T-90S to debut at Defexpo 2012

Show: Defexpo India 2012 - Day 1 By SP's Special Correspondent

A highly anticipated modernised version of Russia's T-90S main battle tank makes its debut at Defexpo 2012 and is expected to draw a good amount of attention. The new tank, which Rosoboronexport has announced is a substantial improvement over the current T-90S in service with the Indian Army (and built under licence at the Heavy Vehicles Factory outside Chennai), is reported to have improved crew protection, a new fire control system, better ride and handling and increased engine power. The presence of the improved T-90S is also being seen as Russia's move to re-commit itself to the licence build programme, considering that late last year reports had emerged of certain delays in the effort. India ordered 310 T-90S in 2001. Later, a contract was concluded for the licensed production of 1,000 T-90S by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). The T-90S presence at Defexpo may also be a response to reports that the Indian Arjun main battle tank (MBT), which has recently matured as a combat platform, performed better than the Russian tank during comparative trials in the deserts of western India recently.