First 50 T-90 tanks to roll out of Indian factoryJune 4th, 2009 - 9:25 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, June 4 (IANS) After a hiatus of one year, 50 T-90 tanks will roll out of an Indian factory under licensed production following the resolution of the stalemate with Russia over transfer of technology.
After the anguish expressed by the Indian establishment over the delay in the execution of various defence deals, including the T-90 tanks, Russia has reassured India that the delivery will follow the time schedule.
“We have repeatedly emphasised the timely delivery of the procured items. They (Russian officials) have reassured that supply of T-90s will remain on schedule. First 50 T-90s will roll out soon,” a defence official said.
Delays in the manufacturing of the indigenous Arjun main battle tank and Pakistan’s decision to purchase the T-80 from Ukraine prompted India to order 310 T-90s in 2001. Of these, 186 were assembled from kits at the Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi, near Chennai.
An agreement was also signed for the licensed production of another 1,000 T-90s. This, however, is yet to commence due to Russia’s reluctance to transfer technology, prompting India to purchase another 300 tanks from Russia last year.
However, the localised production of the tanks had not begun till 2008.
“Last year, we did not make a single tank. At least, a beginning has been made,” the official said.