UVZ – the Russian manufacturer of the T-72 and T-90 tanks - has authorised the Indian private enterprise Punj Corporation Limited to carry out repair and maintenance of the tanks locally. According to an estimate, the project will generate business of minimum $155 million per year for the company

New Delhi: Russian firm UVZ and India's Punj Corporation Pvt Ltd (PCPL) have joined hands to undertake the repair and maintenance of T-72 and T-90 tank engines and radiators in India.

"For all the maintenance and repair activities undertaken by the PCPL including the supply of required spares, the UVZ would provide full technical support, personnel and ensure conformance to quality," the Russian manufacturer said in a joint statement issued on Friday.

India has over more than 3500 T-90, T-72 tanks and its serviceability and maintenance has been a major cause of concern.

"The requirement of a suitable and simpler mechanism to improve the serviceability of tanks has been a long pending demand of the Indian government. This has now been initiated through the participation of Indian private industry," Igor Kolikov, the Deputy Director General of UVZ said.

The Indian Army also plans to make the Russian origin tanks T-90 and T-72 more lethal by upgrading their missile systems. The Indian government has approved the purchase of third generation anti-tank missile systems which will make the T-90 & T-72 capable of hitting targets up to 8 kilometres during the day as well as night. Currently, the T-90 fleet of the Indian Army is armed with the INVAR missile system. Following the up-gradation, which will be done by the Indian private industry, the missiles would be capable of being fired from 125 mm gun barrel.