Developed In Record Time, DRDO And L&T Unveil Made-In-India 'Zorawar' Light Tank For China Border

Ujjwal Shrotryia

Jul 06, 2024, 05:46 PM | Updated 09:43 PM IST

DRDO and L&T developed Zorwar light tank. (X/ Vayu)
DRDO and L&T developed Zorwar light tank. (X/ Vayu)

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and private firm Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today (6 July) unveiled the first prototype of the Zorawar light tank.

The tank has already completed its internal trials at L&T's facility in Hazira, Gujarat.

The light tank has reportedly been developed in an extremely short period of time — less than 24 months or two years — and is supposed to be operated in the high altitude regions of Ladakh and Sikkim.

Zorawar will undergo trials where its performance and capabilities will be identified in both the desert and high-altitude regions.

According to the Indian Army's qualitative requirements (QRs), the tank is supposed to weigh 25 tonnes ± 10 percent. If everything goes well and it clears trials, then Zorawar will be inducted into service by 2027.

The Army is looking to buy 350 light tanks primarily for operations in the high altitude regions of Ladakh and North Sikkim. The requirement to develop a light tank came when the Chinese deployed the ZTQ-15 light tank after the standoff in Ladakh in 2020.

The Indian Army operates T-72 and T-90 tanks in Demchok and in the Depsang in Ladakh where the terrain is suitable for armoured warfare. However, the T-90s and T-72s are unsuitable for operations at high altitude areas with an average height of more than 15,000 ft due to their heavy weight of more than 40 tonnes.

The horsepower produced by the engines of these heavy tanks gets reduced due to the rarified air. That is where light tanks like ZTQ-15 and Zorawar excel.

The development timeline of the tank was very short — less than two years. The government gave the project sanction in March of 2022 and in less than two years the tank was unveiled.

The tank from the released pictures can be seen carrying the John Cockerill's, a Belgium-based manufacturer's, 105mm turret. It is supposed to have thermal sights, night fighting capabilities, and can launch tube-launched anti-tank guided missiles.

Staff Writer at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.

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