Iran announced the launch of the mass production of a domestic main battle tank named Karrar during a ceremony attended by Iran’s defense minister Hossein Dehgan in Tehran, Sunday. At the announcement, it was stated that it possessed an electro-optical fire control system, a laser rangefinder, ballistic computer and could fire at both stable and mobile targets in day or night. Currently Iran operates around 480 T-72S and even older T-72M1 tanks that could be upgraded to new standard. Footage on the Karrar was released in 2016. The tank itself was first publicly revealed in 2017.
Main armament of the Karrar consists of one 125 mm smoothbore gun fitted with a fume extractor and a thermal sleeve. A remotely operated weapon station armed with a 12.7 mm machine gun is mounted on the roof of the turret. The main gun is able to fire anti-tank laser-guided missiles. An autoloader is also installed, removing the need of a loader. The Karrar is fitted with latest generation of armour, with ERA (Explosive Reactive Armour) at the front of the hull and turret. There is also armour plates on the upper part of the suspension and slat armour at the rear of the hull and turret. External fuel tanks can be attached to the rear in order to extend its range.
The design of the Karrar resembles the one of Russian T-90MS, and reportedly has the same performative capabilities as its Russian counterpart. Besides being able of firing guided missiles, the Karrar features a laser rangefinder, ballistic computer, and an electro-optical fire control system. The announcement came after Iran broke off negotiations with Moscow to buy main battle tanks from Russia; the reason why the deal between the parties fell through is because Moscow refused to share the technology behind the tank’s production. It might be a license-produced version of the T-90MS from the Russian supplied components. However the Karrar is not as capable as the T-90MS. It is also inferior to modern Western and Chinese main battle tanks. Karrar Main Battle Tank 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.