New Delhi: In a major step towards the modernisation of the armed force, the Indian Army will induct 464 Russian-origin upgraded T-90 Bhishma battle tanks at a cost of Rs 13,448 crore ($1.93 billion) in the year 2022-2025.
The T-90 tanks will be manufactured at Avadi Heavy Vehicle Factory (HVF) under the Ordnance Factory Board. The induction of the 464 T-90 tanks will be an addition to 1,654 tanks procured earlier from Russia. The HVF had in 2006-07 signed a contract to produce 1,000 T-90S tanks under licence from Russia by 2020. But they have been able to supply only 350-400 T-90S till date.
Apart from the 1,070 T-90 and 2,400 T-72 tanks procured from Russia, the Indian Army has 124 Arjun tanks in its 67 armoured regiments. The latest acquisition will strengthen the Indian army's firepower along the land border stretch with Pakistan.
More than seven armoured regiments of both the Strike Corps of the Indian Army have already been equipped with T-90s tanks. The Defence Ministry plans to equip more than 20 armoured regiments facing Pakistan with T-90 tanks.
According to Russia's Rosoboronexport, the only state organisation for exporting the military hardware, the T-90MS tank has a new turret weapon station with 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.
It also has 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.