India’s indigenous light tank, named “Zorawar,” is gearing up for development trials in April-May. This 35-ton behemoth, jointly developed by DRDO and L&T, is designed specifically for high-altitude operations, posing a potential counter to China’s ZTQ-15 “Black Panther” tank already deployed in the Ladakh region.
While initial trials are expected to take up to three years for production clearance, the Indian Army has already placed an order for 59 Zorawar tanks, with a total requirement exceeding 300. L&T will handle the initial production, paving the way for other private players to join in later.
Experts believe Zorawar is a crucial step towards addressing the limitations of heavier tanks like T-90s and T-72s in the challenging Himalayan terrain. Its agility and maneuverability in thin air could prove advantageous in deterring potential threats at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
However, the road to operational deployment isn’t smooth. Validating new technologies involved in the tank could extend the trial period, delaying its induction into the Army. Nevertheless, the development of Zorawar signifies India’s commitment to bolstering its defense capabilities in high-altitude regions, potentially shaping the future of military dynamics in the Himalayas.