Top 15 Fastest Main Battle Tanks In The World 2023

Over the past two centuries, tanks have proven to be an indispensable part of any military operation, prompting the majority of developed nations to start manufacturing their own tanks. The tank’s speed can be significant during combat, as it varies depending on its armored terrain capabilities and installed armaments.

What is Main Battle Tank?

It’s important to define the Main Battle Tank before diving into the list of the world’s 15 fastest main battle tanks. The main battle tank (MBT) is a type of tank used by modern militaries for both direct fire and maneuver.

Powerful engines, improved suspension systems, and light composite armor were all innovations of the Cold War era. As a result, engineers were able to create a tank with the following features:

  • Strengthening the firepower of a super-heavy tank
  • Heavy tank armor protection
  • Easily maneuverable like a light tank

The Main Battle Tank (MBT) became a standard issue for armored regiments worldwide in the 1960s. They operate in armored units that include infantry and are backed up by reconnaissance and attack aircraft.

So, let us dive into our list which is sorted from slowest to fastest in order.

Stridsvagn 103, Sweden

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The Stridsvagn 103 (Strv 103) is a Swedish main battle tank built after World War II. It is also referred to as the Alternative S and the S-tank. The Swedish military abbreviation “Strv” stands for “stridsvagn,” which translates to “chariot and tank”; the 103 designation refers to the fact that it was the third tank in Swedish service to be fitted with a 10 cm gun.

The German Kanonenjagdpanzer was the only other mass-produced tank without a turret since World War II at the time it was developed in the 1950s. It was also the first main combat tank to use a gas turbine engine. It is turretless, has a fixed gun, and uses a novel gun-laying procedure. It also has a max speed of 60 kph (37 mph).

The fixed gun is traversed by engaging the tracks, and it is raised by changing the hull suspension. The end result was a very discrete design that placed a strong emphasis on survivability and increased crew safety.

TypeAmphibious turretless main battle tank
Place of originSweden
In service1967–1997
DesignerSven Berge
Designed1956
Mass42.5 tonnes (41.8 long tons)
Length9 m (29.6 ft)
Width3.80 m (12.6 ft)
Crew3 (Commander, gunner/driver, rear driver)
Main armamentBofors L74 10.5 cm L/62 rifled gun
EngineDetroit Diesel 6V53T, 216 kW (290 hp), and Caterpillar 553 gas turbine, 365 kW (489 hp)
Transmission2 forward and 2 reverse speeds
SuspensionGas-hydraulic hydropneumatic suspension
Operational range390 km (240 mi)
Maximum speed60 kph (37 mph)

Challenger 2, United Kingdom

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The advanced main combat tank from BAE Systems Land Systems is called the Challenger 2. The tank is utilized by both the British Army and the Royal Army of Oman.

A Perkins caterpillar c v12 diesel engine with 12 cylinders, a David Brown TN 54 gearbox with six forward and two backward gears, a second-generation hydrogen suspension, and a hydraulic track tensioner are all included in the Challenger 2. Its maximum speed on the road is 60 kph (37 mph).

TypeMain battle tank
Place of originUnited Kingdom
In service1998–present
Designed1990s
Mass64 tonnes (63 long tons)
Length8.3 m (27 ft 3 in)
Width3.5 m (11 ft 6 in)
Crew4 (commander, gunner, loader/operator, driver)
Main armamentL30A1 120 mm rifled gun
EnginePerkins CV12-6A V12 diesel 26.1 liter 
1,200 bhp (890 kW)
TransmissionDavid Brown TN54E epicyclic transmission (6 fwds, 2 revs)
SuspensionHydropneumatic suspension
Operational range550 km (340 mi)
Maximum speed60 kph (37 mph)

T-90, Russia

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Third-generation Russian main battle tank is the T-90. It makes use of a 1A45T fire-control system, an updated engine, a 125 mm 2A46 smoothbore main gun, and a gunner’s thermal sight. A combination of steel and composite armor, smoke grenade launchers, Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armor (ERA), and the Shtora infrared anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) jamming system are all considered standard protective measures.

