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Iran to Unveil New Home-Made Tank “Sabalan” Early 2014

5 February 2013 7:44

A1043817The 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.

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