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In an effort to drastically enhance its strike capability, the Indian Army has decided to add a third generation missile system to its advance T-90 main battle tanks in lights of a potential military clash with the neighbouring country over Doklam standoff.
The army has decided to replace the laser guided INVAR missile system, which currently equips the T-90 tanks with a third generation gun-launched missile, say army sources.
According to a project related document, "As the design of the existing INVAR missile has been maximised, both in terms of range and depth of penetration (DoP), it is imperative to upgrade it to next generation missiles with enhanced capability."
The Russian-origin T-90 tanks are the epicentre of Indian Army's offensive capabilities. According to sources, the third generation missile should achieve a DoP of 800-850 mm and will be capable of hitting targets up to a range of 8 KM in day as well as night.
The missiles, to be fired from the 125mm gun barrels of T-90 tanks, will be able to hit targets by taking pre-flight programmed manoeuvres.
The missiles should be capable of firing against mobile as well as static targets, the sources said.
The Army is also working on a separate project to install a modular engine for the T-90 tanks so as to enhance their strike capability in the high-altitude battle field.
The sources said the proposed modular engine for T-90 tanks is envisaged to have a variable power output of 1200- 1500 HP to cater to high battlefield agility.
Considering the evolving security scenario in the region, the government has taken a series of measures in the last few months to enhance strike capability of the Army.
Last month, the government had empowered the Army to directly procure critical ammunition and spares of major military platforms to maintain combat readiness for short duration "intense wars".
According to the decision, the Vice Chief of Army has been given the "full" financial powers to procure ammunition and spares for 10 types of weapons systems and equipment.
The government has also decided to speed up procurement of key weapons systems and platforms for the Army.
In a major decision, the defence ministry on Thursday approved procurement of six Apache helicopters along with weapons systems from American giant Boeing at a cost of Rs 4,168 crore for the Army which will be its first fleet of attack choppers.