India’s defense ministry signs $2.8 billion deal for 464 T-90MS MBT

India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a INR200 billion (USD2.8 billion) contract with the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) to licence-build 464 additional T-90S main battle tanks (MBTs) for the Indian Army (IA).

The signing of a final contract between the Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Russia’s arms export agency, Rosoboronexport, could take place in the coming months. However, according to Defense News, it is unlikely that the MoD will sign the contract unless Russian tank maker Uralvagonzavod increases local production of the T-90MS MBT from 40 percent to 80 percent.

The deal stipulates that Russian original equipment manufacturer UralVagonZavod and arms export agency Rosoboronexport will be paid $1.2 billion for technology transfer, while India’s state-owned Ordnance Factory Board will be paid $1.92 billion for local production of 464 T-90S tanks, according to an Indian Ministry of Defence official.

The basic armour of the T-90MS provides a protection of the crew against conventional small weapons and shell splinters. To increase the protection of the T-90MS, the tank is fitted with the new RELIKT reactive armour on the front of the hull and the turret which is designed to replace the Kontakt-5 reactive armor used on older T-90 tanks, will help the tank withstand attacks from all current and future anti-tank weapons.

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The T-90MSs are expected to supplement hundreds of Bhishma MBTs deployed in the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan in the north and northwest of the country, at the border with Pakistan.

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