Republic of the Sudan

Sudan is an under-developed desert country in northeast Africa that has had near-constant war since it gained independence from Great Britain on 1 January 1956. It has undergone three civil wars and numerous smaller conflicts. Tensions within the country largely stemmed from disagreements between the Muslim north and the Christian south, leading to the First Sudanese Civil War from 1955 to 1972, the Second Sudanese Civil War from 1983 to 2005, and the independence of South Sudan on 9 July 2011. There is an ongoing conflict in Sudan between the country’s Arab and African populations, the latter concentrated in the Darfur region, on the west side of the country. The War in Darfur, also called the Land Cruiser War, began in 2003 and is still unresolved.

Geography and Early History

Sudan is located south of Egypt and east of Chad. It borders the Red Sea along its northeast coast, but only has one major port, Port Sudan. Like Egypt, Sudan straddles the Nile River, however, unlike Egypt, the Nile provides next to no arable land in Sudan. The northern two-thirds of the country are ruled by the Sahara Desert and are largely uninhabited, except for settlements along the Nile.

The majority of Sudan’s population lives in the southern third of the country, which is an area of arid plains. Most arable land is concentrated in the southeast. The western third of the country is known as the Darfur region, and, like the rest of Sudan, is mostly desert. The majority of the population of the Darfur region lives in the south, around the low-lying Marrah Mountains. There is little arable land or resources in Darfur, and the region is unable to adequately support its disproportionately large population; as of 2022, this is likely over 10 million people.

Sudan has been inhabited by humans continuously since at least 2500 BC, if not far earlier. The history of Sudan is closely related to that of Egypt, and for much of its early history, the African people of Sudan adhered to the religion of Egypt. Sudan received an influx of Christian and Islamic converts and settlers not long after those religions were founded, in roughly 100 and 610 AD respectively. Inevitably, this led to conflict between the African, Christian, and Arab populations of Sudan. From roughly 350 AD to 1500, Sudan was ruled by the Christians, and from 1504 onward, by the Islamic Funj people.

Sudan was conquered by Egypt, at the time a part of the Ottoman Empire, in 1821. Sudan regained independence as an Islamic country in 1885. During this period it was known as Mahdist Sudan, after its leader Muhammad al-Mahdi. Sudan was reconquered in 1898 by Egypt, which at that time was a colony of the United Kingdom. Sudan was then administrated jointly by Egypt and the United Kingdom, in what was known as the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium. When Egypt was ostensibly given independence from the United Kingdom in 1922, Sudan became an entirely British colony.

Despite being independent in name, British military and government presence remained in Egypt until after the Kingdom of Egypt was overthrown in the Egyptian Revolution of 1952. In February 1953, as part of an effort to solidify the independence of Egypt, the government of the new Republic of Egypt signed an agreement with the United Kingdom to resolve the issue of Sudan, which had been claimed by both countries. As part of the agreement, Sudan was given the choice to determine its own future, which it did on 19 December 1955, when the Sudanese parliament chose to become an independent nation. This went into effect on 1st January 1956. Thanks to Egypt, Sudan gained its independence without having to do anything.
 

Map of Sudan and South Sudan. Prior to the independence of South Sudan, unified Sudan was the largest country in Africa. The capital of Sudan is Khartoum. Source: britannica.com

First Sudanese Civil War

Sudan’s early years of independence were peaceful. The country had gained its independence without bloodshed and retained the support of the United Kingdom. However, the seeds of discontent were already starting to be sown. British officials in the south were replaced with Sudanese officials from the north, a move which the Christian and Animist southern population, which favored autonomy, viewed as Arab imperialism.

The failure of the country’s cotton crop in 1957 put Sudan in an economically perilous situation. The Sudanese parliament was too divided by infighting to take strong action. On 17 November 1958, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Abdallah Khalil staged a coup against his own government, taking it out of the hands of civilian politicians and placing the Sudanese government in the hands of the military. The new military government was able to deal with the short-term economic problems, but created a far larger problem when it tried to force Arabization on the south. An armed revolt in the south began in 1963, led by a guerilla force called the Anyanya. Southern rebellion had been sporadic since 1955, but on a much smaller scale. By 1964, discontent with the government across the whole of Sudan led to the October 1964 Revolution, where a country-wide strike forced the military government to dissolve. In its place, a new civilian government was established.

