding paragraphs.

Hull Fabrication Project: Fabrication of ARV Hulls of Chinese origin has already been taken in hand in HRFs. Armour plates have arrived from China whereas machinery, tooling, jigs and fixtures are being received in batches. It has been planned that in order to telescope the time, the imported machinery, tooling, jigs and fixtures and other items will also be utilized for fabricating Tank Hull. So far 10 Hull of ARV have been fabricated.

Turett Manufacturing Project: Chinese have proposed the manufacture of Turret jointly in HFF and HRFs. Substantial facilities for the project are available in HFF, which have been activated at a fast pace. HFF have cast two Turrets which are under technical evaluation.

Engine Manufacturing Project: Existing fleet of Chinese Tanks (T-59) is equipped with 520 HP engines. Modified version of these tanks, that is, T-69 II MP have been fitted with 580 HP engines. Chinese have upgraded this engine to 730 HP, which, they are using in their Main Battle Tank, T-80. This project is being established to undertake progressive manufacture of various varieties of diesel engines under the technical advice of the Chinese experts. Nucleus manpower has been placed in position and necessary spade work or project planning has since commenced. Installation of essential machinery has also been undertaken. Trial manufacture of some common components of 520 and 580 HP engines has already started.

Gun Barrel Manufacturing Project: It has been planned that the Gun Barrel Manufacturing facilities, available with HFF, should be activated and utilized for the manufacture of Gun Barrel in Pakistan. A nucleus of the project has been established and planning of various activities since commenced. Civil works have been taken in hand at a very fast pace. This project will also undertake progressive manufacture of 155 mm guns.

Flexible Machining Centre: The philosophy being adopted in planning this project is to develop expertise in different systems. These will then be interfaced in the production of many end items both for the military and civil applications. In this Flexible Machining Centre, instead of normal conventional and dedicated machines, Computerized Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines will be installed for easy adoption. Consequently, facilities established to manufacture T-69 II MP Tanks would also be utilized for the manufacture of other tanks or similar types of equipment.

Co-production MBT-2000(P-90) Tank Khalid: All these new projects will help to produce Pakistan's Main Battle Tank Khalid. This programme is being implemented in collaboration with Peoples Republic of China. Tank manufacturing project is a gigantic programme which will be exclusively undertaken by Pakistani as well as Chinese engineers from very beginning. First phase of this project i.e. production of Tank T-69 II MP, using the existing assembly line and facilities of P-711, has already been completed. This tank contains 50 per cent imported and 50 per cent indigenously manufactured spare parts. One Tank T-69 II MP, also participated in Pakistan Day Parade on 23rd March, 1990.

Foundation stone of Tank Manufacturing Factory was formally laid by Chief of the Army Staff on 19th July 1990. Tank P-90 (Khalid) will be manufactured using 80-85 per cent locally produced parts and will be one of the best tanks of the world. This project is planned to go into regular production by early 1994. This will be the first time that Pakistan will acquire know-how to design and then develop a tank. This base could then be utilized to produce any other tanks to suit our requirements. This project will involve finances to the tune of Rs. 2500 crore with production rate of 150 to 200 tanks per year. First prototype will be ready by June 1990.

Armoured Recovery Vehicles (ARVs) Project: This project is a significant step towards the local manufacture of tank in Pakistan. It started with the assistance of Peoples Republic of China and was planned to carry out progressive manufacture of Army Recovery Vehicles (ARVs) in three phases. In its final phase, currently these ARVs are being completed as per scheduled using indigenously manufactured hulls and other miscellaneous parts.

APC Manufacture: Proposal to undertake progressive manufacture and assembly of APCs M-113A2 in Pakistan was initiated sometime back. Project evaluation was carried out which established that the proposal was technically as well as financially viable. During late 1988, it was formally approved to establish this project at Taxila Cantt under administrative, technical and financial control of the Director General HRFs. For in-country production of APCs the following steps were planned. - Concluding the contract with some

suitable firm for collaboration to establish

the facilities. - Training of our engineers and technicians

before commencement of pilot

production. - Planning to undertake deletion of selected

items from import list and commencement

of indigenous manufacture

of these parts. - Start of regular production.

Within a short span of time, this project has gained appreciable momentum. A contract with M/s. FMC Corporation for co-production of APC has been concluded. On-the-job training of our engineers and technicians in US has been completed. A progressive deletion programme has also been planned for which required technical know-how is being provided by M/s FMC. As per terms and conditions of the contract, 50 per cent deletion of parts will be achieved by the time 500 APCs are manufactured.

