Watch: DRDO unveils light battle tank Zorawar, developed to counter China in high-altitude areas | India News

NEW DELHI: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) tested out its light battle tank Zorawar in Gujarat’s Hazira on Saturday.
Zorawar has been developed jointly by the DRDO and Larsen and Toubro. The tank project being developed for the Indian Army was reviewed by DRDO chief Dr Samir V Kamat.

A momentous day: DRDO chief

“It’s indeed a momentous day for all of us to see the light tank in action.It makes me happy and proud. It’s indeed an example … in a short period of two years to two and a half years, we have not only designed this tank but made a first prototype and now the first prototype will undergo development trials over the next six months, and then we will be ready to offer it to our users for user trials …. Zorawar is expected to be inducted into the Indian Army by 2027 after all trials,” said Kamat.

The tank has been developed by the DRDO to meet the Indian Army’s requirements in the eastern Ladakh sector to counter the Chinese deployment across the Line of Actual Control.

Unique features

The tank with its lightweight and amphibious capabilities can travel through steep climbs in mountains and cross rivers and other water bodies much more easily than the heavy-weight T-72 and T-90 tanks. As per the DRDO chief, the tank is expected to be inducted into the Indian Army by 2027.

Commenting on the unique features of Zorawar, ⁠DRDO tank lab director Rajesh Kumar said, “Generally there are three different types of tanks. There are three categories depending on the weight. The heavy tanks, the medium tanks and the light tanks. Each one has its role. One is for protection, one is for offence and these light tanks play a mixed role. What is unique about this tank is the weight as well as the combination of the fundamental parameters of a tank, which is the fire, power, mobility and protection. All three are optimized in such a way that the weight is also maintained. At the same time, you are getting all the parameters.”

All about the Zorawar and its strategic utility

The Zorawar is a light-tank designed to provide the Indian Army with enhanced capabilities in high-altitude areas like Ladakh. It is named after the 19th century Dogra General Zorawar Singh, who led military expeditions to Ladakh and Western Tibet.

The Zorawar is designed to be light, maneuverable, and transportable by air, while still maintaining substantial firepower, protection, surveillance and communication capabilities.
It weighs just 25 tons, half the weight of heavier tanks like the T-90, allowing it to operate in difficult mountain terrain that is inaccessible to larger tanks.
The Indian Army has placed an initial order for 59 Zorawar tanks, with plans to potentially procure a total of 354 light tanks. The Zorawar will help balance the scales against China’s existing fleet of lightweight mountain tanks, like the Type 15, which have a significant advantage in the high altitudes of Ladakh.

Key features of the Zorawar

  • A 105mm or higher caliber main gun capable of firing anti-tank guided missiles
  • Modular explosive reactive armor and an active protection system to enhance survivability
  • A power-to-weight ratio of at least 30 hp/ton for improved mobility
  • Integration with drones and battle management systems for enhanced situational awareness

The induction of the Zorawar light tank will provide the Indian Army with a critical capability to rapidly deploy and maneuver in the high-altitude regions of Ladakh and other border areas. Its combination of mobility, firepower and advanced systems will enhance India’s overall military posture against China in these strategically important sectors.
(With inputs from agencies)

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