Top-10 Tanks

I have been personally researching and reading/watching news, information and articles on world militaries also learning from my courses and from several websites. Here are my top Battle Tanks in the world according to my studies and research.

1). M1A1 Abrams (USA)


The main battle tank of American military sits in the top with its 120mm smoothbore cannon, classified Chobham armor and a 1500hp engine giving it a top speed of 40mph. Equipped with advanced fire-control computer and damage control systems; it is surely the most hi-tech. Never defeated in a conventional tank battle but it has suffered in the hit-and-run tactics in Iraq. This tank is an American third-generation main battle tank. The tank is named after Gen. Creighton Abrams, former Army Chief of Staff and Commander of US military forces in Vietnam from 1968 to 1972.
Features and specifications:
  • Weight 67.6 short tons (61.3 t; 60.4 long tons)
  • Length  Gun forward: 32.04 ft (9.77 m)
  • Hull length: 26.02 ft (7.93 m)
  • Width    12 ft (3.66 m)
  • Height   8 ft (2.44 m)
  • Crew     4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver)
  • uses a powerful gas turbine engine Honeywell AGT1500C multi-fuel turbine engine(1,120 kW)
  • Has sophisticated composite armor
  • Primary weapon:               105 mm L52 M68 rifled cannon (M1), 120 mm L44 M256 smoothbore cannon (M1A1, M1A2, M1A2SEP)42 rounds
  • Secondary weapon:         1 x .50-caliber (12.7 mm) M2HB 900 rounds heavy machine gun, 2 x 7.62 mm (.308) M240 machine guns (1 pintle-mounted, 1 coaxial
  • Has separate ammunition storage in a blow-out compartment for crew safety
  • It is one of the heaviest tanks in service – 62 metric tons
  • It is anticipated to be in U.S. service until the 2050s,
  • It costs US$6.21 million
  • Operational range 300 mi (479.24 km) With NBC system: 355 mi (567.24 km)
  • Speed   Road: 45 mph (72 km/h) Off-road: 33 mph (52.8 km/h)

2). Challenger-2 (UK)

Challenger 2 is a British main battle tank (MBT) currently in service with the armies of the United Kingdom and Oman. It was designed and built by the British company Vickers Defense .The current British main battle tank has seen in action in Iraq. One Challenger was hit by eight RPG’s and a MILAN anti-tank missile, but its crew survived unharmed though shaken. It also uses the same Chobham armor as the Abrams. It can survive 14 hits from rocket propelled grenades and from one MILAN anti tank missile.
  • Weight 62.5 tones (61.5 LT; 68.9 ST)
  • Length  8.3 m (27 ft 3 in)
  • 11.50 m (37 ft 9 in) with gun forward
  • Width    3.5 m (11 ft 6 in)
  • 4.2 m (13 ft 9 in) with appliqué armor
  • Height   2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)
  • Crew     4 (commander, gunner, loader/operator, driver)
  • Operational range 450 km (280 mi)
  • Primary weapon:             L30A1 120 mm rifled gun with 52 rounds
  • Secondary weapon:        Coaxial 7.62 mm L94A1 EX-34 (chain gun),7.62 mm L37A2 Commander’s cupola machine gun
  • Speed   59 km/h (37 mph) 37 km/h (23 mph) off road
  • Engine  Perkins CV-12 Diesel 1,200 hp (890 kW)
  • A unit of Challenger II £4,217,000 or ~$7,921,000

3). Al-Khalid (Pakistan)

In 1990 Pakistan embarked on this project to develop its own tank and within 10 years it has designed manufactured and tested the product which is now in production. This compared to an average time of 13 to 15 years to mature a tank development programmed for most of the western Countries with substantial experience in tank design and manufacture. It is worth mentioning here that it took India 25 years to develop her project of Arjun tank and cost her considerably more. The 125mm smooth gun of the tank is also produced locally. The tank is equipped with night vision equipment and explosive reactive armor for higher level of battlefield survivability. After the field trials with Pak Army, the tank was officially handed over to Pakistan Army on 23 September 2004.
  • Auto targeting and auto fire.
  • Auto loader and Composite armor.
  • Smoke screen and night vision.
  • Weight 48 t (53 short tons)[1]
  • Length  10.07 m (33.0 ft)
  • Width    3.50 m (11.5 ft)
  • Height   2.40 m (7.9 ft)
  • Crew     3
  • Primary weapon:             125 mm smoothbore gun, 39 rounds
  • Secondary weapon:        7.62 mm coaxial MG, 3000 rounds
  • 12.7 mm external AA MG, 500 rounds
  • Engine  KMDB 6TD-2 6-cylinder diesel 1,200 hp (890 kW)
  • Power/weight   26 hp/tone
  • Transmission      SESM ESM500 5-speed automatic
  • Operational range           500 km (combat range)
  • Speed   72 km/h

