Armor: December 31, 2003


: Apparently, the Saudis have reached another threshold in their evaluation of the Pakistani "Al Khalid" Main Battle Tank. A Saudi team of 23 officers from the Royal Saudi Land Forces started the evaluation (which also included other Pakistani armored vehicles, like the Saad armored personnel carrier) back in October. The "Al Khalid" is essentially an upgraded T-72, using Ukrainian and Chinese components. What makes the tank particularly attractive to the Saudis is the Ukrainian success at building a tank engine that functions well in hot climates. The Chinese electronics and gun systems, while capable, have reliability problems and the armor is nothing special. The three man crew makes maintenance difficult and there are doubts that over ten years of development have solved all the vehicles problems. -- Adam Geibel

Al Khalid specifications, online at:


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