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Zulfiqar MBT, Iran

Discussion in 'Military Forum' started by kidwaibhai, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. kidwaibhai

    kidwaibhai SENIOR MEMBER

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    Zulfiqar

    The Iranian Zulfiqar [Zolfaqar] main battle tank is believed to be pieced together or developed from major components of the Russian T-72 and American M48 and M60 tanks. This tank, which is claimed to be in production in Irana, is said to be similiar in configuration to the M-48 and M-60. Other reports suggest that it bears a close resemblance to the American M1 Abrams.

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

    In April 1997 Acting Commander of the Ground Forces of the Iranian Army, Lieutenant General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani announced that the mass production of Zulfiqar tanks, which began in 1996, was still in progress. He stated that the manufacture of 520 different kinds of tank parts, 600 artillery parts, repair of 500 tanks and armored vehicles have been carried out. In late July 1997 Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani of Iran formally inaugurated a production line for the domestically manufactured Zulfiqar main battle tanks and Boragh tracked armoured personnel carriers. The facility, the Shahid Kolah Dooz Industrial Complex, will also produce the BMT-2 personnel carrier identified.

    The Iranian tank is armed with a 125mm smoothbore gun fitted with a fume extractor which may be fed from an automatic loader. It is known that the Zulfiqar uses suspension like that fitted to Western MBTs such as the M48/M60 MBT. The diesel engine is not taken from the T-72 since this has a distinct exhaust outlet on the left side of the hull. This feature is absent on the Zulfiqar.

    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.

    T-72Z An upgrade has been developed in Iran called the Type 72Z in order to extend the operational life of the T-54/T-55 MBTs, and the similar Chinese Type 59 equivalent used by Iran, all of which are armed with a 100mm gun.

    The existing 100mm gun has been replaced by a 105mm M68 rifled tank gun in service with Iran on the M60A1 MBT. The Armament Industries Division of the DIO probably makes this weapon because for some years it has had the capability to bore tank and artillery barrels, such as the 122mm Russian D-30.

    To improve first-round hit probability, the Type 72Z has a Slovenian Fontana EFCS-3 computerised FCS. According to the manufacturer, installation of the EFCS-3 FCS enables stationary or moving targets to be engaged while the Type T72Z MBT is static or moving.

    The 7.62mm co-axial and roof-mounted 12.7mm machine guns have been retained as has the ability to lay a smoke screen by injecting diesel fuel into the exhaust outlet on the left of the hull. In addition, four electrically operated smoke-grenade dischargers have been mounted on each side of the turret.

    At least one example of the Type 72Z has been fitted with a roof-mounted laser warning device, probably coupled to a commander's display and the electrically operated smoke-grenade launchers either side of the turret.

    Iranian sources say the upgraded Type 72Z is powered by the V-46-6 V-12 diesel engine developing 780hp. This engine has been integrated into a new powerpack, which also includes the SPAT 1200 transmission for use in automatic or semi-automatic modes. The V-46 V-12 diesel engine is also installed in early production T-72 series MBTs, such as the T-72 and T-72A, and Iran could obtain these from various sources besides Russia.

    The Type 72Z's combat weight is quoted as 36 tonnes, power-to-weight ratio 21.66hp/tonne and maximum road speed is 65km/h. This compares with the T-55 MBT, which has a power-to-weight ratio of 16.11hp/tonne and a maximum road speed of 50km/h.

    Last year, the Shahid Kolah Dooz Industrial Complex revealed it had developed a new ERA package that can be rapidly fixed to the T-54/ T-55, T-72 and other MBTs to improve battlefield survivability against chemical energy (CE) and kinetic energy (KE) attack. This Iranian ERA package is similar to that being made and marketed by Russia and has been installed on Russian MBTs, such as the T-80BV, for some years. The Iranian ERA armour system comprises one composite layer. This protects against KE and CE projectiles and an extra energetic material that provides protection against KE attack. Iranian sources said this system can be dropped from a height of 5m; will not be activated from small arms fire up to 30mm in calibre or grenades; and is resistant to napalm type weapons.

    I dont think that we have discussed this tank on this forum and thought that it would be a worth while discussion
     
  2. kidwaibhai

    kidwaibhai SENIOR MEMBER

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    [



    95d2627e8462b0d39273c72385d877e9.jpg
     
  3. Keysersoze

    Keysersoze SENIOR MEMBER

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  4. kidwaibhai

    kidwaibhai SENIOR MEMBER

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    i agree but in one of the pictures that i have posted it does seem to be moving.
     