Russia’s Nizhny Tagil is home to Uralvagonzavod, which created and manufactured the T-90. In 1992, the Russian Army began using it. It has a max speed of 60 kph (37 mph).

TypeMain battle tank
Place of originRussia
In service1992 – 2017
DesignerKartsev-Venediktov
Mass46 tonnes (45 long tons)
Length9.63 m (31 ft 7 in)
Width3.78 m (12 ft 5 in)
Crew3
Main armament2A46M 125 mm smoothbore gun
EngineV-84MS 12-cyl. diesel  840 hp (617 kW) for V-84MS 12-cyl. diesel engine
SuspensionTorsion bar
Operational range550 km (340 mi)
Maximum speed60 kph (37 mph)

Merkava Mark IV, Israel

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The Merkava Mark IV main battle tank began operational training with the Israel Defense Forces in July 2003 after going into full production in 2001. The Israel Defense Forces deployed their first Merkava Mark IV tank battalion in 2004.

A 1500 horsepower v12 diesel engine powers the Merkava four. Two fuel tanks are located in the back of the tank, with the engine compartment and one gasoline tank located in the front. The tank’s top speed on the road is 64 kph (40 mph).

TypeMain battle tank
Place of originIsrael
In service1979–present
DesignerMantak
Mass65 tonnes (63.9 long tons)
Length9.04 m (29.7 ft)
Width3.72 m (12.2 ft)
Crew4 (commander, driver, gunner, and loader)
Main armament120 mm MG253 smoothbore gun
Engine1,500 hp (1,119 kW) turbocharged diesel engine
TransmissionRenk RK 325
SuspensionHelical spring
Operational range500 km (310 mi)
Maximum speed64 kph (40 mph)

T-50-2, Soviet Union

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The T-50-development 2’s has a somewhat unusual history. The T-50-2, a Tier V Russian light tank, was developed as a prototype to replace the T-26 following the Spanish Civil War. As the design was abandoned, this proposal was later put on hold.

The commander quit acting as the gunner and the loader because the vehicle’s design included a cupola with all-around observation. But this prototype was designed to participate in combat near Leningrad, where it was manufactured. The tank has a max speed of 65 kph (40.3 mph) and a weight of 14 tonnes (13.7 long tons).

TypeMain battle tank
Place of originSoviet Union
In service1941-1945
DesignerS. Ginzburg, L. Troyanov, OKMO
Designed1939–41
Mass14 tonnes (13.7 long tons)
Length5.20 m (17 ft 1 in)
Width2.47 m (8 ft 1 in)
Crew4
Main armament45 mm Model 1932/38 20-K gun
Enginediesel inline-six engine, 300 hp (220 kW)
Suspensiontorsion bar
Operational range220 km (140 mi)
Maximum speed65 kph (40.3 mph)

M1A2 Abrams, United States

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The Abrams main battle tank, now in use by the US Army, has been modified and is now known as the Aprons M1A2 Abrams SCP v3 system upgraded package. Over its predecessors, the upgraded version has greater defense, endurance, and lethality.

A Honeywell AGT 1500 gas turbine engine with 1500 horsepower powers the m1a2 SCP v3. The tank can travel at a top speed of 67 kph (42 mph) and up to 40.2 kph (25 mph) over difficult terrain.

