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Military Factory

Main Battle Tanks (MBTs)

Last Updated: 5/13/2015

Despite advances in armor-defeating weapon systems, the Main Battle Tank remains the symbol of every modern army's true strength on the battlefield.


The "tank" as we know it made its combat debut in the fighting of World War 1 (1914-1918) where development in the field was primarily led by the British and French. Ironically it would be the Germans that proved late to the game in appreciating the tactical qualities that a tank offered in Trench Warfare. From there, the category evolved from the large lozenge-shaped versions of old to become turret-wielding systems capable of superior performance both on- and off-road.


The battles of World War 2 (1939-1945) showcased the tank as the spearhead of the ground assault and helped to lay the foundation for a new category of tank,one designed with a multirole nature in mind - giving rise to what we recognize today as the "Main Battle Tank" (MBT). Despite its age, the MBT remains the symbol of strength for many modern land forces of the world with such classic designs as the American M1 Abrams, the British Challenger II, the German Leopard II, the French LeClerc, and the Soviet/Russian T-72 still in play.


There are a total of (67) Main Battle Tanks in the Military Factory. Entries are listed below by alphanumeric order descending. Flag images indicative of country of origin.




2016
T-14 (Armata) (Object 148)
The T-14 Armata Main Battle Tank marks a new era of Russian tank design.
Thumbnail picture of the T-14 (Armata) (Object 148)

2015
Altay MBT
Some 1,000 Altay Main Battle Tanks are slated for procurement by the modernizing Turkish Army.
Thumbnail picture of the Altay MBT

2014
MBT-3000 (Main Battle Tank 3000)
The NORINCO MBT-3000 program will provide the Chinese land army and its allies with a 3rd Generation Main Battle Tank by late 2014.
Thumbnail picture of the MBT-3000 (Main Battle Tank 3000)

2013
T-99 Armata (Universal Combat Platform - UCP)
The T-99 Armata was unveiled to key Russian government officials in prototype form sometime in 2013.
Thumbnail picture of the T-99 Armata (Universal Combat Platform - UCP)

2013
ROTEM K2 (Black Panther)
The ROTEM K2 Black Panther operates alongside the ROTEM K1 Main Battle Tanks series with the South Korean Army.
Thumbnail picture of the ROTEM K2 (Black Panther)

2012
Type 10 MBT
The Type 10 Main Battle Tank is intended to replace the existing Type 74 and Type 90 series tanks currently in service with Japanese forces.
Thumbnail picture of the Type 10 MBT

2007
Sabra (M60T)
The Sabra Main Battle Tank is a highly-modified and upgraded version of the American M60 Patton series.
Thumbnail picture of the Sabra (M60T)

2005
Ramses II (T-54E)
The Ramses II is a heavily-modified Egyptian version of the Soviet Cold War-era T-54 Main Battle Tank.
Thumbnail picture of the Ramses II (T-54E)

2004
HIT Al-Zarrar
With Ukranian assistance, Pakistan developed the Al Zarrar Main Battle Tank based on the Chinese Type 59 series.
Thumbnail picture of the HIT Al-Zarrar

2004
DRDO Arjun (Lion)
The Arjun Mk II is expected to vastly improve the overall capabilities of the original Arjun MBT offering for the Indian Army.
Thumbnail picture of the DRDO Arjun (Lion)

2001
HIT Al Khalid (MBT 2000)
The Al Khalid is nothing more than the NORINCO brand Type 90-IIM Main Battle Tank developed to suit Pakistani Army requirements.
Thumbnail picture of the HIT Al Khalid (MBT 2000)

1999
DIO Zulfiqar
Development of the indigenous Iranian Zulfiqar Main Battle Tank has been lengthy but promising.
Thumbnail picture of the DIO Zulfiqar

1999
T-84 (Oplot)
The T-84 is a much-improved Ukranian development of the original Soviet-era T-80 Main Battle Tank.
Thumbnail picture of the T-84 (Oplot)

1998
Stridsvagn 122 (Strv 122)
The Strv 122 is nothing more than the German Leopard 2A5 highly customized for Swedish Army needs.
Thumbnail picture of the Stridsvagn 122 (Strv 122)

1998
Type 99 (ZTZ-99 / WZ-123)
The NORINCO Type 98 first appeared in 1998 and, though it has been beset by some early teething problems, is suspected to be on par with current generation MBTs around the world.
Thumbnail picture of the Type 99 (ZTZ-99 / WZ-123)

1998
Challenger 2
The lethal Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank system currently forms the backbone of modern British Army tank groups.
Thumbnail picture of the Challenger 2

1997
Type 96 (MBT)
The Chinese Type 96 Main Battle Tank is based on the previous Type 85-III series design, itself evolved from the Type 80 MBT.
Thumbnail picture of the Type 96 (MBT)

