Light tanks for Indian Army

WolfPack86

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Moscow ‘Sweetens The Deal’ For India; Delhi Mulls Russian ToT & Production Assistance For Sprut Light Tanks
The Indian Army first projected a need for a Light Tank as far back as 2009 when an RFI (request for information) was initiated to procure 300 such tanks expected to weigh 22 tons.

The proposal languished till 2017 when the MoD asked the Army to draw up requirements for a light tank after China tested its Type-15 tank equipped with a 105mm main gun and a 1,000-horsepower engine.

In an interview with National Defense in March 2019, speaking on the Indian Army’s mechanized forces, Lt Gen AB Shivane (Retd.) revealed that the Indian Army plans to procure light tanks to counter the PLA’s deployment of Type 15 light tanks.

In February 2020, the PLA surreptitiously occupied India-claimed territory along the LAC. India responded by deploying its T-90S and T-72 main battle tanks (weighing 40 to 50 tons each) in eastern Ladakh.

The experience of deploying heavy tanks underlined the importance and urgency of procuring “much more maneuverable” and “operationally flexible” light tanks, with adequate firepower, in mountainous terrains.

In April 2021, the Indian Army (IA) issued an initial Request for Information (RFI) to vendors for the procurement of 350 new generation light tanks, less than 25-ton in weight, in a project under the Make in India with the transfer of technology (ToT).

There is an urgency to procure light tanks, and the government is in no mood to brook any nonsense that impedes the procurement or restricts India’s choices. Clearly, it is imperative to acquire light tanks and the technology to manufacture them within the country.

Leading Contenders
The leading contenders for fulfilling the IA’s light tank requirement are as follows.

Russia’s Sprut SDMI – The Sprut is an 18-ton tank with a 450-hp engine supporting a 125mm main gun – the same as the main gun on IA T-90 & T-72 tanks. Sprut is amphibious, air-droppable, and in operational service. The Sprut-SDM1 could use all the ammunition produced in India for T-72M1 and T-90S tanks.

South Korea’s Hanwha Defense’s K21-105 – This is a yet-to-be-developed proposed 25-ton tank with a 750-hp power pack. The tank would be built in India by L&T. Its turret would be Belgian.

DRDO’s Zorawar – The highlight of this tank would be its yet-to-be-built 1000-hp High Altitude Operable Power pack (Engine+Transmission). No word on its weight, gun armament, or amphibious capability. The tank is likely to be too heavy to be air-droppable.

The Russian Sprut SDMI appears ahead of the pack, but the problem is – it’s Russian! Could India defy Western pressure and procure what the IA needs urgently from Russia?

Foreign Policy Will Not Sacrifice India’s Interests
During his recent visit to the Australian capital, Canberra, India’s External Affairs minister S Jaishankar on October 10, 2022, said, “We have a long-standing relationship with Russia, and this relationship has served our interests well. We have a substantial inventory of Soviet & Russian-origin weapons.”

Explaining the rationale for India’s continued defense relationship with Russia, Jaishankar said, “This (Russian weapons) inventory grew for various reasons, including the West not supplying weapons to India for decades & seeing the military dictatorship next to us as the preferred partner.

In international politics, we make judgments reflective of our future interests and current situation.”

Russia Sweetens The Deal
Russia has shown an understanding of India’s desire for neutrality between it and the West. It is attempting to sweeten the Sprut deal for India to an extent where India would be willing to shrug off Western pressures – by offering ToT and production assistance.

“We are ready to transfer technologies and provide assistance in launching the manufacture of the tank in India,” a Rosoboronexport official told the press ahead of DefExpo 2022.

Talking of the features of the Sprut-SDM1, the Rosoboronexport official said it was the only light amphibious combat vehicle in its class having the firepower of the main battle tank and equipped with a 125 mm tank gun. “The Sprut-SDM1 can use all the ammunition produced in India for T-72M1 and T-90S tanks,” he stated.

The Sprut can cross water obstacles and fire its gun while afloat, disembark from a ship, and operate day and night on terrain — in the high mountains in conditions of thin air, at very high and low temperatures, the official elaborated.

He added that the tank has a guided missile system to defeat armored targets, including those with ERA, at ranges up to five kilometers.

The Imperative To Build Indian
Operational urgency could compel India to fulfill its immediate Light Tank requirement through foreign collaboration (either for the full system or components such as turret, engine, and transmission), but, likely, India will not abandon the DRDO’s Zorawar light tank project.

Tanks – light, medium, and heavy, Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) and gun/missile mobility platforms represent a large part of the IA’s combat capability. India needs to acquire the capability to manufacture the entire spectrum of the components that go into armored vehicles – power packs, turrets, sensors, and protective armor.

Reliance on imported armor can be toned down as soon as our capabilities mature using the import ban list mechanism.

Procurement strategies must be creative and aimed at maintaining deterrence while favoring indigenous design development and production.

Early induction of suitable weapon systems has a deterrence effect often lost on defense planners. Had the Indian Army procured light tanks soon after it felt the need for them in 2009, it is moot whether the Chinese incursions of February 2020 would have taken place.
 

