Armor: July 28, 2001


India plans to phase out its fleet of 2141 Vijayanta tanks (copies of the Vickers Mark-1) and replace them with T-90s and T-72s. Most of the Vijayantas are worn out and in reserve. The Indian Armored Corps includes 37 battalions of T-72s, nine battalions of Vijayantas, and nine battalions of T-55s which have been outfitted with 105mm guns and will also be replaced by T-72s and T-90s. The first battalion of T-90s is to be in service by the end of this year. India had 310 T-90s on hand, enough for ten battalions. The Arjun tank program is all but dead, with technical problems likely to prevent the planned delivery of 124 tanks by 2004. The T-90 purchase has long been assumed to be the death knell for Arjun.--Stephen V Cole


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