After two day-long intensive deliberations between the two countries, Russia has agreed to supply specifications of the T-90 tank barrels to India by the end of this year. The delay has prevented India from commencing production of the T-90 tanks at its own Avadi Heavy Vehicles Factory.
According to Defense Ministry Spokesman, Sitanshu Kar:
“The talks were held in a highly professional manner. Sides expressed their readiness to take all the necessary measures to further develop cooperation on a mutually beneficial basis.”
What does this new agreement with Russia mean for India?
The agreement promises a new independence for India as that country will soon be able be to produce these weapon platforms indigenously without the help of Russia. The two countries signed agreements for the delivery of almost 1,200 T-90 tanks for the staggering cost of 1.2 billion US dollars. The deal, which will conclude over the next five years, also provides to India the transfer of technology for the production of another 1,000 to 1,500 tanks. Moscow has also agreed to full product support for the production of these tanks.
The agreement clarifies the position of the Indian army, which is forced to continue to rely on mainly Russian tanks. The indigenous Indian Arjun tanks, have not yet passed important induction trials.
What does the future hold for both countries?
The joint development of a 5th generation fighter aircraft may also be in the works. Although the aircraft design has not been finalized, the two countries have agreed to ensure that this new fighter plane will be in service by the year 2015.
And for the rest of us, what kind of tanks can we expect to produce in the next five years or so? I for one don’t know, and wouldn’t venture a guess, but maybe somewhere there’s someone who….wants to make a deal?