  5. EagleEyes

    EagleEyes PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    Defence Industries organization
    Zulfiqar MBT

    Early in 1994, Iran unveiled a new MBT called the Zulfigar which has been developed by 'Construction Crusade', an arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
    Russia is known to have provided Iran with a quantity of T-72 MBTs and recent reports have indicated that the Zulfigar uses some components of the Russian T-72 including the 125 mm smoothbore gun and automatic loader. The T-72S, which Is an export version of the T-72 and is fitted with ERA, is now being manufactured in Iran under license.

    A detailed analysis of available information and photographs of the Zulfiqar reveal that the hull and turret are of welded steel construction and bear little resemblance to the T-72 at all.

    The Russian T-72 MBT, like the earlier T-54/T-55/ T-62, is powered by a diesel engine with the air Intakes/ outlets in the hull roof and the single exhaust outlet on the left side of the hull towards the rear.

    The new Iranian MBT is powered by a diesel engine with two exhaust outlets in the rear of the hull; this could indicate the engine is a V-type. The layout of the Zulfigar MBT is conventional with the driver front left, turret in the centre and the power pack at the rear. The driver has a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the right and three day periscopes for driving when closed up. Suspension appears to be of the torsion bar type with six dual rubber-tired roadwheels, idler at the front and large drive sprocket at the rear; there are five return rollers.

    The roadwheels and other parts of the suspension appear to be very similar to those of the US M60 series MBT which has been in service with Iran for many years. The hull of the Iranian MBT is of the box shape rather than the boat shape of the M48/M60 series.
    The front of the turret is well sloped and is angled to the rear to provide the maximum possible level of protection. There is a domed ventilator in the turret roof on the right side and this is similar to that fitted to the US M48/M60 series MBTs, as are the day/night driving lights mounted on the glacis plate.

    The commander is seated on the right with the gunner on the left. The two examples of the Zulfiqar do have a number of minor differences in the commander's cupola. The first one is similar to that used in the T-72 while the second one has a cupola that is similar to that developed in Israel and has an externally mounted 12.7 mm MG.
    Main armament comprises a 125 mm smoothbore gun which is fitted with a fume extractor and may well be fed by an automatic loader. The 125 mm gun is positioned in a very narrow mantlet and there does not appear to be a coaxial machine gun fitted.

    Iran may well have the capability to assemble an MBT, but it must be considered very doubtful if every single component used in the Zulfigar is produced in Iran. Some key subsystems must still be imported. No detailed specifications of the Zulfigar have been released but Iran sources have stated that it has a combat weight of 40 tonnes, is powered by a 1,000 hp diesel and has a maximum road speed of 70 km/h.
    Iranian sources also claim that the Zulfigar is fitted with a weapon stabilization system and a computerized fire-control system which includes a laser range-finder. Night vision equipment is also fitted.

    Late in 1999, it was stated that development of the third-generation Zulfiqar MBT had been completed and volume production for the Iranian ground forces had commenced.

    Since the existence of the Zulfiqar MBT was first revealed in 1994, further development has taken place with the latest version claimed to have fundamental differences, especially in the turret.

    According to Iran, the Zulfigar MBT features an NBC system, good cross-country mobility, advanced fire control system (possibly of European origin) and laser range-finder for improved first round hit capability and reinforced passive armor.
    It is believed that the 125 mm smooth bore gun and its associated automatic loading system is the same as that installed in the T-72S MBT which is now being manufactured in Iran under a deal signed with Russia several years ago. This feeds the 125 mm projectile and then the charge into the 125 mm gun. A 7.62 mm machine gun is mounted coaxial with the main armament.

    Russia and Poland have also supplied Iran with about 200 T-72 series MBTs which were delivered between 1993 and 1995. In many respects the Zulfigar MBT is very similar in. appearance to the now defunct Brazilian ENGESA Osorio MBT but with suspension similar to that of the 105 mm armed M60 MBT already in service with Iran. Prototypes of the Osorio were armed with a 105 mm rifled tank gun or a 120 mm smoothbore gun, both of which were manually loaded.

