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Russia to Pitch Lightweight ‘Sprut’ Tank to Indian Army

Russian state arms seller Rosoboronexport will pitch the Sprut-SDM1 lightweight amphibious tank for the Indian light tank tender, TASS revealed, citing the company’s CEO.

Alexander Mikheyev said that the offer will include technology transfer and “quite probably, the arrangement of local production of separate units and assemblies.”

The Indian Army’s Request For Information to procure 350 light tanks specified that the platform should weigh less than 25 tons, reportedly to put them on the mountainous China border. The Indian Army currently employs the T-90 (46-ton) and T-72 (45-ton) tanks in the region. 

The request added that the tank needs to be of “new generation” and should come with “performance-based logistics, niche technologies, engineering support package, and other maintenance and training requirements.”

Indian Army Interested in Sprut

According to Mikheyev, the Sprut, which features a 125mm cannon, is the world’s only light tank that is similar in firepower to a main battle tank. He added that the tank is compatible with locally manufactured Indian munitions for the T-72M1 and T-90S tanks.

“This tank evokes great interest from countries with complex geographical conditions that combine the presence of water obstacles, swamps and mountains. The combat vehicle is outfitted with the missile armament designed to strike armored targets, including vehicles with reactive armor at ranges of up to 5 km (3.1 miles).”

The Indian Army was also reportedly interested in the platform and was planning to send a team of officials this year to Russia to observe the armored vehicle during trials.

Features

TASS wrote that the High Precision Weapons Company tank is based on the Sprut-SD self-propelled anti-tank vehicle, featuring a new digital fire control system for enhanced firepower. Apart from the main cannon, the vehicle features a 7.62mm remote-controlled machine gun and a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun.

The tank has a top speed of 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) per hour and can travel up to 500 km (311 miles) without refueling. It can navigate in water for up to seven hours at a maximum speed of seven kilometers (4.5 miles) per hour.

Being lightweight allows it to be transported by “amphibious assault ships and military transport aircraft and airdropped by the landing and parachute methods together with the crew inside.”

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