India is set to conduct trials for a new light tank specially designed to operate at high altitudes, countering Chinese armored deployments.
The tank, developed in a remarkably short span of time, is nearing completion of its prototype and will undergo a series of trials in December. According to an Economic Times report, this is the first indigenously designed and developed light tank that will help India counter China at high altitudes.
The Indian tank, tentatively named Zorawar, is expected to outperform the Chinese Type 15 tanks deployed along the Ladakh border in terms of mobility and firepower accuracy, the report said.
The tank is named for the 19th-century Dogra General Zorawar Singh Kahluria.
The decision to develop a light tank weighing around 25 tonnes was prompted by the tensions that escalated in eastern Ladakh in 2020 when China deployed light armored vehicles at high altitude.
The tanks are expected to outperform the Chinese Type 15 tanks deployed along the Ladakh border in terms of mobility and firepower accuracy, the report said.
The first indigenously designed and developed light tank that will be capable of operating at high altitudes to counter Chinese armored deployments is likely to be ready for trials by this month's end, ET reported.
The 25-tonne tank is built for high-altitude conditions and it will feature a 105 mm gun from John Cockerill, likely to be manufactured in India when production begins.
The tank will include defences against incoming attacks and integrate an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for better visibility on the battlefield.
This new light tank boasts versatility, capable of operating across diverse terrains, from high-altitude zones to island territories.
General Zorawar Singh Kahluria, often revered as a valiant warrior and military leader, played a significant role in the history of the Dogra region, particularly in the early 19th century.
He was born in 1786 in the region of Kahlur, which is present-day Bilaspur district in Himachal Pradesh, India. He belonged to the Kahluria clan of Rajputs.
Zorawar Singh started his military career in the service of Raja Sansar Chand II of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.
He quickly rose through the ranks due to his bravery, strategic acumen, and leadership skills.
One of Zorawar Singh's notable achievements was his extensive military campaigns to expand the borders of the Sikh Empire under Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
He led several successful expeditions into the Himalayan regions that are now part of modern-day Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, and Tibet.
Zorawar Singh led the conquest of Ladakh in the 1830s, bringing it under the Sikh Empire's control. He further advanced into the territory of Western Tibet, capturing several strategically significant areas.
His campaigns faced numerous challenges due to the harsh terrain, extreme weather conditions, and resistance from local rulers and forces.
Despite these challenges, Zorawar Singh displayed exceptional leadership and determination.
Zorawar Singh's final expedition was into Tibet in 1841. Unfortunately, during this campaign, he faced severe hardships, including a lack of supplies and extreme weather conditions.
He met his demise in the Battle of Toyo due to the combined forces of Tibetans and Chinese in December 1841.
Zorawar Singh Kahluria is remembered as a courageous and ambitious military commander who expanded the Sikh Empire's territories and left a lasting impact on the history of the region.
General Zorawar Singh Kahluria's legacy continues to be honoured in India, especially in the regions he influenced, for his bravery and contributions to military history.