AFRICANGLOBE – The Military Industry Corporation (MIC) Khalifa-1 122 mm self-propelled howitzer has made its international show debut at IDEX 2015 in Abu Dhabi, along with several other products.
The weapon is already in service with Sudan’s army. It comprises a 6×6 Kamaz 43118 truck with a protected four-door cab for the five crew and a 122 mm D-30 howitzer on the back of the vehicle. The normally towed howitzer is transplanted onto the vehicle, and as such is manually traversed (40 degrees left and right). Elevation is minus five to plus 70 degrees, or 15 to 70 degrees above the cabin.
Hydraulically lowered stabilisers are used to anchor the vehicle when firing and the steel sides are hydraulically folded down in order to give access to artillery shells – 45 projectiles and charges are carried. Range is around 17 km and maximum firing rate is eight rounds per minute. The 20 500 kg vehicle can be readied for firing within 90 seconds. The vehicle’s top speed is around 90 km/h.
The vehicle can be fitted with the Karary IGZ01 fire control system, which includes a laser range finder, GPS, telecommunications device etc.
The MIC displayed some of its other hardware at IDEX 2015, such as the 120 mm mortar carrier variant of its Khatim-2 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), a mobile version of the Taka 107 mm multiple rocket launcher, the Nimr long-range patrol vehicle, unarmoured Tamal tactical vehicle and Sarsar-2 armoured reconnaissance vehicle. The Khatim-2 is loosely based on the BMP-2 via the Iranian Boraq-2 IFV.
The Sarsar-2 is based on a 1.2 ton KIA chassis but fitted with armour able to withstand 7.62×51 mm rounds. The vehicle weights 5.5 tons. Other items displayed at IDEX 2015 included the Ateed remote weapon station, apparently based on the Iranian ARIO-H762 and the Sarib anti-tank guided missile (apparently based on the Chinese HJ-8). The Ateed can operate either a 12.7 mm or 7.62 mm machinegun and uses a high resolution day camera, laser range finder and thermal imager. A DShK 12.7 mm heavy machinegun was mounted on the Ateed at IDEX 2015.
Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir attended the IDEX opening ceremony on Sunday in his first official visit to the United Arab Emirates since 2008. He arrived with an 11-member delegation, comprised of Ministers of the Presidency, Defence, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Investments, Electricity, Minerals, Livestock and Fisheries, Labour, the director of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), and the head of police.
Since the 1990s Chinese, Russian and Iranian companies have helped Sudan develop its domestic military industry after an international arms embargo placed on the country. The Military Industry Corporation was established in 1993 to manufacture weapons and equipment for the Sudanese military and is now marketing its products internationally. Products include main battle tanks (based on Chinese designs), small arms, recoilless rifles, mortars, rocket launchers, upgraded armoured vehicles, ammunition, electronics and uniforms.
The MIC has used Chinese hardware as the inspiration for many of its own products but the Sudanese military also uses a wide variety of Chinese weapons, such as the Type 96 main battle tank, HJ-8 and HJ-73D anti-tank missile, Type 56 and Type 81 rifles, CQ rifle, QJZ-89 12.7 mm machinegun, M99 12.7 mm sniper rifle, Type 80 machinegun, Type69-1 rocket propelled grenade, NP-42 pistol and the QLZ-87 automatic grenade launcher and recently selected the 5.56 mm QBZ-17 bullpup assault rifle to meet its future needs.