Zulfiqar 3: The Shining Sword

[Would you like to see this in-game?]
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Flag_of_Iran_svg.png.aaadd9d254db966591eZulfiqar 3: The Shining Sword 512px-Seal_of_the_General_Staff_of_the_A

Disclaimer: Information is very limited on the Zulfiqar 3. If more data is available or corrections need to be made, please post in comments with sources.


The Zulfiqar 3 on display.

  • Description :
    • The Zulfiqar 3, or Zolfaqar, named after the legendary sword of Ali, is an Iranian Main Battle Tank (MBT) and the latest derivative of the Zulfiqar family of tanks. The Zulfiqar program was developed under Brigadier General Mir-Younes Masoumzadeh, Deputy Commander of the Ground Forces for Science and Research, whose goal was to produce an effective indigenous tank program for the Armed Forces of Iran. The result was a series of tanks, starting with the Zulfiqar 1, which was a combination of an American M60 MBT left over from the Shah-era, and the Soviet T-72 which Iran manufactures under license. This vehicle featured a Slovenian Fire Control System (FCS) and a crew of 3 however the vehicle never saw mass production. A following version of the Zulfiqar was the Zulfiqar 2 which appeared similar to the Zulfiqar 1 but received an upgraded autoloader and a hull extension to incorporate new technologies, effectively becoming a prototype test-bed vehicle. The latest iteration of the Zulfiqar 3, built by the Shahid Kolah Dooz Industrial Complex, began development in the late 1990’s with significant improvements over the previous two Zulfiqar’s. This new version made its debut in 2011 during a military parade in downtown Tehran. The Zulfiqar 3 is a complete revolution in design over its predecessors, featuring a redesign of the turret, hull, and electronic equipment. The vehicle however retains the HM-50, a domestically produced version of the Soviet 125mm 2A46M L/48 Smoothbore Gun with an upgraded autoloader, most likely a a modified 2E28 autoloader found in the T-72 which allows the Zulfiqar 3 to fire a wide variety of ammunition, including Gun Launched-Anti Tank Guided Missiles (GL-ATGM) such as the 9M119 ‘Svir’ or 9M119M ‘Refleks’. To be able to fire the main gun, along with the missiles, the Gunner utilizes an advanced fire control system (FCS) which most likely is a modified version of the Slovenian EFCS-3 FCS that is also found in the original Zulfiqar 1, as well as the Type 72Z, an MBT also in use by the Iranian Army. The FCS of the Zulfiqar 3 can equip a Laser Warning Pod as well as comes with an integrated Laser Rangefinder. The crew are equipped with 2nd-generation passive image intensifiers for day or night operations. Other weapons include a 12.7mm or 7.62mm Remote Weapon Station that can be installed above the main gun, a 12.7mm machine gun for the Gunner if necessary, and a 7.62mm machine gun for the Commander. The vehicle features a crew of 3 with the Driver located underneath the main gun. The Commander and Gunner feature similar locations to the T-72. Extra ammunition for the main gun is located in the turret bustle and can be used in the event of manual loading. In terms of protection, the Zulfiqar 3 is equipped with composite armor located in the UFP, LFP, and turret cheeks with additional ERA, similar to Kontact-5 located on the UFP. The vehicle is propelled by 1,000hp V-12 Diesel Engine that also provides power to critical electronics. The engine is coupled to a SPAT 1200 Automatic Transmission that allows speeds of up to 70km/h. I’m 2016, a Zulfiqar 3 was tested with a domestic Active Protection System (APS) to provide protection against incoming ATGM’s. Overall, the Zulfiqar 3 is a drastic change in Iranian tank design and continues to surprise many military experts. Varying sources claim anywhere from 150 up to several hundred were produced with the Iranian Army being the only user.
  • Role : Main Battle Tank
  • Origin :
    • Iran
  • Armament :
    • Primary: HM-50 (2A46M) L/48 Smoothbore Gun
      • Cartridge: 125mm
        • Ammunition:
          • APFSDS-T
          • HEAT-FS
          • HE-FRAG
          • GL-ATGM
            • 9M119 ‘Svir’ Missile
            • 9M119M ‘Refleks’ Missile
      • Feed System:
        • Autoloader, most likely an improved version of the 2E28 22rd-Autoloader.
    • Roof-mounted:
      • Commander: 7.62mm MGA3 Machine Gun
      • Loader: 12.7mm DShK Machine Gun
      • Remote Weapon Station: 12.7mm DShK Machine Gun
  • Maneuverability :
    • Engine: 1,000hp V-12 Diesel Engine
    • Transmission: SPAT 1200 Automatic Transmission (6-Forward, 1-Reverse)
    • Chassis: Torsion Bar
    • Max Speed: 70km/h
  • Dimensions :
    • Length: 7.2m (9.4m w/ gun forward)
    • Width: 3.6m
    • Height: 2.5m
    • Weight: ~50t
  • Crew (3x):
    • Commander
    • Gunner
    • Driver
  • Accessories :
    • 12x 76mm Smoke Grenade Launchers
    • ESS
    • Laser Rangefinder
    • Optional: Laser Warning System
    • Optional: Active Protection System
    • IR Camouflage Netting
    • Optics:
      • Gunner: Night Vision Image Intensifier (Possible Thermal Viewer)
      • Commander: Night Vision Periscope
      • Driver: Night Vision Periscope
  • In-game :
    • The Zulfiqar 3 is by definition, a unique mix of Cold War East and West technologies that have been updated to meet modern standards. The Zulfiqar 3 itself looks almost if it is an American Abrams clone, however in many cases relates more to the Soviet T-72 that is employed within the Iranian Army featuring a similar interior with a 3-man crew and autoloading system with extra rounds stored in the turret bustle. The Zulfiqar is equipped with a 1,000hp Diesel Engine that provides high mobility to be able to flank targets, however must be wary of the various weak spots throughout the vehicle. Being similar in appearance to the Abrams, the two vehicles share some weaknesses in the front of the vehicle such as below the gun mantlet and the LFP, however the Zulfiqar side armor offers the most weakness due to the volatility of the autoloader. Not to mention, crew members have an elevated station which can be a considerable weak spot from HE-type rounds. It is best to utilize the Zulfiqar’s speed and gun to ambush targets and provide hit and run. Hull down is also a preferred method.
    • Due to the unique nature of the tank, sharing multiple qualities with the T-72, would make a good USSR event/premium vehicle or part of a Middle East-style tree. Please comment below where you think the Zulfiqar 3 should go.
    • Estimated Battle Rating: 10.0-10.3.
  • Sources :






