Monday, July 28, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

T-90 tanks develop snags

New Delhi, July 27
Just months after their induction into the Indian Army, the world class T-90 tanks have developed technical snags with armoured core personnel reporting difficulty in target-sighting during desert deployment.

The tanks are virtually without thermal imagers and night vision capability and these snags have triggered an official SOS to the Russians, who have dispatched a team of experts to sort out problems, defence sources said here today.

Already six armoured regiments have been equipped with the tanks. India had signed a deal with Russia in 2001 for the purchase of 310 T-90 tanks and their induction speeded up on New Delhi’s request for deployment during Operation Parakram.

Defence Minister George Fernandes had informed Parliament earlier this week that “the matter of technical snags” was taken up at the highest level by Army chief General N.C. Vij during his recent visit to Russia.

“The Russian warranty team of experts is already in the country and is rectifying the technical snags,” Mr Fernandes had said.

A top defence official said though in T-90s India had acquired a world class tank, these were without thermal imagers and night vision.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation, in a cost-cutting move, had suggested that defence scientists had the capability of developing these sights in-house.

However, as the tank deliveries were nearing, DRDO scientists washed their hands off the project after indigenous thermal imagers and night visions failed, forcing the Defence Ministry to call for international tenders.

Israel, Germany and France had bid for the project. The French won the contract and are now developing the night visions for the tanks. — PTI

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