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The Indian Army’s ambitious light tank project, known as “Project Zorawar,” has encountered delays in its rollout schedule due to challenges in procuring critical components from foreign sources. Initially slated for a mid-2023 debut, the first prototype is now expected to be unveiled in January of the following year.

Sources indicate that the delay primarily stems from the inability of certain foreign countries to supply essential components required for manufacturing these tanks. Notably, foreign-supplied electronic, electrical components, and engines are deemed critical for the successful execution of Project Zorawar. India has had to adapt its plans, shifting from the initially planned German MTU engine to American Cummins engines due to the unavailability of the former.

Project Zorawar aims to create a lightweight, agile platform with a high power-to-weight ratio, boasting substantial firepower, protection, surveillance, and communication capabilities. Such a versatile platform is seen as essential for enabling the Indian Army to effectively execute operations across diverse terrains.

In terms of specifications, Zorawar tanks are anticipated to weigh approximately 25 tonnes. In comparison, the Army’s current MBT Arjun tank tips the scales at around 60 tonnes, while T-90 tanks weigh approximately 48 tonnes, and T-70 tanks come in at around 45 tonnes.

Despite the delays, Project Zorawar remains a critical endeavor for the Indian Army, as it seeks to enhance its operational flexibility and effectiveness with a new generation of lightweight, agile, and technologically advanced tanks. The challenges in component procurement highlight the complexities and dependencies involved in developing cutting-edge military equipment, emphasizing the importance of both indigenous production capabilities and international partnerships in defense projects of this nature.

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