The Indian Army was disqualified from a military competition after its Russian-origin T-90 Main Battle tank failed.
As India sat out, tanks from countries including China, Russia and Kazakhstan raced ahead to find themselves a spot in the finals of the 19-nation competition.
According to reports, these tanks developed engine problems after performing exceedingly well in the initial rounds.
Let's see what happened!
Two Indian T-90 tanks were participating in the Tank Biathlon being held as part of the International Army Games at the Alabino ranges in Russia.
"The fan-belt snapped in the first tank. The reserve tank was then deployed for the race but its engine oil leaked just two kilometres before the end......It was sheer bad luck that led to the disqualification," noted an officer.
The Bhishm or T-90 tanks have been produced in India since they were first imported from Russia in 2001.
Its acquisition was driven by India's delay in building its indigenous tank 'Arjun' and a simultaneous need to be ready to counter Pakistan's T-80 tanks.
The Army expresses great confidence in these tanks which form the backbone of India's 'Shock and Awe' battle plans.
There are currently 800 T-90s with the Indian Army. 657 tanks were first imported from Russia in 2001. Its production was later transferred to the Avadi Heavy Vehicles Factory under Ordnance Factory board. It has currently secured an order for 1000 T-90s from defence ministry.
The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) accuses the Army of ignoring the induction of indigenously-built Arjun tanks.
However, the Army maintains that Arjun, with its 62-tonne mass and extreme width lacks operational mobility and flexibility.
It has launched a quest for Future Ready Combat Vehicle to meet its needs post-2027.
DRDO in response contends that Arjun did better than T-90s in comparative trials.
The Tank Biathlon includes drills including firing at a moving tank while braving rugged obstacles. China's indigenously built Type-96B tank, T-72B3 tanks belonging to Russia and Kazakhstan and Belarus's modernized T-72 tanks will now compete in the finals!
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