The Indian Army had started the upgradation process by issuing a tender to procure 1,400 uncooled thermal imager-based driver's night sight (DNS) with fusion technology for T-90 tank to assist the driver in tank operations at night. This tender was issued in December 2016 to replace the existing image intensifier sights used in T-90 tanks over the next five years. The upgraded tank will also provide more accuracy in firing to crew.
Apart from the upgradation program, the Indian defense ministry has been in negotiation with the Russian government for purchase of 464 advanced version of T-90 at cost of $2.1 billion. The approved version of T-90 tanks will be equipped with thermal imaging night vision cameras and some additional countermeasures to reduce the chances of being hit by adversary's anti-tank semi-automatic guided weapons. The ongoing negotiation is for manufacturing T-90 tanks by the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board. The T-90 is already being assembled at Heavy Vehicle Factory, Avadi, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
"The option to go for an entirely new design would take more time. Besides, some machines for manufacture of the T-90 tank and the workforce are already available. All these factors recommend manufacture of T-90 tank domestically," said Brigadier (retired) Rumel Dahiya, a defense expert.
Renamed ‘Bhishma', the legendary Indian mythological warrior, the Indian T-90s are fitted with the Shtora self-protection system as well as Catherine thermal images from Thales of France and Peleng of Belarus.