1996
DIO T-72Z (T-55)
The Iranian T-72Z Main Battle Tank represents a localized, modernized version of the ubiquitous Soviet Cold War-era T-55 MBT series.
Thumbnail picture of the DIO T-72Z (T-55)

1995
CIO Ariete
The CIO Ariete Main Battle Tank is on par with other Western offerings and has seen production reach 200 examples for the Italian Army.
Thumbnail picture of the CIO Ariete

1995
T-90
The Russian T-90 became the next evolution of the Soviet-era T-72 line incorporating proven features found in the Soviet T-80.
Thumbnail picture of the T-90

1995
PT-91 Twardy
The PT-91 Twardy represents a successful evolution of the popular Soviet-era T-72 Main Battle Tank line.
Thumbnail picture of the PT-91 Twardy

1995
Duro Dakovic M-95 Degman
With ever-present delays and a lack of funding, the Croatian M-95 Degman may never see operational service with any army force.
Thumbnail picture of the Duro Dakovic M-95 Degman

1992
Type 90 (Kyu-maru)
The Japanese Army Type 90 Main Battle Tank represents a respectable frontline combat system.
Thumbnail picture of the Type 90 (Kyu-maru)

1992
AMX-56 Leclerc
The AMX-56 LeClerc is a fully-modern - though largely untested in combat - main battle tank for French and UAE armed forces.
Thumbnail picture of the AMX-56 Leclerc

1992
Pokpung-ho (Storm Tiger) (M-2002)
The North Korean Pokpung-ho main battle tank is thought to be a heavy modification of the Russian T-62 with elements borrowed from other Russian tanks as well.
Thumbnail picture of the Pokpung-ho (Storm Tiger) (M-2002)

1990
CM-11 Brave Tiger (M48H)
The Taiwanese CM-11 Main Battle Tank represents a heavily-modified and upgraded form of the American M48 Patton series medium tank of the Cold War years.
Thumbnail picture of the CM-11 Brave Tiger (M48H)

1987
Engesa EE-T1 Osorio
The privately-funded Engesa EE-T1 Main Battle Tank went on to be produced in just two prototypes before cancellation.
Thumbnail picture of the Engesa EE-T1 Osorio

1986
AMX-40
The export-minded AMX-40 Main Battle Tank failed to net any global orders and was formally cancelled by 1990.
Thumbnail picture of the AMX-40

1986
TR-85 (Tanc Romanesc Model 85)
The TR-85 is a Romanian modification of the Soviet Cold War-era T-55 Main Battle Tank.
Thumbnail picture of the TR-85 (Tanc Romanesc Model 85)

1986
ROTEM K1 (Type 88)
The ROTEM K1 is the standard frontline main battle tank for South Korean army forces.
Thumbnail picture of the ROTEM K1 (Type 88)

1985
Type 85-II
The Type 85-II is a further evolution of the preceding Chinese Army Type 80 Main Battle Tank.
Thumbnail picture of the Type 85-II

1985
Type 80 MBT
The NORINCO Type 80 became the first Chinese 2nd Generation tank system.
Thumbnail picture of the Type 80 MBT

1985
M-84 (MBT)
The M-84 Main Battle Tank was a Yugoslavian local-production variant of the Soviet T-72 and was fielded in anger during the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s.
Thumbnail picture of the M-84 (MBT)

1983
Bernardini MB-3 Tamoyo
The Bernardini MB-3 Tamoyo Main Battle Tank was destined to never go past the prototype stages.
Thumbnail picture of the Bernardini MB-3 Tamoyo

1983
Challenger 1
The Challenger 1 Main Battle Tank design was born from the aborted Iranian Shir 2 Main Battle Tank initiative following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Thumbnail picture of the Challenger 1

1982
Type 69 MBT
The Chinese-produced Type 69 Main Battle Tank - itself an evolution of the Soviet T-54A - went on to see strong export numbers.
Thumbnail picture of the Type 69 MBT

1981
OTO Melara OF-40
The OTO Melara OF-40 Main Battle Tank was developed from the outset for the export market, the UAE becoming its sole operator.
Thumbnail picture of the OTO Melara OF-40

1981
Chonma-ho (Pegasus)
The Chonma-ho has its roots in the Soviet-era T-62 main battle tank.
Thumbnail picture of the Chonma-ho (Pegasus)

1981
Khalid (Sword) MBT
The Jordanian Khalid Main Battle Tank was born out of the aborted Iranian-British Shir 1 MBT project, itself based on a modified Chieftain MBT.
Thumbnail picture of the Khalid (Sword) MBT

1980
M1 Abrams
The American M1 Abrams has become a proven main battle tank in its use as a frontline component.
Thumbnail picture of the M1 Abrams

1979
Leopard 2 MBT
The Leopard 2 was born out of the abortive MBT-70 collaboration with the United States.
Thumbnail picture of the Leopard 2 MBT

