|Arthur Dominic Villasanta |||Jan 19, 2017 10:00 PM EST|
(Photo : Russian Army) Russian Army T-90 outfitted with Shtora APS (the two boxes on either side of the main gun).
The Indian Army is in the hunt for an Indian company to manufacture an Active Protection System (APS) for its growing fleet of Russian-made T-90MS main battle tanks (MBTs). Not a single Indian Army tank is currently equipped with an APS.
The latest batch of T-90MS MBTs ordered from Russia won't have Russia's Shtora APS, forcing India to consider this survivability essential from domestic sources, if it can find a suitable one.
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Shtora is an electro-optical APS designed to disrupt the laser target designation and rangefinders of incoming anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs). The system is mounted on Russian T-80 and T-90 tanks.
The Indian Ministry of Defense said it's exploring the possibility of a domestic company producing the APS in a tie-up with an overseas equipment manufacturer.
The Indian Army wants APS on 464 of its T-90MS tanks ordered for $2 billion in November 2016. Without an APS, this tank's only protection is its armor, and modern ATGMs have the proven capability to kill any tank within their effective range. Some ATGMs can pierce over one meter of armor, and no tank in the world has armor that thick.
APS consists of a radar system that detects the launch of an ATGM or an RPG and then attacks it with a blast of steel balls or self-forming fragments to destroy the incoming round or deflect it away from the tank.
The T-90MS will replace the Indian Army's ageing fleet of T-72s.
The Army already plans to deploy some 1,650 T-90M and T-90S MBTs in most of its 97 armored regiments. Of this total, some 1,300 will be T-90Ms. The Army operates around 800 T-90S tanks, which were first delivered by Russia in 2001.
It also has 350 T-90MS tanks deployed along the Line of Actual Control with China. In addition, the army operates some 120 Arjun MK-1 MBTs, a domestically produced tank much heavier than the T-90.
The Army currently has 13 regiments operating both the T-90M and T-90S, a number that will increase to 21 regiments by 2020. One regiment consists of 62 tanks.
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