In an interview, Heavy Industries Taxila’s (HIT) Chairman, Major General Syed Aamer Raza, suggested that the forthcoming al-Khalid 2 main battle tank (MBT) could draw on the VT-4’s technology.
The al-Khalid 2 and VT-4 are the Pakistan Army’s ongoing next-generation MBT programs.
Pakistan ordered 176 VT-4 tanks for $859 million U.S. The Pakistan Army announced the VT-4’s induction in October of last year as part of a firing demonstration. Publicly available import-export registries report that Pakistan took on additional VT-4 deliveries as recently as May 2021.
The al-Khalid 2 is a significant upgrade or development of the al-Khalid-series, one of the mainstay MBTs of the Pakistan Army. The Army and HIT have not disclosed many specific details about the new MBT, but to-date, they revealed that the al-Khalid 2 could use a 1,500 hp diesel engine and upgraded electronics.
Currently, HIT is working through an order of 110 al-Khalid I (Improved) MBTs for the Army. It seems that HIT has fulfilled at least 50% of the order, and based on its current output, HIT could complete the contract within the next two to three years. This transition point could lead to the start of al-Khalid 2 production.
The idea that the PA could use some subsystems from the VT-4 on the al-Khalid 2 is not surprising. When it selected the VT-4, the Army found the tank suitable for Pakistan’s climate and geographic conditions. In addition, using some of the VT-4’s subsystems on the al-Khalid 2 could help with streamlining support.
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For More Information on Pakistan’s Armour Programs: “The HIT: More than just tanks.” Global Village Space. 05 July 2021. URL: https://www.globalvillagespace.com/the-hit-more-than-just-tanks/