Iran introduces new Karrar MBT

p1692951Iran has revealed to the public their new “Karrar” main battle tank.  As can be expected, Iranian government sources have described the new vehicle in rather glowing terms, while releasing few details.  According to Defense Blog.com, the Karrar appears to be an upgraded T-72S, modified with a new turret and improved armor and electronics.  According to the Iranian Mehr News Agency, the new Karrar tank is “100 percent Iranian made” and is “superior to the Russian-made T-90MS in certain aspects.”  Iran had been exploring the option of purchasing T-90 tanks from Russia, but says that their ability to produce the Karrar makes purchasing tanks from foreign countries unnecessary.  As might be expected, Russian news source Sputnik International was quite to jump on the Iranian comparison to the T-90, declaring that “Iran’s newest tank is no match to Russia’s T-90”  Meanwhile, Western media sources have chimed in, including articles in the National Interest and Popular Mechanics.

Probably the best description currently available online is from the blog Under the Turret Ring in their March 12 post Production version of the Karrar MBT unveiled (updated).  As usual, this blog provides a rather sober and well-informed analysis of the topic.  Also worth checking out is the thread on the Karrar over at Sturgeon’s House forum.

News articles on the Karrar (listed by country):

Iran – Mehr News Agency: Iran unveils highly-advanced Karrar Tank

Iran – PressTV: Iran unveils world-class indigenous tank

Russia – Sputnik International: Despite Striking Resemblance Iran’s Newest Tank is no Match to Russia’s T-90

Russia – RT News: Iran announces mass production of domestic main battle tank, which looks like Russian T-90MS

USA – The National Interest: Iran’s ‘New’ Karrar Tank: “One of the Most Advanced Tanks in the World”?

USA – Popular Mechanics: Iran’s New Tank Is a Whole Lot of Meh

USA – Froxtrot Alpha: Iran’s New Tank Makes Lofty Claims It Hasn’t Backed Up

Pakistan – Quwa: Iran Showcases New Karrar Main Battle Tank

Below the Turret Ring on the Karrar MBT

The blog Below the Turret Ring features an interesting post on the new Iranian “Karrar” MBT.  A glimpse of this tank was recently shown on Iranian TV, which claims this is a completely new, Iranian designed and built vehicle.  Obviously, it is hard to say what exactly this new vehicle is, but the Below the Turret Ring blog does a nice job of examining the various possibilities.

Excerpt:

14055094_129799896024vkuqdThe Iran is working on a new main battle tank (MBT), which has been nick-named the Karrar MBT. While most details are unknown, first footage of the new MBT has been released on state-owned TV and found it’s way onto the internet. According to the Iranian TV, the tank is supposed to be completely built and designed in Iran.

The tank appears to be very similar to the Russian T-90MS tank in terms of shape and layout; it features a welded hull and turret, which is protected by explosive reactive armor (ERA) and on the rear sections by slat armor. In fact the vehicles appear so similar, that the Karrar tank should be either a licence-made version of the T-90MS or an intentional attempt to copy it. Claims about the Karrar being a locally developed tank might be propaganda or be result of a planned licence-assembly (Iran already manufactured a number of T-72S tanks under licence.)

The tank has six roadwheels partially covered by the side skirts. These skirts have the same wave-pattern found on the T-90MS’ side skirts, but currently found on no other Russian, Chinese or Ukrainian tank. Ontop of the side-skirts are two rows of flat ERA tiles, the engine compartment is protected by slat armor only.

Read the full post here.