Army guns for 1,770 ‘smart’ tanks to replace ageing Soviet machines
The Indian Army has drawn up a requirement for approximately 1,770 new generation “smart” battle tanks to replace the ageing fleet of Soviet-origin T-72 tanks that have been in service for over 30 years.
The new tank, dubbed Future Ready Combat Vehicle, would be developed by a foreign manufacturer on a proven armoured fighting vehicle design and will be the base platform for developing other need-based family variants like bridge layer tank, trawl tank with mine ploughs, armoured recovery vehicle and self-propelled base for other arms.
The Ministry of Defence has issued a fresh request for information (RFI) — a similar request was floated in 2015 —after inviting global partners for the project that would also involve transfer of technology and import offsets and indigenous content relevant for 40 to 50-year life cycle.
The backbone of the Indian armoured corps is made up of T-72 tanks, which were inducted in the mid-1980s, and its successor T-90 tanks that began entering service in the 2000s. A project is also underway to upgrade the T-90 tanks with better gun sights and missiles.
Detailing the required specifications, the RFI states that the proposed tank is likely to be employed in varied terrain, including high altitude, arid, riverine and mountainous under varied temperature conditions ranging from minus 30 to 50 degrees Celsius.
The specifications on terrain and climate come in the backdrop of the Army raising two armoured brigades for deployment along the northern borders. The Army already has based some armoured and mechanised infantry elements comprising T-72s and BMPs in high-altitude areas.
Traditionally looked upon as platforms for high-maneuver warfare in the plains, tanks have had limited employment in the mountains, with notable instances being Zoji La pass in 1947 and Chushul in 1962. A few years ago, the Army drove up a T-55 tank to an altitude of 17,000 feet along the Tibetan Plateau to evaluate performance in extreme cold. China is also known to maintain large mechanised formations in Tibet.
The “future technology” enabled tanks are expected to maintain operational readiness and combat overmatch over the adversary, will be employed for “rapid dominance in an expanded battle space characterised by real time awareness, all terrain agility and high mobility, precision lethal firepower, multi-layered protection and conduct of sustained day and night operations in all terrains,” the RFI states.
Source:- Tribune India