The decision to develop a light tank weighing around 25 tonnes was prompted by the tensions that escalated in eastern Ladakh in 2020 and China deployed light armored vehicles at high altitude locations.The Indian tank, tentatively named Zorawar, is expected to outperform the Chinese Type 15 tanks deployed along the Ladakh border in terms of mobility and firepower accuracy, the report said.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) selected Larsen and Toubro (L&T) as its partner for the project, which was approved for development in April 2022. The tank design is completely new and features an indigenous chassis, contrary to earlier reports suggesting it would be based on the K9 Vajra self-propelled gun chassis already in production in India.
The tank, weighing 25 tonnes, has been specifically designed for superior mobility at extreme altitudes. It will be equipped with a 105 mm gun manufactured by John Cockerill, which is expected to be produced in India once the tanks enter serial production.
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Additionally, the tank will incorporate active protection measures against incoming attacks and an integrated Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to enhance battlefield visibility.
Light tank for Indian Army
The new light tank will be capable of operating in various terrains, from high-altitude areas to island territories, and will be air transportable for rapid deployment.
The upcoming trial phase will provide valuable insights into the tank’s performance, paving the way for its future deployment by the Indian Army.