(Editor’s Note: Updated on July 21 at 3:00 pm with BEML statement on more details of the contract at paragraph eight.)
New Delhi: India today (July 20) said it has signed a Rs 557-crore ($75-million) deal with a state-run enterprise for 1,512 mine ploughs for the army’s Russian-origin T-90 main battle tanks.
The deal, signed by the Acquisition Wing of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), will help Indian armed forces to use the T-90 tank-fitted ploughs to clear land mines planted along the borders, particularly the Line of Control by its traditional rival Pakistan Army.
The Bengaluru-headquartered BEML Limited will supply the mine ploughs and the contract was signed under the ‘Buy and Make (Indian)‘ category of the Defence Procurement Procedure with a 50 per cent indigenous content under the ‘Make‘ clause in the deal, a defence ministry statement said.
The mine ploughs will be fitted on T-90 tanks of Indian Army‘s Armoured Corps, which will facilitate individual mobility to tanks while negotiating mine field. Mobility of the tank fleet will enhance manifold. This would, in turn, extend the reach of armoured formations deep into the enemy territory without becoming mine causality.
With the induction of these 1,512 mine ploughs, planned to be completed by 2027, the combat capability of the Indian Army will be further enhanced.
It was in March 2015 that the Defence Acquisition Council, chaired by then defence minister late Manohar Parrikar, had approved the Acceptance of Necessity for the 1,512 mine ploughs for the T-90 tanks.
In a statement, BEML Limited said the mine ploughs will be manufactured at BEML facilities with help from the original equipment manufacturer, United Kingdom-based Pearson Engineering.
Out of 1,512 mine ploughs, BEML will supply 100 within 12 months, 250 nos. in
subsequent years, and the entire order will be completed within seven years.
This de-mining equipment is time-tested for different soil conditions in Indian desert and customised for Indian operations, the company said.
“We are proud to be associated with MoD to enhance the combat capability of the Indian Army. This is another example of BEML’s capability to meet the specific requirements of our armed forces. BEML signifies the true spirit of ‘Make in India’ and enabler for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self-Reliant India),” BEML Limited Chairman and Managing Director Dr Deepak Kumar Hota said.