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Bangladesh Purchases 44 Norinco MBT 2000s

July 3, 2011

Chinese MBT 2000 02

After successfully under-bidding its export rivals Ukraine, Russia, and Pakistan, China is now set to deliver 44 MBT 2000s to the Bangladeshi Army. News of the deal was released at the end of June and it seems China has scored a major coup by successfully marketing its MBT 2000 despite close rivalry from the Al Khalid, T-90, and T-80UD.

The purchase costs Tk 1,206 crore or $162 million dollars. The delivery schedule is a bit stretched out, with a 27 month window given Norinco to deliver all 44 tanks and conduct training of Bangladeshi personnel for proper maintenance.

The MBT 2000 is the designation for Norinco’s most advanced MBT (after the Type 99) whose development dates back to the 80s under the 201 Institute. Chronicling the Chinese MBT program in the last 20 years might prove confusing for observers, as multiple variants of a single model have surfaced with alarming regularity.

The earliest ancestor of the MBT 2000 is no doubt the Type 85, a Chinese T-72 knockoff equipped with a 125mm auto-loading smoothbore gun. Since then, additional variants have been unveiled like the Type 96, the Type 98, and the Type 99, the latest being a full-fledged third-generation MBT. The key differences with each model are altered design features, which often involve the engine and add on armor.

Chinese MBT 2000

The MBT 2000 is expected to be making waves in the global arms market as an effective but cheaper alternative to its closest Russian competition. To date, Peru, Sudan, and Pakistan are its most eager customers. Pakistan has gone a step further by license building its own MBT 2000 version the Al Khalid, which is also on the market.

The MBT 2000 is distinctive for its enhanced turret whose shape borrows from Western tank design. Another key identifier are its side skirts and ERA plating. The MBT 2000 is powered by a Ukrainian diesel engine and can move at 45 km/h on rugged terrain.

Via The Daily Star


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