DRDO starts trials of light tank Zorawar, to hand over project to Army in months

In another push for the indigenous defence sector, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which is the research and development wing of the Defence Ministry, has started internal trials for the light tank ‘Zorawar’. Light in weight, and easier mobility, these tanks of the Army are set to address defence capabilities in high-altitude areas, including the Ladakh sector.

DRDO will hand the project over to the Army for further trials within the next four months. The project also involves a private player, Larsen & Toubro (L&T).

Sources said that the tank’s internal trials have begun, aiming for completion by the end of March or mid-April, paving the way for subsequent user trials with the Army.

The light tank, part of a 59-tank order to DRDO and its private sector development and production partner, addresses the Indian Army’s need to enhance mobility and manoeuvring capabilities in the Ladakh sector. Facing a similar deployment of Chinese light tanks in large numbers, the Indian Army sought to develop comparable capabilities, a project recently approved by the Defence Acquisition Council.

Collaborating with L&T under the Make in India initiative, DRDO is working on building a 25-tonne light tank capable of swift movement in high mountainous terrain.

One of the crucial features in consideration is an active protection system designed to shield combat vehicles from anti-tank guided missiles and projectiles.

The Army also aims for the light tank to be amphibious, allowing deployment in riverine regions, including the Pangong Tso Lake in eastern Ladakh, where the Indian forces have countered Chinese light tanks.

Published By:

Srishti Jha

Published On:

Jan 13, 2024

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