Zorawar: India Picks Firm to Develop 'Mountain Tank'
The Indian Army failed to purchase lightweight tanks from global manufacturers despite a need to counter China’s Type 15 tanks, deployed along a high-altitude border with India since 2020. India’s locally developed lightweight tank will be capable of firing multiple ammunition.
India is expected to unveil the prototype of its lightweight ‘Zorawar’ tank in late 2023. The government has selected private firm Larsen & Toubro as the development partner of the program, Janes has reported.
“[The] Indian process cannot place development and production contracts in one,” Jayant Damodar Patil, Whole Time Director (Defence & Smart Technologies), L&T said.
Patil, however, did not elaborate on the role that his firm may play in the ambitious project.
“Developed equipment has to undergo field evaluation trials and emerge successful for the induction clearance, and then [the] production ordering process begins,” Patil underlined.
G. Satish Reddy, Advisor to the Defense Minister and former chief of the country’s Defence Research and Development Organization, had stated that the need for the lightweight tank was obvious, especially for the mountainous regions.
The Zorawar tanks, which weigh less than 25 tons, will be fitted with a high-altitude operable power pack for engine and transmission of 1000hp.
India has deployed its heavy T-90 and T-72 tanks, which weigh around 45-46 tones, to the Ladakh region. These vehicles were airlifted to the forward locations by the Indian Air Force after China moved Type 15/ VT-5 light tanks into the forward areas in 2020.