Indian Army inducts first indigenous T-90 tanks

August 24th, 2009 - 8:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Indo-Asian News Service
Avadi (Tamil Nadu), Aug 24 (IANS) The first batch T-90 tanks manufactured in India under license from Russia were Monday handed over to the Indian Army.After a delay of one year, the first batch rolled out of the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) here. The batch of 10 tanks was inducted into the army at a function in Avadi by Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju.

The licensed production of the tanks has been kicked off only after a stalemate with Russia over transfer of technology was resolved.

After concern expressed by the Indian establishment over delay in execution of various defence deals, including T-90 tanks, Russia has reassured India that the delivery will now be on schedule.

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, was delayed 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,” an official said.

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