Russia is eager to provide India with Armata tank technology so that both countries can work together to create the next generation of main battle tanks for the Indian Army.
One of the most advanced main battle tanks, the T-14 Armata, features fully digital systems, an unmanned turret, and a robust armoured capsule for its crew.
During the Aero India 2023 expo, Vladimir Drozhzhov, the Deputy Director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC), stated that Russia is interested in sharing Armata technologies with the Indian Army in order to jointly develop the future MBT.
Drozhzhov said, “The Russian side plans to take part in the joint development of the Indian MBT using modern Russian technologies in the field of tank building,” in response to a question about whether or not India had accepted Russia’s offer to collaborate on the construction of a main battle tank based on the Armata.
In recent years, there has been much talk of India and Russia collaborating on the development of MBTs based on the Armata Universal Combat Platform.
India’s current tank fleet, primarily consisting of T-72 and T-90 tanks manufactured in Russia, is woefully inadequate in terms of mobility, protection, and firepower.
This comes at a time when India is rapidly acquiring cutting-edge Main Battle Tanks to defend its western and northern borders.
The Army issued an RFI in June 2021 with the goal of acquiring 1,700 Future Ready Combat Vehicles (FRCVs) using a strategic partnership approach, with full implementation of the “future tank” scheduled for 2030.
According to the RFI, additional purchases would include performance-based logistics and technology, as well as the 1,770 FRCVs themselves, as well as any necessary maintenance and training.
The Army claims that the cutting-edge tank platform of the future will feature AI and other advanced technologies that will allow it to operate in network-centric and electronic warfare settings.
Officials in Russia are assured that their Armata Universal Combat Platform can provide the Indian Army with a formidable weapon against its enemies, so they have agreed to purchase it.
Plus, Russia wants to bring in customers to help defray the expense of the tanks. In addition, Moscow is likely attempting to reinvigorate its defence industry, which is suffering from the effects of current US-led sanctions.
Is Armata Sufficient for India?
Russia’s Uralvagonzavod manufactures the cutting-edge main battle tank (MBT) known as the T-14 Armata. In May of 2015, it was unveiled for the first time at the Moscow Victory Day Parade.
With its modular battle platform, the Armata can be adapted to produce a wide variety of armoured vehicles, including large infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and armoured personnel carriers (APCs) (APC).
The T-14 Armata has a turretless design and is armed with a 125mm 2A82-1M smoothbore gun that is fed automatically. The turret is stocked with 45 rounds of ammunition, some of which are already loaded. The main cannon is also capable of launching guided missiles using laser technology.
The T-14 can operate in temperatures as low as -50 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a previous analysis published in the EurAsian Times. Reports indicate that the tank meets the requirements of the Indian Army in mountainous regions.
There is a possibility that the T-14 will serve as a strong deterrent for the Indian Army when confronted by the Chinese. Chinese arms manufacturer Norinco’s VT-4, according to Beijing, is world-class.
It’s arguable whether the VT-4 is better or worse than the T-14. The T-14, however, would make an excellent basis for the next generation of main battle tanks in the Indian Army.
However, images of destroyed tanks in the Ukraine conflict have revived the debate over whether or not tanks can survive in a combat environment. Some reports say that Russia has sent its T-14 Armata tanks to Ukraine.
Multiple technological issues are said to have slowed the tank’s progress. Britain’s Ministry of Defense reported on January 25 that Russian forces have been hesitant to accept the initial delivery of T-14s.
Three T-14s and one Armata were allegedly hit by TOW-2B anti-tank weapons in 2020. However, it would be difficult for the Indian Army to negotiate such an agreement with Moscow quickly due to the sanctions imposed on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.