Al Khalid Main Battle Tank

Last updated on February 17th, 2019 at 09:46 pm

The Al Khalid main battle tank is the result of a joint venture between China and Pakistan. It is in service with the Pakistani Army.

In 1990, China and Pakistan signed an agreement saying that China would help Pakistan to develop a new main battle tank, which eventually would be produced in Pakistan.

Al Khalid main battle tank. Source: Jane's Tanks and Combat Vehicles Recognition GuideDevelopment of this new tank took place in four stages:

First, existing Chinese Type 59 main battle tanks were upgraded.

Then, Type 69 II man battle tanks were built, with half of their components coming from the Type 59 and the rest of the components being new.   Pakistan built hulls for a variant of the Type 69 II, which was known as the Type 69 IIMP. The turrets for the Type 69 II MP were built in China.

Next, China began building a tank that was designated the Type 85 MBT.  20% of its components came from the Type 59, 30% came from the Type 69 II, and the other 50% of the components were new.  Pakistan built its own variant of the Type 85, which was designated the Type 85 IIAP.

Finally, a new main battle tank, known as the Type 90 II was built.  55% of the components of the Type 90 II were new, while 10% came from the Type 59, 15% came from the Type 69 II, and 20 % came from the Type 85.

The first prototype of the Type 90 II main battle tank was built in China in 1991.

China did not adopt the Type 90 II MBT for its own army.  Instead, it decided to export it. The export version of the tank became known as the MBT 2000. It was displayed at the Abu Dhabi Defense Expo in March 2001.

The MBT 2000 was never sold to any foreign countries. It is no longer in production in China.

In 2000, Pakistan began producing its own version of the MBT 2000, which it called the Al Khalid.

The Al Khalid main battle tank entered service with the Pakistani Army in 2001.

It is covered in all welded steel armor, with an additional layer of composite armor over the frontal arc.  Armor is modular, for easy replacement.

Explosive reactive armor can be fitted to the tank.

The Al Khalid main battle tank has a torsion bar suspension, with six road wheels on each side of the tank. The drive sprocket is in the rear and the idler is in the front.  A skirt covers the track return rollers.

A 1200 horsepower KMDB  6TD liquid cooled 6-cylinder diesel engine, which is manufactured in Ukraine, powers the Al Khalid MBT.

The primary weapon on the Al Khalid main battle is a 4.92 inch (125mm) chrome plated smoothbore gun.  The gun can fire HEAT, HE-FRAG and APFSDS rounds. It can also fire a laser guided missile with a HEAT warhead.

There is an automatic loader on the tank.

Secondary armament includes a 0.3 inch (7.62mm) coaxial machine gun and a 0.5 inch (12.7mm) anti-aircraft machine gun. There are 6 pairs of smoke grenade launchers.

Because the MBT 2000 Al Khalid has an automatic loader, the tank requires a crew of only three men- driver, commander and gunner.

The driver’s compartment is at the front of the tank and the fighting compartment is in the center of the tank. The engine is in the back.

There is an NBC system, night vision equipment, a laser rangefinder and a computerized fire control system.


Al Khalid MBT

Active: 2001 (in Pakistan)
Crew: 3
Weight: 47 tons (48,000kg)
Length: 22ft 7in (6.9m), 33ft (10.07m) with gun forward
Height: 7ft 6in (2.3m)
Width: 11ft 1in (3.4m)
Weapons: Main – 4.92 in (125mm) chrome plated smoothboregun, Secondary -1 x 0.3in (7.62mm) coaxial machine gun, 1 x 0.5 in (12.7mm) anti-aircraft machine gun, 6 pairs of smoke grenade launchers
Armor Classified
Engine: KMDB 6TD liquid cooled 6-cylinder diesel, 1200hp
Speed: 43mph (70kph)
Range: 249 miles (400 km)