President Garcia told the press that he considers as “correct” the decision of the Army and the Ministry of Defense to purchase Chinese tanks, and stressed that such a decision “doesn’t contradict our vocation against an arms race.”He advanced that this acquisition is “almost a fact” and that the respective draft agreements with the Asian country have already been signed.
Garcia Perez added that thanks to his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao, “we got an important reduction, not in price, but in the first payment, and in the period of time in which they must be paid.”The President explained that those tanks “are advanced technology,” and that this purchase is due to the fact that many of Peru’s T-55 tanks need to be replaced.He also said that it would he “irresponsible and unpatriotic” to talk openly about the tank’s technical specifications to the media, but that it might be discussed by the Defense Commission in Congress.
The MBT 2000 (Al-Khalid) is a modern tank jointly developed by China and Pakistan and is in service since 2001. It has a crew of three men and a 125 mm smoothbore gun.It measures 10 meters long, 3.5 wide and 2.4 tall and has a combat weight of 48 tons, slightly less than their Western counterparts. It has a top speed of 65 km and a range of 450 kilometers. The secondary armament consists of two machine guns, one 12.7 mm anti-aircraft with 500 cartridges and a 7.62 coaxial with 2,500 cartridges.