4). T-90 (Russia)

The T-90S is the latest development in the T-series of Russian tanks and represents an increase in firepower, mobility and protection. It is manufactured by the Uralvagonzavod Plant in Nizhniy Tagil (Potkin’s bureau) of the Russian Federation. The T-90 is a Russian main battle tank and presently the most advance tank in service with the Russian Ground Forces and Indian Army. It entered service in 1992.
Features and specifications: Protective measures include KOntakt-5 ERA
  • Weight 46.5 tonnes (45.8 LT; 51.3 ST)
  • Length  9.53 m (31 ft 3 in)
  • Width    3.78 m (12 ft 5 in)
  • Height   2.22 m (7 ft 3 in)
  • Crew     3
  • It is equipped with Laser warning receivers
  • It has EMT-7 electronic pulse (EMP) creator for the destruction of magnetic mines
  • Primary weapon:             25 mm smoothbore gun with ATGM capability; mainly 9M119 Svir
  • Secondary weapon:        7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun
  • It is armed with Shtora infrared ATGM jamming system.
  • It features a 4-stroke V-84ms diesel engine with 849hp.
  • The fuel capacity of this battle machine is 1,600l.
  • The range is 650km on paved roads and 500km on unpaved.

5). Leclerc (France)

The Leclerc main battle tank (MBT) built by Giat Industries is operational with the French Army and the armed forces of Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates. The Leclerc was first operational with the French Army in 1992 and with UAE in 1995. Leclerc mk2 tanks with improved software and engine control system entered production in 1998. The French Army has 354 Leclerc MBTs in service and in September 2001 ordered the final tranche of 52, concluding a total order of 406 (plus 20 armoured recovery vehicles). Deliveries completed in October 2007.The Leclerc is the main battle tank of France created by Nexter. It was named for Gen. Philippe Leclerc of WW II. It entered service in 1992 and is also operated by UAE – United Arab Emirates. The French Army has a total of 406 Leclercs and the UAE has 388. A unit of Leclerc is worth ₣ 29,000,000 in 1993.
Features and specifications:
  • weight of 54.5 tonnes
  • length of 9.87 meters
  • width of 3.71 meters
  • height of 2.53 meters
  • crews  3(commander, gunner and driver)
  • Engine  8-cylinder diesel Wärtsilä 1,500 hp (1,100 kW)
  • Primary weapon GIAT CN120-26/52, 120mm tank gun 40 rounds (1 round ready to fire in the chamber, 22 rounds inside the autoloader magazine with additional 18 rounds in the chassis)
  • Secondary weapon         12.7 mm coaxial M2HB machine gun 1,100 rounds, 7.62mm machine gun 3,000 rounds
  • Crew3 (commander, driver, gunner)
  • Combat Weight56t
  • Road Speed70km/h

6). Leopard-2 (Germany)

The Leopard 2, was first produced in 1979 and is in service with the armies of Austria, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain and Turkey, with over 3,200 produced. The Leopard 2 is the main battle tank of Germany. It entered service in 1979. It first saw combat in Kosovo with the German Army and has also seen action in Afghanistan with the Danish and Canadian ISAF forces. The Leopard 2 is one of the most expensive tanks in the world where a single unit is worth US$4.5 million (Leopard 2A6).
Features and specifications:
  • It features digital fire control systems with laser rangefinders
  • It has a fully stabilized main gun
  • Crew 2
  • Weight62 metric tonnes
  • Length7.7m
  • Width3.7m
  • Height3m
  • Maximum Speed72km/hr
  • Maximum Range500km
  • It is equipped with coaxial machine gun
  • It has advanced night vision and sighting equipment
  • It has the ability to engage moving targets while moving over rough terrain.
  • It can drive through water 4 meters deep using a snorkel
  • It can climb vertical obstacles over one meter high.
  • It is powered with a turbo-charged multi-fuel V12 diesel engine that produces 1,500 PS
  • mine protection system for the Leopard 2

7). Merkava (Israel)

