New Delhi (Sputnik): The Indian Army has plans to induct 464 Russian-origin upgraded T-90 "Bhishma" main battle tanks as the Indian Defence Ministry is set to place the order to the state-owned ordnance factory located in India's southern state of Tamil Nadu.
The tanks will equip 10 armoured regiments of the Army and be inducted in the 2022-2026 timeframe.
The 46.5-ton main battle tank (MBT) powered by a 1,000 HP engine is likely to deployed along the Pakistani border. The first 64 tanks should be delivered in 30-41 months.
Sources told Sputnik that the proposal to assemble the tanks from SKD kits was taken as the Indian facility was not producing the T-90S at the desired pace. The HVF had in 2006-07 signed a contract to produce 1,000 T-90S tanks under licence from Russia by 2020. But the HVF has been able to supply only 350-400 T-90S to date.
The T-90S tank is equipped with a 125mm smoothbore gun stabilised in elevation and azimuth that is capable of firing all types of ammunition, including laser-guided missiles (Invar) to a range of 5km. The gun has an automatic loader ensuring a high rate of fire. The tanks additionally have a 12.7mm anti-craft machine gun and 7.62mm co-axial machine gun supported with high accuracy sighting systems. Capable of night fighting, the tank is equipped with night vision devices and a thermal imaging system. It is also protected by explosive reactive armour (ERA).