Iran’s Karrar Main battle tank (MBT), is essentially a replica of the Russian T-90S tank.
In 2016, the Russian tank manufacturer Uralvagonzavod announced that it would license Iran to build the T-90S main battle tank, after the U.N. arms embargo on Iran would completely lifted by 2020. The Russian company also said it will also help Iran modernize the existing T-72 in the Iranian Army to be equivalent to the T-72B versions, which are currently in the Russian Army.
But without Russian help, even six years ago, in 2015, the Iranian Army leader had other ideas – they built their own tanks without help from Moscow. Now it looks like it has come true.
Iran’s Army Commander Brigadier General Kiomars Heidari said that the Iranian armed forces have developed a new version of the MBT, equivalent to Russia’s T-90 tank. This new MBT, is undergoing final tests before being delivered to the Iranian Army.
According to General Heidari, this tank is equipped with a new gun stabilization and chemical defense system, meeting all the requirements of modern warfare. The Iranian Army received the first batch in October 2020, for testing.
Iran’s tank development and construction efforts are still ongoing without any Russian assistance. The Iranian army has announced that it will receive at least 800 new tanks.
Although Iran claims that, Karrar MBT has no Russian support, but on the surface, Karrar is almost identical to the T-90S. In 2017, when the new MBT first appeared as the Karrar; but in the most recent news on Iranian state television, the name Karrar is no longer in use.
Karra tank has a crew of 3 people (commander, gunner and driver). The vehicle equipped with composite armor, explosive reactive armor (ERA) panels mounted both on the turret and hull, like the T-90.
Karra’s main weapon is a 125mm 2A46M smoothbore gun, with a 2D stabilizer. In fact, the Karra and the T-90 are very similar in appearance; even some Western military commentators say that Karra is “Russian technology with bad paint”.