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India Unveils Light Battle Tank ‘Zorawar’

India has unveiled its first indigenously designed and developed light battle tank that will be capable of delivering devastating firepower at high altitude battlefields and operating in all-weather conditions. India...

India has unveiled its first indigenously designed and developed light battle tank that will be capable of delivering devastating firepower at high altitude battlefields and operating in all-weather conditions.

India Unveils Light Battle Tank ‘Zorawar’

India has unveiled its first indigenously designed and developed light battle tank that will be capable of delivering devastating firepower at high altitude battlefields and operating in all-weather conditions. Developed in a record time of under two years in response to Chinese armoured deployments in Eastern Ladakh, the 25 ton tank named ‘Zorawar’ is the result of a public-private partnership between DRDO and L&T.

Named Zorawar by the Army the tank has more mobility and higher accuracy fire power than the Chinese Type 15 tanks that have been deployed on the Ladakh border. The weight of the tank has been kept at 25 tons for higher mobility at extreme altitudes and will feature a 105 mm gun made by John Cockerill, which will also be produced in India.

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Engine Issues

Initially, a German engine was identified as the best suitable to power the light tank. However, its procurement got delayed due to export clearances from Germany. While German Government did approve it, officials said it was too late and was delaying the project. So, the tank was developed with an engine powered by Cummins and the company has also agreed to assemble the engine in India, one of the sources cited above said. Meanwhile, DRDO has taken up a project to develop a new power pack for the light tank as a new 1400 HP engine is also under development for the Arjun Mk1A main battle tank, sources added.

Eastern Ladakh

At the height of the ongoing standoff in Eastern Ladakh, following confrontation on the Kailash range on the south bank of Pangong Tso in August 2020, India and China had deployed tanks on the mountain peaks which were subsequently pulled back as part of the disengagement from both banks of the lake. China has deployed the third-generation modern light tank ZTQ 15 (Type 15), latest ZTL-11 wheeled Armoured Personnel Carriers and the CSK series of assault vehicles along the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh.

Numbers

59 of these tanks will be provided to the Army initially and it will be a front runner for the major programme of 295 more of these armoured vehicles.

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Zorawar

The Indian Air Force can supply two tanks at a time in the C-17 class transport aircraft as the tank is light and can be run at high speeds in mountain valleys.

The trials are expected to be completed in the next 12-18 months and be ready for induction.

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