India Army to procure 3,250 auxiliary power units for Russian-origin battle tanks

Photo: Indian Army’s T-90 main battle tanks on Raj Path in New Delhi during India’s Republic Day Parade on Jan. 26 this year.

New Delhi: The Indian Army is planning a procurement of 3,257 Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) for its fleet of T-72 and T-90 Russian-origin battle tanks, in a bid to increase their operational capability.

The procurement will be through the indigenous route and the project has been identified as a ‘Make-II‘ project under the ‘Make in India‘ initiative of the Narendra Modi government, through which equipment is developed by Indian industry through its own funding.

The Indian Army’s Mechanised Forces Directorate has issued an Expression of Interest (EoI) seeking responses from eligible Indian vendors for development of four prototypes and further procurement of APUs for the T-72 and T-90 battle tanks currently in service.

The army envisaged to buy the APUs through the ‘Buy (Indian – IDDM)’ (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured) route under the Defence Procurement Procedure of 2016 (DPP-2016) and the expected minimum level of indigenous content in the APU under the current procurement process is 40 per cent.

The shortlisted Development Agencies would have to develop two prototypes each for T-72 and T-90 battle tanks, and the army would buy a total of 1,657 APUs for the T-90 tanks and 1,600 APUs for the T-72 tanks, including ESP and fitment on tanks.

T-72 and T-90 battle tanks are the mainstay of the Indian Mechanised Forces. The APU is an alternate source of power for the Fire Control System of the tank and ancillaries, to cater for power requirements during lull in the battle, while deployed in surveillance mode and during training, with a view to conserve the life of main engine of the tank.

At present, the main engine in both T-72 and T-90 tanks need to be running to operate the Fire Control System of the tank and ancillaries, while deployed in surveillance mode.

Regular running of the main engine of tank for above mentioned purposes reduces the life of main engine. To conserve the life of main engine of the tank, it is imperative to indigenously develop and install an APU on the in-service T-72 and T-90 Tanks, and those being manufactured by the Ordnance Factory Board.

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