    It is believed that the power pack of the Zulfiqar MBT may also be used in the upgraded Iranian T-54/T-55/ Type 59 MBT which is also called the Type 72Z and covered in a separate entry. This consists of a Russian V-46-6 V-12 diesel developing 780 hp coupled to a SPAT 1200 transmission. This gives Zulfiqar a maximum road speed of 65 km/h.

    Status
    In production. In service with the Iranian Army. There are no known exports of the Zulfiqar.

    Manufacturers
    Defence Industries Organisation. Shahid Kolah Dooz Industrial Complex.

    Courtesy: Janes Armor & Artillery
     
  6. EagleEyes

    EagleEyes PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    Zulfiqar MBT 1

    b51c9d5d3b2515d2795d650321519cb4.jpg
     
  7. Averroes

    Averroes FULL MEMBER

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    from the two pictures you provided, where they're being paraded on a truck. alluding to that they're not functional isn't really rational, nor factual. there's so much we don't know, and that's what plays to Iran's advantage.
     
  8. Keysersoze

    Keysersoze SENIOR MEMBER

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    It's extremely factual actually as there are pictures (from the same parade)of the other tanks being driven (The T-72's et al)
    Frankly Irans military is in a bit of disarray.....They have been trying over the years to rectify the problem but they have whole generations of equipment (which have been short of spares and have gone through a long war with Iraq) to replace and simply don't have the budget.

    I know with your personal leanings you want it to be true. But if Iran's homegrown weapons worked as well as the Iranian media claimed then they would not be worried by the potential american threat and desperately trying to buy Russian pantsir systems
     
  9. Averroes

    Averroes FULL MEMBER

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    Their army certainly doesn't meet up to our army, but we shouldn't be quick to dismiss. To assume without real insight that a nation is without a functional MBT is quite farfetched, and quite reminiscient of similar claims which were made by the US when they showed iraqi trucks moving around and the conclusion was that they were transporting WMD. (ie they had few pics , u showed few pics). If indeed this is a stunt by the iranians, then it's their loss.

    Does the pantsir system fulfill the same role that Zulfiqar is meant to perform?
     
  10. Keysersoze

    Keysersoze SENIOR MEMBER

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    To be honest I believe the Iranians are trying to initiate a industry in their country in order to sidestep sanctions. However the problem is that the same sanctions are not letting them get the relevant expertise/equipment from external sources in order to allow them to do so effectively. In the long run I am sure they will get there however it will be a long process (decades) As there is a budget squeeze.

    The pantsir is a air defence system as I am guessing that there will not be a ground attack rather a air attack. hence they have been buying S-300 and Pantsir systems. they got around the embargo by getting Syria to be the middle man (they get a number of systems paid for them by Iran)
     
  11. kidwaibhai

    kidwaibhai SENIOR MEMBER

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    the turret of this tank seems like an enlarged version of the M60 patton tank. The should try to get more experts from former soviet republics possibly get their scientests into their country claiming that they are there as tourists after all the soviets made tanks that made NATO's knees weak.
     
  12. Keysersoze

    Keysersoze SENIOR MEMBER

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    No they didn't dude.....they just had LOTS of them...
     
  13. kidwaibhai

    kidwaibhai SENIOR MEMBER

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    Point taken but if they get help from the russians they will get a much better tank than the one that they have know.
     
  14. su-47

    su-47 SENIOR MEMBER

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    russian equipment has always had the bad luck of being used by inadequately trained troops against well trained ones. Eg arabs vs israelis. this way the russian weapons get a negative reputation as being useless or inferior.

    This is not true. Russian equipment is on par, or almost on par with western ones. in terms of cost effectiveness they surpass western weapons.

    If iran wants good tanks, they should get Russian black eagles
     
  15. Keysersoze

    Keysersoze SENIOR MEMBER

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    Hmmmm this old hat? :lol:

    Sorry but it is not........
    1)It is designed for conscripts (i.e. simple to use).
    2)It has to be rugged (because it is used by conscripts).
    3)The conscripts were not regarded as assets therefore crew protection is poor.

    The equipment has had the same problems regardless of who uses it so that excuse is not valid. The excuse that poorly trained Arabs used it doesn't wash......who trained them? (Russians just in case you didn't know) The Russian tanks sucked when the Russians used them against the Chechen's in Grozny. Russian aircraft sucked when used by Russian mercenaries in the Horn of Africa.