The Daily Shot, Ricochet, March 15, 2017
Over the weekend, the Iranians unveiled the Karrar, a new main battle tank, built and manufactured in Iran. It’s supposed to have all the bells and whistles, including a laser rangefinder, a ballistic computer, and an electro-optical fire control system. (You know, all the stuff modern Western tanks already have.) The Iranians claim it can compete with any other tank out there, specifically the Russian T-90.
Okay, so … can it? Well, we don’t know. Other than a short video clip and some pictures, we don’t know much yet. Okay, but this is a brand-new tank, and America’s main battle tank, the M1 Abrams, first entered service in 1980, almost 40 years ago. Should we be concerned? Not really. The M1 has been continually upgraded and is still one of the top tanks in the world. The other thing is that while this is an Iranian-built tank, they probably haven’t and won’t produce many. By contrast, the US has thousands of M1s.
It’s also worth pointing out that big tank-on-tank engagements aren’t all that common. It’s not like Ivan is gonna come through the Fulda anytime soon. And the odds of this Iranian tank going head-to-head with a modern tank in a nation-on-nation war seems pretty low. That being said, the Saudis own a couple hundred M1s and have deployed some of them to Yemen. So maybe if the Iranians start shipping Karrars to their Yemeni allies, there’s a chance we could find out…