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  • HIT Al Khalid (MBT 2000) Main Battle Tank (MBT)

    The Al Khalid is nothing more than the NORINCO brand Type 90-IIM Main Battle Tank developed to suit Pakistani Army requirements.

     Updated: 6/14/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The Al-Khalid is essentially a hybrid tank design with systems, armament and subsystems originating from a variety of global sources though the tank system itself, as a whole, is a locally-produced product native to Pakistan. Its indirect lineage can be traced back to the Soviet Cold War-era T-54 series while its direct lineage stems from the Chinese NORINCO Type 90-II main battle tank. Additionally, engines are of Ukrainian origin while production is handled within Pakistan. In most respects, the Al-Khalid can be viewed as the "ultimate" evolution of the successful Soviet T-54 system.

    Design on the Al-Khalid ran through most of the 1990's to which the system was then known as the "MBT 2000". Design was handled on both the part of NORINCO Factory 617 of China and Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) of Pakistan with a partnership officially inked in January of 1990. Prototypes appeared the following year and went into evaluation. At the core of the new tank design was to be ease-of-production, a system that could readily accept the use of foreign powerpacks.

    There appeared four major prototypes designated simply as P1, P2, P3 and P4. Each was differentiated mainly by their selection of powerplants. The P1 sported the German-based MTU-396 diesel engine mated to an LSG-3000 automatic transmission while fielding a Chinese-made 125mm main gun, fire-control system and autoloader. The P2 was similar in scope but with a Perkins Condor 1,200 horsepower diesel engine (used in the successful British Challenger MBT series), a French SESM ESM500 (ala the Le Clerc MBT) and western-based fire-control system. The P3 sported a Ukrainian 6TD-2 1,200 horsepower engine but essentially the P2 prototype. The P4 was given the NATO-standard 120mm main gun tied into a western-based fire-control system along with a German-based MTU-871/TCM AVDS-1790 diesel engine with LSG-3000 automatic transmission. The P4 was intended to become an export product for Pakistan to produce, operate and sell to other prospective global buyers.

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    HIT Al Khalid (MBT 2000) Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 2001
    Type: Main Battle Tank (MBT)
    National Origin: Pakistan
    Manufacturer(s): Heavy Industries Taxila - Pakistan / NORINCO - China
    Production: 600

    Design (Crew Space, Dimensions, Weight, and Systems)

    Operating Crew: 3
    Length: 35.01 feet (10.67 meters)
    Width: 11.15 feet (3.40 meters)
    Height: 7.55 feet (2.30 meters)

    Operating Weight: 53 tons (48,000 kg; 105,822 lb)

    Nuclear / Biological / Chemical Protection: Yes
    Nightvision Equipment: Yes

    Installed Power and Standard Road Performance

    Engine(s): 1 x KMDB 6TD-2 6-cylinder water-cooled turbocharged diesel engine developing 1,200 horsepower.

    Maximum Road Speed: 45 mph (72 km/h)
    Maximum Road Range: 311 miles (500 km)

    Armament and Ammunition

    1 x 125mm smoothbore main gun
    1 x 12.7 anti-aircraft machine gun
    1 x 7.62mm co-axial machine gun
    2 x 6 smoke grenade dischargers

    39 x 125mm projectiles
    500 x 12.7mm ammunition
    2,000 x 7.62mm ammunition
    12 x smoke grenades

    Global Operators / Customers

    Bangladesh; China (training only); Morocco; Myanmar; Pakistan

    Model Variants

    Type 90-IIM - Chinese NORINCO-produced Main Battle Tank on which the Al-Khalid is based on.

    P1 - Pilot Vehicle - Chinese 125mm main gunwith autoloader; German MTU diesel engine; Chinese FCS.

    P2 - Pilot Vehicle - Chinese 125mm main gun with autoloader; Perkins Condor diesel engine; Western FCS.

    P3 - Pilot Vehicle - Chinese 125mm main gun with autoloader; Ukrainian diesel engine; Western FCS.

    P4 - Pilot Vehicle; NATO-standard 120mm main gun; German MTU diesel engine.

    MBT 2000 - Chinese Designation for Type 90-IIM export.

    Al-Khalid - Initial production model

    Al-Khalid I - Improved Al Khalid; improved systems (fire control, jammers); increased main gun ammunition to 49 rounds.

    Al-Khalid II - Improved Al Khalid I; modular armor kit; revised armor formula; 1,500 horsepower diesel engine.

    VT-1A - Export variant of the Type 90-II; Chinese-aligned turret, engines, and internals.