The Karrar MBT was developed by Defense Industries Organisation of Iran under the supervision of Iran’s Defence Ministry. Image: courtesy of Iranian Ministry of Defence.
Karrar has a maximum speed of 70km/h and maximum cruise range of 550km. Image: courtesy of Tasnimnews.
The Karrar MBT is scheduled to be delivered to the armed forces in 2018. Image: courtesy of Amirsgolbazi.

The Karrar (Striker in English) main battle tank (MBT) is an indigenous combat vehicle developed in-house by Iran’s Defense Industries Organisation (DIO).

The main battle tank was showcased to the public for the first time in August 2016. The Defence Ministry of Iran launched the production line of the Karrar MBT at the Bani-Hashem Armor Industrial Complex to facilitate mass production of the vehicles, in March 2017.

The tank has undergone rigorous tests by the Iran Army and been declared combat-ready by the army in November 2017. Deliveries of the MBT are scheduled to begin in 2018.

Karrar MBT design and features

The Karrar battle tank shares a striking resemblance with the T-90MS battle tank of Russia. The hull is majorly divided into three compartments, with the driver’s cab at the forward, turret in the centre and power pack at the rear.

The vehicle is equipped with a laser rangefinder to track targets with high degree of accuracy. It features an advanced battlefield management system (BMS) supported by digital panels fitted inside the hull. The BMS integrates data from the sensor systems, other tanks, and digital maps.

The tank is equipped with an electro-optical fire control system and embedded night vision systems for the onboard crew members. The thermal imaging system aboard the tank enables the gunner to fire at the targets with high precision in all weather conditions during the day and night.

The vehicle is also fitted with advanced observation systems aided by a rear-mounted digital camera near the periscope.

Other standard equipment aboard the vehicle includes a ballistic computer, a nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection system, and LED headlights.

Armament aboard Karrar MBT

The main gun fitted to the Karrar MBT is a 125mm calibre coaxial smoothbore gun. The secondary weapon includes a remote weapon system (RWS) mounted with a 7.62mm machine gun.

The 125mm gun can fire armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS), high-explosive fragmentation (HEF), and armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS) rounds. It is also equipped with a fume extractor and a thermal sleeve.

Self-protection of Karrar MBT

The Karrar MBT incorporates a dynamic self-protection system supported by explosive reactive armour (ERA) at the forward hull. The sides of the turret are attached with spaced composite armour, while the roof is fitted with add-on armour for additional protection.

The protection system enables the turret to withstand chemical and kinetic energy impact.

The rear part of the hull and turret are hinged with cage armour for protection against rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attacks. The vehicle is also fitted with two banks of three smoke grenade dischargers.

Engine and mobility

The Karrar battle tank is powered by a rear-mounted diesel engine with a rated power output of  up to 1,200hp. The rear hull has a provision to carry two diesel tanks with the capacity of 200l each to extend the operational range of the tank.

The tank has the ability to travel at a maximum speed of 70km/h, while the maximum operational range of the vehicle is 550km.

The vehicle is equipped with torsion bar suspension including six road wheels on either side of the hull. Each track includes idler at the forward wheel station, drive sprocket at the rear, and three return rollers.

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