Defence sources in New Delhi have confirmed that the Indian army will watch a trial of Russian-made Sprut-SDM1 light tanks in the near future. The cannon fire guided missiles, dart ammunition APFSDS and HEAT among others things. Russia offered a glimpse of the tank last year while Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh was visiting Moscow.
The Indian Army has agreed to buy about 350 lightweight tanks from a global manufacturer as it tries to stand up to China – which has been using its new lightweight tanks, the Type 15, in Ladakh since last year. The two Asian rivals have been filling the Himalayan region with troops and weapons as negotiations for disengagement in eastern Ladakh lost momentum.
The Indian Army is more at home with the 18-ton Sprut as the self-propelled tank destroyer has the same gun as the T-90 tank. The Sprut, which is light, also mounts the formidable 125mm smooth bore gun used by T-72s and T-90s, which means the Indian Army need not change ammunition. Russian manufacturers have upgraded the engine which provides good mobility in all conditions. Hence, Sprut may have the upper hand in the global contest under which the Indian army wants to buy a “new generation combat vehicle platform, approximately 350 Light Tanks in a phased manner, along with performance-based logistics, niche technologies, engineering support package, and other maintenance and training requirements.”
India has increased…