Indian Army accelerates procurement of light tank ‘Zorawar’ for LAC to tackle China
To counter the muscle flexing of China at border areas in Ladakh and the increased threat from China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) likely to remain in the “foreseeable future,” the Indian Army has initiated Project Zorawar to deploy indigenously made light tanks in high altitude areas. The induction of tanks will enable the Indian forces to counter any threat posed by the Chinese tanks deployed along the LAC in Ladakh and some other regions, said highly placed officials in New Delhi on Friday. The light tanks can be airlifted to inaccessible areas and enable the local commanders to move fast and provide agility in operations.
During the ongoing stand-off, the Chinese last year had inducted light tanks at various forward locations along the LAC, especially in the Ladakh region. Countering the move, India deployed its T-90 and T-72 tanks. The T-90 weighs about 46 tons and the T-72 about 45 tons. Explaining the need for light tanks, the Indian side said armored columns add muscle to readiness and the army is keen to have an edge over China in both offensive and defensive terms.
Indian Army is now awaiting clearance from the government and acceptance of necessity (AON) for manufacturing these tanks weighing about 25 tons. The proposal will be put for the nod in September, they said. Once okayed, the trials of the tanks after manufacturing will commence within three years, they said. The government in March this year had accorded in-principle approval for the indigenous design and development of light tanks for mountain warfare.
The Army wants a light tank with a maximum weight of 25 tons with the same firepower as its regular tanks and Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled systems, integration of tactical surveillance drones to provide a high degree of situational awareness and loitering munition, along with an active protection system. The tanks will also have a protective shield to counter anti-tank-guided missiles.
Moreover, the tanks will be amphibious to negotiate riverine terrain including the Pangong Tso lake in Eastern Ladakh. The lake saw the first stand-off in May 2020 triggering tension along several other friction points in the region between India and China.
As regards the title of the project, top officials said it was named after Zorawar Singh Kahluria, a Military General who served under Jammu’s Raja Gulab Singh — known as the ‘conquerer of Ladakh’. A lightweight agile platform with a high power-to-weight ratio with substantial firepower, protection, surveillance, and communication capabilities is essential to provide the Army the versatility to execute operations in varying terrain against diverse threats and equipment profiles of adversaries, sources said.
The decision to manufacture light tanks within the country was also taken after the ongoing Ukraine conflict impacted the supply chain of defense-related equipment.
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I just recalled Genl Bhagawat of the RSS army saying he needs only a few days to get ready his army.
His Chowkedhar has failed in his duties and he must act quickly.
I thought “Koi Aya Nahin”. On the face of it there is no need.
I guess it’s another way to make money indigenously by awarding contracts to the connected
Otherwise the crap will hit the heavens like Rafael.