After a delay of one year, the first T-90 tank manufactured in India under licence will roll out August 24.
"The first T-90 tank will roll out August 24," said a defence ministry official, requesting anonymity.
The licensed production of the tanks have been kicked off only after the stalemate with Russia over transfer of technology was resolved.
After the concern expressed by the Indian establishment over the delay in the execution of various defence deals, including the T-90 tanks, Russia has reassured India that the delivery will now be on schedule.
"We have repeatedly emphasised the timely delivery of the procured items. They (Russian officials) have reassured that supply of T-90s will remain on schedule. First 50 T-90s will roll out soon," the official said.
Delays in the manufacturing of the indigenous Arjun main battle tank and Pakistan's decision to purchase the T-80 from Ukraine prompted India to order 310 T-90s in 2001. Of these, 186 were assembled from kits at the Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi, near Chennai.
An agreement was also signed for the licensed production of another 1,000 T-90s. This, however, was delayed due to Russia's reluctance to transfer technology, prompting India to purchase another 300 tanks from Russia last year.
However, the localised production of the tanks had not begun till 2008.
"Last year, we did not make a single tank. At least, a beginning has been made," the official said.