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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Successful rollout of Light Tank developed by India’s Larsen & Toubro (L&T) based on the chassis designed by the DRDO’s CVRDE based on the proposed Next Generation Main Battle Tank (NGMBT) might strengthen DRDO proposed development of the NGMBT to meet the Indian Army’s requirement for 1770 next-generation Main Battle Tank under Future Ready Combat Vehicles (FRCV) tender said industrial sources close to idrw.org.

Ministry of Defence in the third positive indigenization list has included Light Tanks that will put a full stop to any plans by the Indian Army to procure them from the foreign vendors and the use of DRDO tech to develop a 30-35 ton Light tank will further demonstrate private sector capabilities that might be adopted to develop NGMBT.

Talks of NGMBT being manufactured through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) jointly by Private sector companies and CVRDE are already going around. SPV models are being adopted for the development of the Country’s 5th generation AMCA program and 13-ton Helicopter program that will seek the establishment of public-private sector consortium companies that will have private-sector majority holdings.

An RFI for FRCV issued last year says it is intended to procure a new generation ‘future tank’, 1770 of them in a phased manner, “with expected induction by 2030, along with performance-based logistics, transfer of technology, engineering support package and other maintenance and training requirements”.

The FRCV platform is planned to be procured under the ‘Strategic Partnership’ route of the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020. The FRCV is envisaged as a medium-weight tank and will remain in service for the next 40-50 years as the MBT of the Army. Indian Generals are notorious for having a soft corner for the Russian made Main Battle Tanks but the poor show in the ongoing Ukraine war and the advent of the better portable anti-armor system have forced them to take note of the flaw in Russian tanks that they have been ignoring for decades now and make course corrections in existing T-90 and T-72 tanks.

idrw.org has been told that the Indian Army going for another Russian tank under FRCV is not likely to happen as many had speculated that RFI issued for FRCV seemed tailor-made for the Russian T-14 Armata, the next-generation Russian main battle tank. Light Tank development will be a litmus test for the DRDO and Private sector companies to prove their mettle and make their case stronger for the development of next-generation main tanks based on Indian design and technology.

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