HomeTrendingAre Indian Army tanks fighting for Russia in Ukraine war?

Are Indian Army tanks fighting for Russia in Ukraine war?

A video of T-90 tanks was posted on a Telegram channel in the middle of September, with the caption stating that the tanks were bound for the Russian Armed Forces.

The T-90 tanks in the film were initially thought to be unmodernized T-90A tanks that had been taken out of storage, but it was later discovered that they were actually the export-version T-90S tanks. The Indian Army’s T-90S Bhishma configuration was specifically present on the tanks.

A recent image revealed that these tanks have entered the Ukrainian battle zone.

These modified tanks reportedly had India in mind, but it was ultimately decided to send them to Ukraine.

Some of India’s T-90S Bhishma Main Battle Tanks were reportedly in Russia to have upgraded equipment installed, according to the Russian news source Tass. Numerous upgraded Indian T-90S tank systems had successfully completed first testing, according to a Tass report from August 27, 2021.

The chief executive of the Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport, Alexander Mikheyev, notified the organisation that a number of updated systems installed on “Indian-supplied tanks” had undergone preliminary testing.

”Right now, we are moving toward the final tests, following which a decision will be made on installing the modernized systems on the tanks,” he said.

The T-90S Bhishma is an Indian Army derivative of the T-90S tank. The tank is equipped with additional blocks of integrated dynamic protection and powered by a V-92S2 engine (1000 hp).

Given the huge losses of Russian armoured vehicles throughout the spring and summer operations in Ukraine, these statistics are astonishing. The Russian government prioritised arming its forces over its export responsibilities. During the early stages of the conflict, armoured vehicles and anti-tank equipment intended for Arab countries were immediately transferred to the Armed Forces in Ukraine.

The absence of Shtora-1 KOEP components on the turret and the presence of a distinctive wide turret block of dynamic protection installed in a “ledge” on the tanks in the video indicate that they are T-90S (vehicles of export configuration) tanks.

Additionally, as is customary with Indian T-90S, the mortars of the 902 Tucha system are positioned at a 75-degree angle.


Indian T-90S Bhishma tanks fighting in Ukraine

These characteristics could suggest that the tanks in this video do not belong to the Russian Armed Forces and are intended for export, or they could suggest that tanks that were previously intended for sale to other countries were requisitioned to satisfy Russian military requirements.


India’s T-90S upgrade deal with Russia

The negotiations to transfer technology to upgrade approximately 1,000 T-90S tanks that India had previously purchased began in 2017. According to the provisions of the planned arrangement, Russian businesses will transfer technology to Indian partners for enhancements in order to reduce the Army’s reliance on Russian supplies.

The modification specifically aimed to improve crew comfort, accuracy, and speed of the previously delivered tanks. The modernisation project would involve both commercial and military companies in India.

Since 2001, India and Russia have signed agreements for the sale of 1,450 T-90S Bhishma tanks made by Uralvagonzavod (Nizhny Tagil), of which 124 were delivered directly from Russia and the others were produced in India under licence.

The T-90S tank was modernised to become the T-90MS “Tagil” variant (the export version of the T-90AM tank) by NPK “Uralvagonzavod”. The tank has a V-92S2F power plant with a 1130 hp capacity, a 2A46M-5 cannon that is more powerful than the T-90S, and a Kalina fire control system. An auxiliary power unit is included.


Was permission sought from India?

According to the speculation indicated above, it might be concluded that India authorised the Russian Army’s use of the T-90. India has sent the T-90 Bhishma to Russia for testing on the upgrade.

When asked if there were any maintenance issues with Russian weapons in India, External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar did not address the state of the Indian T-90s in Russia.

During a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on September 28, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar stated that there have been no problems in recent months with the maintenance and supply of spare parts for military equipment that has previously been purchased from Russia.

In September, the same month that the aforementioned video went viral, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) conference. President Vladimir Putin of Russia was reportedly told during the conversation that it was not the right time for conflict by PM Modi.