More firepower against Pakistan! Indian Army to get ‘Make in India’ Russian-origin upgraded T-90 battle tanks

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New Delhi | Published: May 7, 2019 6:45:37 PM

Financial Express Online had recently reported that Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV) not to be confused with Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) an armoured platform too is in the pipeline for Indian Army’s modernisation programme.

russia t 90 tankIndian Army so far has more than seven armoured regiments of both the Strike Corps of the Indian Army has already been equipped with T-90s tanks. (AP photo)

Russia’s T-90 battle tanks for Indian Army! In an effort to modernise its armoured regiments, the Indian Army is planning to induct 464 Russian-origin upgraded T-90 Bhishma Battle Tanks between 2022-2025 in a Rs 13,448 crore ($1.93 billion) programme. Such a step will enhance the Indian Army’s firepower along the land border with Pakistan. While the induction of the 464 T-90 tanks is in addition to 1,654 tanks procured earlier from Russia, they are expected to be produced at Avadi Heavy Vehicle Factory (HVF) under the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).

Earlier this year in January, the Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat had announced major reforms and organisational restructuring will be carried out in the forces and an Integrated Battle Group (IBG) as part of overall plan to enhance the combat capability of the force will roll out soon. Infantry modernisation and procurement of missiles, attack helicopters and other key platforms are on the priority areas for the Indian Army.

In 2006-7 the HVF had signed a contract to produce 1,000 T-90S tanks under licence from Russia by 2020; however, they have been able to supply only 350-400 T-90S till date. Currently, the Indian Army has 1,070 T-90 and 2,400 T-72 tanks procured from Russia; the Indian Army has 124 `Arjun’ Main Battle Tanks (MBT) in its 67 armoured regiments. Sources have confirmed to Financial Express Online that the Ministry of Defence is planning to equip more than 20 armoured regiments which are situated along the border facing Pakistan with T-90 tanks.

Indian Army so far has more than seven armoured regiments of both the Strike Corps of the Indian Army has already been equipped with T-90s tanks. According to Russia’s state-owned Rosoboronexport which is authorised to export Russian military equipment, the upgraded T-90MS tank comes with a new turret weapon station, an upgraded 125mm gun and an advanced highly automated digital fire control system (FCS) which can destroy enemy tanks, self-propelled guns and other armoured targets.

The crew can detect, identify and destroy the targets during the day as well as night much more accurately with the help of FCS. The T-90 will also have a guided missile system to annihilate armoured targets, including those equipped with explosive reactive armour (ERA), at ranges up to 5 kilometres. The tank comes equipped with a protection system to insulate and help its crew operate in a Nuclear-Biological-Chemical attack environment.

Financial Express Online had recently reported that Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV) not to be confused with Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) an armoured platform too is in the pipeline for Indian Army’s modernisation programme. These will be used as Main Battle Tank (MBT) and will replace Indian Army’s old fleet of 2,414 Soviet-origin T-72 tanks and are likely to enter service between 2025-27. A contract for building 2000 vehicles under transfer of technology (ToT) at a cost of $ 5 billion is for the Mechanised Forces in compliance with `Make in India’ initiative.

The Ministry of Defence had issued a RfI for the FRCV issued in 2017 under the ‘Make’ category and the provisions of the Armoured Fighting Vehicle segment of ‘Strategic Partnership’ model route as per Chapter – VII as per the Defence Procurement Procedure—2016. These can operate in all terrains in India including desert and high altitude areas across the wide spectrum of conflict.

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