Images of Karrar, New Iranian Tank, Released

  • The Iranian designed tank has successfully passed the final stage of testing, and is now ready for delivery to the troops.
  • The tank is similar to the Russian T-90MS.
  • The last Iranian development, the Zulfiqar tank, has been produced in the amount of 300 units since 1996. 

A Twitter user with the handle “Reza_Mad” published an image of a production version of an Iranian tank on Sunday. The tank differs from the previously shown samples. Images of the first mass-produced main battle tank (MBT) of the Iranian production Karrar appeared on the social networks.

Karrar (“Striker”) is an Iranian fourth generation main battle tank. The tank was announced on 12 March 2017. At the announcement, it was stated that it possessed an electro-optical fire control system, a laser rangefinder, ballistic computer and could fire at both stationary and mobile targets in day or night.

According to Army Recognition, the Iranian-designed tank has successfully passed the final stage of testing, and is now ready for delivery to the troops. It is worth noting that back in 2017, it was announced that it was ready for mass production of Karrar, but the Western sanctions and the level of the Iranian industry did not allow to start production on time.

The Iranian tank is based on the chassis of the Soviet T-72 tank, modifications of which were made in Iran under license. The T-72 is a family of the Soviet era main battle tanks that first entered production in 1971. In addition, the T-72A version introduced in 1979 is considered a second-generation main battle tank.

The hull and undercarriage were kept from the T-72S, and the tower gave way to a new welded structure. Externally, the tank is similar to the Russian T-90MS, but Iranian designers claim that the Karrar is fully engineered by Iran.

The Twitter image also depicts the dynamic protection blocks. The location of the blocks resembles the protection scheme of the T-72B3 and T-90M. The upgraded T-90 is also reminiscent of a tower with a forgotten niche for ammunition, which increases the survival rate of the crew in the event of a defeat of the warhead.

However, the main ammunition is still located in the automatic loader. The main armament of the Carrara also did not change. The designers left the 125-mm 2A46M gun, an open-type anti-aircraft machine gun with a 12.7-mm NSVT machine gun, and a paired PKT.

The Iranians have previously stated that their tank will be able to launch anti-tank missiles from the barrel of the gun, so we can assume that the Karrar received a copy of the Soviet KUV “Reflex.”

Zulfiqar is an Iranian main battle tank, conceived by Brigadier General Mir-Younes Masoumzadeh, deputy ground force commander for research and self-sufficiency of the armed forces. It is named after Zulfiqar, the legendary sword of Ali the fourth Caliph and the first Shiite Imam. It’s also known as Zolfaqar.

Furthermore, the main changes are related to the security. The on-board projection of the hull is covered with rubber-cloth screens, on top of which are fixed blocks of dynamic protection, externally similar to the Russian “Relic.”

However, the characteristics of the DZ are kept secret. The front part of the body is covered with dynamic protection blocks, similar to the enlarged DZ “Contact.”

In addition, dynamic protection appeared on the roof of the tower. On the first samples of the Karrar, it was absent. Also, on the tower there is a new gunner’s sight and a wind sensor. Apparently, the series went to the upgraded Slovenian fire control system Fotona EFCS3-55.

The Karrar repeats the characteristics of the Soviet-made 72S with an 840-horsepower diesel engine, which is unlikely to provide higher dynamics. The scale of the planned mass production is also questionable.

It should be noted that the last Iranian development, the Zulfiqar tank, has been produced in the amount of 300 units since 1996. The tensions between Iran and the West continue. Therefore, any new development in the defense sphere should be looked at.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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