The second civilian government only exacerbated the “Southern problem”. The national elections in March 1965 were not held in the south due to guerilla activity there, further reinforcing the southerner’s motivation to rebel. Muhammad Ahmad Mahgoub was elected prime minister by the north in 1965, and the government under him set about crushing the rebellion in the south. The Sudanese military committed atrocities against southern civilians and burned their buildings and crops.

On 25 May 1969, the Sudanese military staged a coup for a second time, this time led by Jaafar Muhammad an-Nimeiry. Nimeiry was part of the Free Officers’ Movement, and his newly established government made moves to establish Sudan as a socialist state. In the interim, between 1969 and 1971, Nimeiry’s government was called the Revolutionary Command Council. In August 1971, Sudan’s government was fully transformed into the Sudanese Socialist Union.

In 1971, Joseph Lagu emerged as the leader of the southern rebel forces. He announced the creation of the Southern Sudan Liberation Movement (SSLM), which encompassed the Anyanya as well as other rebel groups. Nimeiry wanted to end the insurgency-like civil war, and held peace talks with the SSLM. On 27 March 1972, the two sides signed the Addis Ababa Agreement, giving autonomy to Sudan’s three southern provinces and transforming the SSLM into a southern contingent of the Sudanese Armed Forces.

Second Sudanese Civil War

The Second Sudanese Civil War began in 1983, when tensions between the Muslim north and Christian south boiled over when President Jaafar Nimeiry enforced Sharia, a Muslim legal code, on the whole country.

In response to this, a rebel army comprised of peoples from the south of Sudan, most notably the Dinka people, was assembled and quickly grew in strength, being joined by defecting units of the Sudanese Army that had been part of the SSLM. This rebel force was called the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and was backed by Ethiopia, which supplied weapons and training to allow them to become a proper fighting force. Part of the SPLA’s strategy was to disrupt food distribution, leading to widespread starvation. Unable to defeat the SPLA militarily, Jaafar Nimeiry motioned to repeal Sharia in the south, but was deposed in a coup in 1985 regardless. The coup leader, Abdel Rahman Swar al-Dahab, promised reform, leading to a ceasefire. However, the SPLA was not satisfied with the reforms, and resumed fighting. In the 1986 election, voting could not take place in the south due to the fighting, leading the north to elect Sadiq al-Mahdi as the President of Sudan. Al-Mahdi was backed by the extremist National Islamic Front (NIF), meaning that a diplomatic solution to the conflict would now be impossible.

Over the next two years, the conflict continued to devolve, with starvation increasing and thousands of Dinka people being slaughtered in atrocities committed by Muslim northern militia groups. The Sudanese Army was almost entirely destroyed by the SPLA, which continued to grow in strength. Despite requests for peace talks by the SPLA, all attempts failed, as anything less than full Islamification of Sudan was unacceptable to the NIF.

On 30 June 1989, Sadiq al-Mahdi was overthrown by the Sudanese Army in a coup led by Omar al-Bashir, who was backed by the NIF. Al-Bashir was established as the effective dictator of Sudan and quickly made moves to transform Sudan into an Islamist nation, including reimplementing Sharia in the north, more strictly than Jaafar Nimeiry had. Most civil rights that Sudanese people had enjoyed under the brief democratic rule from 1985 to 1989 were revoked. The government and military were purged of anyone opposed to the NIF, and many suspected dissenters were tortured and executed.

In 1991, Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia, and as repayment for support by the Sudanese government, expelled the SPLA and Sudanese refugees, further worsening the starvation in the south of Sudan. At this time, Iraq also began to support the Sudanese government, as Iraq was supportive of the NIF’s goals. Increased pressure on the SPLA led to infighting. With the formation of the United Democratic Salvation Front (UDSF), made up of Nuer people, the Nuers began fighting with the Dinkas.

In 1992, the Sudanese Army retook large portions of the country that had been under SPLA control. Back and forth fighting continued for the next two years, with the Sudanese Army launching large-scale attacks supported by Libyan aircraft. The SPLA regained its footing in October 1994, with the supply of new weapons from the US or Israel. At the same time, the UDSF began fighting government forces as well, eventually reconciling with the SPLA in April 1995.
 