1979
Merkava (Chariot)
The Merkava tank was the first indigenous Israeli tank design and has already seen its fair share of combat in the region.
Thumbnail picture of the Merkava (Chariot)

1979
AMX-32
The AMX-32 was offered up as a heavy-duty alternative to AMX-30 tank users though no takers for the system were found.
Thumbnail picture of the AMX-32

1978
Denel Olifant (Elephant)
The South African Olifant Main Battle Tank is a further development of the original Cold War-era British Centurion MBT.
Thumbnail picture of the Denel Olifant (Elephant)

1977
TR-580 (Tanc Romanesc Model 580)
The Romanian TR-580 became a locally-produced - slightly-modified - version of the classic Soviet T-55 Main Battle Tank
Thumbnail picture of the TR-580 (Tanc Romanesc Model 580)

1976
T-80
The Soviet/Russian T-80 Main Battle Tank was a modernized T-64 with improvements borrowed from the successful T-72 series.
Thumbnail picture of the T-80

1975
Type 74 (Nana-yon)
The Mitsubishi-designed Type 74 Main Battle Tank.
Thumbnail picture of the Type 74 (Nana-yon)

1972
T-72 (Ural)
One of the most successful post-World War 2 tank designs of all time is the T-72, following behind the T-54/T-55 series.
Thumbnail picture of the T-72 (Ural)

1971
Panzer 68 (Pz 68)
The Swizz-made Panzer 68 Main Battle Tank suffered from various issues during its operational service life.
Thumbnail picture of the Panzer 68 (Pz 68)

1968
Magach (M48 / M60)
The Israeli Magach grew out of modified versions of American M48 and M60 Patton series tanks delivered throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
Thumbnail picture of the Magach (M48 / M60)

1966
AMX-30
The AMX-30 is a solid - if unspectacular - main battle tank system with no on-the-move firing capabilities.
Thumbnail picture of the AMX-30

1966
Stridsvagn 103 (Strv 103) (S-Tank)
The wholly-unique, but ultimately largely unproven, Stridsvagn Strv 103 combat tank of Sweden.
Thumbnail picture of the Stridsvagn 103 (Strv 103) (S-Tank)

1966
T-64
The T-64 was said to have been plagued by mechanical problems, leading to a short production life.
Thumbnail picture of the T-64

1965
Vickers MBT
The Vickers Main Battle Tank was developed with the budget-conscious export market in mind.
Thumbnail picture of the Vickers MBT

1965
Chieftain MBT
The Chieftain Main Battle Tank saw many years of solid service with British forces while export sales were primarily with Middle East customers.
Thumbnail picture of the Chieftain MBT

1965
Leopard 1 MBT
The Leopard 1 design touched upon German successes from World War Two.
Thumbnail picture of the Leopard 1 MBT

1965
MBT-70 (KPz-70)
The ill-fated MBT-70 program was a failed joint effort by the United States and West Germany to produce a next generation main battle tank.
Thumbnail picture of the MBT-70 (KPz-70)

1965
Panzer 61 (Pz 61)
The Panzer 61 was a rare Swiss tank endeavor of which 150 of the type were produced.
Thumbnail picture of the Panzer 61 (Pz 61)

1961
Type 61
The Type 61 was the first indigenous Japanese tank-design effort since the end of World War 2.
Thumbnail picture of the Type 61

1961
T-62
The T-62 Main Battle Tank was a further development of the successful T-54/T-55-series but failed to outright replace the former designs.
Thumbnail picture of the T-62

1960
M60 (Patton)
The M60 Main Battle Tank was never officially named Patton despite it succeeding the interim M48 Patton Medium Tank family.
Thumbnail picture of the M60 (Patton)

1959
Type 59
The Type 59 was nothing more than a Chinese copy of the Soviet T-54 main battle tank.
Thumbnail picture of the Type 59

1958
T-55
The T-55 Main Battle Tank was a further upgrade to the T-54 series appearing in the late 1950s and intended to counter the new American M60 series.
Thumbnail picture of the T-55

1958
Stridsvagn 74 (Strv 74)
The Strv 74 Light Tank was a wholly indigenous Swedish tank design based on the evolved World War 2-era Strv m/42 Light Tank series.
Thumbnail picture of the Stridsvagn 74 (Strv 74)

1958
Panzer 58 (Pz 58)
The Panzer 58 began a short-lived run of indigenously-produced Swiss combat tanks of the Cold War years.
Thumbnail picture of the Panzer 58 (Pz 58)

1949
T-54
The T-54 Main Battle Tank succeeded the fabled Soviet T-34 Medium Tank of World War 2 fame.
Thumbnail picture of the T-54

1945
Centurion (A41)
Undoubtedly one of the most successful tank designs in the post-World War 2 world - the excellent Centurion MBT.
Thumbnail picture of the Centurion (A41)

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