The Alsuyuf III Main Battle Tank is the Advanced Third-Generation MBT in service with the Armies of the Five Deserts and with the Fleet Ground Forces, since 1990. The Alsuyuf III replaced the Alsuyuf II Main Battle Tank, except in a number of specialized variants.
Its successor, the Alsuyuf IV Main Battle Tank, is expected to enter service in 2025.
The Alsuyuf III was developed after the Alsuyuf II got on with the years. Corners cut during the development of the vehicle in the 60s and 70s became apparent, plus the upcoming third generation of Main Battle Tanks simply outclassed the vehicle. Design on the new tank began in 1980 with the Arados Arsenal in Arados, Las.
Armed with the Alqatat Gunsmiths 120mm Rifled Tank Gun, Mark II, the Alsuyuf III had new systems of computerized fire control, a new 2-plane stabilized gun with a new autoloader system, which allowed for 25 of the 50 shells aboard being loaded automatically at a rate of fire of seven rounds per minute. Moreover, this allows the Alsuyuf to fire while on the move. Stabilized gunners' sights (with thermal, night vision and normal modes) and three laser rangefinders (one main system, two reserve) allow for target tracking and destruction. Furthermore, the fire control system allows for IR-tracking, both manual and automatic, weather adjustments and thermal imaging, making the Alsuyuf III a born hunter-killer.
The data acquired by these systems can be shared internally, between the three members of the crew, and externally, between the tank and its companions and command posts via a datalink system. Radio and two tank infantry telephones allow for communication with the outside and while the vehicle has a GPS-System, the crew is trained in map reading.
the Alsuyuf III is armoured by a spaced modular armor and composite panels on a welded steel hull. Track skirts protect the vehicle's vulnerable tracks, while Explosive Reactive Armor provides protection against tandem charge warheads. The crew is fully NBC-protected. A fire detection and suppression system further enhances the survivability. It is estimated by the Tank Evaluation Center of the Armies of the Five Deserts, that the Alsuyuf III can survive encounters with the majority of the vehicles in its weight class currently in service.
Remarkable for tanks of its size is the crew arrangement, with the driver sitting in the front center of hull, under the 12 o'clock position of the gun.
The Alsuyuf III came with a lot of features requested by the Armies of the Five Deserts in order to make the tank more suitable for desert environments:
- Engine-driven mechanical air-conditioning unit to cool the tank without the use of electric current, which could reveal the position of the tank.
- Two remote weapons stations on the turret roof.
- Simplified driving and loading functions.
- Thermal Tarp.
- Wider tracks.
- Can be equipped for deep fording, up to 5 meters depth.
Mark II (1999)
In 1999, the production run was updated for the first time, giving rise to the Alsuyuf III Mark II. Around the same time, the development of the successor, the Alsuyuf IV Main Battle Tank, began.
Optically most distinguishable, the Mark II received a remote controlled weapons station on the turret roof.
Mark III (2011)
In 2011, the fleet was updated yet again, this time to the Mark III Standard.
This time, a number of new passive and active countermeasures were added, including a laser dazzler with a range of five kilometers and a laser warning receiver. The smoke grenade launchers were modified to accept not only standard smoke grenades but also a mixture of chaff, flare and smoke, which is supposed to blind not only optical sensors, but also radar and thermal sensors. An infrared jammer is located at the base of the barrel, capable of confusing infrared-guided missiles.
Active protection measures were added as well,
The commander's machine gun was replaced by a second remote controlled weapons station.
Versions and Variants
- Alsuyuf III Mark I: First Production Version, production run from 1988-1996.
- Alsuyuf III Mark II: Second Production Version, production run from 1999-2006.
- Alsuyuf III Mark III: Third Production Version, production run from 2011-2017.
- Alsuyuf III Armoured Engineering Vehicle:
- Alsuyuf III Armoured Recovery Vehicle:
- Alsuyuf III SPAAG:
- Alsuyuf III SPG: