With the indigenous Arjun main battle tanks still to undergo vigorous comparative trials, the Army has ordered 300 new upgraded T-90 main battle tanks with new ballistic computer generated fire control systems.
The tanks with new systems would be imported from Russia at an estimated cost of Rs 3,900 crores and are likely to be inducted over the next two years, army officials said.
With this, the number of T-90 tanks in the army would swell to over 600. Defence Minister AK Antony had recently told Parliament that India had come to an agreement with Russia to produce 1100 T-90 tanks.
Under the Indo-Russian deal signed in 2002, India was to purchase off the shelf 140 T-90 tanks and manufacture another 186 under technology transfer.
"The present deal for 300 tanks is the contract for the third batch", a Russian company official said.
The new tanks would be equipped with the new fire control system developed by Belarus company Beltek exports giving the T-90 tanks day and night operational capability.
The system incorporates tactical state of the art ballistic computer, tilt sensors, motions and wild sensors and a thermal imager developed by European arms major Thales for the French army.