T-90 Bhishma: how India creates tanks based on Russian technologies


India is actively using Russian tank technology to create and improve its own fleet of armored vehicles. One of the typical examples of the transfer of Russian technology to Indian soil is the famous T-90 Bhishma tank.


In the period from 2001 to 2010, the T-90 was the best-selling on the world market. a tank. At the same time, India became the main buyer of the Russian combat vehicle abroad, while at that time it was seriously concerned about the increase in the number of tanks to confront its potential adversaries - Pakistan and China. In addition, delays in the production of the actual Indian Arjun tank, which has been developed since the mid-1970s, forced the Indian military to seek an alternative. It took into account the fact that neighboring Pakistan also increased tank power by acquiring tanks from China and Ukraine.

In 2001, a contract was signed for the supply of 310 T-90S with a total value of $ 1 billion, and in 2006 India signed a contract for $ 2,5 billion on the licensed production of 1000 T-90 tanks at Indian enterprises. This is how the T-90 Bhishma tanks appeared, named after the legendary warrior from the Indian epic Mahabharata.

The Indian tank Bhishma combines the advantages of Russian tank technology with local accessories and French thermal sights. It is produced at the Avadi Tank Plant in Chennai (formerly Madras) in Tamil Nadu. The T-90M Bhishma is equipped with a new automatic loader, fire control system (FCS), main gun (2A46M-5) and a power plant with a capacity of 1130 horsepower, as well as an additional anti-aircraft gun with remote control.

One of the modifications of the T-90, namely the T-90MS, according to military experts, is ideal for the harsh climate and mountain landscape of such Himalayan regions as Ladakh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. In turn, on the plains of India, where the climate is very hot, T-90 locally produced have not proved their worth, often overheating. Therefore, in military units deployed in lowland India, they prefer the Indian tanks "Arjun".


However, with an obvious preference for domestic technology, India still does not refuse to further acquire Russian tanks. At present, at least 1000-1100 T-90S tanks, including Bhishma modifications, are at the disposal of the Indian ground forces. The command of the Indian army expects to strengthen the Indo-Pakistani border with the help of Bhishma tanks, especially since a significant part of the border passes through the mountainous regions of Kashmir, where the climate is much colder than in the more southern states of India.

However, until now, the T-90 tanks are not yet the most massive in the Indian Army. At the disposal of the tank units of the Indian army is most of the T-72M1 tanks - about 2000 units. But the T-90 has every chance to replace the T-72 in the Indian army, especially considering that India now has more T-90 tanks than Russia itself, having acquired half of all produced tanks of this type over the years of production.


Well-known expert Caleb Larson in an article in The National Interest magazine writes that India is showing interest in the latest Russian tank T-14 Armata. However, it is not yet clear whether New Delhi will want to purchase tanks already produced in Russia, or whether to start producing them under license at Indian enterprises. It is possible that “Armata” is of interest to the Indian military and purely as a platform for subsequent, already purely Indian developments.

The main task of India in terms of tank building is to bring the number of tanks in service in the near future to 4500 units. After achieving this goal, India will be the fourth power in the world in the number of tanks after Russia, the USA and China.
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  1. The leader of the Redskins 26 March 2020 17: 57 New
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    New automatic loader and anti-aircraft gun? Am I so far behind world tank building?
  2. WHAT IS 26 March 2020 17: 58 New
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    However, it is not yet clear whether New Delhi will want to purchase tanks already produced in Russia, or whether to start producing them under license at Indian enterprises.

    Why it’s not clear, it’s just clear how they want with the T-90S:
    India has signed a $ 2,5 billion contract for the licensed production of 1000 T-90 tanks at Indian enterprises. So there were tanks T-90 "Bhishma"

    It’s quite reasonable to do things at home than to buy all the time ... But in general, well done, although it is customary here to play a trick on them:
    in the near future to bring the number of tanks in service to 4500 units. After achieving this goal, India will be the fourth power in the world in the number of tanks after Russia, the USA and China.

    Colles quasi-Si vis pacem para bellum.
  3. V.I.P. 26 March 2020 17: 59 New
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    Interestingly, how did the T-72 behave on the plain? He did not overheat? Why did they refuse to modernize the T-72? Even another tower could be put up, in theory it would have been cheaper ....
    1. Lopatov 26 March 2020 18: 17 New
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      Quote: V.I.P.
      Why did they refuse to modernize the T-72?

      In what sense?
      They developed their engine for them, their dynamic defense system, their mine trawl, and they are developing their replacement guns and their ammunition.

      There is very active work in progress.
      1. Frol 26 March 2020 20: 07 New
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        Quote: Spade
        They developed their engine for them, their dynamic defense system, their mine trawl, and they are developing their replacement guns and their ammunition.

        Well, this is not a Russian tank ..? Outwardly similar, and so
        Remember AK assault rifles, who only did not produce them in the world .. But Soviet ones are still appreciated! OTK there was concrete and trunk control ..
        And the Indians, of course cunning, but it would be better if they bought Russian weapons and our technical support .. And so they are gouging !!! Sorry for that, but the way it is ..
        1. Lopatov 26 March 2020 20: 09 New
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          Quote: Frol
          Well, this is not a Russian tank

          He initially held them as Ajeya Mk1
  4. Sergey Averchenkov 26 March 2020 18: 43 New
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    I do not think that India (with all due respect to this country) will be able to create a tank. If I could have created it long ago.
    1. knn54 26 March 2020 19: 12 New
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      They realized too late that tanks are better than elephants.
      Almost 40 (!) Years they fought over Arjun, and as a result they buy so much that their own tank factory would not be closed.
      So they remained "screwdrivers."
    2. 32363 26 March 2020 19: 54 New
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      so arjun is collected after all, though it's the same leopard laughing