- The Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) agreed in December 2022 that the three forces and the Indian Coast Guard needed to buy 24 different types of weapons
- The DAC gave the go-ahead to start the process of buying 354 light tanks, of which the DRDO will make 59.
In December 2023, the prototype of the Zorawar light tank, which is made in Afghanistan and is meant for mountain fighting, will be released.
Sources say that it will then go through development trials and then user trials once the prototype passes those.
This newspaper was told by people in the defense and security community that the Army probably won’t go on trial until March of next year.
In October, India chose the American company Cummins to make the engines for these tanks after first deciding on a German business.
“Now that the DRDO has made up its mind, the US engine will be used in the prototype that will be shown off.” This is because German companies did not have the BAFA (Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control) clearance before. These permissions have to do with controlling exports.
The Zorawar is specially made to work at high elevations, which is how it counters Chinese armored deployments in high-terrain fighting. The tank, which weighs 25 tons, will be able to be moved by air.
A fight between the Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in eastern Ladakh has been going on since 2020. Reports say that the PLA has sent out light armored trucks to fly high. It is said that Zorawar will be able to move and fire more accurately than the Chinese Type 15 tanks that are stationed along the border with Ladakh.
People thought there should be a light tank since the T72s and T90s are meant to be used in fields and deserts. The Army already uses these tanks in Ladakh, but they are bigger and harder to move around.
In April 2021, the Army sent out its first Request to Information (RFI). It wants the light tank to be able to operate on both land and water, making it easier to use even in riverbed areas.
The idea to make this kind of tank was approved in April of last year, and the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and a private company called L&T will be making it. Some people in the business world say that L&T is the only company working on these tanks with other companies.
Zoorawar will have a 105 mm gun made by John Cockerill, a company based in Belgium. The tank will probably have active defenses against incoming attacks as well as UAVs built in to make the area easier to see. Among other things, it will have Artificial Intelligence (AI) and environmental awareness built in.
The Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) agreed in December 2022 that the three forces and the Indian Coast Guard needed to buy 24 different types of weapons, weapon systems, and platforms. The Rs 16,000 crore Zorawar Light Tank project was one of these. It was given the go-ahead in principle in March 2022 to create and build this kind of tank.
Indian Army was interested in the Russian Sprut light tanks, and L&T was working with the DRDO to turn the tracked 155 mm gun Vajra into a light tank at the same time.
The DAC gave the go-ahead to start the process of buying 354 light tanks, of which the DRDO will make 59. The Make-I group will be used to make the rest. In the Make-I category, projects get 90% of their money from the government. This money is given gradually and based on how the scheme is going, according to the terms agreed upon by the defense ministry and the vendor.