India will arm its T-90 S/SK main battle tanks with mine ploughs that will “extend [the] reach of armoured formations deep into enemy territory without becoming mine causality", said the Defence Ministry as it announced a $75 million supply contract with state-owned Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) on Monday.
The mine plough brings buried or concealed mines to the surface and moves them to the side to clear a path for armoured formations. The mine plough will be supplied by BEML while the ministry has made it clear that the product must include 50 percent indigenous content.
“With the induction of these 1,512 mine ploughs, planned to be completed by 2027, the combat capability of the Army will be further enhanced”, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
The Indian Army has around 3,500 tanks made up of T-72 as well as T-90 tanks and it has been increasing its armoured formation capabilities in recent years. The move started with the approval of the production of 464 T-90 tanks and an extension of the licensed manufacturing of Russian-origin T-90S tanks until 2028 in April of this year.
Earlier, in January, the Indian Army also started the process of purchasing primary ammunition for its tanks from local vendors despite importing 125mm ammunition from Russia.