Russia offers Sprut against Chinese Type 15 lightweight tanks
China has deployed Type 15 light tanks while India has relied on heavier battle tanks
Russia has offered India its 18-tonne Sprut SDM1 lightweight tanks, which are capable of being airlifted, for possible procurement.
The offer was made during Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Russia in June amid the India-China standoff, says a report published in The Print, quoting anonymous official sources.
The report says the move came as China has deployed Type 15 light tanks while India has relied on T-90 and T-72, which are heavier battle tanks.
Sprut SDM1 lightweight tanks allow more mobility in mountainous terrains as they are capable of being airlifted.
The lightweight tank was not in the demand list of India, but was part of the Russian offer list during discussions on items that could be bought and sold in the backdrop of tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the report says.
However, on the procurement of these tanks, the report says since technical discussions are ongoing between the Indian embassy in Moscow and Russian authorities, there will be no immediate procurement.
According to the report, the Indian Army had lightweight tanks in the past before heavier tanks were inducted. The border tensions with China have prompted the force to look at these with interest.
Government-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is also reportedly working on lightweight tanks.
According to The Print, reports suggest the DRDO is in talks with private company Larsen & Toubro to produce these tanks.