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Karrar - Основной боевой танк (Иран)

Karrar (tank)

Karrar
Type - Main battle tank
Place of origin - Iran
Service history
In service - 2020
Used by - Iran
Production history
Manufacturer - Bani Hashim Defense Industrial Complex
Produced - 2017-present
No. built - 150 ordered in 2017 / another 650 ordered in 2018 which is to be finished by late 2022 / 600 built as of early 2021 / 800 total
Specifications
Mass - 51 tons / 51,000 kg
Length - 6.8 m (hull) / 9.5 m / 9.78 m (total)
Width - 3.68 m / 3.5 m 3.7 m
Height - 2.5 m / 2.3 m
Crew - 3 (driver, commander and gunner)
Armor - Composite armor for the turret, with ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor) armor for the hull (possibly Relikt ERA "copy" for turret) and wire cage armor
Main armament - 125 mm 2A46M/M-2/M-5 smoothbore gun (of the Russian design 2A46M) with stabilizer
Secondary armament - Coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun and a remotely controlled 12.7 mm machine gun (copy of the Soviet DShKM) / 14.5 mm machine gun
Engine - Diesel
Suspension - Torsion bar
Operational range - Possibly around 500-550 km (plus with 200-280 km more from fuel tank)
Maximum speed - ~70 km/h (43 mph)

The Karrar (Persian كرار lit. Striker or "Attacker") is an Iranian main battle tank. The tank was announced in 2016. 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 stationary and mobile targets in day or night.
The Karrar was announced following failed negotiations to obtain a licence and the technology to produce Russian T-90MS tanks. It is based on the Soviet-made T-72, and attempts to incorporate elements of the T-90, American M1 Abrams, and British Challenger 2. However, it is believed to be inferior, and has been described as "little more than an upgraded T-72 with some additional indigenous components and aesthetic flourishes modeled after the T-90MS". Despite its visual similarity to the T-90, Iran has rejected any alleged Russian collaboration in the project.
It's being manufactured at the Bani Hashim Defense Industrial Complex.
History
In December 2015, the commander of the Iranian Army, Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, announced plans to buy Russia's T-90 tanks.
In early February 2016, Pourdastan stated that "since we can manufacture similar models within the country and we plan to do so in the near future, the deal is now off". According to some sources, Pourdastan also said would potentially seek to acquire them through licensed production in Iran with assistance from manufacturer Uralvagonzavod.
The next day, Russian News Agency TASS reported that the Russian manufacturer of the T-90 expressed interest working with Iran " the areas of T-90S MBT licensed production, T-72S MBT modernization and the upgrade of related facilities" after restrictions on military cooperation with Iran are lifted. A few days later the Iranian Defense Minister also mentioned the Karrar, claiming: "The defense industry designed and built the new battle tank from scratch. If not better, it's still as deadly as the Russian T-90.".
In mid-February, the Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Ground Forces stated that the Army had been ordered not to purchase the military gear unless Russia agreed to share the (production) technology, and that Iran was still hoping Russia would agree to such a deal. He also claimed that "Karrar tanks have been delivered to the combat units of the Ground Force.".
In August 2016, video footage from Iranian Television "Telewebion" was published on YouTube showing the Karrar main battle during trials in the desert. In November 2016, the RIA news agency reported that Russia and Iran were still in talks regarding the T-90 tanks.
In early March 2017, Pourdastan stated that a domestically manufactured battle tank would be unveiled in the coming days and soon join the army, but added that Iran still planned to purchase T-90s.
On 12 March 2017, after the Karrar was unveiled to the public, Tehran announced that it would undergo mass production. Although at the time it was not clear if pre-production, or production models were being constructed.
Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Brigadier General Kiomars Heidari mentioned that the Karrar would be delivered in 2018.
In July 2018, the IRGC plans to procure up to 800 Karrar main battle tanks. On November 20, 2020, production models of the Karrar were deemed ready to enter service with the Iranian Army.

Design

Armament
The main armament of the Karrar consists of a 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. A carousel autoloader is also present, removing the need of a loader.
Protection
The Karrar is supposedly fitted with latest generation of Iranian composite armor and with explosive reactive armor panels mounted on the hull and turret. There are also armour plates on the sides and slat armour at the rear of the hull and turret. The Karrar has three main types of ERA present. The first is what appears to be an Iranian copy of Relikt on the sideskirts and turret front, an unknown ERA on the top of the turret, and an extremely thick ERA on the front of the hull & turret sides previously seen on Iranian M60 tanks.
Countermeasures
The Karrar features four dazzlers, each containing an electro-optical jammer and 3 laser warning receivers as part of its soft-kill active protection system. Alternative configurations remove the dazzlers, and have a single 360° PLDS-S-1 laser warning receiver on top. The same 360° laser warning receiver is present on Iranian M-60 tanks. Once a laser lock is detected, the tank can use it's 12 81 mm launchers to deploy a smoke or aerosol screen.
Mobility
Karrar is equipped with a 1000 hp engine. This hasn't been officially stated but signs mounted on Karrar tanks present in Bani Hashem factory, Iran's main AFV factory alongside Shahid Zainuddin, had the words "hp 1000" written on them. Karrar's power to weight ratio is about 20 hp per tonne as a result, and it's speed is stated to be around 70 km/h.
External fuel tanks can be attached to the rear in order to extend its range. The range without fuel drums is 500-550 km, but at least 200-280 km further with fuel drums.
Variants
On November 22, 2020, a service variant was shown. It lacked the metal sheet on the barrel, was painted in a tan color scheme, some tiny differences to the gunner's sights, upgraded optical systems, and an electro-optical jamming system.
Similarity to Russian tanks
According to military experts, the Karrar is based on, albeit inferior to, the Soviet-made T-72 and T-90, as well as American M1 Abrams and British Challenger 2.
"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 M60 tanks. Some elements are borrowed from the M48 and the British Chieftain tank. They took all these elements and tried to design their own tank."
Pictures of the composite array of the Karrar tank show it uses reflecting plates, identical to those in Russian T-90 and T-72B/S tanks. The turret also looks extremely similar to that of the Russian T-90M/MS tank, albeit with a thicker front.
Operators
 Iran
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Ground Forces
Islamic Republic of Iran Army

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