WolfPack86

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DRDO UNVEILS ZORAWAR TANK CONCEPT FOR INDIAN ARMY
DRDO showcased a scale model of Zorawar light tanks at the DefExpo 2022 held from 18 to 22 October in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.



The DRDO is developing Zorawar light tank with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) for the Indian Army.

A DRDO official told Janes that the prototype of the new tank is expected to be unveiled in late 2023.

Jayant D Patil, L&T's senior executive vice-president for defence, told Janes on 16 September, “L&T is selected as a development partner as of now.”

He added that while the company is involved in the platform's development, L&T is not assured of a role in the tank's production phase.

“[The] Indian process cannot place development and production contracts in one,” he said. “Developed equipment has to undergo field evaluation trials and emerge successful for the induction clearance, and then [the] production ordering process begins.”
 

Marliii

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Fatalis

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So they are gonna get 59 tanks of DRDO design.then conduct a competion and of another design wins the rest of 290 tanks are gonna be of that ?
Looks like that is the case but someone on Twitter was saying it is actually something like 59 manufactured by DRDO backed CVRDE and rest by the private industry.
 

jai jaganath

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Literally kuch samajh nahi aya
Pls explain
I mean what's reserve
All tanks would be indigenous right
Who is gonna make 59 and who is gonna make rest
Delivery timelines ?
 

ezsasa

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Fatalis

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Literally kuch samajh nahi aya
Pls explain
I mean what's reserve
All tanks would be indigenous right
Who is gonna make 59 and who is gonna make rest
Delivery timelines ?
Okay, so government has said to IA that they will have to procure 59 light tanks from DRDO-L&T and for the rest a separate competition will be held between the private companies to develop another light tank to meet the requirement. I don't understand what kind of bullshit thinking is this.

Also, the article is having so many errors and typos. I don't know who has published it without proof-reading it.
 
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Arpuster

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Okay, so government has said to IA that they will have to procure 59 light tanks from DRDO-L&T and for the rest a separate competition will be held between the private companies to develop another light tank to meet the requirement. I don't understand what kind of bullshit thinking is this.
Just like purchase of 36 Rafale via G2G and rest of fighters by MRFA tender.
 

Fatalis

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Just like purchase of 36 Rafale via G2G and rest of fighters by MRFA tender.
I feel like DRDO is worrying that they will lose the competition to the private players and their RnD will go in vein, so they went to the government for backing them up and securing them some numbers which government did and quoted them a number '59'.

Now, for the rest of the number which is around 291, private players will be allowed to bid and develop and if DRDO also wants to bid then they can do it separately without any commitment of procurement.
 

Arpuster

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I feel like DRDO is worrying that they will lose the competition to the private players and their RnD will go in vein, so they went to the government for backing them up and securing them some numbers which government did and quoted them a number '59'.

Now, for the rest of the number which is around 291, private players will be allowed to bid and develop and if DRDO also wants to bid then they can do it separately without any commitment of procurement.
DRDO wont bid in the tender, the production partner will bid i.e. L&T in this case. Consider that ATAGS is DRDO project with two production partners BF & Tata Power. Both will participate in tender for procurement of ATAGS. Also the 59 tanks will be produced by L&T so its effectively L&T getting that 59 tank order not DRDO. Anyways DRDO-L&T tank is in most advanced stage of development.
 

Fatalis

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DRDO wont bid in the tender, the production partner will bid i.e. L&T in this case. Consider that ATAGS is DRDO project with two production partners BF & Tata Power. Both will participate in tender for procurement of ATAGS. Also the 59 tanks will be produced by L&T so its effectively L&T getting that 59 tank order not DRDO. Anyways DRDO-L&T tank is in most advanced stage of development.
L&T has said itself they are just the development partner not the production partner (at least for now).
 

WolfPack86

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ARMY-DRDO TUSSLE ENDS, GOVERNMENT TO START DESI LIGHT TANK ACQUISITION
NEW DELHI:
India is set to kick-start a mega indigenous acquisition project for 354 light tanks, the critical operational necessity for which has come to the fore during the ongoing over 30-month long confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh reports TOI.

Sources say the defence ministry has resolved the festering differences between the Army and DRDO over the light tanks meant for high-altitude warfare in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh as well as riverine areas like the Rann of Kutch and can be swiftly deployed after being transported by air.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh-led defence acquisitions council will soon take up the grant of AoN (acceptance of necessity) for the armoured fighting vehicle-Indian light tank (AFV-ILT) under ‘Project Zorawar’, at a cost of around Rs 17,500 crore, the sources told TOI.

The proposal is that 59 of the 354 light tanks, each weighing less than 25 tonnes with a high power-to-weight ratio as well as superior firepower and protection, will be reserved for the tanks developed by the Defence Research and Development Organiztion (DRDO).

The remaining 295 tanks will be manufactured under the government-funded design and development project for the Indian industry in the ‘Make-1’ category of the defence acquisition procedure (DAP). “DRDO can also compete with private players for this,” a source said.

