India’s domestically developed light tank, tentatively named Zorawar, is anticipated to undergo trials by the end of this month, marking a significant milestone in its rapid development.
Crafted for operations in high-altitude regions, particularly along the border with China in response to its armored deployments, Zorawar is poised to demonstrate superior mobility and firepower when compared to its Chinese counterpart, the Type 15 tank.
Scheduled for trials in December, the 25-tonne category light tank has been engineered with expediency to address the necessity for enhanced mobility in extreme altitudes. This need became crucial amid escalating tensions in eastern Ladakh in 2020, prompted by China’s deployment of light armor in high-altitude locations.
Contrary to earlier reports suggesting the possible use of the K9 Vajra self-propelled gun chassis, Zorawar boasts a distinctive chassis. Developed in collaboration between the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Larsen and Toubro (L&T), the tank features a 105 mm gun manufactured by John Cockerill.
Receiving development approval in April 2022, the tank’s design showcases India’s indigenous technological prowess, dispelling initial speculation. The critical 105 mm gun is expected to be produced in India for the serial production of these tanks.
Zorawar incorporates active protection measures against incoming attacks and incorporates an integrated Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to augment battlefield visibility—a crucial feature for operations in challenging terrains.
Designed to operate across diverse terrains, from high-altitude areas to island territories, Zorawar is air transportable for swift deployment. Its capabilities are anticipated to surpass those of the Chinese Type 15 tanks, providing the Indian military with a strategic advantage in the region.