Despite Sudan’s government supporting Eritrea’s independence in the end, they had originally backed Ethiopia, a fact the Eritrean government resented. For this reason, Eritrea backed the formation of the Sudanese National Alliance (SNA) in northeastern Sudan, a political group of northerners opposed to the Sudanese government. The SNA formed a military wing, the National Alliance Forces (NAF).

After a ceasefire mediated by US President Bill Clinton, which both the Sudanese government and SPLA regarded as a formal waste of time, the SPLA resumed operations out of Uganda, enjoying the support of that country’s government. The NIF backed the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a Ugandan rebel movement led by Joseph Kony, in order to oppose by proxy both the Ugandan government and the SPLA. With help from the Ugandan military, and renewed support from Ethiopia, the SPLA retook portions of southern Sudan under the name Operation Thunderbolt. At the same time, the NAF attacked in the north, aimed to cut off Port Sudan.

Despite encountering success, infighting resumed in the SPLA, and in April 1997, the UDSF, along with various other breakaway factions, changed sides. By July, all three forces were at a stalemate. Local victories were made by both sides, but the line did not progress in either direction. Fighting continued until 2005, when a Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed on 9 January. The 2005 agreement led to the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement on 14 October 2006, which addressed the grievances of the three eastern states. Provided for in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement were referendums on independence to take place in 2011. The referendum for independence of South Sudan passed by 98.8% approval. South Sudan almost immediately descended into a civil war of its own. After 2011, renewed fighting took place in the states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, as they had been denied their promised referendums for independence, and were forced to remain with Sudan.

An SPLA Type 1a (J79L-TJ) armed with a 12.7 mm DShK and painted in an intricate camouflage scheme, UN Base in Abyei, Sudan, 16 May 2008. Source: Reuters

War in Darfur

On 26 February 2003, the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), whose military wing is the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), attacked Sudanese government forces at Golu, in Darfur. On 25 April, they took over the town of Tini, capturing weapons stored there. Now armed and ready for a fight, the SLA, along with the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), made an attack on al-Fashir airbase on 25 April. The SLA/JEM force of 30 technicals stormed al-Fashir and destroyed Sudanese Mi-25s and other aircraft on the ground. They captured weapons and vehicles from the airbase and were gone before the Sudanese Army could organize a response.

Over the next several months, the SLA continued to make raids, until a ceasefire was briefly established in September. Now fighting wars on three fronts, the Sudanese government did not have enough resources to handle the uprising in Darfur. Instead, they employed local militias called Janjaweed, made up of Arabian nomads, to fight the SLA and JEM, which were primarily African farmers. The Janjaweed were provided trucks by the Sudanese government, who bought them new from dealerships in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) region. Starting in early December, the Janjaweed began making attacks on villages in Darfur. The conduct of the Janjaweed was horrifically brutal, bordering on genocide. By mid-2004, both the UN and AU (African Union) tried to get involved to establish humanitarian aid, but a ceasefire could not be established long enough to allow this. In July, the Sudanese government indicated it would disarm the Janjaweed, in light of their war crimes and pressure from outside nations. The SLA/JEM refused to negotiate for peace until the Janjaweed were disarmed.

What happened next is not entirely clear, but it can be summarized that the situation got worse. 1,000 Sudanese troops were deployed to the region, and by early 2005, AU observers reported that the Sudanese Air Force was bombing their own villages. Nearly 3 million people were displaced by the fighting. Starvation and disease affected more than half the population.

In 2006 and 2007, numerous agreements were made between the rebel factions, Janjaweed militias, and the Sudanese government. Despite this, there were too many rebel factions and subfactions, all with differing goals, with the result being that a meaningful peace was not achieved.
 

Sudanese government forces with two Type 1b’s captured from JEM, South Darfur, 2015. The nearer truck, a J75LP, is armed with a 23 mm ZU-23-2, the farther one with a 14.5 mm ZPU-2. Source: Osprey New Vanguard 257 – Technicals

In 2007, the United Nations and the African Union initiated a joint humanitarian aid and peacekeeping operation, called UNAMID (United Nations–African Union Mission in Darfur). UNAMID was established after the failure of three AMIS (African Union Mission in Sudan) observation and peacekeeping missions. The presence of the 20,000+ strong UNAMID force greatly reduced the amount of fighting, but low-intensity conflict continued.

