Armor: June 28, 2002

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More details have been released on Pakistan's tank program. The 320 T-80UD tanks already delivered form the core of the Pakistani's tank force (which has about 2100 tanks). These have 6TD-1 engines generating 1,000 horsepower. The next step will be to build some 315 Al Khalid tanks, based on a Chinese design (itself reverse engineered from Russian designs). The Chinese had wanted to sell Pakistan engines as well as tank components, but after trying several Chinese engines, Pakistan found none of them suitable. Instead, it will buy 6TD-2 engines (1,200 horsepower diesels) from Ukraine. The 6TD-1 and 6-TD-2 use about 80 percent of the same parts, which would simplify logistical problems caused by operating so many different tank types. (Pakistan has Chinese-built Type-59s, Type-69-IIs, and Type-85s, as well as the T-80UD and the Al Khalid.) Eventually, Pakistan wants to shift to a fleet entirely of Al Khalids (or an improved version of it rumored to be on the drawing boards).--Stephen V Cole

 


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