SOURCE: PRAVIN DHAUSKAR / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat during his six-day visit to Russia recently discussed with the top brass of the Russian Armed Forces and key military formations and establishments of Indian Army procuring 1,770 Next Generation future ready combat vehicles (FRCV) to replace the aging force of T-72 main battle tanks (MBTs).
Indian Army which is the largest operator of T-90 Main Battle Tanks from Russia is also very keen on procuring T-14 Armata which according to media reports will be built just like T-90 in India under Transfer of Technology agreements but this time with a Private Defence company in India.
An interesting observation is that while DRDO is still waiting for the Indian Army’s General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQRs) for the development of Future Combat Vehicles, Indian Army already seems to have made up its mind that family of T-14 Armata variants will meet Army requirements perfectly even though the Indian Army is yet to be given access to this weapon system to carry out technical trials of them.
DRDO which is yet working on the development of Arjun Mark-2 variant of indigenous Main Battle Tank is yet to get any major orders from Indian Army even when the Mk-1 was found to be technically superior to T-90 in a Direct competition held between both MBTs. Mk-1 orders never went above 128 tanks while T-90 were procured in thousands which shows a sorry picture of the Arjun MBT programme.
Even now, No Top brass of Indian Army wants to talk about Arjun MBT programme nor as shown any interest in the procurement of this tanks while Army keeps on changing its specification and requirements even when order commitment is never there. DRDO which is developing Arjun Mark-2 agreed to develop a tank with over 40 modifications with an order in hand for only 128 tanks, which according to me is plan wastage of taxpayers money since army clearly has no intention to procure more tanks even if Arjun tanks suddenly develop the capabilities to fly.
Army opening talking about T-14 Armata is slap on the face of PM Modi’s Make in India program which now seems to have moved away from Making indigenous weapons system in India to Making foreign weapons system in India which is nothing new and even was followed UPA regime.