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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG.

The South Korean defence minister Suh Wook’s on his visit to New Delhi to bolster bilateral defence cooperation has offered to co-develop a light battle tank for the Indian Army, that is suitable for high altitude operations. Korean company Hanwha defense has developed K21-105, a Light Tank that has a 105mm turret mounted on a proven K21 chassis for the Korean Army, but India is looking at using the hull of the K9 Vajra 155mm/52 caliber Tracked Self-Propelled Howitzer as a base to mate it with an indigenous gun to be used as a Light Tank.

Indian Army is looking to operate a Light Tank that will weigh around 30+ tons that technically puts it in the Medium Class of Tank category. Indian Army is considering equipping it with either a 105 mm or even 120 mm gun that will be fitted with High Altitude Operable Powerpack (Engine + Transmission) of 1000hp that will be fine-tuned by the DRDO.

Larsen and Toubro (L&T), a Leading Indian private defense major that has manufactured K9 Vajra in its massive Armoured Systems Complex (ASC) at Hazira will be the main contractor for the program and Hanwha defense its sub-contractor. once talks with the Indian Army on specifications of the new Light Tank are worked out. The main role of this tank is to support infantry and be effective against armored and soft skin vehicles, buildings, and fortifications.

idrw.org has been told, that the Indian Army wants a new Light tank that is also very effective against modern main battle tanks, due to which 120 mm gun is being considered so that it can engage heavily-armored vehicles at long ranges. South Korea has assured India that it will maintain rights to export this new light and the program is expected to have a shorter turnaround and enter production in the next 3 years.

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