|This page is about the premium British medium tank Khalid. For the prototype of the Pakistani Al-Khalid MBT, see MBT2000.|
The Khalid (FV4030/2), which could be seen as the predecessor of the future FV4030/4 (Challenger 1), was developed as a new MBT mostly for export purpose. By the 1970s, Pahlavi Iran was demanding for a new MBT against its northern neighbors, Afghanistan and the Soviet Union; meanwhile, the British Army was also calling for a new MBT to upgrade the fleet of Chieftains (FV4201) against the menacing Warsaw Pact forces, especially those stationed in West Germany. As Iran had been a long-time user of the Chieftain Mk.5 with upgraded subsystems, the Pahlavi also planned to import more Chieftains with new FCS and powerplant under the name Shir (Lion, شیر). As the Islamic Revolution put an end to the Pahlavi's throne in 1979, further development of the complete prototype was halted, while domestic upgrades to the fleet of Chieftains also stalled due to the development of the MBT-80. As all the manufactured parts for the Shir needed to be utilised, the British sought for overseas customers and eventually Jordan became the only customer for the newly-upgraded Chieftain, known as the Khalid in their service.
Introduced in Update "Apex Predators", the Khalid is a modernized Chieftain Mk.5 with subsystem upgrades to cope with the heat of the Cold War. Thanks to a new 1,200 hp engine, it now enjoys better overall mobility over its predecessors in UK service while utilizing the fire control system from later Mk.10s. However, players have to be aware of its not-so-effective protection, as it lacks any composite armour.
Survivability and armour
The Khalid looks exactly like any other Chieftain plus a panoramic periscope with NVD and digital camo. As the tank is based on Chieftain Mk 5, the appearance and the overall dimensions are totally identical where they both shared a curved, cast hull armour and cast turret; protection-wise, it might be sufficient at earlier tiers where it will face some kinetic shells from "doomsday tank" or earliest APDS shells- this is not the case for Khalid as it now sits at a BR where HEATs are commonplace and APFSDS as well. The hull armour might sometimes do miracles on shots that falls onto the armour at extreme angles, but it will most likely be penetrated with some extent of damages to the tank; while the turret itself has around 280 mm of armour at its thickest point which might not sound much, the irregular shape of the turret does help to bounce off oncoming shells at longer ranges and in hull-down position. Although the internal components seem packed, chances are the shrapnel will only be enough to take out the driver and damage some components, the tank itself would still survive that shot and having the chance to return fire.
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 70-127 mm (43-79°) Front glacis
76.2 mm (43-44°) Lower glacis
| 88-220 (8-30°) + 13 mm Front Top
50 mm (1-31°) Center Top
37 mm (30°) + 13 mm Rear Top
37 (10°) + 13 mm Bottom
|37 mm (1-7°)||13-28 mm|
|Turret||125-250 mm (2-81°) Turret front
100-220 mm (1-53°) Gun mantlet
|45-196 mm (1-65°)||45 mm (1°)||50.8 mm Front |
25 mm Rear
|Cupola||150 mm||25 mm|
The Chieftain series are known for their rather sluggish mobility and top speed (at only 48 km/h), but in Khalid's case, since the export version for Chieftains opted for the latest Rolls-Royce (later Perkins) CV-12 engine and TN-34 transmission which would eventually used on FV4030 Challengers, this means a vastly improvement on its mobility; not only this can push the tank at a higher top speed at 56 km/h with higher acceleration, it also has a high reverse speed (at -37 km/h), making it surprisingly flexible for enemy encounters.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
Although the L11A5 gun and its calibre of 120 mm has been the weapon of choice for Chieftain, which was one of the most advanced tanks of its era, this is not the case for the Khalid. Since the overall upgrades on Khalid focus on the FCS, the gun laying mechanism is totally identical to its tech-tree predecessors, players might find this problematic as this gives less reaction time than its other NATO counterparts; but the relatively high rate of fire does mitigate some gun handling problems. It is still advised to keep extra situational awareness for best utilization.