First introduced in 1977, the Merkava was design with crew safety and protection in mind. Though low in mobility, it has adapted well to the urban nature of warfare faced by the Israeli forces. But its complex design lowers its production rate. The Merkava, which is means Chariot in Hebrew, is the main battle tank of Israel Defense Forces. A Merkava tank is worth $4.5-$5 million in 2006. The turret assembly is located nearer the rear that gives the crew additional protection against a frontal attack. The rear entrance’s clamshell-style doors provide overhead protection when off- and on-loading cargo and personnel.
Features and specifications:
  • Weight 65 tonnes
  • Length  9.04 m (29.66 ft): rear to muzzle
  • 7.60 m (24.93 ft): without gun
  • Width    3.72 m (12.2 ft)—without skirts
  • Height   2.66 m (8.73 ft)—turret roof
  • Crew     4 (commander, driver, gunner, loader)
  • Armor   Classified composite matrix of laminated ceramic-steel-nickel alloy. Sloped modular design.
  • Primary weapon:             120 mm (4.7 in) MG253 smoothbore gun, capable of firing LAHAT ATGM
  • Secondary  weapon:       1 × 12.7 mm (0.5 in) MG, 2 × 7.62 mm (0.3 in) MG, 1 × 60 mm (2.4 in) internal mortar
  • 12 smoke grenades
  • Engine  1,500 hp (1,119 kW) turbocharged diesel engine
  • It can attain a speed of 64 km/h.

8). CI-Ariete (Italy)

The Ariete CI is currently being brought into service and studies are being carried out for an advanced second or third-generation battle tank. The Italian Army took delivery of its first Ariete main battle tank in December 1995. This tank carries the latest optical and digital-imaging and fire-control systems, enabling it to fight day and night and to fire on the move. The first deliveries were in 1995, and the last occurred 7 years later in August 2002.
Features and specifications:
  • It is mounted with a 120 mm smooth bore Oto Melara cannon
  • It is also equipped with a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun
  • It also has a 7.62 mm anti-aircraft machine gun manned by the tank commander.
  • weight 54 tonnes
  • length 9.67 meters
  • It is operated by 4 crews
  • It can attain a speed of 70 km/h

9). T-84 (Ukraine)

The T-84, the main battle tank of Ukraine, is one of the fastest existing MBTs in the world, It entered service in the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 1999.This tank was developed from Soviet T-80. The T-84
Oplot is an advanced version incorporating an armored ammunition compartment in a new turret bustle. The T-84-120 Yatagan is a prototype model intended for export, mounting a 120 mm gun capable of firing standard NATO ammunition and guided missiles.
Features and specifications:
  • It has a 26 hp/t power-to-weight ratio (compared to 18 hp/t of the contemporary Russian T-90
  • It is designed to perform well in hot climates, and even includes an air-conditioned crew compartment
  • Weight 46 tonnes
  • Length  7.086 m (23 ft 3 in)
  • Width    3.775 m (12 ft 5 in)
  • Height   2.215 m (7 ft 3 in)
  • Crew     3
  • Armour                Steel, composite, ERA
  • Primary weapon:             KBA-3 125 mm smoothbore gun (43 rds)
  • Secondary weapon:        7.62 mm KT-7.62 coaxial machine gun, 12.7 mm KT-12.7 anti-aircraft machine gun
  • Engine  KMDB 6TD-2 6-cylinder diesel 1,200 hp (890 kW)
  • It can attain a speed of 65 km/h

10). Type 99 (China)

Type 99, a 3rd generation main battle tank operated by the Peoples Liberation Army of China, is the fastest tank in the world. The ZTZ99 MBT is considered one of the 12 best tanks in the world. A unit of Type 99 is worth ¥ 17,417,659 Renminbi, approximately US$2.5 million. It is also known as ZTZ-99 and WZ-123. The newest and much improve variant is the Type 99KM It is currently the most advanced MBT in the People’s Liberation Army. It entered the PLA service in 2001.
Features and specifications:
  • It is equipped with newer modular active protection system
  • It has a JD-4 active laser defense system
  • It has more powerful engine
  • Weight 54 tones for Type-99G, 57 tones for Type-99A1,58 tones for Type-99A2
  • Length  11.0 m
  • Width    3.4 m
  • Height   2.2 m
  • Crew     3 (4 originally based on the Type 98 prototypes without autoloader)
  • Armor   Classified, Al2O3, ERA, composite
  • Primary weapon:             125 mm smoothbore tank gun, compatible with Chinese 140mm guns, 155 mm for Type 99KM
  • Secondary weapon:        Type 85 heavy machine gun 12.7×108 mm commander’s machine gun, 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun
  • Engine  liquid-cooled diesel 1,500 hp (1,100 kW); 2,100 hp
  • The driver’s compartment is in the front
  • The fighting compartment lies directly behind the driver’s compartment
  • Its engine is installed in the rear.
  • This tank can attain a top speed of 80km/h