In one of the largest actions of the conflict, JEM launched a raid on Khartoum, the country’s capital, in May 2008. Between 130 and 300 technicals were used in this raid. The JEM force got as far as Omdurman, a suburb of Khartoum just across the river Nile from the capital, before the attack was repulsed. To the JEM, the war in Darfur is known as the Land Cruiser War, named for their Toyota Land Cruiser technicals.

In 2013, the Sudanese government reorganized their employment of Janjaweed militias into the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Despite now being a legitimate, government-supported organization, the change in name has not stopped the Janjaweed tendencies toward war crimes and atrocities.

In April 2019, following a wave of protests known as the Sudanese Revolution, Omar al-Bashir was deposed in a coup by the Sudanese military, placating some of the rebel groups in Darfur. Continued demonstrations in favor of a democratic government led to the Khartoum Massacre in June 2019, perpetrated by the RSF on behalf of the Transitional Military Council (TMC), the temporary military government set up after al-Bashir’s government was overthrown. In August 2019, an agreement was made with the TMC that Sudan would transition to a democratic government by 2024.

UNAMID’s mission in Sudan ended on 31 December 2020. This was followed by a flare-up of conflict in Darfur in 2021 between various tribes and ethnic groups, rather than against the Sudanese government. The Sudanese military attempted a coup against the government on 21 September 2021, but failed. Another coup was staged on 25 October, led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, which was successful. On 21 November, an agreement was reached between al-Burhan’s military government and the civilian government of Abdalla Hamdok that was ousted in the coup. As part of the agreement, Hamdok returned to his position as prime minister, however, he resigned in January 2022, citing the military government failing to uphold its part of the agreement. As of 2022, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan is the leader of Sudan, and the country’s future is undetermined.
 

An Amir-1, a Sudanese-built Rakhsh APC, during the 2019 Revolution, on or before 9 April 2019. Source

Sudanese Armed Forces

At the time of Sudan’s independence, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) was a small, highly trained force of only 5,000 men. As time went on and the country grew more unstable, the military became larger, more corrupt, and more involved in Sudanese politics. Since Sudan’s independence, the SAF has been responsible for five successful coups d’état, and uncountable unsuccessful attempts.

As of 2021, the Sudanese Army has over 100,000 personnel spread across 19 divisions and 13 independent brigades. The 7th Armored Division is Sudan’s only armor unit. Sudan has seven infantry divisions, but only one is mechanized. The Sudanese Army is equipped with an eclectic collection of weaponry from Belarus, Bulgaria, China, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, France, Iran, Libya, Poland, Russia and the USSR, Romania, South Africa, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Yugoslavia, as well as equipment produced locally in Sudan. Prior to the 2000s, when Sudan began to exploit its oil reserves, much of Sudan’s military equipment was unmaintained and unusable.

From the time of Sudan’s independence until the Six-Day War in 1967, the Sudanese military was primarily guided and equipped by the United Kingdom. After the Six-Day War, Sudan broke off relations with the western powers and instead turned to the Soviet Union. In August 1968, the Sudanese government made an arms deal with the Soviet Union worth approximately 100 to 150 million US dollars. Among the equipment delivered to Sudan by the end of 1969 were considerable numbers of T-54 and T-55 tanks and BTR-40 and BTR-152 armored personnel carriers.

In 1976, Sudan signed a mutual defense agreement with Egypt, under the auspices of which the two countries shared weaponry. From Egypt, Sudan acquired a number of armored personnel carriers and tanks. By the late 1970s, Sudan’s infatuation with the Soviet Union had worn off, and they returned to relations with the United Kingdom, as well as Communist China and Yugoslavia. Between 1979 and 1982, the United States provided Sudan with armored personnel carriers, Cadillac Gage V-150 Commando armored cars, and M60A3 main battle tanks.

As of 2010, the United Police Forces, just one of Sudan’s police organizations, was believed to have in its inventory 40 Egyptian Fahd APCs, 30 Panhard M3s, and 30 other armored personnel carriers. As these vehicles are quite old, poorly maintained, and in the hands of police units, they are likely no longer serviceable. The United Police Forces also operate a number of Type 1 (Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series) technicals.