To conclude, Khalid has rather obsolete firepower for its tier; but aiming carefully or take flanks can still make good use of the gun.
|120 mm Ordnance BL Tk. L11||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
- L15A3; APDS - The most common round for British 120 mm for pre-Challenger tanks and the only kinetic shell option for Khalid. Although it is more than enough to take down most tanks which happen to run into Khalid, but at its current BR where T-64A and T-72A appear, the shell very likely does nothing to them without hitting the LFP or driver's hatch. So aim carefully for a single-shot knock-out as the APDS has lesser spalling.
- L31A7; HESH - The other common round for British 120 mm up to this date, the shell itself has rather high penetration for a HESH shell and will very likely disintegrate any light vehicle that happen to run into Khalid. Alternatively, this also gives Khalid the chance to take down tanks with their hatches exposed as the shell "sticks" to the surface and cause extensive damage to the interior of enemy tanks, either from spalling or overpressure.
- L23; APFSDS
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
|Smoke shell characteristics|
| Screen radius
| Screen deploy
| Screen hold
| Explosive mass|
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Although smoke grenade launchers equip the Khalid to lay a protective smoke screen, there is still an option for gun-launched smoke shells to block enemy's eyesight and sometimes TVD cameras in case for a retreat or changing position.
|54||__ (+__)||__ (+__)||__ (+__)||__ (+__)||__ (+__)||__ (+__)||__|
A common feature for British tanks are their lack of high-calibre machine guns, Khalid also falls into this norm with only rifle-calibre machine guns for gun-ranging and handling infantry, only good for gunning down exposed crews or sometimes aircraft in rare occasions.
|7.62 mm L8A2|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|7.62 mm L37A2|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The Khalid can be described as "old but not obsolete": players will soon notice the flaws inherited from Chieftain series due to its early introduction, notably the protection which is identical to pre-Mk.10 Chieftains without any composite protection (especially the turret). With extra precaution according to the map and staying behind as a support tank for future tanks with overall better performance, the Khalid can still contribute to the team with its sufficient firepower and Challenger-equivalent mobility.
For players who are used to the Chieftain series, for the most part it's similar to a Mk.5 with better ammunition. Thus, it only has the protection of a Mk.5, which has full RHA/CHA protection but fused with a Challenger-equivalent power pack. In most cases, players will be happy about the 120 mm rifled gun with sufficient penetration to take down Soviet MBTs of the era with L23 APFSDS; players will also enjoy the sufficient gun depression to handle Warsaw-Pact/PLAGF tanks with low depression due to their designs. However, due to the traditional design of Chieftain, most APFSDS of its tier will have no problem penetrating the RHA/CHA armour on the Chieftain series, let alone chemical shells i.e. HEAT-FS or ATGMs; thus, it is highly recommended to apply the tactics of most NATO tanks - that is, utilizing the nearby terrain for as much cover as possible.
Although the hull design is insufficient for certain "doomsday" heavy tanks with high-penetration APCBC, the cast turret is another story; in most cases, full-calibre APCBC will do no harm to the tank, making the Khalid efficient to take down such tanks with APFSDS from safe distance, and sometimes even APFSDS of its era will have issue causing fatal damages to Khalid thanks to its irregularly shaped turret - a major plus for tanks with the need for hull-down.
The other major improvement is the powerplant: instead of the traditional Leyland diesel engine used on Chieftain tanks, the Khalid is fitted with a Rolls-Royce (Perkins) CV-12 engine that could output up to 1,200 hp, almost twice as previous engines. For players who need to get used to future tanks with this powerplant, the Khalid can actually serve as the placeholder between Chieftain and Challenger; although British tanks are infamous for their slow speed (NATO tanks can go at least 10 km/h faster; while Warsaw-Pact/PLAGF tank can achieve the same speed at lower mass), the Khalid can at least keep up with their NATO counterparts on flat terrain thanks to its high engine output.
In most cases, the overall performance of the Khalid doesn't allow it to be too aggressive; but just like upgraded tanks from the major powers during the Cold War, the Khalid can serve as a potent second-line support MBT where it can utilize its good gun handling and sufficient penetration to finish off crippled enemies for friendlies, helping them to advance to victory, while the Khalid itself can also serve as a stand-off sniper in complicated terrain thanks to its overall gun traverse limits.
Overall, the Khalid can be a challenging tank for both new and experienced GB tech-tree players alike due to its overall design; players will have to keep extra awareness for enemy threats due to the overall obsolete design - in most cases, who shoot first secures the victory.
