The Zulfiqar is a relatively recent main battle tank addition of Iranian design. The design is attributed to Iranian Brigadier General Mir-Younes Masoumzadeh with production being handled by Defense Industries Organization (DIO). Local production of the Zulfiqar is said to be ongoing as of this writing with over 100 examples believed built and bolsters the growing confidence of the Iranian defense industry in the modern world. While its combat capabilities are largely unknown outside of Iran, the Zulfiqar can be considered relatively on par with modern battle tanks of similar scope and design.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has long depended on the purchases of foreign equipment to outfit her army. Until recently, these had come in the form of both American and Soviet-inspired weaponry but have lately given way to indigenously designed systems. Primarily, the Iranian military has utilized its decades of experience in certain weapons and simply applied the knowledge to modernized and suit equipment to meet Iranian military requirements and tactics. Such key recent developments have included the HESA Saeqeh multi-role fighter (based on the American Northrop F-5 Tiger) and the PANHA 2091 Toufan (based on the Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter). The Zulfiqar tank itself is thought to have originated from the American M60 Patton and Soviet T-72 main battle tanks.
The Zulfiqar is of low profile in design and conventional in its layout. An autoloading system - said to be based on that of the Soviet T-72 series -allows the crew to consist of just three personnel (as opposed to the Western standard of four) with the driver situated at the front center hull and the commander and gunner in the traversing turret. While autoloaders help to reduce crew responsibilities, they are technologically complex systems and generally supply a slower rate-of-fire when compared to traditional manual-loading systems featured in such tanks as the M1 Abrams. The engine is contained in a rear-set compartment to protect the vital system from enemy fire. The turret features angular armor for basic ballistics protection and sports the 125mm smoothbore main gun (a fume extractor is clearly noted along the barrel's midway point). A coaxial 7.62mm machine gun is operated by the gunner alongside the main gun and useful for when the 125mm armament is deemed "overkill". The commander can access an externally-mounted 12.7mm Soviet-style anti-aircraft heavy machine gun while a second, and possibly third, 7.62mm machine gun is mounted along the turret roof. Smoke grenade dischargers are present along the turret sides (or perhaps front panels), straddling either side of the main gun's base.
Power is supplied by an unknown mark of 12-cylinder diesel engine developing 780 horsepower. This allows the tank a purported top speed of 43 miles per hour with an operational range of approximately 280 miles. In keeping with Soviet tank practices, it is not entirely unfounded that external fuel tanks may be affixed to the rear hull of the tank for increased operational ranges (as commonly seen on Soviet/Russian T-72s). The engine is mated to a SPAT 1200 series automatic transmission system featuring six total running gears.
The gunner is afforded a digital fire control system of Slovenian design. The system is adept enough to allow for on-the-move firing as commonly associated with other modern combat tanks, putting her on par with her contemporaries worldwide. NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) protection and nightvision is assumed as standard for the crew. A laser rangefinder is believed to have been a recent addition to the tank design.
The Zulfiqar has since seen three distinct marks to her lineage known simply as "Zulfiqar "1, "Zulfiqar 2" and "Zulfiqar 3". The Zulfiqar 1 was the initial developmental model appearing in 1994 that brought about the birth of the Zulfiqar family line. At least six prototypes of the type were constructed and extensively evaluated into the late 1990s. The Zulfiqar 2 model was a developmental variant fitting a new engine into a lengthened hull. The Zulfiqar 3 model has evolved into the definitive Zulfiqar to date, fitted with an all-new autoloading system and fire control suite to improve her battlefield lethality.
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.
MAIN BATTLE TANK
Primary armored ground combat unit of modern armies utilizing speed, protection, and / or firepower to spearhead armored assaults.
Frontline unit used to take direct part in forward operating actions against enemy positions / targets.
Engage armored vehicles of similar form and function.
23.0 ft (7 meters) Length
11.8 ft (3.6 meters) Width
8.2 ft (2.5 meters) Height
83,335 lb (37,800 kg) Weight
41.7 tons (Medium-class) Tonnage
1 x 12-cylinder diesel engine developing 780 horsepower driving conventional track-and-wheel arrangement. Drive System
43 mph (70 kph) Road Speed
280 miles (450 km) Road Range
1 x 125mm smoothbore main gun in turret.
1 x 7.62mm coaxial machine gun in turret.
1 x 12.7mm Anti-Aircraft (AA) machine gun on turret roof.
1 x 7.62mm Anti-Aircraft (AA) machine gun on turret roof.
12 x Smoke grenade dischargers on turret.
40 x 125mm projectiles (estimated).
500 x 12.7mm ammunition (estimated).
2,000 x 7.62mm ammunition (estimated).
12 x Smoke grenades.
Zulfiqar 1 - Base Series Designation; 125mm main gun of Soviet T-72 main battle tank.
Zulfiqar 2 - Prototype Model; updated engine; upgraded autoloader.
Zulfiqar 3 - Definitive Zulfiqar; upgraded main gun, fire control system and engine; revised fire control system; integrated autoloader; laser rangefinder.
1 / 1
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content; site is 100% curated by humans.