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Monday, July 3, 2017

Iran Will Soon Receive Karrar Tanks

Iran will soon take delivery of serially-produced versions of the Karrar main battle tank.

Iranian Army Ground Force Brigadier General Kiomars Heidari told Tasnim News Agency in an interview published on July 3, 2017 that soon the military would receive the Karrar tank. He expects the system to be delivered before the end of the current Iranian year, which is on March 20, 2018.

"The Karrar tank is a very good, ideal and operational tank that has been tested and used in war games," Brigadier General Heidari said.

Tasnim News Agency noted that the Brigadier General added that further upgrades to military hardware like armored vehicles are being pursued.

Iran first acknowledged it was developing the Karrar in early 2016, after efforts to purchase or license-produce T-90 main battle tanks fell apart. Iran is still under an arms embargo for several more years that restricts its ability to import weapons, such as tanks. The arms embargo has long prompted Iran to develop local solutions for its military.

Though visually similar to the T-90, the Karrar is likely an upgraded T-72, with added components from other systems already in Iranian inventories.

The tank first appeared in video later in 2016, as part of ongoing military exercises.

Iran formally unveiled the tank in March 2017, showing off both the tank itself as well as production lines. During a ceremony marking the start of production, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan touted the tank's capabilities, saying, "The defense industry designed and built the battle tank from scratch. If not better, it’s still as deadly as the Russian T-90."

Most of the specifications of the tank are unknown and its combat reliability is similarly uncertain. The tank is fitted with a 125mm main gun with a range possibly up to 3,000 meters. It is also fitted with a 12.7mm machine gun and an anti-tank guided missile.

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