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DRDO light tank


DRDO light tank

The DRDO light tank is a tracked amphibious light tank developed in India by DRDO. It is based on "Sarath" chassis, a license-produced variant of BMP, built by the Ordnance Factory Medak with French GIAT TS-90 turret having 105 mm gun. This vehicle is aimed to carry high caliber weapons without sacrificing the mobility.[1]


  • Development 1
  • Salient Features 2
  • Recent events 3
  • References 4


The ‘Design and Development of Light Tank on BMP-I’ project approved in 1983 was intended to be complete in 1986. It never reached completion, but continued in production and trials until 1996 to a total cost of Rs 4.53 crore (Rs 2.91 through foreign exchange), well beyond its estimated Rs 2.54 crore. The Army, who had inspired the project with a 1976 GSQR, determined in July 1985 that a light tank on BMP was not needed, but did not withdraw its association from the project and even made suggestions that led in 1988 to 105mm turrets being implemented rather than the planned 90mm turrets. In May 1993, a year after the project left Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment, Avadi, to come under the governance of Vehicle Research and Development Establishment, Ahmednagar, the Army again announced that the light tank was unnecessary. Nevertheless, firing trials continued until August 1996, notwithstanding the February 1994 recommendation of the scientific advisor to Raksha Mantri that the project be closed.

Salient Features

  • Crew : 3 men for turret
  • main Gun : 105 mm semi-automatic with muzzle brake
  • Turret: Al alloy with 12.7 AP protection level
  • Ammunition : APFSDS, APDS, HESH
  • Fire Control System (FCS) : COTAC semi-automatic
  • Stowing capability: Main gun–42 rounds (turret–10 rounds; ammunition compartment–32 rounds)
  • Accurate ranging by Laser Range Finder (LRF)
  • Low-light level TV for commander and gunner
  • Panoramic sight for Commander
  • Amphibian capabilities

Recent events

In October 1999, the Indian Army has put out a request for information (RFI) issued to prospective vendors for the requirement of about 200 wheeled light tanks (armoured cars) and about 100 tracked light tanks. This have brightened the prospects of the light tank project to achieve a limited production.


  1. ^ BMP-I Light Tank
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