A Watani MBT of the Riysian Joint Ground Forces in desert combat colours and with Ishraq multispectral camouflage.
|Type||Main Battle Tank|
|Place of origin||Riysa|
|In service||2009 - present|
|Designer||INA Design Bureau|
|Manufacturer||Riysian High Command|
|Unit cost||£L 6,700,000|
|Produced||2007 - present|
|Length|| 7.82 m (hull)|
11.12 m (gun forward)
|Crew||3 (Commander, driver, gunner)|
|Armor||NMD composite armor on top of RHA steel|
|157 mm L/45 M41 tank gun|
|Coaxial 27 mm MANAR autocannon and 8.54 mm RAMD machine gun, Cupola or RWS-mounted 15.7 mm RAKD machine gun|
|Engine|| Amerit MD2X multifuel diesel-electric hybrid engine|
|650 km on internal fuel and energy reserves|
|Speed||Up to 75 km/h on road, 50 km/h off-road|
The Watani (Arabic: وطني, English: Nationalist) is a Riysian main battle tank, and the most recent tank developed by Riysa. Development started in 2001 and entered mass production in 2009; while it was developed alongside the Nasr tank and shares some common subsystems, most of the tank is not interchangeable and requires separate logistics. At 66 metric tons, it is the heaviest tank to enter service in the Riysian Armed Forces.
The original requirement called for two different models of tanks to standardize the Riysian Joint Ground Forces; one, a cheaper, simpler tank designed for use in mechanized divisions and thus be the most numerous tank in service; and two, a more advanced "special" tank designed to effectively counter modern main battle tanks and thus make up the less numerous armored divisions.
Capabilities and Features
The Watani is heavily networked for modern warfare. It features provisions for a battle management system which processes information from the sensors of the vehicle to keep the occupants completely aware of their surroundings as well as share information between vehicles, is datalinked for modern C4ISTAR and GPS systems such as Blue Force Tracking, and has an IFF/SIF system.
To keep soldiers fighting at their optimal, all vehicles have an environmental control system.
The tank is notable for being highly mobile, despite its weight of 66 tons, due to an Amerit MD2X multifuel diesel-electric hybrid engine. The engine gives it a top speed of 75 km/h on roads and a range of up to 650 kilometers.
Like many modern Riysian vehicles, the Watani uses NMD composite armor layered over a steel body with integral spacing and a Spectra spall liner. This configuration, employed on other vehicles such as the NJM Salah ad-Din gives it excellent protection against even modern threats. Estimated protection levels are as follows:
|Front Turret against KE (mm RHAe)||Front Turret against CE (mm RHAe)||Front Hull against KE (mm RHAe)||Front Hull against CE(mm RHAe)|
|940 - 960 mm||1,730 - 1,960 mm||765 mm||985-1,030 mm|
The floor of the Watani is reinforced to protect against anti-tank mines and explosive devices with up to 10 kilogram warheads, protecting against the heaviest of anti-tank mines.
Like most modern tanks, the Watani can mount a variety of various ERA tiles to increase its protection against chemical energy penetrators - such as HEAT and EFP warheads - and/or kinetic energy penetrators.
Active Protection Systems
The Watani is fitted with the Khidaa' "soft-kill" active protection system, to increase its survivability against guided anti-tank missiles. Consisting of IR-obscuring smoke grenade launchers, laser warning receivers, and a pair of electro-optical dazzlers, the system helps protect the vehicle by blinding and jamming incoming guided anti-tank missiles. It is also fitted with the Burkan active protection system, a quick-responding hard-kill system designed to be safe enough to use near friendly infantry. The combination drastically increases the survivability of the tank in the face of multiple threats.
Most vehicles also feature a MMW/radar jammer, designed to increase its survivability against radar-guided munitions as well as confuse and suppress certain vehicles, such as the 9P157-2 "Khrizantema-S" tank destroyer.
Some vehicles are also fitted with the Irtibak active protection system, which consists of non-expendable decoy emitters designed to confuse and jam optically-tracked systems used by most anti-tank missiles - such as the TOW or MILAN. Several may be mounted on a single vehicle to provide full 360-degree protection.
For CBRN detection, the Saladin is equipped with the 2NK1 portable combat vehicle CBRN detection mechanism, a basic system designed to detect quantities of biochemical and radioactive contaminants. For direct protection in CBRN conditions, all vehicles are equipped with an overpressure and filter system, as well as a boron-dense anti-radiation liner surrounding the interior of the vehicle. Theoretically, this commonly-employed configuration can maintain full CBRN protection indefinitely.
Armament and Optics
The primary gun on the Watani is the powerful M41 rifled tank cannon, a 157 mm gun also found on the Nasr. The main gun is a rifled gun capable of accurately engaging and penetrating modern armor out to line-of-sight ranges and can fire multi-purpose HESH and high-explosive rounds to beyond-line-of-sight ranges. The gun is also capable of firing gun-launched anti-tank missiles for greater range than simple shells and armor-piercing rounds. The cannon's ammunition is stored in a secure bustle with blowout panels and power-operated doors, keeping it mostly isolated from the crew and preventing a catastrophic loss of the vehicle if the the ammunition bustle is hit. The bustle can store up to 35 rounds of ammunition. Due to the size of the main gun, a bustle-mounted autoloader is used to load the main gun, capable of firing up to 12 rounds a minute.
The tank is equipped with multiple secondary weapons to engage a wide variety of targets. This includes a heavy 15.7 mm RAKD machine gun for use by the commander on either a cupola or remote weapons system mount, a coaxial 8.54 mm RAMD machine gun for engaging infantry, and a coaxial 27 mm MANAR autocannon for engaging light armor. The weapons have 700, 4,000, and 500 rounds of ammunition, respectively.
Fire Control System and Optics
Like several other vehicles, the Watani uses the Farsa (Knight) fire control system, consisting of an environmental sensor measuring humidity, wind speed, and exterior weather conditions; a laser rangefinder, a stabilizing mechanism, an ATGM launch control unit for gun-launched missiles, and the gunner's digital fire control console. The actual computer itself processes information from the various components as well as conditions such as the altitude, the turret's angle of elevation, barrel wear, and the type of the loaded ammunition. The commander can designate targets for and use it independently of the gunner. In addition, the Watani adds a beam-hoping passive electronically scanned array radar unit to assist the laser rangefinder and sights in acquisition and fire control, with a maximum range of up to 10 kilometers, although this is in practice reduced to 5 kilometers - typical line-of-sight range.
For optics, the Watani follows in the footsteps of many other Riysian vehicles and uses the 1N00 optics system on all of its sights, consisting of a telescoping optical camera, image intensifier, and a thermal imaging camera. All three crew members - commander, gunner, and driver, have digital sights that can share imagery. The driver's sight has full coverage of the frontal arc, as well as having a rear-view camera. The gunner's sight is tied into the fire control system. The commander has both a wide-angle fixed sight and a panoramic sight.
- Watani-A: Baseline variant.
- Watani-Q: Command variant.