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DRDO rolls out light tank prototype

The DRDO showcased a scale model of the Zorawar light tank at Defexpo 2022 held in October 2022 in Gandhinagar. (Janes/Kapil Kajal)

India's state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has “successfully” developed a fully functional prototype of the Zorawar light tank, Vipin Kumar Kaushik, director of the DRDO's Directorate of Public Interface, told Janes on 16 January.

“The prototype of the light tank will now undergo development trials within the DRDO, and user trials with the Indian Army will begin either at the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025,” Kaushik said.

The DRDO will showcase the prototype of the light tank at Defexpo 2024, to be held later this year, he added.

The DRDO has developed Zorawar in collaboration with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) for the Indian Army's requirement of light tanks to deploy in the Himalayas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.

The Indian Army issued a request for information (RFI) in April 2021 to procure 354 locally manufactured light tanks for deployment in challenging terrain.

According to the RFI, the weight of the tank should not exceed 25 tons and it must be capable of carrying a crew of 3 people. The tank must feature a 105 mm main gun and a third-generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM).

The tank must be equipped with an active protection system (APS); explosive reactive armour (ERA); offensive and defensive electronic countermeasures (ECM); a missile warning system; nuclear, biological, chemical (NBC) protection; 360° day-and-night cameras; a battle management system (BMS); and a hybrid navigation system.

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