KARACHI - Pakistans Al Khalid Tank is widely being considered one of the most competent Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) in the global arms market. The Al Khalid II is said to have a new armor that has been tested to defeat all known 120mm and 125mm rounds. This special armour is a major technological breakthrough for Pakistan. The tank has received a new transmission and revised electronic turret control.
This was stated by Syed Muhammad Ali, the first certified military concept tank designer of Pakistan, while talking to The Nation.
He said that the Al Khalid II has a new Integrated Battle Management System (IBMS) and active threat-protection system, the latter being an upgrade from the passive system in the earlier model.
The tank is now perhaps the most heavily weaponized per tonnage of any tank, being able to carry 49 125mm rounds, 1,500 12.7mm and 7,100 7.62mm rounds.
He said that Al-Khalid is modern battle tank developed by Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT).
Al Khalid consists of all the modern technologies required by latest generation tanks. Alkhalid is fitted with Ukranian engine that generated 1200 horse power. It has six forward automatic transmission. Its top speed is 72km/h. It weighs 47 tonnes.
Al-Khalid is operated by a three man crew; a driver, a gunner, and a commander.
Al-khalid consist of a self loading 125m smooth bore gun. It can also fire HEAT and APFSDS (Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot) rounds. It automatically load, fire and eject the empty case.
Because of self loading gun, the crew number is reduced. The gun is equipped with a stabilizing system which provides accurate shot of the target even if the tank is moving.
It also comes with an imaging system which enables the crew members to track down various targets and engage them. It is also equipped with a 7.62mm co-axial machine gun and a 12.5mm anti-aircraft gun mounted above it.
In terms of sheer numbers, Forecast International expects Pakistans Al Khalid, the Type 98 of the Peoples Republic of China, and the Russian Federations T-90 (including Indias licensed T-90S production program) to continue to dominate the market.
In the international market for main battle tanks, the days of U.S. and European domination over new production are long gone.
Al Khalid is also equipped with night vision devices that enables it for combat at night time. It also has protection for NBC (Nuclear, Biological & chemical) warfare and thus the crew member would be safe incase of NBC fallout.
Al-Khalid can also be fitted with Explosives Reactive Armor (ERA).
Al-Khalid is currently in service with the Pakistan Army. Pakistan also export Al Khalid to various countries like Saudi-Arabia.