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Iran reportedly to produce 700–800 tanks

18 July 2018
Although it appears to be influenced by Russia’s T-90, the Karrar is an upgraded T-72. Source: Islamic Republic News Agency

The Iranian military will receive up to 800 new and upgraded tanks, the Tasnim News Agency reported Reza Mozaffariniya, the deputy minster for industry in the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), as saying on 18 July.

The news agency quoted Mozaffariniya as saying the MODAFL is planning to upgrade and produce 700–800 new tanks, many at the facility in Dorud, with 50–60 being produced annually for the regular army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, which need them urgently.

He did not identify the tanks that will be involved in the programme, but Tasnim noted that he was probably referring to the Karrar, which it described as an upgraded T-72 main battle tank (MBT), and the Zolfaghar (Zulfiqar), several prototypes of which have been displayed over the years.

When it was unveiled in March, the Iranian media described the Karrar as a new “100% Iranian tank” that is superior to the Russian T-90 in some aspects. However, it was clearly an upgraded T-72 with a new turret that retains the original 125 mm 2A46-series smoothbore gun.

Iranian media coverage showed the Karrar also has a new computerised command-and-control system that appears to include fire-control, navigation, and vehicle diagnostics systems. It also appeared to have a meteorological sensor on the roof of its turret and a laser rangefinder on the gunner’s sight that could also be used to designate targets for missiles.

It was stated at the time that the Karrar was already being produced at the Bani-Hashem Armour Industrial Complex, east of Dorud, a claim supported by television footage showing six T-72 hulls lined up in a factory.

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