The Zorawar Light Tank is built by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and DRDO. In accordance with the Defense Procurement Procedure, the lightweight tank is being developed under the Make-I or “Government Funded” category.
Zorawar is a 25-ton light tank with a 1,000-horsepower high-altitude operable power pack (engine + transmission) that has been created specifically for operations in high altitudes. To combat Chinese ZTQ 105 type 15 lightweight tank deployments throughout the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), especially in Easter Ladakh and across from Sikkim, the Indian Army is aiming to purchase about 350 units.
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The tank would have all-around STANAG Level 2 protection with additional armor bringing its front protection up to STANAG Level 4. Along with smoke grenade launchers, Active Protection Systems, laser warning systems, and NBC protection systems would also be included. The tank will be air transportable and will be made to exert little ground pressure.
The concept is anticipated to compete with Russian and Israeli offerings for light tanks. By 2023 or 2024, the tank’s first prototype should be ready.
Light Tanks for Extreme or High Altitude areas
The Army is implementing Project Zorawar to introduce indigenous light tanks for speedy deployment and unrestricted movement in high-altitude zones.
The decision to buy light tanks comes in the midst of a continuing border dispute with China along the LAC in eastern Ladakh.
T-72 and T-90 Main Battle Tanks have been used by the Indian Army in eastern Ladakh, but these tanks were particularly made for use in plains and arid environments. When used in high-altitude locations, they have constraints of their own. Due to their weight, they have limited mobility and usage in high-altitude environments.
Additionally, the People’s Liberation Army has stationed armored troops in Tibet outfitted with 33-ton ZTQ-15 (or TYPE 15) light tanks. In High altitude settings, China ZTQ-15 is simpler to operate and maintain than India’s 42-tonne T-72 MBTs. Indian light tanks have been previously stationed in high-altitude regions, including eastern Ladakh.
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