Pakistan’s Norinco and Pakistan’s HIT yesterday signed an agreement to jointly market the Al Khalid main battle tank, especially to emerging market economies like Asia and Africa, which cannot afford more expensive Western products.
The memorandum of understanding was signed at the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar held in Karachi, Pakistan. Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) and Norinco Corporation will also jointly market other products, such as security vehicles.
Qasim Ijaz Cheema, Cost Accountant at HIT said that the Al Khalid tank was designed by Pakistan in collaboration with China, which exported it without Pakistan’s permission. The new agreement makes provision for joint marketing and profit sharing.
So far, around 300 Al Khalids have been produced. Cheema said there was great interest in the Middle East and Africa for the tank. It is aimed primarily at emerging markets that cannot afford expensive main battle tanks.
The Al-Khalid is based on the Norinco Type 90-II main battle tank. It was originally meant to be license built at HIT, but design improvements made for the Pakistan Army resulted in the Al Khalid
Armament includes a 125 mm smoothbore gun, coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun and a 12.7 mm machine gun for engaging ground and aerial targets. The Al-Khalid can engage targets while it is stationary or moving. The tank is powered by a Ukrainian 6TDF diesel engine developing 1 200 hp, for a top speed of more than 70 km/h.
HIT also produces the Al Zarrar tank, with 500 built, but these are not for export as they are being built specifically for the Pakistan Army.