The Army had strongly pitched for all 354 tanks to be produced by the private sector under the Make-1 category. But the DRDO argued its Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment was already working to develop a light tank prototype with private sector giant Larsen & Toubro as the “lead system integrator”.

“DRDO says its first light tank prototype will roll out by mid-2023. So, the decision is that 59 tanks be reserved for DRDO, with the condition that it delivers a successful prototype ahead of the others in the fray,” the source added.

The 12-lakh strong Army had managed to deploy some of its heavier Russian-origin T-90S and T-72 main-battle tanks (40 to 50 ton each) in eastern Ladakh after the confrontation erupted in 2020.
 

SilentlAssassin265

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ARMY-DRDO TUSSLE ENDS, GOVERNMENT TO START DESI LIGHT TANK ACQUISITION
NEW DELHI:
India is set to kick-start a mega indigenous acquisition project for 354 light tanks, the critical operational necessity for which has come to the fore during the ongoing over 30-month long confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh reports TOI.

Sources say the defence ministry has resolved the festering differences between the Army and DRDO over the light tanks meant for high-altitude warfare in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh as well as riverine areas like the Rann of Kutch and can be swiftly deployed after being transported by air.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh-led defence acquisitions council will soon take up the grant of AoN (acceptance of necessity) for the armoured fighting vehicle-Indian light tank (AFV-ILT) under ‘Project Zorawar’, at a cost of around Rs 17,500 crore, the sources told TOI.

The proposal is that 59 of the 354 light tanks, each weighing less than 25 tonnes with a high power-to-weight ratio as well as superior firepower and protection, will be reserved for the tanks developed by the Defence Research and Development Organiztion (DRDO).

The remaining 295 tanks will be manufactured under the government-funded design and development project for the Indian industry in the ‘Make-1’ category of the defence acquisition procedure (DAP). “DRDO can also compete with private players for this,” a source said.

The Army had strongly pitched for all 354 tanks to be produced by the private sector under the Make-1 category. But the DRDO argued its Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment was already working to develop a light tank prototype with private sector giant Larsen & Toubro as the “lead system integrator”.

“DRDO says its first light tank prototype will roll out by mid-2023. So, the decision is that 59 tanks be reserved for DRDO, with the condition that it delivers a successful prototype ahead of the others in the fray,” the source added.

The 12-lakh strong Army had managed to deploy some of its heavier Russian-origin T-90S and T-72 main-battle tanks (40 to 50 ton each) in eastern Ladakh after the confrontation erupted in 2020.
Any chance this tank design can be used for fmbt project
 

Hari Sud

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With Titanium and Aluminum has main metal to give it strength and reduce weight, it is likely to be much higher priced. Any guesses on its price as opposed to T-90.
 

abingdonboy

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ARMY-DRDO TUSSLE ENDS, GOVERNMENT TO START DESI LIGHT TANK ACQUISITION
NEW DELHI:
India is set to kick-start a mega indigenous acquisition project for 354 light tanks, the critical operational necessity for which has come to the fore during the ongoing over 30-month long confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh reports TOI.

Sources say the defence ministry has resolved the festering differences between the Army and DRDO over the light tanks meant for high-altitude warfare in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh as well as riverine areas like the Rann of Kutch and can be swiftly deployed after being transported by air.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh-led defence acquisitions council will soon take up the grant of AoN (acceptance of necessity) for the armoured fighting vehicle-Indian light tank (AFV-ILT) under ‘Project Zorawar’, at a cost of around Rs 17,500 crore, the sources told TOI.

The proposal is that 59 of the 354 light tanks, each weighing less than 25 tonnes with a high power-to-weight ratio as well as superior firepower and protection, will be reserved for the tanks developed by the Defence Research and Development Organiztion (DRDO).

The remaining 295 tanks will be manufactured under the government-funded design and development project for the Indian industry in the ‘Make-1’ category of the defence acquisition procedure (DAP). “DRDO can also compete with private players for this,” a source said.

The Army had strongly pitched for all 354 tanks to be produced by the private sector under the Make-1 category. But the DRDO argued its Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment was already working to develop a light tank prototype with private sector giant Larsen & Toubro as the “lead system integrator”.

“DRDO says its first light tank prototype will roll out by mid-2023. So, the decision is that 59 tanks be reserved for DRDO, with the condition that it delivers a successful prototype ahead of the others in the fray,” the source added.

The 12-lakh strong Army had managed to deploy some of its heavier Russian-origin T-90S and T-72 main-battle tanks (40 to 50 ton each) in eastern Ladakh after the confrontation erupted in 2020.
Wait wtf is this? So they are going to split this 350 odd requirement between ~60 for DRDO and 295 for some as yet unknown design from private players? What the hell are these guys smoking? Who will design an entirely new tank for less than 300 units? Why should DRDO invest all this for just 60 units?

Why not green light the DRDO design then outsource production to private players like with WhAP and DRDO?

The IA are some corrupt mfers, leaving the back door open to imports and foreign kickbacks as usual
 

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