TypeMain battle tank
Place of originUnited States
In service1980–present
DesignerChrysler Defense
Designed1972–1975
Mass64.6 tonnes (63.5 long tons)
Length9.77 m (32.04 ft)
Width3.66 m (12 ft )
Crew4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver)
Main armament120 mm L/44 M256A1 smoothbore gun
EngineHoneywell AGT1500 multi-fuel turbine engine 
1,500 shp (1,120 kW)
TransmissionAllison DDA X-1100-3B
SuspensionHigh-hardness-steel torsion bars with rotary shock absorbers
Operational range426 km (265 mi)
Maximum speed67 kph (42 mph)

Type 90 Tank, Japan

Image credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org

Japanese ground forces rely heavily on the type 90 tank as their main battle tank. It was created and constructed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to replace all operational Type 61 and Type 74 tanks. In 1990, it was first applied.

Type 90 tanks are powered by a Mitsubishi ten zg 32 w t10 cylinder two-stroke cycle diesel engine producing 1,500 horsepower and mated to a Mitsubishi mt 1500 automatic transmission including four forward and two backward gears. Its top speed is 70 kph (43 mph), and its cross-country speed is 45 kph (28 mph).

TypeMain battle tank
Place of originJapan
DesignerMitsubishi Heavy Industries/Japan Ministry of Defense Technology Research and Development Institute
Mass50.2 tonnes (49.4 long tons)
Length9.76 m (32 ft)
Width3.43 m (11.25 ft)
Crew3
Main armamentRheinmetall 120 mm smoothbore gun
EngineMitsubishi 10ZG 10-cylinder, two-stroke cycle, 1,500 hp/2,400 rpm diesel 21.5 litre
TransmissionMitsubishi MT1500 automatic transmission (4 forward gears, 2 reverse gears )
Suspensionhybrid hydropneumatic & torsion bar suspension
Operational range350 km (217.5 mi)
Maximum speed70 kph (43 mph)

T-84 Oplot-M, Ukraine

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The Ukrainians are no strangers to conflict; as a result, in 2009, the T-84 Oplot-M, an upgraded version of the T-84 from 1994, was constructed. It features new electronic countermeasures, advanced armor, and a PNK-6 panoramic tank sight, among other improvements. An Oplot-KMDB M’s 6TD-3 opposed piston 6-cylinder diesel engine allows it to travel at its top speed of 70 kph (43 mph).

TypeMain battle tank
Place of originUkraine
In service1999–present
DesignerKMDB
Designed1975–1994
Mass46 tonnes (45.2 long tons)
Length7.08 m (23 ft 3 in)
Width3.77 m (12 ft 5 in)
Crew3
Main armament125 mm smoothbore KBA-3 cannon (43 rds) 120 mm smoothbore gun
EngineKMDB 6TD-2 6-cylinder diesel 16.3 liters 1,200 hp (890 kW)
SuspensionTorsion bars, hydraulic dampers
Operational range540 km (340 mi)
Maximum speed70 kph (43 mph)

K2 Black Panther, South Korea

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The XK2 program led to the development of the K2 Black Panther main combat tank. Using exclusively local technology, South Korea built this next-generation MBT. Its creation started in 1995. In 2007, the initial prototype was unveiled. This tank has since undergone testing and evaluation. 2014 saw the signing of the production contract for the first 100 K2 tanks.

The first batch of 100 tanks was apparently delivered in 2016, and further tanks were supposedly being constructed. 300 of these modern tanks are needed by the South Korean army. The improved K1 and K1A1 main battle tanks will be complemented in service by the K2 Black Panther.

The K2 main combat tank is currently among the most sophisticated in the world, surpassing anything China or North Korea possesses. Additionally, it surpasses the Japanese Type 90 MBT to become the most expensive main battle tank. It has a top speed of 70 kph (43 mph).

