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India unveils ‘Zorawar' light tank

The Zorawar has been developed to meet an Indian Army requirement for light tanks for deployment in the country's northern and mountainous Ladakh region. (DRDO)

India's state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) have unveiled an initial prototype of their jointly developed ‘Zorawar' light tank.

The tank – intended for Indian Army use along its northern border with China – was displayed to the media for the first time at L&T's production facility in Hazira, Gujarat, on 6 July.

Speaking to local media, DRDO chairman Samir V Kamat said he expected the tank prototype to complete development trials within six months after which it would be offered to the Indian Army for additional evaluations. He said he expected the tank to be ready for Indian Army induction by 2027.

The Indian Army intends to deploy the tank in India's Ladakh region, a high-altitude mountainous plateau where the average elevation is more than 5,000 m above sea level, and over terrain that requires low-track pressure.

According to the DRDO, the maximum weight of the light tank is 25 tonnes. The platform is powered by a Cummins 750/1,000 hp engine, resulting in a power-to-weight ratio of just under 40 hp/tonne. This is intended to provide improved manoeuvrability in the thinner atmosphere in Ladakh compared with the Indian Army's T-90 or T-72 main battle tanks, which weigh around 50–60 tonnes and are currently deployed in the region.

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