To counter ongoing conflict against China in Line of Actual Control, India is moving towards the procurement of Russia’s Sprut SDM1 light tanks. According to the sources, India is set to participate in the trials soon. This 18-tonne SDM-1 tank having a cruising range of 500 km, can be operated by three crew, holds various capabilities including being airlifted, parachuted and disembarked from a ship.
Though Sprut SDM-1 Light Tank is an upgraded project model of Sprut-SD Tank which was previously operated by Russian Airborne Troops, it benefits India by providing the ability to fire the same ammunition as T-90 tanks, which are being currently used in the Indian Army. Also, the logistics and maintenance system of these Sprut SDM-1 Tanks are not of any difference for the Armoured Corps.
Sprut SDMA-1 Tanks are in their last stage of development and likely to be included shortly in the Indian Army. The proposal of SDM-1 Tanks was already offered to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during his visit to Russia in 2020. The Procurement of Sprut Light Tanks will play a crucial role in the violent standoff against China in mountainous regions of Ladakh and Arunachal. As per the information of ROSOBORONEXPORT, the official site of Russian Defence Export, it has been concluded that “SPRUT-SDM1 has powerful weapon systems, modern automated fire control system, state-of-the-art armour protection, robust engine and transmission, and efficient chassis. SPRUT-SDM1 is intended for fire support of units fighting against heavily armoured materiel, destruction of enemy strongholds and fortifications, battle reconnaissance and combat security”. India while being possibly participating in the trials will be the first country to do so as Russia has never invited any country to be with the trials on a product that is still in the development process.