Republic Day 2021: Indian Army to showcase MBT Bhishma, deployed from Rajasthan to Galwan

Express News Service
NEW DELHI: Indian Army’s Main Battle Tanks (MBT) T-90 are fortressed in Eastern Ladakh against the armoured columns of China. But this time, the same T-90s will be showcased at Rajpath as part of the Republic Day Parade 2021.

For the first time the most potent tanks of the Indian Army were moved to such heights ranging upto 16000 ft. 

Talking about the qualities of the tank, Tank Commander Captain Karanveer Singh, said, “It is a 3rd generation T-90 tank, also called as Bhishma. It has a 125 mm gun which had the capability to fire varied kinds of ammunition, being singular in the Army to fire a guided missile.”

“This can neutralise any target upto 5000 meters of distance. And it can range 50 to 60 km per hour on land and it even goes under water. 5 meter of water it can tread and for aerial targets it has 12.7mm NSVT gun. It can bring down any chopper any drone which comes under its vicinity,” he added. 

These tanks also have night fighting capabilities.

Ballway Machine Pikate (BMP- II) armoured personnel carrier, Pinaka multiple launch rocket system, Shilka anti-aircraft gun system and Brahmos land-attack missiles will also be included during the 72nd Republic Day parade on January 26 being held amidst the Covid pandemic. 

Due to Covid-19 protocols, there will be six marching contingents from the army. Each contingent will consist of 96 troops. Earlier, there were 144 soldiers.

China since May 2020 allowed their military helicopters fly closer to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and used drones to conduct surveillance close to borders.

Keeping the tactical requirements in mind while the Infantry soldiers have occupied heights of mountains, Indian Army has deployed the Russian-origin T-90 and T-72 tanks at several locations in the eastern Ladakh. Depsang plains in Daulat Beg Oldie sector on the northern bank of Pangong Lake and on the southern bank, tanks were moved forward to plug the flat valleys and plane areas like Spanggur gap area and the Chumar-Demchok sector to counter the China’s PLA.

Russian origin T- 90 tanks were inducted into the Indian Army in 2001 with contract of 310 T-90 tanks.

After initial contract for induction of 310 T-90 tanks in 2001, India signed a contract for licence production of 1,000 vehicles in 2004.

In 2007, a third agreement for 347 vehicles was finalised. Two years back, in November 2019, a $2.8 billion deal order was placed with the Ordnance Factory Board to licence-produce 464 more T-90s tanks. OFB manufacturers them at its heavy vehicle factory (HVF), Avadi in Tamil Nadu.