Armor: April 11, 2001


After extended talks on financing, India has signed a contract to buy 310 Russian T-90S tanks, becoming the first export customer for this vehicle. The cost of the vehicles will be between $600 million and $700 million depending on various factors. The deal covers 124 tanks to be built in Russia, and another 186 to be assembled in India from kits. It is expected that India will eventually build more T-90S tanks under a license to be negotiated later. Under the deal, Russia will buy software and information technology developed in India. The Indian Army has announced that the T-90S is superior to the Ukrainian-built T-80D sold to Pakistan. Some Indian officials has wanted to build improved T-72S tanks instead of buying T-90S tanks. The Indian Armored Corps has admitted that the deal to buy the T-90S will effectively kill the local Arjun tank program. The government has ordered an initial batch of 124 Arjuns, but nothing has been done to actually start making them.--Stephen V Cole


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