Armor: July 14, 2002


A follow-on to the Indian acquisition of 310 T-90S main battle tanks (MBT), India decided in June to again delay it's T-72 modernization program in favor of diverting about $500 million to make priority purchases from Russia. India has already taken delivery of 124 T-90S (two batches of 40 and a third batch of 44) delivered in fully assembled form, with one Armored Regiment already fielded on the Pakistani border. The rest of the contracted T-90s will be produced at the Avadi heavy vehicles factory in Tamil Nadu, from semi-knocked-down and fully knocked-down assembly "kits" supplied by Russia. 

Given the continued tension with Pakistan, the Indians decided to ignore their T-72 fleet awhile longer. One of the more critical deficiencies of the Indian T-72 fleet is the lack of Night Vision Sights. An unnamed senior Indian Ministry of Defense official also noted that over 70 percent of the Indian Armys 2,000 T-72 tanks were simply not battle-worthy, while the delayed T-72 modernization decision has indefinitely postponed a formal bid solicitation. These bids had been previously scheduled for June. - Adam Geibel


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