DRDO light tank

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.[1]


The "Design and Development of Light Tank on BMP-I" project approved in 1983 was intended to be complete in 1986. It never reached completion, but continued in production and trials until 1996 at a total cost of Rs 4.53 crore (Rs 2.91 through foreign exchange), well beyond its estimated Rs 2.54 crore. The army, which had inspired the project with a 1976 GSQR, determined in July 1985 that a light tank on BMP was not needed, but did not withdraw its association from the project and even made suggestions that led in 1988 to 105mm turrets being implemented rather than the planned 90mm turrets. In May 1993, a year after the project left the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment, Avadi, to come under the governance of Vehicle Research and Development Establishment, Ahmednagar, the Army again announced that the light tank was unnecessary. Nevertheless, firing trials continued until August 1996, notwithstanding the February 1994 recommendation of the scientific advisor to Raksha Mantri that the project be closed.


Recent events

In October 1999, the Indian Army issued a request for information (RFI) to prospective vendors for the requirements of about 200 wheeled light tanks (armoured cars) and about 100 tracked light tanks. This have increased the prospects of the light tank project achieving limited production.


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