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The Indian experience with developing indigenous weapon systems like the Arjun MBT (main battle tank) and LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) Tejas Mk1A has had a mixed impact on the upgradation programs for the Russian-origin T-90 MBT and Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets. While a direct technological transfer might not be evident, the Arjun and Tejas programs have indirectly influenced the Indian Armed Forces’ approach to modernization.

The Arjun program, despite facing criticism on cost and operational complexities, pushed the boundaries of Indian tank design. Its features, like a ballistic computer and a composite armor layout, might have indirectly influenced the upgrade path of the T-90 MBT currently in service with the Indian Army.

The Arjun’s operational trials highlighted the need for improvements in areas like weight, engine power, and fire control systems. This experience translates to a more discerning Indian customer for the T-90 upgrade programs. The Indian Army is now better equipped to identify specific areas for improvement and negotiate for upgrades that cater to India’s unique strategic needs.

The Tejas program, despite delays, has demonstrated India’s potential for indigenous aircraft development. This has allowed many of the Indian Private suppliers of the Tejas Program experience that they are not ready to be involved in the Sukhoi-30MKI upgrade program. Sukhoi-30MKI upgrade program will see a greater degree of localization in production and maintenance. Increased involvement of Indian firms in the upgrade process thanks to the knowledge transfer from the Tejas Program that will now reduces reliance on Russian expertise in the long run.

The Indian focus now lies in integrating advanced subsystems and improving existing platforms locally rather than completely rely on the OEMS for their upgradations. indigenous technologies thanks to Arjun and Tejas program has ensured faster and more cost-effective modernization of this Russian system that could has contributed to the overall technological leap.

Arjun MBT and LCA Tejas Mk1A programs, directly have played a role in the upgradation of Russian platforms, this also has instilled valuable experience and a strategic mindset within the Indian defense establishment. This has led to a more discerning approach to modernization, with a focus on self-reliance and customization for the T-90 and Su-30MKI programs.