The new ZORAWAR light tank for the Indian Army 11/07/2024 | CAROLINA PAIZS

On July 6, the prototype of the new ZORAWAR light tank, manufactured by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) in cooperation with the Indian Ministry of Defence's  Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), was unveiled at the Hazira plant in Gujarat, India.

The tank was developed to meet specific operational requirements of the Indian Army and, in particular, the Indian Army's need to acquire light tanks for deployment in the northern region of Ladakh, located on the border with China. This is a mountainous plateau where the average altitude is more than 5,000 m above sea level, and the terrain is not ideal to operate with heavy tanks.

According to statements made by DRDO, the ZORAWAR weighs around 25 tonnes and features a 750/1,000 hp Cummins engine. The engine provides excellent power performance, well proportioned to the weight of the vehicle - the power-to-weight ratio is said to be just under 40 hp per tonne - which makes the vehicle more manoeuvrable and agile than the T-90 and T-72 MBTs used by the Army in the Ladakh region.

As far as armament is concerned, the tank will be equipped with the Cockerill-3105 turret featuring 105 mm gun, which has been specifically modified to meet Indian Army requirements. Modifications include, among others, the integration of a remote turret mounting a 12.7 mm machine gun and two anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) mounted on the side.

The prototype is expected to complete final testing within the next six months, before being tested by the Army itself for further evaluation; the goal is to have it in service (probably with some specialized units of the Mountain Brigades) as early as the end of 2027.

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