Images of the Zulfiqar 3 featuring the turret ring, engine compartment, as well as ERA located on the UFP.


Zulfiqar 3 featuring camouflage netting and different armaments.


Side view of the Zulfiqar 3.



Different views of the Zulfiqar 3 being hauled.


The Zulfiqar 3 alongside an M60 main battle tank.


Grainy image of the Zulfiqar 3 during live-fire testing.

Iran unveils new generation home made Zolfaqar Zulfiqar Samsam main battle tank Iranian army - YouTube

Video of the Unveiling of the Zulfiqar 3 main battle tank.



Artists illustration of the Zulfiqar 3 main battle tank by Tanks Encyclopedia.


Id personally much prefer a middle east combined tree than a Russian fed addition, its not like the Russian tree is in need

Very cool though


Im working on a tech tree proposal where this would fit perfectly. I’ll have it posted soon.


Is it the Iranian tree or the coalition tree? I have previously worked on the Iranian ground tree in the old forum so I think I might be able to help.

METO aka Baghdad Pact aka CENTO. Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, and UK. Im almost done with it, but it has been temporarily put on hold while I repost all my old suggestions.

I see. While I would prefer solo Iranian tree (as they have enough vehicles to fill the “late tier tree” like Israel), I’m also fine with Iran being a part of coalition tree (say with Syria and Iraq for example). I will repost a tweaked version of my Iranian ground tree some time soon.

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Sure! I may reach out if I need some help with the Iranian tank research.


You welcome.


Iranian vehicles are pretty tough to generate sources and material on. A lot of it could turn into developer-created armor values, etc. I will try and generate a suggestion for the Karrar soon.

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Well, sorry for necro-ing the thread. But I would like to point out that there are two models of Zulfiqar 3 (or 3E to be more specific). With the earlier one being the pre-series vehicle revealed in 2013 and never seen since, pursumably being upgraded to the serial production standard.

These images were from the Army Day 2013, where the pre-series Zulfiqar 3E were shown.

Here’s the image of the production Zulfiqar 3E from 2019 and 2022, respectively.

The most noticable difference of the pre-series vehicle is the difference on the turret, which features low cupola of the Zulfiqar 2 series and a stange gun sleeve that were later replaced by more NERA on the production variant. Other minor differences including the lack of antennas at the turret rear, slightly different skirt and mudflaps, and placement of the headlights (that were moved further to the mud flaps in the production variant).

So, based on these difference, the Zulfiqar 3E could be added as two different vehicles, with the pre-series vehicle having older FCS from the earlier Zulfiqar 2D model and slightly weaker turret, while having the same hull as the production variant. Wheas the production model could be added at a higher BR due to better FCS and protection.

As a side note, I’m quite unsure about the exact weight of the latter Zulfiqar series, since it was only listed for the Zulfiqar 1, which ranged around 52 tons. Wheas an unmodified M60A1 would’ve weighted around the same. Given that the Zulfiqar 2 and 3 has larger chassis and more NERA components than the Zulfiqar 1, I suspects that the tank might’ve exceeded 60 tons in weight. Which would make it a wee bit slow if it were to be powered by 1,000 HP engine is many sources cited.

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+1. For US tree maybe? It has roots to M60

If this thing came from Shahist Iran, it would make 100% sense since they were used to be allies, but we’re talking about the modern IR Iran which have an “unfriendly” stance with the US, to say the least.

So, either it being added as independent tree (since Iran actually has enough high tier vehicles to make a tree out if it) or some sort of coalition tree would make the most sense.

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the best tank

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A powerful and excellent tank
It will be great if it is added +1

Is the cupola detachable?One picture has cupola but the other one doesn’t.

It was a different model of the Zulfiqar 3. The one without cupola is a pre-serial production version.

1 Like

very well

+1 based

The chassis of this tank is not at all similar to the M60 tank and is more similar to the Abrams than the M60.
On the other hand, since the technology used in the tank is mostly Russian, adding it to Russia is much better.
But because Iran has a lot of tanks and planes, it has a lot of potential to be added as a separate nation

W Tank Fr
According To Article Writer , This Tank Will Be Too Great And I Love To See This Tank In The Game .
Due To Being Half Persian , Im Proud To Have A Great Army .