Gen Raheel urges self reliance in defence needs

TAXILA: Army chief General Raheel Sharif has emphasised the need to maintain international quality standards in defence production that would ultimately reduce the country’s import bill through self-reliance.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) visited the Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) on Thursday to review the preparedness of the military’s armed warfare production line. HIT is considered the home of army’s armour production, especially tanks, armoured personnel carriers and other mechanised vehicles

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Gen Raheel lauded the efforts of HIT in manufacturing defence and safety equipment on international standards to support the army’s field formations, especially in Operation Zarb-e-Azb.

The army chief also appreciated the production of locally developed security vehicle named Mohafiz.

While calling for increased efforts of indigenisation and commercialisation of HIT products, he emphasised the need to maintain highest standards of quality that would save the national exchequer through army’s self-reliance.

During his visit to the facility, Gen Raheel was briefed by HIT head Lt Gen Wajid Hussain on the products manufactured for defence and commercial purposes. He also told the army chief about the details of the factory’s various facilities, according to the ISPR.

Wajid also briefed him about Pakistan’s main battle tank ‘Al-Khalid-I’ besides the manufacturing and rebuilding of armoured personnel carriers, security vehicles Dragon and Mohafiz.

The army chief also witnessed the assembly and demonstration of the Al-Khalid-I tank.

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