T-90 Mk-III Arsenal: Atmanirbhar Ascendancy Elevates India’s Defence – Analysis


India and Russia have had a long history of working together in the field of defence manufacturing—including making missiles, rifles and tanks. According to a report from the military publication, Janes, on Thursday (June 13), the Indian Army has just received its first batch of 10 T-90 Mk-III main battle tanks from state-owned company Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited (AVNL).

An AVNL official went on record to say that their Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) had started manufacturing new tanks with Russia under a licensing deal. This information was reported by the Russian media outlet, Sputnik.

In 2019, a contract was signed with HVF to supply 464 new T-90 Mk-III tanks to the Indian Army. As part of this agreement, 10 T-90 Mk-III tanks have now been delivered.

Tank Count Per Regiment: In the Indian Army, an armoured regiment is led by an officer who is at least a colonel. Each regiment typically includes around 45 to 50 tanks. Currently, the Indian Army’s Armoured Corps consists of more than 60 armoured regiments.

Current Tank Fleet: India’s army, at present, uses over 1,200 T-90 Bhishma tanks, a crucial component of the country’s armoured forces. In addition to these, the army also operates older T-72 tanks and a smaller number of Arjun Mk-1 tanks.

Recently, HVF announced that it had completed the first batch of these T-90 Mk-III tanks, marking an important step in providing modern military equipment to the Indian armed forces. In a statement made in May, HVF mentioned that this event was a significant milestone in their manufacturing journey and for India’s defence sector. They also said it would greatly support the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative.

Key Features of T-90 MK-III

The T-90 Mk-III tanks come with several important features, including a top-notch automatic target tracking system, locally developed sighting systemsand a cutting-edge digital ballistic computer. These tanks are also designed to withstand strong explosions from the enemy.

Advance Commander Sight: The tank is fitted with a mid-wave infrared (MWIR) commander sight, designed and manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and the Defence Research Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Enhanced Target Detection Range: According to the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD), this sight includes a thermal imager that can detect targets up to 8 kilometres away—both during the day and at night. It also has a laser rangefinder (LRF) that accurately measures distances of up to 5 kilometres.

Improved Long-Distance Accuracy: This upgrade greatly boosts the tank’s ability to hit targets at longer distances with increased accuracy.

Except Target Neutralization: With corrections from the ballistic software and the (LRF), the commander of the T-90 can detect, engage and neutralize targets with exceptional accuracy. The MoD added that the locally developed sight had passed extensive field tests.

Future Deliveries and Upgrades: The AVNL official revealed that the rest of the 454 T-90 Mk-III tanks would be delivered to the Indian Army in stages over the next five years. Additionally, HVF is upgrading the Indian Army’s current T-90S tanks to T-90MS standards.

Girish Linganna

Girish Linganna is a Defence, Aerospace & Political Analyst based in Bengaluru. He is also Director of ADD Engineering Components, India, Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of ADD Engineering GmbH, Germany. You can reach him at: [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *