Timur MBT

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Tımur Main Battle Tank

Turkestan's National Battle Tank project is the first of four "key strategic hardware" projects that in 1994 the Turkestani government announced its intention to self-build.

The first of the new battle tanks entered service with the Turkestani Army and Guards in 2006 as the Timür (=Tamerlane) type Main Battle Tank. It replaced the aging Russian-built T-74 tanks with which they had been equipped; the outdated nature of this hardware show the critical need felt by Turkestan for a new model.

The speedy development from announcement of the project to full production can be attributed, at least in part, to the government putting their full weight and resources behind the project as a point of national pride.

While it has yet to be fully battle-tested in actual combat, the Timur appears a very capable machine, on a par with the Japanese "X-type" tanks in service in some parts of the world. *Here, the most similar-looking tank is the Israeli Merkava, but the capabilities and specifications of the Timür are more directly similar to the T-80 or T-90.

The Timür utilises an upgraded version of the same armour as the T-74, but has a more efficient gas turbine engine allowing higher top speed and greater operational range. Main armament is a 125mm cannon, with an 8mm coaxial espingol, 12.75mm air defence espingol and 6 attack rockets of a variant type to those used by some aeroplanes.

The new battle tank is a source of great pride to the Turkestani military, and an even greater one has been the interest of other nations (notably Mongolia and Azerbaijan) in purchasing the Timur for ther own armed forces.

Heavy Tank variant

A super-heavy tank variant is reported to be in development for service with the Turkestani Guards, built around the Timür's hull and chassis, but with heavier armour and a larger turret featuring a massive 155mm anti-tank gun. This variant would likely have a much more limited range and top speed, but given Turkestani tactical doctrine and the role of the Guards service therein (see here), this is not expected to be an issue. The superheavy variant is rumoured to be named the "Genghis" type.

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