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Iran deploys its new home-made Karrar Main Battle Tank during military exercises.

| 2021

According to information published by the Iranian press agency FARS on December 22, 2021, the Iranian army has officially used its new Karrar home-made Main Battle Tank during military exercises in the Southern parts of Iran.
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New Iranian-made Karrar Main Battle Tank during recent military exercises in Iran. (Picture source FARS)

The Karrar tank is an Iranian development of the new Main Battle Tank (MBT) based on the Soviet-made T-72M. According to the Iranian defense industry, the new Karrar has special coatings to withstand heatwaves and can hide from heat-seeking missiles.

In Early 2016, Iran has announced the production of a new indigenously designed Karrar MBT, which was very similar to Russian-made Russia’s T-90MS, but predominantly based on Iran’s T-72s.

According to the analysis of the Army Recognition editorial team, the Karrar is based on the chassis of the Soviet-made T-72 but fitted with a new turret. The design of the tank seems to be very similar to the Russian-made T-90MS main battle tank. According to retired Major General Vladimir Bogatyrev, the Karrar is a copy of the Russian-made T-90MS, the most advanced modification of the T-90 family but it uses some features of American M1 Abrams and British Challenger 2. Russian military experts suggested that in terms of certain military capabilities the Karrar is unlikely to match the Russian T-90.

In March 2017, the Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan has inaugurate the production line of the new home-made Karrar main battle tank at the Bani-Hashem Armor Industrial Complex in Dorud County, Lorestan.

In July 2018, The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had announced a plan to procure almost 800 modern main Karrar battle tanks. In November 2020, the Iranian army has received the latest version of the local-made Karrar MBT (Main Battle Tank). The tank had completed all the final trial tests and is now ready to be delivered.

The main armament of the Karrar consists of one 125mm smoothbore gun fitted with a fume extractor and a thermal sleeve. A remotely operated weapon station armed with a 12.7mmm machine gun is mounted on the roof of the turret. the main gun is able to fire anti-tank laser-guided missiles

The Karrar is protected with a new ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor) mounted at the front of the hull and around the turret that could be a copy of the Russian Relikt ERA, 3rd generation Russian ERA. The roof of the turret is also equipped with ERA armor to provide protection from top-attack weapons. The explosive reactive armor is a type of vehicle armor that reacts in some way to the impact of a weapon to reduce the damage done to the vehicle being protected. It is most effective in protecting against shaped charges and specially hardened kinetic energy penetrators.

The side of the hull is also equipped with additional armor plates as well as slat armor mounted at the rear of the hull and at the rear of the turret. This type of armor is designed to protect against anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attacks.

The Iranian-made Karrar MBT is equipped with an electro-optical fire control system, laser rangefinder, ballistic computer, and able to destroy fixed and mobile targets in day and night conditions.

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