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Dr. Samir V. Kamat, Secretary of Defence Research and Development (DD R&D) and Chairman of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has provided a significant update on India’s ambitious Light Tank program.

According to Dr Kamat, the internal development trials for the Light Tank, which began earlier this year, are expected to conclude within the next one to one and a half years. Following these trials, the tank will be offered to the Indian Army for user trials, with hopes for induction by 2027.

The Light Tank program, developed under Project Zorawar, is a collaborative effort between DRDO and Larsen & Toubro (L&T). The development is taking place at L&T’s state-of-the-art facility in Hazira, Gujarat. Project Zorawar aims to produce a lightweight, agile, and powerful tank capable of operating in diverse terrains, particularly suited for the Indian Army’s strategic requirements.

Comprehensive Trial Plan

To ensure the Light Tank meets the rigorous standards required by the Indian Army, DRDO has planned an extensive series of trials:

  • Summer Trials: To test the tank’s performance and endurance in high-temperature environments.
  • Winter Trials: To evaluate its capabilities in extremely cold conditions.
  • High Altitude Trials: To ensure the tank can operate effectively in mountainous and high-altitude regions.

The Indian Army is looking to procure nearly 350 units of the Light Tank to enhance its mobility and firepower, particularly in regions where heavier tanks may face operational limitations. The strategic importance of the Light Tank lies in its ability to provide rapid and effective responses in areas with challenging terrains, such as the Himalayan borders and other high-altitude zones.

Dr. Kamat expressed optimism about the program’s progress, indicating that the tank could be ready for induction by 2027. This timeline aligns with the completion of the internal and user trials, ensuring that the tank is thoroughly tested and meets the Army’s operational requirements before full-scale production and deployment.

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