New Delhi: The Indian Army may receive a major boost at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) against the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China in April.
The Zorawar light tank, which being developed in a joint collaboration between DRDO and L&T, is scheduled to be rolled out that month.
The joint venture between the DRDO and L&T for the Zorawar light tank project is part of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative of the central government that intends to boost indigenous defence production.
According to a report by ‘Times now’, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) of the defence ministry last month approved the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for purchasing 354 units of the Zorawar light tank through the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative.
Indian Defence Research Wing (IDRW) said in a report that Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is the lead system integrator of the program to develop the prototype of the Zorawar light tank.
A scale model of the Zorawar light tank, which is expected to weigh around 25 tonnes, was showcased for the first time at the Defence Expo in October last year.
After going through technical trials, the prototype of the Zorawar light tank is expected to enter user trials with the Indian Army by the end of 2023.
The program to develop the Zorawar light tank was fast-tracked after the PLA of China deployed of its Type 15 Black Panther light tank at the LAC.
In an attempt to counter this move by China, the Indian Army had deployed several T-72 and T-90 tanks at the LAC, but these heavier tanks find it difficult to operate effectively at the rarefied heights of the Himalayas.
The Zorawar light tank is intended to overcome the limitations of medium battle tanks and equip the Indian Army for all contingencies in high altitude battlefields.