Once the manufacturing facilities for APCs M13A2 are established, these will be utilized for their subsequent modification and production of Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicles (AIFV). It has also been planned to convert this project into a joint venture later on. Trial production of APC M-113A2P has since commenced and the first vehicle produced also participated in 23 March Joint Services Parade 1990.

Miscellaneous Activities

Indigenous Manufacture: Indigenous manufacture of spare parts is an extremely important activity which was considered essential to initial and execute deletion programme effectively. To undertake this assignment, a small establishment called "Product Development Wing" was raised during 1973. The primary object of this department was to organise and undertake indigenous production of those non-metallic and metallic items which were not planned for manufacture in HRFs. The philosophy of development work followed by this small but effective set-up is based on "Tripartite Participation" or a "Triangular Effort" i.e. by the "Manufacturers", the "Users" and the "Development Agency". This "Triangular Effort" so far has proved extremely useful and with the active participation of about 350 firms all over Pakistan the Wing has successfully got over 4000 spare parts of tank T-59 developed/manufactured in bulk. In addition to tank T-59, this Wing is also being loaded for development and ultimate production of fast-moving spare parts for M-Series Tracked Vehicles.

Management and Information Systems (MIS): Commitments of HRFs have increased manifold during the last couple of years. With the present expansion, it was realized that for better efficiency computerisation of certain activities of HRFs was inevitable. In view of that Management and Information Systems Department, comprising of the following, has been established. - Computer Wing with the facility of Data

Automation Centre and CAD/CAM

(Computer Aided Design and Computer

Aided Manufacture System). - Micro Filming and Photography Wing

with the facility of microfiche reader/ printer, covering the worldwide defence

production, standards of materials, specifications, engineering drawings

and technical management. - Archive and Data Storage Bank for

information-handling services to all the

projects of HRFs in the form of computerised

library and archive of video

cassettes, computer diskettes and

magnetic tapes.

By the grace of God this project is now acting as an electronic brain to monitor the multifarious activities of all the factories of HRFs.

Heavy Defence Industries Board: With the addition of new projects, HRFs have expanded into an industrial complex. From rebuild of tanks, HRFs have not entered into an era of tank and APC manufacture. In addition, high-technology items like Hull, Turret, Engine and Gun Barrel will also be produced in this set-up. Keeping in view all these activities, and related technical problems, conversion of HRFs into heavy Defence Industries (HDI) Board has been proposed. This will have following merits: - Speedy decision-making - Systems integration of component

factories - Absorption of new defence technology

from friendly countries - Provision of opportunities for indigenization

and enhancing commercial potentials - Exploring export avenues for the defence

products - Strengthening R&D activities in various


Future Plans

HRFs have a great potential for further expansion. According to preliminary planning, manufacture of Main Battle Tanks in Pakistan would commence during 1994-95. To support this programme, the following additional projects are under technical evaluation and would be considered for adoption if found feasible: - Hydraulic factory - Facilities to manufacture Fire Control

Instruments - Manufacture of Armoured Infantry Fighting

Vehicles - Self Propelled Guns Manufacturing



Manufacture of our own tank and other vital defence equipment has been a dream of the nation since the creation of Pakistan. Allah has been kind to provide us a political opportunity and a technical base to undertake this important national task. Since one single organization could not handle such a gigantic assignment independently, it was planned to have support of the entire industrial facilities of the country to fulfil this cherished goal. In addition to tank rebuild facilities, which were established in the 70s, HRFs have also been expanded to form a solid defence industrial base in the country. This has, consequently, culminated in the establishment of a number of rebuild as well as manufacturing factories, which are coming up at very fast pace. By virtue of this, HRFs have now entered a new era of defence production with the following functions: - Rebuild, which includes T-Series and

M-Series Factories - Manufacture, which includes APC,

Hull, Turret, Engine and Barrel manufacturing

facilities. These will ultimately

be aimed at producing Main Battle

Tanks in Pakistan through systems production concept to be achieved by

Flexible Machining Centre - Indigenous manufacture of spare

parts through Product Development

Wing - Provision of information-management

support to all the factories of HRFs by

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Title Annotation:heavy military hardware production in Pakistan
Author:Burki, Farhat Ali
Publication:Economic Review
Date:Nov 1, 1990
Previous Article:Sustainable development imperative for meeting future food needs.
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