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First batch of T-90 tanks handed over to Army

Union Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju flagging off the first batch of indigenously manufactured T-90 Tanks

CHENNAI (PTI): The first batch of India's indigenously built state-of-the-art T-90 main battle tanks, with features like protection from nuclear attack, were handed over to the army on Monday at a function in Avadi near Chennai.

The batch of ten tanks, each costing around Rs 14-15 crore, rolled out of the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) here and was inducted into the army by Minister of state for Defence M M Pallam Raju.

HVF plans to produce 100 tanks per year.

Indian army has already around 700 of these frontline tanks in service and contract has been signed for purchase of another 400 off the shelf.

The tanks have features like capability to fire guided missile, in addition to the conventional ammunition, using the same main gun barrel and guided weapon system and ballistic computer facilties to ensure accurate firing of both conventional ammunition and guided missiles.

"The tank has advanced protection system to protect crew and equipment from chemical, biological and radio active (nuclear) attack," an official release said.

It is equipped with 125 mm smooth bore gun, 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun and 7.62 mm co-axial Machine gun supported with high accuracy sighting systems, and automatic loader for higher firing rate, it said.

Raju said the induction of the tanks was an "important milestone" for the Indian army and a step towards attaining self-sufficiency in its preparedness.

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