Defence Blog — July 18, 2018
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has announced a plan to procure almost 800 modern Karrar battle tanks, according to an article published by the state-owned Tasnim News Agency on 18 July.
The IRGC has announced it intends to move forward with the procurement of 800 modern Karrar battle tanks as part of the modernization plan of Iran’s Armed Forces.
The new Iranian-made main battle tank possesses a modern electro-optical fire control system, a laser rangefinder, ballistic computer and could fire at both stable and mobile targets in day or night. The Karraris is fitted with a new welded turret which is armed with a 125 mm smoothbore gun. It can fire laser-guided missiles, likely from the main gun barrel, and has a remotely operated 12.7-millimeter machine gun.
As for the armor protection of the new tank, it has reactive armor tiles to protect against anti-tank shells, rockets, and missiles. The Karrar is fitted with the latest generation of armour, with ERA (Explosive Reactive Armour) at the front of the hull and turret.
In February, Commander of Iran’s Army Ground Force Brigadier General Kioomars Heidari said contracts to use Iranian homegrown military tank Karrar are ready to be delivered to the Iranian armed forces.
He also noted that the Karrar tank is one of the unique products that have been contracted by the Army to be delivered to the factories for mass production.
Despite its visual similarity to the Russian T-90MS tank, the Iranian Karrar advanced battle tank is a new local development.
— Tasnim News Agency (@Tasnimnews_EN) July 18, 2018
According to Wikipedia:
Similarity to Russian tanks
Defence Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqan said that the “tank can compete with the most advanced tanks in the world in three main areas: power, precision and mobility, as well as maintenance and durability on the battleground… The Karrar has the capability to fire missiles and precisely guide them [towards the target], Moreover Karrar can be operated by the gunner and commander from two parallel sights.”
“It is no coincidence that specialists regard the Karrar as some kind of a copy of the Russian-made T-90MS, the most advanced modification of the T-90 platform”, according to retired Maj. Gen. Vladimir Bogatyrev, chair of the Board of the Russian National Association of Retired Military Officers. He also added that “It is based on the T-72 platform, but it also has something from the American Abrams and M-60 tanks. Some elements are borrowed from the M-48 and the British Chieftain tank. They took all these elements and tried to design their own tank.”