Donnerstag, 30. Juli 2015

Pakistan prefers Oplot?

According to rumors spread on the internet, Pakistan recently trialed the latest version of the Ukranian Oplot-M main battle tank and the Norinco MBT-3000. Supposedly, the results were in favor of the Ukranian tank.

The Oplot MBT in Pakistan
The Oplot-M main battle tank is made by the Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau in the Ukraine. It is protected by composite armor and heavy Duplet reactive armor along the frontal arc, while ERA protects the flanks. It is also fitted with the Varta proteciton system (an improved version of the Shtora system of the Soviet Union), which already has been adopted on the Al-Khalid.
The main armament consists of a modern 125 mm KBA-3 smoothbore gun, which is fitted with a T-80-style autoloader. The Oplot-M also features a modern fire control unit with thermal sights for both gunner and commander.
The Oplot is powered by a six-cylinder 6ТD-2 multifuel diesel engine, which provides an output of up to 1200 hp.

More detailed information can be accessed on the manufacturer's website.

The Chinese MBT-3000 was claimed to be very similar to the current version of the Al-Khalid and seen "as not much of an improvment". Given the relationship between the Al-Khalid (which started as a modified Chinese Type 90 design) and the MBT-3000 (which is a modified Type 90/Type 96 tank design) this seems to be plausible.

The Chinese MBT-3000, supposedly tested in Pakistan alongside the Oplot.



Author's opinion: I don't know if these rumors are true, but it seems to be reasonable to choose the Oplot-M over the MBT-3000. At least the Oplot-M seems to be a more advanced and better design.
However it is rather questionable if the Ukraine is able to manufacture enough tanks for Pakstain (they already have troubles with the Thailand deal) and also wether the Ukraine is willing to agree on a local production (which seems to be demanded by Pakistan).

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