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Zulfiqar

The Iranian Zulfiqar [Zolfaqar] main battle tank is believed to be pieced together or developed from major components of the Russian T-72 and American M48 and M60 tanks. This tank, which is claimed to be in production in Irana, is said to be similiar in configuration to the M-48 and M-60. In April 1997 Acting Commander of the Ground Forces of the Iranian Army, Lieutenant General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani announced that the mass production of Zulfiqar tanks, which began in 1996, was still in progress. He stated that the manufacture of 520 different kinds of tank parts, 600 artillery parts, repair of 500 tanks and armored vehicles have been carried out. In late July 1997 Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani of Iran formally inaugurated a production line for the domestically manufactured Zulfiqar main battle tanks and Boragh tracked armoured personnel carriers. The facility will also produce the BMT-2 personnel carrier identified. Iran has reportedly developed a new explosive reactive armour (ERA) package that can be fitted to existing or new build MBTs to provide protection against kinetic and high-explosive anti-tank projectiles. If fitted to existing Iranian MBTs it would considerably increase their battlefield survivability.

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