India Ministry of Defense plans to purchase 467 Russian T-90MS main battle tanks TASS 10711162

Defence & Security News - India
India Ministry of Defense plans to purchase 467 Russian T-90MS main battle tanks
India`s Ministry of Defense (MoD) is planning to purchase 464 Russian-originated T-90MS main battle tanks (MBT) developed by the Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) scientific-production corporation, according to the Mail Online India newspaper (a subsidiary of the British Daily Mail).
" The Indian Army [IA] plans to buy 464 advanced T-90MS battle tanks from Russia for deployment on its western borders with Pakistan…[The tanks] will strengthen army's fire power along the land border stretch with Pakistan - from Jammu in north till the western flank in Gujarat," Mail Online India said.

According to the newspaper, the relevant agreement reportedly worth Rs 13,448 crores (about USD2 billion) will include the license manufacturing of the T-90MS tanks at the Indian Heavy Vehicles Factory (HFV) enterprise in Avadi near Chennai. The MBTs are supposed to be equipped with advanced thermal imaging systems and night vision devices that will allow effective using of the tanks in night actions. "We are planning to procure the latest variants which would be deployed to tackle the heightened threat on the western front," said the newspaper, citing unspecified high-ranking sources within India`s Armed Forces.

The Indian military has defined the main specifications of the request, according to Mail Online India. It will be sent for approval to the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) led by the Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar at an early date, the sources told the newspaper.

At present, IA operates 18 regiments of T-90S (named Bhishma in the Indian service) deployed in Rajasthan and Punjab. The Indian fleet of main battle tanks lacks night vision capabilities, for the most part. Only T-90S MBTs of IA feature advanced night sighting hardware suite that includes both thermal imagers and night vision devices. The introduction of T-90MS tanks to the Armed Forces will turn the tide, the sources told Mail Online India. A report issued by the comptroller and auditor general points out that the technical condition of the previously delivered MBTs` anti-tank guided missile ATGM) firing systems and thermal imagers has worsened due to 'prolonged exposure to heat and dust'.

T-90MS is the latest variant of the world-famous T-90S MBT. It was unveiled at the RAE-2011 defense show in Nizhny Tagil. The tank features a number of upgrades over the basic model, namely, modified multifuel diesel engine, new air-cooling unit, an advanced explosive reactive armour (ERA), and a remote control weapon station (RCWS). The UVZ corporation said that the updated T-90S MBT will be in high demand on the arms market of the Near East region.