Pakistan will start production of high tech Al-Khalid 2 tank in the next four years, it has emerged.
At the meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Defense Production, Acting Chairman of Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) Brigadier Tahir Islam told the committee that his organization is producing tanks, tank guns and other related equipment. HIT has the capacity to manufacture fifty tanks, one hundred engines of tanks and fifty APC. The meeting was informed that manufacturing of Al-Khalid-1 tank was started in 2016 and it will be completed in two phases by 2023.
The Al-Khalid 2 will be manufactured keeping in view the future requirements of the country, the Brigadier told Senate Committee.
According to officials, the tank will be comparable to any modern tank.
Al-Khalid Main Battle Tank (MBT) forms the backbone of Pakistan Army’s Armored Corps.
The tank is a result of close collaboration between HIT and China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO), with the first prototype developed in the early ’90s.
The Al-Khalid 2 is a further development of the Chinese Type 90-II tank.
The tank is locally produced at the HIT complex, and an estimated 600 machines are in service. Al-Khalid MBT incorporates Russian and Chinese design philosophy in its manufacture. The tank itself is considerably lighter and smaller, incorporating a lower profile when compared to its Western counterparts.
According to a report in Quwa, in the mid-to-late 2000s, the al-Khalid 2 was envisaged as a major update to the al-Khalid, which was itself intended to be the mainstay MBT of the Pakistan Army. However, strenuous finances amid the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, coupled with the decade-plus long counterinsurgency (COIN) campaign in the Tribal Areas, put the al-Khalid program into a much slower track in terms of procurement and development.