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Will India Dare To Buy Russian T-14 Armata Tanks With Mounting US Pressure?

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Will India purchase T-14 Armata Tanks, considered as one of the most lethal tanks in the world? The Indian Army is looking to procure 1770 multipurpose future ready combat vehicles (FRCV) to replace the ageing force of T-72 main battle tanks (MBTs) and T-14 Armata Tanks are hot contenders. But, with immense pressure from the US and growing India-US ties, will Delhi dare to purchase the Armata Tanks?

The Armata Tank, a mean fighting machine, was unveiled for the very first time in 2015, at Moscow. The Defense Ministry of Russia is slated to purchase around 100 Armata Tank T-14s by 2020. The Armata Tank boasts of a highly computer integrated equipment, an un-manned turret and an independent armour capsule; making it an effective combat vehicle.

Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat started his six-day visit to Russia recently in what is being seen as an attempt to enhance India-Russia defence bilateral relations. The visit coincides with a bilateral annual summit between Indian PM Modi and Russian President Putin scheduled for October 5 in New Delhi during which defence deals worth over $10 billion are likely to be signed.

The Indian military delegation led by General Rawat is scheduled to meet the top officials of the Russian Armed Forces. Russia’s T-14 Armata FRCV is likely to figure in the discussions between the two militaries.

“The visit is yet another milestone in giving impetus to the strategic partnership between India and Russia and taking forward the military to military cooperation to the next level,” an Indian defence ministry statement reads. 

Besides visiting the Mikhailovskaya Artillery Military Academy, the Headquarters of Western Military District in St. Petersburg and General Staff Academy, the Indian officials will also visit the headquarters of a motorized rifle division in Moscow.

The procurement process for FRCVs was launched by the Indian Army as part of a plan to acquire hundreds of armoured vehicles similar to the Russian T-14 Armata and South Korean K2 Black Panther MBTs. According to the recommended acquisition plan, the FRCVs will be manufactured in India by a private company in partnership with the overseas original equipment manufacturer.

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