Al-Khalid MBT (MBT 2000)


The initial Al-Khalid prototype was revealed in June 1991, based on the NORINCO Type 90-II MBT, which compared to earlier Chinese MBTs, has significant improvements in the three key areas of MBT design: armour, mobility and firepower. Under the initial contract signed in 1990, the Type 90-II was to be licensed produced at Heavy Industries Texila (HIT) but further developments resulted in Al-Khalid, which is tailored to meet the specific operational requirements of Pakistan Armoured Corps.


The overall layout of the Al-Khalid is conventional with the driver's compartment at the front, fighting compartment in the centre and power pack at the rear. The hull is of welded steel construction with an additional layer of composite armour at the front. Explosive reactive armour has been added to the glacis plate and nose of the vehicle. The driver is seated in the centre and has a single-piece hatch cover that lifts and swings to the right and in front of this are three periscopes, the centre one of which can be replaced by a passive periscope for driving at night. The turret is in the centre and is of all welded steel armour construction to which a layer of composite armour has been added over the frontal arc. In addition, to the turret front, sides and forward roof has been added packs of explosive reactive armour. The commander is seated on the right and the gunner is seated on the left with both provided with single-piece roof hatches and vision devices. Main armament consists of a 125 mm smoothbore gun fitted with a thermal sleeve and fume extractor which is fed by an automatic loader which holds a total of 22 projectiles and charges which can be loaded at the rate of six to eight per minute. After the gun has fired it returns to an angle of 4 15 ' for loading and then returns to the firing position.

Types of separate loading ammunition that can be fired by the 125 mm smoothbore gun include APFSDS (muzzle velocity 1760 m/s), HEAT (muzzle velocity 850 m/s) and HE-FRAG (muzzle velocity 950 m/s). Barrel life is quoted as 1200 rounds. A total of 39 projectiles are carried in the normal ratio of four APFSDS-T, three HEAT and three HE-FRAG. Mounted coaxial to the right of the main armament is a 7.62 mm machine gun while mounted on the commander's cupola is a 12.7 mm machine gun for engaging ground and aerial targets. The 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun has a cyclic rate of fire of 700 to 800 rds/min with a practical rate of fire of 250 rds/min. Effective range is quoted as 1,000 m. The 12.7 mm machine gun has a cyclic rate of fire of 650 to 700 rds/min with a practical rate of fire of 80 to 100 rds/min. Traverse is 360 with elevation from -4.5 to +70. Effective range is quoted as 1,600 m.

The commander is provided with a two-axis stabilised hunter-killer panoramic sight while the gunner has a two-axis stabilised fixed roof-mounted sight. The image stabilised fire-control system (ISFCS) includes a laser rangefinder integrated into the gunner's sight, control panel, ballistic computer and a sensor for crosswind, tilt and angular velocity. This, together with the stabilised 125 mm gun and roof-mounted stabilised sights, enables the Al-Khalid to engage stationary and moving targets while it is stationary or moving. If required, the tank commander can take over and lay and fire the main armament. Target engagement time, stationary to stationary target is quoted as seven seconds, while on the move 10 seconds. Mounted either side of the turret is a bank of six electrically operated smoke grenade launchers which fire forwards and to the rear of this is a large stowage basket. When not required, the snorkel is normally carried in this stowage basket. The power pack consists of the engine, transmission and cooling system and can be removed as a complete unit in 30 minutes. The engine is a Ukrainian 6TDF diesel developing 1,200 hp.

Suspension is of the torsion bar type and consists of six large dual rubber-tyred roadwheels with the drive sprocket at the front, idler at the rear and track return rollers. The upper part of the suspension is covered by a rubber skirt with the forward part on either side being covered by explosive reactive armour. Standard equipment includes an anti-neutron liner for the crew compartments, collective NBC system, explosion/fire detection and suppression system and infrared reflecting paint. It can also lay a smoke screen by injecting diesel fuel into the exhaust outlets at the rear of the hull.

Six prototypes of Al-Khalid were built and tested for Pakistan Army's needs and future export market.

Prototype I: It was based on using Chinese systems only. It includes Chinese 125 mm gun and a autoloader augmented by a Chinese Fire Control System. Power terrain was a Chinese license build German MTU-396 diesel engine with as LSG-3000 automatic transmission.

Prototype II: It used the same Chinese 125 mm smoothbore gun and autoloader coupled with a western Fire Control System, powered by a Perkins 1200hp Condor diesel engine mated to a French SESM-500 automatic transmission. This configuration was dropped since Perkins engine did not perform well in the southern Pakistan's hot climate during the summer where most of the expected tank battle is supposed to take place.

Prototype III: Same as Prototype II but, powered with a Ukrainian 6TDF diesel engine.

Prototype IV: It was designed with western 120 mm gun and Fire Control System. It was also fitted with a 1200hp German MTU-871/TCM AVDS-1790 diesel engine coupled with an LSG-3000 transmission. This model was intended only for export customers who trust western systems.


