In a significant stride towards bolstering India’s self-reliance in defence manufacturing, Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited (AVNL) has set an ambitious target to completely eliminate its reliance on Russia for specific components of the T-90 Main Battle Tanks, vital assets operated by the Indian Army.
The objective is to achieve this milestone by mid-2024, marking a substantial shift towards indigenous production and reducing dependency on foreign sources.
The T-90 Main Battle Tanks play a pivotal role in India’s armoured forces, making it imperative to secure self-sufficiency in terms of components and parts. Collaborating with the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) at Avadi near Chennai, AVNL has already made commendable progress in this direction.
One remarkable achievement is the successful development of locally manufactured engines for the T-90 tanks. These engines do not rely on Russian components, thanks to technology transfer agreements. This accomplishment stands as a significant leap towards self-reliance in tank production. The Indian Army currently operates the T-90 Bhishma main battle tanks, which forms the backbone of the Indian Army’s armored forces. Meanwhile, the Arjun Mk II is India’s indigenous main battle tank, known for its advanced technology and firepower. It’s designed to operate effectively in India’s varied terrains. The T-72 Ajeya is another main battle tank in the Indian Army’s inventory. While older than the T-90, it has been upgraded to enhance its combat capabilities and remains in service.
Partnering with the Private Sector for Complete Self-Reliance
Building on this success, AVNL is actively engaging with the Indian private sector to indigenize other critical systems and components of the T-90 tanks. The ultimate goal is to reduce reliance on Russian sources to zero. This initiative aligns seamlessly with India’s broader “Make in India” campaign, emphasizing the nation’s commitment to enhancing its indigenous defence manufacturing capabilities.
By localizing the production of key components, AVNL intends not only to ensure a steady supply chain for T-90 tanks but also to fortify India’s defence industry by nurturing innovation and expertise within the country. This strategic move signifies India’s determination to strengthen its defence capabilities while reducing external dependencies. Meanwhile, AVNL is also focused on manufacturing Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles, Specialized Armored Vehicles, Mine Detection and Clearance Equipment, Electronic Warfare Systems and Ballistic Protection Solutions.