Bahrain made history as it unveiled its first military armoured vehicle. His Majesty and Supreme Commander King Hamad patronised a ceremony marking the Royal Guard anniversary and inaugurated the tank Faisal.
The BDF technical maintenance unit designed and assembled it, in co-operation with a European company which manufactures armed vehicles.
His Majesty was welcomed by BDF Commander-in-Chief General Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, National Guard Major-General Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa, Chief-of-Staff Major-General Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa, Royal Guard Commander and other senior officers.
The vehicle will enhance the BDF's armament and training capabilities.
It can be used in steepy terrains because of its operational mobility, and tactical and defensive capabilities.
'There are plans to market it in the GCC and abroad as it has proved its credentials,' BDF technical maintenance assistant commander and project officer Colonel Isa Yousif Al Mahameed said.
Powered by a 6-valve diesel engine (180hp), the multi-purpose tank can move at 110km per hour.
The four-tonne vehicle can carry weight up to five tonnes.
It is equipped with a crane to tug weights up to 5.4 tonnes, anti-fire automatic and double air-conditioning systems, wireless telecommunications and rooms for ammunition.
It is bullet-proof and can resist automatic arms and hand grenades (m51).
Firepower is provided by a main automatic machine rotating at 360 degrees. Other automatic weapons can be fitted.
It has infrared lamps for night combat and other operations.
His Majesty also attended Royal Guard parades and presented medals and certificates to outstanding graduates.
Royal Court Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Minister of State for Defence Dr Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa and National Security chief attended.