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Iranian Karrar Tank.(Photo by: WIKIMEDIA)
Iran says it has a new tank that equals the best in the world
By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
01/20/2019
According to Iran’s Tasnim news agency a tank dubbed the Karrar (striker) that was initially announced in 2017 is based on models going back to the 1970s.
Iran’s latest model of its domestically built Karrar tank puts it at the level of other world powers, Iranian media said over the last week. In recent years Iran has built up an impressive list of new weapons systems, including ballistic missiles, and sought to improve its navy and air force.

According to Iran’s Tasnim news agency a tank dubbed the Karrar (striker) that was initially announced in 2017 is based on models going back to the 1970s. It was developed from the platform of a Russian T-72.

“Iranian military experts and technicians have in recent years made great headways in manufacturing a broad range of indigenous equipment, making the armed forces self-sufficient in the arms sphere,” the report says.

Iran’s deputy Defense Minister General Qassem Taqizadeh discussed the latest version of the tank alongside a new Soumar cruise missile on January 13. The Karrar was destined to be delivered both to the army and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

“The tank is at the level of the most. Advanced. Global tanks and can be compared to the Russian T-90 tank, even having superiority over it,” Former Defense Minister Hossean Dehqan was quoted in Shabestan news.

“It is a tank that, if we want to compare, is on the American Abrams scale.” The T-90 has been in service since the 1990s and the Abrams since the 1980s but both have received major upgrades since then.

Dehqan played a central role in developing the latest Karrar line of tanks. According to Press TV they are built in the city of Dorud in Lorestan province. IRGC commander Muhammed Pakpour told Shabestan news that the IRGC is excited about the tank if it ever makes its final debut. It is supposed to have an electro-optical fire control system, and the ability to fire at moving targets at night and in the day, as well as be able to shoot missiles with laser guidance. Like the T-90 its man gun is a 125mm cannon. The tank is supposed to have armor effective against RPG-7s and similar ordinance.

So far Iran hopes to build 800 of the tanks to bolster its armed forces, while at the same time Iran claims that its expanding arsenal of weapons does not make it a threat to its neighbors.

The tank, like Iran’s claims of having build a fighter jet and new ships, may end up being merely a bad copy of a foreign weapon system. Iran has shown in the past that while it has impressive achievements in ballistic missiles and missile technology, that larger weapons platforms built domestically face many hurdles. Iran also has been unable to test these systems against an opponent since it is unwilling to confront the US, it’s main enemy, on the field of battle, and its other enemies consist of terrorist groups such as ISIS.
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