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Pakistan and Ukraine begin implementing armour agreements
March 28, 2017
Pakistan-Army-T-80UD-tank
A Pakistan Army T-80UD. Photo credit - Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building

Pakistan and Ukraine begin implementing armour agreements

Pakistan and Ukraine have begun implementing their recently concluded memoranda-of-understanding (MoUs) for collaboration and support in armour programs.

As per Ukraine News Agency Interfax, the Ukrainian industry will supply 88 tank sights to Pakistan as well as support Heavy Industries Taxila in overhauling the Pakistan Army’s T-80UD main battle tanks (MBT). This will start with a pilot program covering five T-80UDs.

In November 2016, Pakistan and Ukraine signed a $600 million MoU for the supply of 200 diesel engines for al-Khalid 1 MBTs and technical support for the maintenance and modernization of other Pakistan Army tanks and armoured vehicles. This was followed up with another MoU in February which reportedly had Ukraine and Pakistan agree to the co-production tank engine parts.

The Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau (KMDB) Oplot-M was slotted as a candidate for the Pakistan Army’s Haider MBT program (the status of the Haider MBT is not known). The Oplot-M is a vastly modernized version of the T-84, which itself is an advancement of the T-80UD.

Notes & Comments:

This appears to be the start of the initial MoU (from November). The extent of Pakistan’s T-80UD upgrade program is not known, but the order for 88 sights may indicate an intent to bring the T-80UD to Oplot-M standards. The Oplot-M uses a panoramic thermal-imaging sight, which is attached to the turret.

It is not known if Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) will replace the T-80UD’s turret, like it had with the T-59 to al-Zarrar upgrade. However, the pilot-run may suggest that this is a relatively significant and upgrade.

  • Aamir

    Oplot-M is a much better option than the Chinese option, keeping in perspective the bitter experience with the T-85. Hoping the Armored Crops thinks the same.

    • Shaheer Anjum

      Could you please elaborate on the bitter experience for those like me who don’t know about it. Thanks

      • Aamir

        We bought 300 Type 85II from China, these were and still are nightmare to maintain and very unreliable. So pretty much useless in battle. We were supposed to buy 600 but better sense prevailed & the order was canceled.

  • U

    @Quwa: It would be nice to have an article about the different options of Tanks available to Pakistan and how they compare, just as the one about Attack Helicopters.

    Need to understand how good or bad are current Pak Army Tanks compared to Indian Tanks and what are the strengths and improvements of future Pak Army options. For eg As per my information the Indian Tanks already have an active protection system where as the Pakistani Tanks don’t yet have any such tech.

    Also what is the current standard or generation of tanks being deployed internationaly.

    Hope to see one soon 😊

  • John John Slade

    At least it’s a good start.

  • Jmail H

    We need to stop relying on China so much. We may come across ungrateful but Chinese are selling all the crap to us. We need to start building everything ourselves. Reliance won’t get us anywhere.

  • Chagatai Temüchin Kurtoglu

    Just a few months ago, according to Quwa, Pakistan was to cancel or pospond the “Al-Haider Programme” and instead, continue with “Al-Khalid” upgrade packages to extend the life time of the current fleet. With IDEX-2017, T-84 (Oplot-M) somehow became an option but why and how ? What did Ukraine offer to convince Pakistan about resurrecting “Al-Haider Programme” and go on with “T-84 Oplot-M” instead of Chinese “MBT-3000 (VT-4)” ? Did they offer local production oppurtunities and even if so, how useful can T-84 be against Indian counterparts, it’s obviously, not a match for T-90MS. Since they’re for similar prices, why dont Pakistan consider T-90MS instead ? T-80 chassis is a problematic one with weird flaws, at least T-72/90 chassis proved much worthy. And why not Turkish Altay MBT? It’s by far the best option as a long-term invesment.

    • Syed Arbab Shah

      Pakistan is not the first to choose Oplot M over other tanks, keeping the price and performance in mind.

      Yes I am talking about Thailand, which opted for Oplot M over T 90.
      Surprisingly, the Chinese tank was more expensive then what Russians had to offer.

    • We never said Haider was being cancelled or postponed, we just said – as we have in this article and many before it – that Haider’s status is “unclear” or “not known.”

  • Aamir

    Interesting factoid: at the time when Pakistan was looking at the T85 (early 90’s or late 80’s) it was also taking a serious look at the British Chieftain MBT, the Brits were transitioning to the Challenger 1 and had about about 450-500 tanks. For whatever reason we went with the T85, there were rumors that the British were willing but wanted to takeoff the Chobham armour. Jordan bought these tanks, which were upgraded and serve their military as ‘the Khalid’ they also brought the Challenger 1.

    Call me crazy but I think the Chieftain would have been better option.

    • Superior Shakeel

      Interesting Factoid indeed thanks for sharing.

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