India has set its eyes on acquiring the Russian-made Sprut-SDM1 light tanks, to counter China along the mountainous terrains of Line of Actual Control (LAC). India will also take part in the trials of the system starting late summer and this will be a first for Russia because no country has witnessed trials of a product that is under development.
According to sources, India is interested in the 18-ton Sprut because it shares the gun of the T-90 tank and fires the same kind of ammunition. India is currently operating T-90 and T-72 tanks, which are also Russian-made. This means that logistics and maintenance of Sprut tanks won’t be drastically different for the Armoured Corps.
Russia’s approval to include India in the trials of the light tanks came after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke about India’s need for light tanks during his visit to Russia in August 2020.
A team of the Indian Army will visit Russia later this year, and witness the firing and mobility trials of the tank.
Sprut-SDM1 is the only light amphibious fighting vehicle in the world that possesses the firepower of the main battle tank, a 125 mm main gun, a 7.62 mm remote-controlled machine gun, and a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun. It also has the ability to fire a cannon afloat. It can also travel over a distance of 500 Km without refueling.