TypeMain battle tank
Place of originSouth Korea
In service2014–present
DesignerAgency for Defense Development
Designed1995–2008
Mass55 tonnes (54 long tons)
Length10.8 m (35 ft 5 in)
Width3.6 m (11 ft 10 in)
Crew3 (commander, gunner, and driver)
Main armamentHyundai WIA CN08 120 mm 55 caliber smoothbore gun
Engine MTU MT883 Ka-500 4-short stroke, 12-cylinder water-cooled diesel, dry weight: 1800 kg,1,500 hp (1,103 kW)
Transmission RENK HSWL 295 TM (5 forward, 5 reverse gears), dry weight: 2,450 kg
SuspensionIn-arm suspension unit (ISU)
Operational range450 km (280 mi)
Maximum speed70 kph (43 mph)

AMX-56 Leclerc tank, France

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One of the most complicated and technologically sophisticated tanks in the world is AMX-56 Leclerc. This is because he has the most cutting-edge technology hidden behind his armor.

Its body is constructed in the traditional manner, with the driver-mechanic and control compartment up front, the combat center in the middle, and the motor transmission at the back. A smooth-bore 120 mm 52 cal gun was fitted to the Leclerc. You can use it with the Abrams and Leopard 2 tanks’ shells. The combat vehicle has an eight-cylinder, V-shaped diesel engine with 1,500 horsepower that enables it to travel at up to 71 kph (44 mph) on the highway and 50 kph (31 mph) over rough terrain.

TypeMain battle tank
Place of originFrance
In service1992–present
Designed1983–1989
Mass56.3 tonnes (55.4 long tons)
Length9.87 m (32.38 ft)
Width3.60 m (11.81 ft)
Crew3 (Commander, gunner, driver)
Main armamentGIAT CN120-26/52 120mm tank gun
EngineV8X SACM (Wärtsilä) 8-cylinder diesel engine 1,100 kW (1,500 hp)
TransmissionAutomatic SESM
Suspensionhydropneumatic
Operational range550 km (342 mi)
Maximum speed71 kph (44 mph)

Al-Khalid Tank, Pakistan

Image credit: https://southasianmonitor.net

China and Pakistan collaborated to create the Al Khalid main combat tank. It is a development of the Type 90-II Chinese tank, which was rejected for use by the Chinese Army. It was marketed as the MBT-2000 for export in the late 1990s. This MBT’s manufacturing license was obtained by Pakistan. The legendary general Khalid ibn al-Walid inspired the name, Al Khalid. The tank’s initial delivery began in 2002. Pakistan is currently using the Al Khalid. By 2007, there were plans to construct about 600.

Chinese and Soviet designs served as the foundation for the Al Khalid main combat tank. Compared to contemporary western MBTs, it is significantly lighter and smaller. The vehicle is equipped with reactive, explosive armor blocks in addition to its composite armor. Additionally, NBC protection and automated fire suppression systems are installed. A sophisticated laser detection warning system is also included. It has a top speed of 72 kph (45 mph).

TypeMain battle tank
Place of originPakistan, China
In service2001 – present
DesignerNorinco
Designed1993–1999
Mass46 tonnes (45.2 long tons)
Length10.07 m (33 ft)
Width3.50 m (11 ft 6 in)
Crew3
Main armament125 mm smoothbore gun
EngineKMDB 6TD-2 6-cylinder diesel 
1,200 hp (890 kW)
Transmission7 forward and 4 reverse gears, Semi-automatic
SuspensionTorsion bar with hydraulic dampers
Operational range500 km (310 mi)
Maximum speed72 kph (45 mph)

Leopard 2A7 + tank, Germany

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In 2010, the public saw the heavily updated Leopard 2A6 tank for the first time. The combat vehicle was modified by its creators to carry out both conventional combat missions and operations in populated areas.

A smoothbore rifle rated at 120 mm and 55 calibers is included with the leopard 2A7 +. The German tank is constructed using a conventional method. The combat vehicle’s V-shaped liquid-cooled turbocharged diesel engine is located in the power compartment. It has a 1,500 hp engine. On the highway, the top speed is 72 kph (45 mph), while on the road, it is 45 kph (28 mph).