Pros and cons
- Overall better mobility over previous Chieftains thanks to the new power pack
- High gun depression for the main cannon
- Access to a panoramic periscope for commander with override capabilities
- The hull and cast turret's shape can sometimes bounce off incoming shots
- Good APFSDS round with high penetration
- Lacks any form of composite armour to negate HEAT shells
- Relatively obsolete protection at its BR
- Fixed 8x gunsight that could be a problem at long-range engagements
- Rather large size at its tier
- Relatively slow gun traverse speed
Before the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Pahlavi Iran had already planned for upgrades on their armed forces equipment in view of the menacing Soviet forces in Central Asia and (subsequently, after the overthrown and execution of Hafizullah Amin in 1979) the bordering Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (DRA), the plans for new MBTs for the Iranian Army were also on schedule as early as 1971. As the FV4201 Chieftain series MBT were already obsolete by the late 1970s with the introduction of advanced Soviet MBTs (i.e. T-64), the British were also attempting to upgrade a new export tank based on the Chieftain with better power pack and subsystems. The new tank, known as the Shir-1 (Lion-1), was based on the Chieftain Mk.5 and started its development in 1974, receiving more than 700 orders. Featuring upgraded FCS, the new tanks, at over a thousand of them and planned to be manufactured in Royal Ordnance Leeds, were intended to be delivered by 1980.
However, the Islamic Revolution put an end to the project, and the parts from this failed delivery to Iran needed to be dealt with. Plans included upgrading Chieftains in British service on the European Mainland which was deemed uneconomical by the eventual (but in vain) introduction of the MBT-80. Soon after, negotiations were made with Jordan who at the time needed new tanks for desert combat. The deal was made in November 1979 at £220 million for 274 tanks. The new "Khalid" featured an even better powerpack using the Rolls-Royce (later Perkins) CV-12 1,200 hp engine and the delivery started in 1981. The tank is currently still in service with Royal Jordanian Army alongside with some captured Mk.3P/5P from Iraq, who captured some quantities during the Iraq-Iran War.
- Related development
|Britain medium tanks|
|Valentine||Valentine I · Valentine IX · Valentine XI|
|Cromwell||Cromwell I · Cromwell V · Cromwell V (RP-3)|
|Cromwell derivatives||Challenger · Avenger · Comet I · Comet I "Iron Duke IV" · Charioteer Mk VII|
|Centurion||Centurion Mk 1 · Centurion Mk.2 · Centurion Mk 3 · Centurion Mk.5 AVRE · Centurion Mk 10 · Centurion Action X · FV4202|
|Vickers MBT||Vickers Mk.1 · Vickers Mk.3 · Vickers Mk.7|
|Chieftain||Chieftain Mk 3 · Chieftain Mk 5 · Chieftain Mk 10|
|Challenger 1||Challenger Mk.2 · Challenger Mk.3 · Challenger DS|
|Challenger 2||Challenger 2 · Challenger 2 (2F) · Challenger 2 TES · Black Night · Challenger 2E|
|Australia||A.C.I · A.C.IV · Centurion Mk.5/1|
|South Africa||Olifant Mk.1A · Olifant Mk.2 · TTD|
|India||Vijayanta · Bhishma TWMP|
|Israel||▄Sho't Kal Dalet|
|Sweden||▄Strv 81 (RB 52)|
|USA||Grant I · Sherman II · Sherman Firefly · Sherman IC "Trzyniec"|
|Britain premium ground vehicles|
|Light tanks||A13 Mk I (3rd R.T.R.) · A13 Mk II 1939 · AEC Mk II · Crusader "The Saint" · Rooikat 105|
|Medium tanks||A.C.I · Grant I · Cromwell V (RP-3) · Sherman IC "Trzyniec" · A.C.IV · Comet I "Iron Duke IV"|
|Centurion Mk.2 · ▄Strv 81 (RB 52) · Centurion Mk.5 AVRE · Centurion Mk.5/1 · ▄Sho't Kal Dalet · Centurion Action X|
|Vijayanta · Khalid · Challenger DS|
|Heavy tanks||Independent · Matilda Hedgehog · Excelsior · Churchill Crocodile · Black Prince|
|Tank destroyers||Alecto I · Achilles (65 Rg.) · QF 3.7 Ram|