In a move to modernize the armed forces and to bolster its combat prowess along the border with Pakistan, the Indian Army will induct an additional 464 Russian-origin upgraded T-90 ‘Bhishma’ battle tanks at a cost of INR 13,448 crore in the period 2022-2026, according to a Times of India report.
The report quoted Defence ministry sources saying that the “indent” to produce the T-90 tanks would soon be placed on the Avadi Heavy Vehicle Factory (HVF) under the Ordinance Factory Board. Notably, the cabinet committee on security has cleared the licence acquisition from Russia over a month ago.
The contract will also include a Make-in-India element for integration at the Heavy Vehicles Factory in Avadi near Chennai.
The new acquisition will increase the new T-90 regiments by 10 more units and would be equipped with thermal imaging night sights to allow the tank commander to strike enemy locations during night battles.
The report stated that Pakistan is also discussing a deal with Russia for acquiring about 360 such tanks.
PTI quoted sources saying that Pakistan was eyeing to buy from Russia a batch of T-90 battle tanks- the mainstays of the armoured regiments of the Indian Army, and that the move reflects Islamabad’s intent to forge a deeper defence engagement with Moscow which has been India’s largest and most trusted defence supplier post-Independence.
As of now, the Indian Army has around 1,070 T-90 tanks as well as 124 ‘Arjun’ and 2,400 older T-72 tanks in its 67 armoured regiments.