Karrar (tank)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Karrar main battle tank of the IRGC-GF participating in the Great Prophet 17 military exercise
TypeMain battle tank
Place of originIran
Service history
In service2020[1][2]
Used byIran
Production history
ManufacturerBani Hashim Defense Industrial Complex[3]
No. built150 ordered in 2017, another 650 ordered in 2018 which is to be finished by late 2020's. 800 total.[5][1]
Mass51 tons[1][6] / 51,000 kg[5]
Length6.8 m[5] (hull) / 9.5 m[1] / 9.78 m (total)
Width3.68 m / 3.5 m[5] 3.7 m[1]
Height2.5 m / 2.3 m[5][1]
Crew3 (driver, commander and gunner)[7][5]

ArmorComposite armor for the turret,[5][1] with ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor) armor for the hull[5] (possibly Relikt ERA "copy" for turret)[1][8] and wire cage armor[5]
125 mm 2A46M/M-2/M-5 smoothbore gun[5] (of the Russian design 2A46M)[1][7] with stabilizer
coaxial 7.62mm machine gun[5] and a remotely controlled 12.7mm machine gun[3] (copy of the Soviet DShKM)[1] / 14.5mm machine gun
SuspensionTorsion bar[5][7]
Possibly around 500-550 km[5][1] (plus with 200[1]-280 km more from fuel tank)
Maximum speed ~70 km/h (43 mph)[5][1]

The Karrar (Persian كرار lit. Striker[5][7] or "Attacker"[7]) is an Iranian main battle tank.[5] 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.[9]

The Karrar was announced following failed negotiations to obtain a licence and the technology to produce Russian T-90MS tanks.[3] 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.[5][3][10] However, it is believed to be inferior,[3][11] 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".[10] Despite its visual similarity to the T-90, Iran has rejected any alleged Russian collaboration in the project.[12]

It's being manufactured at the Bani Hashim Defense Industrial Complex.[5][7]


In December 2015, the commander of the Iranian Army, Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, announced plans to buy T-90 tanks.[13][14]

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".[12][15][16][17] According to some sources, Pourdastan also said they would potentially seek to acquire them through licensed production in Iran with assistance from manufacturer Uralvagonzavod.[18][19]

The next day, Russian News Agency TASS reported that the Russian manufacturer of the T-90 expressed interest working with Iran "in 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.[20][21][22] 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".[23][24]

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.[23][25][26] He also claimed that "Karrar tanks have been delivered to the combat units of the Ground Force."[24][27][23]

In August 2016, video footage from Iranian Television "Telewebion" was published on YouTube showing the Karrar main battle during trials in the desert.[5][12] In November 2016, the RIA news agency reported that Russia and Iran were still in talks regarding the T-90 tanks.[28]

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.[7][29]

On 12 March 2017, after the Karrar was unveiled to the public, Tehran announced that it would undergo mass production.[30] 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.[2][31]

In July 2018, the IRGC plans to procure up to 800 Karrar main battle tanks.[32][33] On November 20, 2020, production models of the Karrar were deemed ready to enter service with the Iranian Army.[34][1]



The main armament of the Karrar consists of a 125mm 2A46 smoothbore gun fitted with a fume extractor and a thermal sleeve.[8] 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.[35] A carousel autoloader is also present, removing the need of a loader.[36]


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.[4] 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.[1]


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 81mm launchers[37] to deploy a smoke or aerosol screen.[38]


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.[38] 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.[38][5]

External fuel tanks can be attached to the rear in order to extend its range.[8] The range without fuel drums is 500–550 km, but at least 200–280 km further with fuel drums.[38]


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.[39][34]

Similarity to Russian tanks[edit]

"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."[7]

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.




