With the Army's T-90 Main Battle Tanks (MBT) facing heat due to failure of fire control systems at very high temperatures, the government has floated Request for Information (RFI) for integrating air-conditioning system along with additional power source in its entire fleet of the Russian tanks.
"A large fleet of T-90 tanks would require to be fitted with environment control system with Auxillary Power Unit (APU), following Indian Army's decision to upgrade the T-90 equipment," top Army sources told PTI.
The failure of fire control systems and its computerised sensors and sophisticated panels were noticed during T-90 trials in Rajasthan deserts, where systems conked off while operating in temperatures over 45 degree Celsius, sources said.
Indian Army's major armoured forces concentration was in Rajasthan deserts and Punjab's plains, facing western frontiers with Pakistan, where temperatures during summer are usually quite high.
India had contracted to purchase 310 T-90 tanks from Russia in February 2001 in a $795 million deal. The first lot of 124 T-90s were picked off the shelf and another 186 imported in a semi knocked down condition for assembling in Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) in Avadi near Chennai.