According to The Military Balance for 2021, Sudan is believed to have in its inventory:

  • Type 59 and Type 59D: 60
  • Type 85-IIM: 10
  • Type 62: 70
  • Type 63: 45
  • T-54 and T-55: 305
  • T-72AV: 70
  • M60A3: 20
  • BMP-1 and BMP-2: 135
  • BTR-50: 20~30
  • OT-62: 20
  • M113: 36
  • M163 VADS: 8
  • WZ-551 (Type 92): 10
  • WZ-523: Unknown
  • Daimler Ferret: 50~80
  • FV601 Saladin: 30~50
  • AML-90: 6
  • Panhard M3 VDA: 12
  • Rakhsh APC: 3+
  • OT-64: 50
  • BRDM-1 and BRDM-2: 70
  • BTR-152: 50~80
  • BTR-70M 2A42 Cobra: 10
  • BTR-80A: 7
  • BTR-3: 10
  • Walid APC: 96
  • Sarsar-2: Unknown
  • Cadillac Gage V-150 Commando: 55~80
  • 2S1 Gvozdika: 56
  • Mk F3 155mm: 10
  • BM-21 Grad: 120
  • 9K33 Osa: 4+

 

Industry

Sudan’s primary export is oil, and much of the country’s industry is geared toward the oil fields in the south. Much of Sudan’s oil fields were lost to South Sudan when that country gained its independence. Sudan’s closest military allies are Communist China and Iran, both of which have shared technology and expertise with Sudan.

As early as the 1960s, Sudan manufactured some small arms ammunition at Al Shajara Ammunition Plant. It was not until the 1990s that the country began to produce any weapons worthy of note. In 1993, the government of Sudan issued a decree to establish a Military Industry Corporation (MIC), which was ratified in 1994. The state-owned MIC eventually grew to encompass five different industrial complexes.

  • The existing Al Shajara Ammunition Plant, established on 17 November 1959, was rolled into the MIC at its inception.
  • Yarmouk Industrial Complex was founded in 1994 and began operation in 1996. It produces general equipment that is used for both civilian and military purposes.
  • Al Zarqa Engineering Complex was established in 1999 in the Halfaya neighborhood of Khartoum, and began operation in 2004. It produces electronic equipment.

In October 2000, Giad Automotive Industry began operation in the newly built Giad Industrial City south of Khartoum. Giad Auto was established as a joint venture between the Military Industry Corporation and the South Korean SMT Engineering Company. Giad is Sudan’s only vehicle manufacturer outside of the MIC. They produce under license a range of cars, trucks, buses, and tractors from manufacturers in Asia and Europe, including designs from Hyundai, Nissan, BYD (a Chinese brand), Lada, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Volvo, and Massey Ferguson.

  • El Shahid Ibrahim Shamseldin Complex for Heavy Industries was established in 2002 at Giad Industrial City. This complex is the main producer of heavy equipment in the MIC. It produces tanks, armored personnel carriers, self-propelled artillery, bulldozers, and excavators, and also maintains the Sudanese Army’s armored vehicles. El Shahid Ibrahim Shamseldin Complex is composed of the Body Construction Factory, the Maintenance and Modernization Factory for Rehabilitation of the Tank, assembly workshop, engineering services, lathe workshop, technical services workshop, and proving ground.
  • Safat Aviation Complex began operation in 2005 in Karari, north of Khartoum. It is Sudan’s only aircraft manufacturer and it maintains the aircraft of the Sudanese Air Force.

 

El Shahid Ibrahim Shamseldin Complex for Heavy Industries with what is likely the proving ground on the top half of the picture. Notice the junkyard of armored vehicles at the top left, most of the wrecks having been stripped of their turrets and engines. Giad Industrial City, Sudan. Source: Google Earth

The MIC’s Vehicle Products include:

