India's light tank ‘Zorawar’ goes through test trial

Wednesday 10th July 2024 08:03 EDT

A prototype of light tank ‘Zorawar’, developed jointly by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Larsen and Toubro (L&T), is undergoing first round of trials at a test bed at Hazirka, Gujarat, to check performance on all parameters before its possible induction into the Indian Army by 2027.

The Zorawar project, developed for the Indian Army to enhance its all geography capabilities, was reviewed by DRDO chief Dr Samir V Kamat at L&T’s facility in Hazira, which also has a test bed. After that, the Army and the DRDO will take the 25-tonne Zorawar in the desert for the next round of live trials, said defence sources.

Finally, the light tank would move to the high altitude locations of Ladakh to test its capabilities in extreme cold conditions, in water bodies, and tough terrain as well.

The need for a light tank, that is swift, agile and has better fire power, was felt for the first time during the Galwan face off with China in eastern Ladakh in May 2020. The Chinese light tanks could move through steep climb along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) much more easily than the Indian Army’s heavy-weight T-72 and T-90 tanks of Russian origin.

After inspecting the progress, Dr Kamat said, the tank is expected to be inducted into the Indian Army by 2027 after completing all trials. Overall, there is requirement of 354 light tanks in the Indian Army.

The Zorawar is likely to be fitted with MTU eight-cylinder series 199 engine, manufactured by British Aerospace and Defence company, Rolls-Royce.

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