I started working on many projects, which also included the manufacture of a German-designed armoured recovery vehicle (ARV). This was based on the utilization of the hull of an obsolete M47 American tank, and the boom crane and the winch of Leopard II German tank. The army carried out extensive tests and trials and the prototype was approved.
In the meantime, a team headed by the then COAS, Gen Mirza Aslam Beg, visited China and signed an MoU to buy 91 ARVs of Chinese origin, and that too in completely built units (CBU) configurations.
The case for the final purchase of these ARVs was sent to the ministry of defence production. When the proposed file was sent to MVRDE for our comments, we strongly opposed the idea of buying completely built units, and recommended that we should indigenously manufacture the German-designed ARVs, which were much superior and stood approved by the army. To break this deadlock we were asked to negotiate with the Chinese. Initially, they were very reluctant to change the MoU, which had already been signed. Ultimately, after negotiations lasting over a month or so, we made them accept that some of these ARVs would come as completely built units, some as semi-knocked-down units (SKD), some as completely knocked-down (CKD) units and the last five hulls would be entirely fabricated in Pakistan.
Complete transfer of technology, with tools, jigs and fixtures, was made part of the contract, without paying extra money. Thus the first step for the manufacture of our own tank was taken without any fuss or fanfare.
Source : Dawn
Later, a protocol was signed between China and Pakistan to set up facilities for the license production of Chinese Type-69 II BMPs. The ARV hulls were, however, imported from China along with armour plates, while other parts were manufactured in Pakistan under the technical advice of Chinese experts.