  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Karrar Main Battle Tank". Tank Encyclopedia. 5 February 2022.
  2. ^ a b Administrator. "Karrar MBT tank delivery to Iranian army March 2018 10907171 - July 2017 Global Defense Security news industry - Defense Security global news industry army 2017 - Archive News year". www.armyrecognition.com. Archived from the original on 12 October 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e Mizokami, Kyle (14 March 2017). "Iran's New Tank Is a Whole Lot of Meh". Popular Mechanics.
  4. ^ a b "Iran launches production line of new Karrar home-made MBT main battle tank". Army Recognition. 12 March 2017. Archived from the original on 14 March 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "Karrar Striker MBT main battle tank technical data fact sheet". www.armyrecognition.com.
  6. ^ Trew, Bel (14 March 2017). "Iran turns its back on Russia and China with own battle tank". The Times. Cairo. Archived from the original on 14 March 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h "Karrar (Striker) tank". www.globalsecurity.org.
  8. ^ a b c ARG. "Karrar Main Battle Tank - Military-Today.com". www.military-today.com. Archived from the original on 6 August 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Iran Unveils Highly Advanced Home-Made Battle Tank". Fars News Agency. 12 March 2017. Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Iran May Be Renewing Its Interest in Armored Warfare". The Washington Institute. 27 March 2017.
  11. ^ Larson, Caleb (30 March 2020). "Iran's Karrar Main Battle Tank: Russian Technology with a Bad Paint Job?". The National Interest.
  12. ^ a b c Beckhusen, Robert (25 August 2016). "Iran's 'New' Karrar Tank: "One of the Most Advanced Tanks in the World"?". The National Interest. Archived from the original on 29 July 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  13. ^ Sheikhi, Marjohn (9 December 2015). "Iran to buy Russian T-90 tanks". Mehr News Agency.
  14. ^ "Iran confirms plans to buy Russia's T-90 tanks". tass.com. 16 December 2015.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Iran defense industry has technology to produce main battle tanks similar to Russian T-90 MBT 10402163". www.armyrecognition.com. 4 February 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  17. ^ Panahov, Huseyn (19 February 2016). "Russian Expectations for Post-Sanctions Iran". The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. originally published on the Fikra website. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  18. ^ "Iran Considering Domestic Manufacture of T-90S Tank". DefenceTalk. 12 February 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  19. ^ Gady, Franz-Stefan (4 February 2016). "Will Iran License-build Russia's T-90S Main Battle Tank?". thediplomat.com. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  20. ^ TASS:
  21. ^ "UralVagonZavod is ready to establish T-90S licensed production in Iran Tass 50302162". www.armyrecognition.com. TASS. "The cooperation with Iran was ceased in accordance with the "On Measures to Provide the Implementation of the UN Security Council No.1929 Resolution Adopted on 9 June 2010" decree issued by the President of the Russian Federation. Nevertheless, if the related restrictions are lifted, UralVagonZavod in liaison with Rosobornexport will be ready to continue (military-technical) cooperation, namely, in the areas of T-90S MBT licensed production, T-72S MBT modernization and the upgrade of related facilities", Zharich said.
  22. ^ The National Interest:
  23. ^ a b c "Iran's Purchase of T-90 Tanks Not Cancelled: Commander - Defense news". Tasnim News Agency. 14 February 2016.
  24. ^ a b "Iran ready to produce local-made Karrar main battle tank with features similar to Russian T-90 MBT 11402161". www.armyrecognition.com. 14 February 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  25. ^ "Iran's Military Plays Catch Up". Stratfor. 19 February 2016. Deputy commander of the Iranian Ground Forces Gen. Kiomars Heidari has also indicated that Iran may purchase Russian T-90 tanks if it received some of the production technology in the deal.
  26. ^ "Iran keen to import Russian technology to manufacture tank". Azernews.Az. 14 February 2016.
  27. ^ "Iran to inaugurate 'Karrar' battle tank soon". The Iran Project. 3 March 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  28. ^ "Russia and Iran in talks over $10 billion arms deal - RIA". Reuters. 14 November 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  29. ^ "Iran to unveil Karrar tank in coming days: senior commander". Tehran Times. March 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  30. ^ "Iran unveils domestically produced tank, production line". Associated Press. 8 August 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  31. ^ "Army to receive new home-made tank". Tehran Times. 4 July 2017.
  32. ^ "Iran Plans To Manufacture, Upgrade Its Military Tanks". caspiannews.com. Retrieved 2021-04-08.
  33. ^ "Iran deploys its new home-made Karrar Main Battle Tank during military exercises". www.armyrecognition.com. 2021.
  34. ^ a b "Production model of Iranian-made Karrar Main Battle Tank MBT ready to enter in service | Defense News November 2020 Global Security army industry | Defense Security global news industry army 2020 | Archive News year".
  35. ^ "Iran's government rolls out new tank – photos of the Karrar". 13 March 2017. Archived from the original on 12 July 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  36. ^ "كرار نخستين تانك پيشرفته بومي كشور با حضور وزير دفاع رونمايي و خط توليد انبوه آن افتتاح شد+گزارش تصویری". Archived from the original on 2018-05-26. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  37. ^ "DIO (Defence Industries Organisation) ammunition Catalogue Iran - Free Download PDF". kupdf.net. Retrieved 2022-06-09.
  38. ^ a b c d "Karrar Main Battle Tank". Tank Encyclopedia. 2022-02-05. Retrieved 2022-06-09.
  39. ^ Sambo, Scoty (2020-10-14). "The Dead District: Iranian Karrar MBT Walk Around". The Dead District. Retrieved 2021-04-08.
  40. ^ "Iranian Tank Used in IRGC Drill - Politics news".
  41. ^ "Iran Army preparing to buy Karrar MBT's – Polygon Military Magazine".