L&T bags order to build prototype of Zorawar Light Tank

It has been reported by “Business Standard” that The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has placed orders for the prototype development of a light 25-tonne tank from Larsen & Toubro (L&T).

Earlier in December 2022, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has already accorded an Acceptance of Necessity (AoN), or in-principal agreement, for the Rs 16,000 Crores project for lightweight tanks.

Under the Project, seven ‘Zorawar’ Light Tank regiments, each equipped with 45 tanks will be raised for deployment in the high-altitude region opposite the Line-of Actual Control (LAC) that India shares with China.

Basically, the AoN requires L&T – the Ministry of Defence (MoD’s) development partner – to build one regiment of Light Tanks, while the MoD acquires the other six regiments that will be manufactured under the under the ‘Make’ procedure of DAP 2020.

As of now it is not clear as to who will be building these six regiments.

Noteworthy, the Indian Army currently is equipped with T-72, T-90 and Arjun MK-1 and MK-1A tanks, however these are found to be inapt for operations in the high-altitude regions owing to their heavy weight.

About ‘Zorawar’ Light Tank

The new light tank is supposed to be a light weighing around 25 tonnes and maneuverable without sacrificing firepower.

It would be armed with niche technologies including but not limited to Artificial Intelligence, integration with swarm drones for higher situational awareness, loitering ammunition for high lethality and active protection system as a shield against modern anti-armour systems

Further, the light tank will have a hull, co-developed by DRDO and L&T, that will house an 800 horsepower (HP) engine optimized for high altitudes. The engine will be provided by German firm MTU, which is a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce.

Mounted on this hull will be a 105-millimetre gun turret, procured ready-built from Belgian firm, John Cockerill.

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