The Tank, Mechanised Makeover: Armoured Corps and Mechanised Infantry ARE Undergoing Their Biggest Transformation

For years, regiments of BMPs and tanks have been positioned on the plateau of eastern Ladakh and northern Sikkim. The stand-off forced fresh inductions since the Army assessed that “threats on the northern borders are likely to remain in the foreseeable future”.

Learning a lesson from the stand-off, the Armoured Corps and Mechanised Infantry of the Army are undergoing their biggest transformation in decades. Former Director General Military Operations (DGMO), Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia (Retd), says, “The Indian armed forces have built requisite capabilities and enhanced capacities to deter China’s aggressive behaviour along the LAC.”

A series of changes include equipping the regiments with drones that can function as a swarm, addition of loitering ammunition, beyond-line-of-sight guided missiles, systems to bring down enemy drones, swifter and more powerful tanks, specialised high-altitude tanks, new generation armoured vehicles and missile launchers, besides better anti-tank guided munitions (ATGM).

The infusion of greater technology and precision strike capability will keep the armoured and mechanised forces relevant as ‘new’ airborne threats like drones and loitering ammunitions have emerged. Former Western Army Commander Lt Gen KJ Singh (Retd) says the “focus has to be on boosting protection against top attack (from air); tanks need to have agility and imaginative dispersed deployment”.