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T-90 tank inducted into army
January 07, 2004 21:35 IST
Last Updated: January 07, 2004 21:36 IST
The state-of-the-art T-90 tank was on Wednesday inducted into the Indian Army. Christened Bhishma, the army considers it to be a technological marvel.
Talking to reporters at the Heavy Vehicles Factory of the Defence Ministry at Avadi in Chennai, Army Chief Gen N C Vij said the army is looking forward to the total indigenisation of the tank, now being built with Russian collaboration.
After production of 100 T-90s, indigenisation would commence from the year 2006-07. Dispelling rumours that the Arjun tanks would henceforth be used only for ceremonial purposes, Gen Vij said, "The T-90 and Arjun tanks will be our main battle tanks. Both are exceedingly good and we would like to depend on both of them."
Describing the T-90 tank as 'a marvelous piece of work', Gen Vij said they would constitute 30 per cent of the country's combat tank force. He does not visualise any problem from Russia as far as spare parts are concerned. And once production is indigenised, the question of importing spare parts would not arise.
Union Minister of State for Defence Production and Supplies O Rajagopal, who handed over the papers and keys of the tank to Gen Vij, told reporters that he did not envisage any problem in the transfer of technology from Russia. Also, following US sanctions after India exploded a nuclear device, the country had focused on indigenous production of spare parts for defence equipment.
He said the Arjun tank was totally indigenous and hence there was no dependency on anyone for spare parts.The army proposes to manufacture T-72 tanks for another three years before phasing them out.
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