Pakistani army takes delivery of new Al Khalid-I MBT main battle tanks

According to information released on the Twitter account of DG ISPR of Pakistan on July 28, 2020, the Pakistani army has officially received new modernized version of its home-made Al Khalid main battle tank under the name of Al Khalid-I.
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New Al Khalid-I main battle tank of the Pakistani army. (Picture source Twitter account DG ISPR of Pakistan)

The Al Khalid main battle tank (MBT) was designed and manufactured in Pakistan n Pakistan by the local company Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) for the Pakistan Army. The tank was developed based on the Chinese Type 90-II manufactured by the Chinese company NORINCO.

The Al Khalid was developed using components from China and UKraine. The tank is powered by a diesel engine and transmission supplied the KMDB design bureau of Ukraine. It enters in service with the Pakistani army in 2001.

On July 28, 2020, the Pakistani Army has taken delivery of a new upgraded version of the Al Khalid MBT which is named Al Khalid-I. The handling ceremony was held at Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT), the largest state-owned manufacturer of defence products.

New features of the Al Khalid-I include a new fire-control system which is now a more advanced multi-process fire control computer with up to 7 km effective identification range. The engagement range is also improved which is up to 3.5 km, digital driver panel, IBMS, side-skirts, trackpads, digitally controlled FPGA based solid-state auto-loader with bidirectional tray movement and ammo availability info on screen, info on empty and full trays and types of available rounds, bigger carousel for longer rounds. It has an increased rate of fire with 9 rounds per minute. The tank is also fitted with Ukrainian Varta electro-optical jammer (disrupts laser rangefinders, laser designators, and anti-tank guided missile tracking systems), Sagem third-generation thermal imagers and improved air conditioning system.

Pakistani army take delivery of new Al Khalid I MBT main battle tanks 925 001
Al Khalid main battle tank of the Pakistani Army (Picture source Army Recognition)

According to our information, the Al Khalid-I keeps the Ukrainian powerpack and the same armament as the previous version of Al Khalid. The main armament of the tank consists of one a 125 mm smoothbore, auto-frettaged and chrome-plated gun barrel which can fire APFSDS, HEAT-FS and HE-FS conventional ammunition and the Russian-designed 9M119 Refleks ATGM (AT-11 Sniper, produced in China under license). The second armament includes one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and one a 12.7 mm air-defense machine gun mounted on the roof of the turret that can be aimed and fired from within the tank.

The turret and hull of the Al Khalid-I are of all-welded steel armour construction and an additional layer of composite armour has been added over the frontal arc, to which explosive reactive armour can be added if required.

The Al Khalid-I is motorized with by a 6TD-2 liquid-cooled diesel engine coupled to a French-designed hydro-mechanical automatic transmission with 5 forward and 2 reverse speeds. The tank is able to reach a maximum road speed of 70 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 450 km.