India’s state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has received an INR200 billion (USD2.8 billion) contract from the Ministry of Defence to license-build 464 additional T-90S “Bhishma” main battle tanks for the Indian Army, Janes reported.
Under the contract, the tanks will be built at OFB’s Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) in Avadi under a transfer of technology agreement signed with Russia. The HVF is expected to complete the delivery of the MBTs within four to five years.
T-90S “Bhishma” is the India-specific variant of T-90S, the export version of the Russian T-90 third-generation main battle tank. The current order is related to the production license given to India by Russia to manufacture 1,000 T-90S tanks at the HVF for the Army.
The Indian T-90S tanks are equipped with Saab’s LEDS-150 Land Electronic Defence System and Thales-developed Catherine FC thermal imaging cameras. They are fitted with a “two-tiered” protection system: the first tier is the composite armour in the turret, and the second tier is third generation Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armour (ERA).
The T-90’s main armament is the 2A46M 125mm smoothbore tank gun. The tanks are also armed with PKMT 7.62mm (7.62×54mmR) coaxial machine gun, a 12.7mm remotely controlled anti-aircraft gun (optional) and a smoke grenade discharger.
India’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has also recently approved the INR134.48 billion (USD1.93 billion) procurement of 464 T-90MS main battle tanks for the Indian Army.
T-90MS, also known as T-90SM, is an updated version of the T-90S. It is equipped with a 1,130 hp engine, a PNM Sosna-U gunner view, a UDP T05BV-1 RWS with a 7.62 mm machine gun, GLONASS, inertial navigation systems, and new Relikt explosive reactive armour (ERA) that covers more of the tank.