A military vehicle is designed for strength, its armour affording protection to the crew and giving them the confidence to perform in battle. But the possibility remains that penetration of its fuel tanks or fuel and hydraulic lines can lead to a devastating fireball, causing severe burning and toxic gas poisoning within milliseconds. This threat inevitably affects crew morale and it is therefore important to give the crew a means of surviving in the battlefield environment. The crew bay system is able to sense the incipient hazard and recognise it as an explosive fire within 2-3ms and to effect complete suppression in approx 100ms. It uses fast response sensors and rapid acting high-rate discharge suppressors. Because suppression has taken place in a few tens of milliseconds, the radiation from the fireball is harmless, the temperature rise is minimal, the pressure increase is survivable and, most importantly, the amount of toxic gas generated is limited to safe levels. The vehicle and crew have survived to fight another day. Crew bay systems are fitted to a range of vehicles including Leopard 2, CRARRV, Tariq, Al-Khalid, Marconi Marksman, T90, Leclerc, M1A1, M1A2, LAV25, C1 Ariete MBT and Chunma amongst others.


The engine compartment fire protection system has been designed to detect and extinguish engine fires caused by fuel leaks or overheating of the engine. Several seconds are typically available to suppress the fire and, generally, temperature detection is sufficiently rapid. A typical engine compartment system consists of a control unit, fire sensors (either continuous linear thermal or infrared optical fire/explosion) and an extinguisher distribution system. Engine compartments can be protected by installing linear thermal sensors, optical infrared sensors or an optical/thermal hybrid system to suit the specific application requirements. The control unit provides a warning signal if the fire is detected within the engine compartment. Extinguishing is achieved using an electrically or mechanically actuated high rate discharge system. AS90, CRARRV, Challenger, Leopard, T90, Al-Khalid, C1 Ariete MBT and Chunma are just some of the vehicles which have been fitted with such a system.

Dynamic Integrated Training Simulator (DITS)

DITS for Al-Khalid tank is developed by Military Vehicle Research and Development Establishment (MVRDE) with the aim of developing and maintaining the tank's crew at the highest readiness state with operational weapon systems.

Some of the DITS features are:

Tank Crew Training in an integrated environment
6 Degree of Freedom motion effects
State-of-the-art 3D graphics with Night Vision & TI
Both generic and specific terrains
Replica in function & form of the instruments & interior of the tank cupola
Simulated Exercises for Driver, Commander and Gunner
Detection and identification of targets, firing on static to static, static to moving and moving to moving targets under different weather and visibility conditions
Search, designate and engage the enemy, use of the anti aircraft gun and smoke grenades
Instructor Console with Monitoring screens for the status of all instruments and visuals as seen by the crew
Cutting edge scenario generation and game setting features
Game record and replay including voice communication recording and playback

Additional Features:

Based on highly modular and flexible distributed simulation architecture
Based on COTS hardware for easier maintenance and support

DITS is a customizable system and is also being used for training of Al-Zarrar and T-80UD tank crew in Pakistan Army service.  

Combat Weight 48 Ton
Crew 3
Cruising Range 430 Km
Power to Weight > 25 HP/Ton
MMP ~ 260 kN/m2
Power 1200 HP
Cooling Water Cooled
Fuel Diesel (Multiple Fuel)
Transmission Type Fully/Semi Automatic
Turning Pivot/Skid
Final Drive Planetary Type
Running Gear  
Tracks Rubber Bushed & Padded (replaceable)
Type Shock Absorber & Torsion bars
Bump Stop Hydraulic
Max Speed 70 Km/hr
Acceleration 0~32 Km/hr in < 10 seconds
Trench Crossing >2.7 m
Obstacle Crossing >0.85 m
Gradient/Side Slope 60% / 40%
Main Gun

125mm Smooth Bore, Chrome Plated, Autofrettaged

Ammunition Type Seperatley Loaded (split type)
Co-Axial MG 7.62 mm
AA MG 12.7 mm, Remote Firing
Main Gun 39
AA MG 500
Co-Axial MG 2000
Grenades 16 (12 Smoke, 4 HE)
Type Circular Carousel (Cassette Type)
No of Rounds 22
Rate of Loading 6~8 Rounds/Minute
Navigation & Battlefield Management
Navigation GPS based
Battlefield Management System YES

Image Stabilised (3rd generation director type stabilisation)

Optics LASER protected
Gunner Sight

Integrated, Bi-axis Stabilised Day/Night, TI, LRF

Magnification Dual, 3x & 10x
Field of View

20O & 6O

Commander Sight

Panoramic, Bi-axis stabilised, LRF, 2nd Generation IIT Hunter-Killer Capability

Magnification 7.5x
Field of View


Range 200 ~ 7000 m
Auto Tracker  
Tracking Error <0.1 mils
Interfaced with Gunner Sight
Armour Composite (Frontal Arc)
ERA Optional
NBC Pressurized Cabin
Fire Extinguishing & Explosion Suppression YES
Thermal Smoke Screen Installed

Al-Khalid Picture Gallery