The Indian Army has selected Larsen & Toubro (L&T) to co-develop the country’s first light tank project along with the Defence Research and Development Organisation, Janes reported, citing a company official.
The army selected the Mumbai-headquartered multinational to develop a 25-ton tank for mountain warfare under project Zorawar, L&T’s senior executive vice-president for defense Jayant D Patil told the outlet.
A prototype is expected to be unveiled by late 2023.
Long Search for a Light Tank
The service has been looking for a light tank since 2009 when two new mountain divisions were being raised, The Print wrote.
The border stand-off with China in 2020 hastened the process, resulting in discussions between the army and L&T for a project to convert the K9 155 mm self-propelled howitzer into a 35-ton tank.
In March 2021, the Indian Ministry of Defence put out a request for interest for 350 lightweight tanks in the 25-ton category.
The New Indian Express reported that the tank would be a “lightweight agile platform with a high power to weight ratio with substantial firepower,” including “artificial intelligence, drone integration, active protection system, high degree of situational awareness.”
Meanwhile, Patil told Janes the company was selected for the project development phase, and no decision to partner in the production phase has been made yet.
“Developed equipment has to undergo field evaluation trials and emerge successful for the induction clearance, and then [the] production ordering process begins,” he added.