  • Al-Bashier Main Battle Tank, Sudanese version of Chinese Type 85-IIM
  • Al-Zubair 1 Main Battle Tank, Sudanese version of Iranian Type 72Z and Russian T-72AV (despite these two vehicles being very different, they are both called Al-Zubair 1 by the MIC)
  • Al-Zubair 2 Main Battle Tank, Sudanese version of Chinese Type 59D
  • Digna Main Battle Tank, Sudanese version of Soviet T-55
  • Khatim-1 Armored Personnel Carrier, Sudanese version of Iranian Boragh
  • Khatim-1 Armored Ammunition Carrier
  • Khatim-2 Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle
  • Khatim-2 Armored Mortar Carrier
  • Khatim-3
  • Khatim-4
  • Amir-1 Reconnaissance Vehicle, Sudanese version of Iranian Rakhsh
  • Amir-2 Reconnaissance Vehicle, Sudanese version of Soviet BRDM-2
  • Sarsar-1 Reconnaissance Vehicle
  • Sarsar-2 Reconnaissance Vehicle
  • Shareef-1 Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle, Sudanese version of Russian BTR-80A
  • Shareef-2 Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle, Sudanese version of Chinese WZ-551
  • Shareef-3 Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle, Sudanese version of Soviet BTR-70
  • Abu Fatma 122mm Self-Propelled Howitzer, Sudanese version of Soviet 2S1 Gvozdika
  • Taka 107 mm Multiple Rocket Launcher System
  • Taka-1 122 mm Multiple Rocket Launcher System, Sudanese version of Russian BM-21 Grad
  • Taka-2 122 mm Multiple Rocket Launcher System
  • Khalifa-1 122 mm Self-Propelled Howitzer
  • Khalifa-2 122 mm Self-Propelled Howitzer
  • Karaba Tactical Jeep, Sudanese version of Iranian Fath Safir
  • Tamal Tactical Truck, Sudanese version of Chinese Dongfeng Rich
  • Nimer Albarary Long Range Patrol Vehicle

It is known that MIC technicians are trained in Iran, and a good portion of the MIC’s equipment is provided by China. What is not known, however, is the degree to which Iran and China are involved in Sudan’s local production of military equipment. In the absence of any hard facts, publications on the topic of Sudan’s military industry have posited on the full range of possibilities, from Sudan copying from scratch Iranian and Chinese equipment, to being provided blueprints and parts to produce their own vehicles, to simply assembling “kit” vehicles shipped to them, to merely receiving already complete vehicles and re-selling them. Based upon several factors, it is the conclusion of the author that the latter two possibilities are the most likely.

“Copy” vehicles known to be produced by the MIC and those offered for sale do not differ much, if at all, from the foreign vehicles they are ostensibly based upon. If they were unlicensed copies, made without any technical documentation, the end result would not look nearly as neat and professional. It is also doubtful whether Sudan would have the industrial capabilities to build a tank from scratch.

Sudan is known to have purchased or captured notable quantities of the vehicles that their products are based on. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that, in the cases of Al-Bashier, Al-Zubair 2, Digna, Khatim-1 APC, Amir-1, Amir-2, Shareef-1, Shareef-2, Abu Fatma, and Taka-1, that these are not new vehicles at all, but are rebuilds of older vehicles, possibly with some modifications implemented by the Sudanese. This is supported by the fact that the MIC’s first website, now defunct, plainly labeled Al-Bashier as being a “T85 Main Battle Tank” and the Shareef-1 a “BTR 80 A”. Particularly in regard to the newer vehicles, such as Al-Bashier, this may be a way of selling Chinese and Iranian vehicles to other African countries that do not want, or are not able to, buy directly from China and Iran.

The existence of Al-Zubair 2, an Iranian Type 72Z with an upgraded Sudanese engine, as well as the Khatim series of vehicles, the Amir-1, and the Karaba, evidence a closer cooperation with Iran than Sudan has with China. These Iranian vehicles most likely were shipped to Sudan as kits and were assembled there. The Boragh, an Iranian copy of the Chinese ZBD-86 and basis for the Khatim, is an enigmatic vehicle and not much is known about it or its Sudanese variations. What is certain is that Sudan purchased at least 10 Boraghs and termed them Khatim-1 APCs. Iran and Sudan have since continued to produce variations of the Boragh/Khatim-1, with Iran mounting a BMP-2 turret on at least one Boragh. It seems that Sudan put this version into production but Iran did not, the Sudanese name for it being Khatim-2 Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle.

Beginning in 2013, the MIC began displaying its products at the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, UAE. IDEX 2013 lasted from 17 to 21 February. The only vehicle the MIC brought to the expo for its inaugural year was a small 4×4. Unfortunately, no photos are available to evidence which one.

