Saturday, April 16, 2011

Zulfiqar (tank)

| Saturday, April 16, 2011 | 0 comments

Zulfiqar is a second generation Iranian main battle tank (MBT), conceived by Brigadier General Mir-Younes Masoumzadeh, deputy ground force commander for research and self-sufficiency of the armed forces. It is named after Zulfiqar, the legendary sword of the first Shia Imam Hazrat Ali.

One of the features of the Zulfiqar tank that has drawn the attention of the Defense Ministry is that indigenously-made parts have been used in it. Prototypes of the tank were tested in 1993. Six semi-industrial prototypes of the tank were produced and tested in 1997.

The tank has a distinctive box-shaped, steel-welded turret of local design. The Zulfiqar is believed to be developed from major components of the Russian T-72 and American M48 and M60 tanks. The suspension is modelled on the M48 /M60 Patton tanks supplied to Iran by the U.S. The SPAT 1200 transmission also seems to be a local development of that of the M-60. Zulfiqar-1's combat weight has been reported to be 36 tonnes with 780 hp diesel engine; giving the tank a 21.7 hp per ton ratio.

The most recent T-72 is the 'S' version. The T-72S MBT weighs 44.5 tonnes and is armed with the latest stabilized 125mm smoothbore 2A46M gun, IA40-1 computerised fire-control system (FCS) with laser rangefinder and day/image intensification night sighting system. As well as firing the normal types of 125mm separate-loading ammunition (projectile and charge), the T-72S can also fire a Svir 9M119 (NATO designation AT-11 'Sniper') laser beam-riding guided projectile to a range of 4,000m. The T-72S is powered by the V-84MS diesel engine, which develops 840hp and, with a combat weight of 44.5 tonnes, a power-to-weight ratio of 18.87hp/tonne is obtained. For greater cross-country mobility, the suspension has also been upgraded and mine protection improved.

Type: Main battle tank
Place of origin: Iran
Weight: 36–41 tonnes
Length: 7 m (23 ft 0 in)
Width: 3.6 m (11 ft 10 in)
Height: 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)
Crew: 3–4
Armour: composite armour
Primary armament: 125 mm smoothbore tank gun
Secondary armament: 12.7 mm and 7.62 mm machine guns
Engine: 12-cyl. diesel, 780 hp (630 kW)
Power/weight: 21.7 hp/ton
Transmission: 6-gear SPAT 1200 automatic transmission
Suspension: torsion-bar
Operational range: 450 km (280 mi)
Speed: 70 km/h (43 mph)


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