New Delhi: India’s Ministry of Defense has initiated the process of acquiring light battle tanks. The Indian Army has been asked to formulate requirements for a light tank weighing up to 25 ton. The DRDO light tank is a tracked amphibious light tank developed in India by DRDO. It is based on the “Sarath” chassis, a licensed variant of BMP, built by the Ordnance Factory Medak with a French GIAT TS-90 turret and 105 mm gun. This vehicle is designed to carry high caliber weapons without sacrificing mobility
This development can be viewed in the light of the recent trial of 35-ton Xinqingtan light tank by China in the Tibetan Plateau. It is also an addition to the preparation being made by the Indian Army for acquiring fourth-generation warfare capability.
During the 73-day Doklam stand-off with India where more than 12000 PLA troops, 150 tanks, and artillery guns were reportedly involved, Beijing had displayed its capability to move tanks quickly near the Indian border.
This has forced Indian military to revive its eight-year-old plan which was shelved in 2009 after detailed deliberation on technical requirement. The proposed light tanks will be capable of operating at heights of more than 3000 meters of Himalayan terrain, according to an official of Indian defense ministry.
India’s state-owned Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) had been developing a light tank. If the project is taken forward, India would be manufacturing light tanks based on the indigenous technology.