Iran’s new main battle tank looks like it was made from US and Chinese designs from the 1960s

Tiam tank iran
Iran’s Tiam tank. Go Ran via Youtube

Earlier this month, Iran unveiled a new main battle tank, the Tiam, that appears to be a mashup of Chinese and US tanks from the 1960s, The Diplomat reports.

The tank appears to have the main hull and engine of the US’ M47M Patton, a variation of the M47 Patton made in the early 1960s, and the turret of China’s type 59/69 tank, first produced in 1958.

The Tiam sports a 105mm rifled main cannon, slightly underpowered when compared to the 120mm cannons found on US and German tanks, or the 125mm cannons found on newer Russian tanks.

When the tank was unveiled in a public ceremony on April 13, it came out partially covered in explosive reactive armour bricks, and spewing thick black smoke from it’s engine, which was designed more than half a century ago.

The tank appears to have no radar or active defence modules, the trend now in ground combat vehicles.

The roll out on the 13th included a few other Iranian-built vehicles, including a self-propelled 57 mm air defence system called the Bahman, and a nuclear, biological, and chemical detection (NBC) vehicle called the Shahram, IHS Janes reports.

Another Iranian tank, the Karrar, which Iranian Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan says is “100% Iranian made and it can even be superior than T-90 in some degrees,” according to Iran’s Mehr News Agency.

Meanwhile, Russia is on track to offer the Armata series of tanks and armoured vehicles, and there are plenty of other options on the market, so Iran’s Tiam tank seems to have dubious prospects as an export.

Tiam iranian tank
The Tiam tank unveiled on 13 April along with the Bahman seen in background. IRNA

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