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Pakistan Receives Additional VT4 and Al-Khalid-I Parts

In May 2021, Pakistan took delivery of both additional VT4 main battle tanks (MBT) and subassemblies or components for the al-Khalid Improved (al-Khalid I) from China’s Norinco Group. The information comes from publicly available import-export registries in Pakistan.

The Pakistan Army (PA) officially revealed the VT4 during a firing demonstration in October 2020. The PA had evaluated the VT4 as part of its Haider MBT program. The PA planned the Haider program as an off-the-shelf solution to accelerate its tank modernization efforts (alongside the al-Khalid-series).

Pakistan shortlisted the VT4 and the Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau (KMDB) Oplot-P, and ultimately, selected the VT4 in late 2018. According to sources, the PA has a $859 million U.S contract in place for 176 VT-4 tanks. Pakistan is considering additional batches.

In terms of the al-Khalid I, the PA currently has an order for 110 units in place with Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT). HIT delivered its most recent al-Khalid I batch to the PA in August 2020. Based on information from the Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP), HIT delivered 45 al-Khalid Is between 2015 and 2018.

Norinco Group has been delivering components for the al-Khalid I through 2020 and 2021. Based on these deliveries, it is possible that the PA will induct another batch of al-Khalid I MBTs in late 2021 or early 2022. Likewise, one can expect another VT4 induction announcement around that timeframe as well.

Developing a Next-Generation Tank

Neither HIT or the MoDP have offered new updates regarding the al-Khalid 2. The al-Khalid 2 is slated to be the most significant upgrade to the al-Khalid series to-date. Earlier reports had outlined that the new MBT could have a 1,500 hp engine (versus the 1,200 hp 6TD-2 of the al-Khalid I). In addition, Aselsan from Turkey offered its next-generation electronics package for the al-Khalid 2…

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