Will Titagarh, about 20km north of Kolkata, turn into a hub for upgrade of battle tanks for the Army?
According to Titagarh Group chairman J P Chowdhary, the Army’s T-72M1 Ajeya main battle tank (MBT) can be upgraded to the ambitious future-ready combat vehicle (FRCV) at the factory there. He was speaking at a session organised by Bharat Chamber of Commerce and attended by Ajay Kumar, secretary, department of defence production.
Kumar seemed receptive to the idea and even urged other companies from the east to come up with such suo motu proposals. The companies shouldn’t only be suppliers of components but seek long-term partnerships with defence public sector undertakings (PSUs) or Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), the secretary added.
“Our company can upgrade T-72 tanks to FRCV by changing the engine and turret. There are already companies that can build the turrets as per specifications. After upgradation, these tanks will be at par with the T84 Oplot tanks being offered to Pakistan by a country (Ukraine),” Chowdhary said.
He later said the facility to upgrade the tanks may come up in Titagarh itself. The company is already building two fuel barges for the Navy. These will supply fuel to India’s sole aircraft-carrier INS Vikramaditya.
Kumar lauded Chowdhury for the suo motu proposal. “Just as he has come up with a proposal to convert the T-72 tanks, others may come up with new products and offer them to the defence sector. In the last year, 36 projects have been offered to industry by the military,” he said.
According to informati-on released by the Army, the FRCV will replace the existi-ng tank fleet and operate ac-ross developed/semi-desert and desert as well as high altitude terrain across the entire spectrum of conflict.
Source: Times of India