The performance of Russian Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has raised concerns in India, which maintains one of the world's largest fleets of Russian-designed T-90 and T-72 MBTs. With nearly 4,000 of these tanks in its arsenal, the Indian Army is taking steps to enhance its combat capabilities and address vulnerabilities that have become apparent.
Enhancing Firepower and Survivability: As part of its upgrade plans, the Indian Army is focusing on approximately 1,670 T-90 MBTs in its inventory. These upgrades aim to boost firepower, increase survivability, and address design flaws that have been exploited in recent conflicts involving Western-supplied anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).
Upgrading the Powerpack: One key enhancement involves replacing the existing V-92S2 engine (with 1,000 hp) with a new power pack that will deliver nearly 1,500 hp. This significant boost in engine power is expected to provide Indian MBTs with improved mobility and agility on the battlefield.
Collaboration with the Private Sector: To achieve these upgrades, the Indian defense establishment is collaborating with private sector companies, particularly those with backgrounds in the automobile industry. This partnership aims to develop a new power pack not only for the T-90s but also for India's upcoming Future Main Battle Tank (FMBT) program.
Future Main Battle Tank (FMBT): The new powerpack, with its 1,500 hp engine, is set to be a key component of India's FMBT program, which aims to create a modern, formidable battle tank to meet the evolving needs of the Indian Army. The FMBT project represents India's ambition to develop indigenous defense technologies and reduce reliance on imports.