DIO Zulfiqar MBT

JAZZ

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Information on Iran's DIO Zulfiqar is sketchey, programme developed from 1994, with a conventinally layed out MBT. it has been suggested that the tank is based on components derived from the M60, M48 and T-72. Which makes sense, no point starting everything from scratch.

Reports have it that the tank is armed with 125mm (thats highly likely) is 40t and has a 780hp engine. Reports suggest that there are three versions Mk's 1-3. I suspect that both weight and engine power has increased from the orginally estimated 40t and 780hp.

Anyone have any more information on this MBT series.

Mk-1/2 pics
 

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JAZZ

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Latest version Mk-3 ???
 

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JohnR

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Is it me or does the Mk3 look like and M1 with a touch of Leo2?
 

Eagle2009

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There has been much discussion of this tank on the net, and I can tell you these are the points most who have closely studied images of the family of tanks:
Zulfiqar-1

1. 780hp engine- This is likely an error by foreign analyists, since the 780hp engine claimed by so many is the V46 engine used in early T-72 variants. However, this engine, no matter what tank uses it, has a very distinct side mounted exhausts which are not present on any version of the Zulfiqar. Close study of the engine exhaust and studying the hull suggests the engine is actually the Continental 1790 engine used in the M48/M60.
2. Tracks/Wheels- uses the same roadwheel and support wheels as the M48, and is believed to use a transmission and suspension based on the Patton tanks.
3. Cannon- Is indeed the 2A46 125mm cannon
4. Fire Control- Interior images of the tank are believed to show the Z-1 uses a Yugoslavian/Serbian Fire Control system
5. Weight- Is believed to be between 36-40 metric tons.

Zulfiqar-2
- Is believed to be the test bed/demonstrator of the Zulfiqar-3
Zulfiqar-3
- Design- Radically different than the original design, it was first paraded in 2002 and little has happened since. The design is very Abram-like including the following features:
1. Turret- Has large sloping surfaces that are more sloped than Abrams but from the front its looks very similar.
2. Hull- Is a stepped design (getting shorter as you get close to the front of the hull), broadly similar to Abrams
3. Wheels/Track- Has seven roadwheels just like the Abrams, and uses the same roadwheels as Z-1 and M60 Patton
4. Engine- Unknown, only clue is the two large exhausts in the rear just as with the Z-1 so it could also be powered by the 1790 engine (though it would likely make it very underpowered)
5. Cannon- Same as Z-1, 2A46 125mm cannon

The real question of the Zulfiqar tank family is if any of them has entered production or not. There is no evidence (such as images of production lines) of this and it isnt offered for export like many of Iran's military equipment (including the Boragh APC/IFV). The Z-3 likely hasnt entered production, it is only seen on parade on trailers and the ones shown look just as they did in 2002. Also, unlike the Z-1, the Zulfiqar-3 hasnt been in excercises or demonstrations so how operational it is no one knows. As a matter of fact, in June Iranian officials claimed they would unveil a new Zulfiqar variant in July and that turned out to be a bust.
 

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Eagle2009

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Today was Army Day in Iran and accordingly there was a parade and we got a good surprise this year...What appears to be production model Zulfiqar tank.

The tank is design is identical to the Zulfiqar 3 I referred to in the past but features several elements that are indicative of operational tanks:

1. Machine Guns- Two 12.7mm guns and a single MG3 light machine gun
2. Smoke grenade launchers
3. Thermal sleeve on the main gun
4. Slightly different looking Engine bay (including different exhausts)

Now while these are not completely conclusive of an operational/production tank but they certain do hint at it.

Regardless this is a much sharper looking Zulfiqar than its predecessor!
 

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