India will produce locally 469 Russian T-90MS main battle tanks
According to a news released on November 8, 2019, on the official website of the "Times of India", the Indian Ministry of Defense has signed a contract with the Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi, in Chennai, to produce 469 Russian T-90 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), that could be the MS version of the T-90 family.
Russian-made T-90MS at IDEX defense exhibition in United Arab Emirates, February 2013. (Picture source Army Recognition)
In April 2019, it was announced that India’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has approved an INR134.48 billion (USD 1.93 billion) procurement of 464 Russian-made T-90MS main battle tanks (MBTs) for the Indian Army.
The order for 464 units of Bhishma Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) will boost the Indian army capabilities along with the western sector of the India-Pakistan border. Once the delivery completed, the Indian army will have over 1,500 of these tanks. Pakistan has also launched talks with Russia to acquire the same main battle tank.
Currently, the Indian Army uses the T-90S under the local name of Bhishma, produced under license in India. The first batch of 10 licensed-built T-90M "Bhishma" was inducted in the Indian army on August 24, 2009. These vehicles were built at the Heavy Vehicles Factory located at Avadi, Tamil Nadu. India plans to have 21 tank regiments of T-90s by 2020, with 45 combat tanks and 17 training and replacement tanks per regiment, for 62 total each.
The T-90MS was presented for the first time to the public during the defence exhibition Russian Expo arms in September 2011. This new tank is a complete modernization of the T-90 by touching all the characteristics of the basic variant to increase its operational capabilities in combat and against modern threats of the battlefield.
The main armament of the T-90MS includes a 125mm high-accuracy gun 2A46M-5 with new features as the installation of high-rigidity barrel tube, play-free trunnion assembly units with elastic rollers a return wedge and two additional play take-up elements with rollers.
The basic armour of the T-90MS provides a protection of the crew against conventional small weapons and shell splinters. To increase the protection of the T-90MS, the tank is fitted with the new RELIKT reactive armour on the front of the hull and the turret which is designed to replace the Kontakt-5 reactive armor used on older T-90 tanks, will help the tank withstand attacks from all current and future anti-tank weapons.