Iran to Unveil New Home-Made Tank “Sabalan” Early 2014
The Iranian Army plans to unveil another home-made main battle tank, dubbed as Sabalan, by March 2014, a senior Iranian commander announced on Monday.
Today, the army unveiled an optimized version of Zolfaqar and Samsam tanks on the occasion of the Ten-Day Dawn ceremonies, celebrating the victory of the Islamic Revolution back in 1979.
Also in the ceremony, Commander of the Iranian Army Ground Force Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan unveiled a home-made turret for M-47 tanks.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the ceremony, Pourdastan said the new turret has been manufactured by the Self-Sufficiency Jihad Organization of the Army Ground Force.
“The (M-47) tank with its new turret will be unveiled under the new name of Sabalan in the near future by Farvardin 1993 (March – April 2014).”
The Army’s newly unveiled Samsam tank is said to be an upgrade of the M-60A1 battle tank.
Zolfaqar is a second generation of Iran’s main battle tank (MBT). The test prototypes of the tank were evaluated in 1993. Six semi-industrial prototypes of the tank were produced and tested in 1997. The tank has a distinctive box-shaped, steel-welded turret of local design. Zolfaqar combat weight is reported to be 36 tons and has a 780 hp diesel engine; the tank has a 21.7 hp per ton ratio.
Zolfaqar is operated by a crew of three personnel. The automatic loader is believed to be the same one from the T-72 tank.
The Zolfaqar-1 uses a fire control system which enjoys a ‘fire-on-the-move’ technology. The Zolfaqar mounts a laser-warning pod on the turret. Its design enables the tank to use an Iranian-made package of reactive armor.
Zolfaqar-2 is a prototype tank used as a test bed. The Zolfaqar-3 also features considerable upgrades to the fire control system, chassis, engine and main gun, with a 125mm autoloader.