Indian Army seeks active protection systems for its T-90S/SK MBTs

by Rahul Bedi & Mark Cazalet

The Indian Army (IA) has invited responses from local vendors by 12 May regarding the supply of 818 modular active protection systems (APSs) to enhance the survivability of its T-90S/SK ‘Bhishma’ main battle tanks (MBTs).

In a 13 April expression of interest (EOI) the IA said the new protective systems for these tanks, which are “likely to remain in service beyond 2050”, are to be acquired under the ‘Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured’ (IDDM) category of the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020, and will need to have a “50% indigenous design and development content”. Prospective vendors will be permitted to enter into arrangements with foreign manufacturers to develop the equipment.

The APSs are required to have both hard-kill and soft-kill capabilities. The soft-kill component must provide both smoke discharge and infrared jamming effects, and provide audio-visual warnings when the tank is either lased or fired upon.

An Indian Army T-90S ‘Bhishma’ MBT during a military parade in New Delhi. The IA is seeking to acquire 818 modular APSs from local vendors to enhance the survivability of its T-90S/SK MBTs.  (Indian MoD)

An Indian Army T-90S ‘Bhishma’ MBT during a military parade in New Delhi. The IA is seeking to acquire 818 modular APSs from local vendors to enhance the survivability of its T-90S/SK MBTs. (Indian MoD)

The hard-kill component is required to be capable of engaging shaped-charge threats such as rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), and high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) rounds fired from tank guns. The protection level required was quantified at 90% against ATGMs, rockets, and RPGs, and 70% against incoming 125 mm HEAT rounds.

A non-required, but “desirable” request was for the APS to be capable of defeating kinetic energy (KE) projectiles. That said, the system is required to at least have upgrade potential to defeat KE threats in the future.

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The Indian Army (IA) has invited responses from local vendors by 12 May regarding the supply of 818 ...

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