Monday, March 4, 2024

Viper Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV)

Unveiled at IDEAS 2018 by Heavy Industries Taxila, the Viper Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) signifies Pakistan’s commitment to modernizing its ground forces. With a design versatile enough for potential deployment along the eastern border to counter conventional threats from India or in counter-insurgency operations, this Infantry Fighting Vehicle represents a critical advancement in the Pakistan Army’s capabilities.

The Viper Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) harmoniously combines the sturdy APC Saad’s chassis with the state-of-the-art Terra-30 combat module, creating an effective and low-cost synergy that boosts both mobility and firepower.

The Chassis

The Viper IFV employs an up-armored Sa’ad APC as its chassis. APC Sa’ad, crafted by APC Factory at HIT, features a flexible design accommodating a German Deutz TCD 2015 V6 engine with 408 HP and automatic transmission. Enhanced survivability is achieved with external fuel tanks and optional Bolt-on armour. Capable of 75 km/h speed, 60% straight slope climb, and water fording, it offers optional features like Add-on armour, Spall Liner, NBC Kit, and Air Conditioning System. Final dimensions of the production version of IFV are debatable as one vehicle spotted in September 2023 had reduced height and improved rubber tracks. Possibility of a new power pack can’t be denied either. Firing ports of the vehicle were also removed as they were not needed.

The Combat Module

2018 prototype had a Slovakian Terra-30 RCWS on it. Pakistan also tested Ukranian BM-7 Parus RCWS for this program, however it was not selected.

The Terra-30 is a Slovakian remote-controlled weapon station manufactured by the Slovakian firm EVPÚ. It is equipped with a 30mm cannon, with options for either the Mk-44 Bushmaster-II or the Russian 2A42 as its main armament. It offers versatility by allowing the integration of 2x launchers of either the Israeli Spike or the Russian Kornet anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system. It also features a 7.62mm machine gun and 4x smoke grenade launchers which can cover 120º at the front of the vehicle.

Dimensions of the system are as following:

  • Total Weight: 1,540 kg
  • Length (without main gun): 2.24 m
  • Height: 0.765 m
  • Width: 2.021 m

Combat module also features TV CCD Day camera, Infrared night camera and laser range finder. The turret is full electrically operated and stabilized with traverse on 360º and weapon elevation from -10° to +70º. The version purchased by Pakistan has Russian origin armaments on it.

Current Status

The Viper IFV is currently in serial production, and Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) is actively engaged in refining its design. Additionally, a pilot production batch of the IFV was reportedly delivered to the Pakistan Army for field testing.

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