Iran’s defence industry has unveiled the ‘Kian-700’, a new locally-produced tank transporter, during a visit to a defence factory by Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Mohammad Baqeri and Army Commander Maj. Gen. Seyyed Mousavi on Saturday, Mehr News has reported.
The system’s transport truck is said to be equipped with a 700 horsepower engine, with a total pulling weight of up to 200 tonnes, giving it the ability to carry two 60-tonne tanks at once with ease. The transporter itself is said to weigh 17,700 kg, and to be fitted with a 3+1 axel and 12 gears.
The new transporter was unveiled at an overhaul and refurbishment centre, and complements the Kian 500, a similar transporter with a lower transport capacity.
Speaking to media during the unveiling ceremony, Maj. Gen. Baqeri emphasised the importance of modern military equipment in Iran’s defence, and added that by refurbishing and upgrading equipment, Iran can fulfill the need for modern defence equipment at lower costs than production from scratch, and avoid costly foreign imports.
In addition to their stocks of British-made Chieftains, US-made M60A1s, and Soviet-made T-72s in various modifications (most of which have been heavily modified and upgraded with Iranian-made weapons and other components), Iran’s tank inventory includes the Zulfiqar medium tank, a 52 tonne MBT design developed in the 1990s, and the Karrar, a T-90-inspired tank introduced in 2017 and featuring a 125 mm smoothbore gun, composite armour and explosive reactive armour panels.
According to Global Firepower’s 2019 index, Iran spent the equivalent of about $6.3 billion on defence in 2019, just below Greece, which spent $6.54 billion during the same period. At the same time, the ranking rates the country’s overall military strength at 14th in the world, just below Brazil.
In recent months, amid escalating tensions with the US and its Gulf allies, Iran has shown off a range of new military equipment, including fast gunboats for the Navy, advanced missile defence systems, radars, armoured vehicles, and satellites. Iran’s military engineers proved the value of their new equipment in June, when Iran’s air defence troops managed to shoot down a $220 million US spy drone after it allegedly violated Iranian airspace over the Strait of Hormuz using a domestically developed air defence system known as the Khordad 3.