For IDEX 2015, lasting from 22 to 26 February, MIC’s showing was much stronger, and was one of the largest exhibits at the expo. MIC unveiled a range of new, indigenously designed vehicles, such as the Khalifa-1, a 122 mm D-30 howitzer mounted on a Kamaz-43118 truck, and the Khatim-2 Armored Mortar Carrier, a Sudanese version of the Iranian Boragh Armored Mortar Vehicle.
 

Khalifa-1 122 mm Self-Propelled Howitzer at IDEX 2015. Source

Also shown at IDEX 2015 was the Taka, a combination of a Sudanese-produced Type 63 rocket launcher copy mounted on a Kia KM450 truck, the Sarsar-2, a light armored car of Sudanese design also based on the Kia HM450, the Tamal Tactical Truck, a militarized version of the Chinese Dongfeng Rich pickup, and the Nimer Albarary Long Range Patrol Vehicle, a light armored car also based on the Dongfeng Rich.
 

Sarsar-2 Reconnaissance Vehicle and Tamal Tactical Truck (left, background) at IDEX 2015. Source unknown.

At IDEX 2017, the MIC brought along some old and some new vehicles. The Sarsar-1 and Sarsar-2 Reconnaissance Vehicles were among the old, and the Taka-2, Khalifa-2, Khatim-3, and Khatim-4 were among the new. The Taka-2 was an improvement on the original Taka, exchanging the Chinese 107 mm launcher for an Egyption SAKR RL-4 122 mm rocket launcher. Likewise, the Khalifa-2 was akin to the Khalifa-1, but with the 122 mm D-30 howitzer based on the chassis of a Sudanese-produced Ural-4320.

The two new Khatim variations offered for IDEX 2017 were both based on Iranian developments of the Boragh. The Khatim-3 featured a 23 mm ZU-23-2 mounted on top of the standard Khatim-1, and the Khatim-4 was an ATGM-carrier, sharing the hull design of the Khatim-2 Armored Mortar Carrier. Also offered by the MIC at IDEX 2017 was the Amir-2, a rebuild and upgrade for the BRDM-2, for any operators who wish to keep using such an elderly vehicle.
 

The Khatim-4 ATGM-carrier. Behind it is the Taka-2, and behind that the Amir-2, IDEX 2017. Source

Among the MIC’s offerings for IDEX 2019 was the new Shareef-3, an upgrade option for the BTR-70 that replaces the engines and fits it with the turret and cannon from the BMP-1. The MIC was not present at IDEX 2021.
 

Shareef-3 at IDEX 2019. Source

Sources

Sudan: A Country Study, 5th Edition – LaVerle Berry, 2015
https://web.archive.org/web/20071004040748/http://mic.sd/english/abouten.htm
https://web.archive.org/web/20160207215643/http://www.mic.sd/pages/en/home/homepage
https://web.archive.org/web/20130823063324/http://www.mic.sd/idex/en/
https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/sudan-s-military-industry-expanding-small-arms-survey
http://www.smallarmssurveysudan.org/fileadmin/docs/facts-figures/sudan/HSBA-MIC-Open-Source-Review-2014.pdf
https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2017/05/exotic-armour-inside-look-at-sudans.html
International Institute for Strategic Studies – The Military Balance 2021
https://web.archive.org/web/20140401071854/http://www.mic.sd/idex/en/#
https://www.armyrecognition.com/idex_2015_news_official_online_show_daily_coverage/ateed_an_automated_weapon_station_is_presented_by_mic-sudan_at_idex_2015.html
https://www.armyrecognition.com/weapons_defence_industry_military_technology_uk/sudan_defense_industry_has_developed_a_full_range_of_military_combat_and_armoured_vehicles_12008151.html
http://www.smallarmssurveysudan.org/fileadmin/docs/facts-figures/sudan/HSBA-IDEX-2015.pdf
https://www.defenceweb.co.za/land/land-land/sudan-puts-its-metal-on-display-at-idex/
https://www.khaleejtimes.com/nation/abu-dhabi/sudan-flexes-its-military-muscles-at-idex
https://www.nstands.com/companies/vibrand-event-management/military-industry-corporation-mic-sudan/
https://web.archive.org/web/20190405195122/https://www.janes.com/article/87227/sudan-reveals-shareef-3-upgrade-to-btr-70

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