TypeMain battle tank
Place of originWest Germany
In service1979–present
DesignerKrauss-Maffei
Designed1970s
Mass66.5 tonnes (65.4 long tons)
Length9.97 m (32.7 ft)
Width3.75 m (12.3 ft)
Crew4
Main armament1×Rh-120 L/44 120 mm or Rh-120 L/55 120mm Rheinmetall Rh-120
EngineMTU MB 873 Ka-501 liquid-cooled V12 twin-turbo diesel engine 
1,500 PS (1,479 hp, 1,103 kW) at 2,600 rpm
TransmissionRenk HSWL 354
SuspensionTorsion bar suspension
Operational range340 km (210 mi)
Maximum speed72 kph (45 mph)

M1A1 Abrams, United States

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Since its introduction in 1979, over 10,000 M1 Abrams have been produced, making the American main combat tank one of the largest producers of tanks in the world. The M1A1 differs from other M1 models primarily by having an armor-resistant shell. Several Middle Eastern armies, including the Iraqi Army, use the M1A1 in addition to the U.S. Army. It travels at a top speed of 72 kph (45 mph).

TypeMain battle tank
Place of originUnited States
In service1980–present
DesignerChrysler Defense
Designed1972–1975
Mass57 tonnes (56 long tons)
Length9.77 m (32.04 ft)
Width3.66 m (12 ft)
Crew4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver)
Main armament120 mm L/44 M256A1 smoothbore gun
EngineHoneywell AGT1500 multi-fuel turbine engine 1,500 shp (1,120 kW)
TransmissionAllison DDA X-1100-3B
SuspensionHigh-hardness-steel torsion bars with rotary shock absorbers
Operational range426 km (265 mi)
Maximum speed72 kph (45 mph)

Type 99 (ZTZ-99), China

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The Chinese Type 99 main combat tank is a natural development of the Soviet T-72 tank’s design with contemporary upgrades. Since the tank’s first batch was produced in 1998, the PLA has acquired about 600 Type-99 and 250 Type-99A.

The high mobility of the Chinese tank is, without a doubt, one of its benefits. Speeds of up to 60 kph (37.2 mph) on tough terrain and up to 80 kph (49.7 mph) on highways are achievable with Type 99 vehicles. The tank accelerates to 32 kph (19.8 mph) in under 12 seconds while doing this.

TypeMain battle tank
Place of originChina
In service2001 (Type 99)- present
DesignerNorinco
Mass55 tonnes (54.13 long tons)
Length7.6 m (25 ft)
Width3.7 m (12 ft)
Crew3
Main armament125mm ZPT-98 smoothbore gun
Engine150HB liquid-cooled V12 twin-turbo diesel 33.9 liters 1,500 hp (1,119 kW)
SuspensionTorsion bar suspension
Operational range600 km (370 mi)–650 km (400 mi)
Maximum speed80 kph (49.7 mph)

T-14 tank, Russia

Image credit: https://cdnn1.img.sputniknews.com

The newest Russian battle tank with an unoccupied tower, built on the Armata universal tracked platform, took the top spot on our list.

The Russian-built T-14 Armata main battle tank is more of a futuristic vehicle for the Russian Army, but it made its debut at the 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade preparations and has since become a recurring element of the parade.

In 2020, 100 T-14 Armata units underwent testing at the 2nd Guards Tamanskaya Motor Rifle Division. T-14 Armata’s top speed is 90 kph (55.9 mph) at a rough estimate.

TypeMain battle tank
Place of originRussia
DesignerUral Design Bureau of Transport Machine-Building, Uralvagonzavod
Designed2014
Mass55 tonnes (54.13 long tons)
Length10.7 m (35 ft)
Width3.5 m (11 ft)
Crew3
Main armament2A82-1M 125 mm smoothbore cannon
EngineDiesel Double Turbocharger
1,100 kW (1,500 hp)
Transmission12-speed automatic gearbox
SuspensionHydropneumatic suspension
Operational range500 km (310 mi)
Maximum speed90 kph (55.9 mph)
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