Indian company AVNL unveils Atharva hybrid tank from T-72 and T-90S
India has unveiled a modernized version of the T-72 tank, naming it “Atharva,” in a move to enhance its defense capabilities, Militarnyi reports. This project was undertaken by the private company AVNL in response to the Indian armed forces’ request to upgrade their existing fleet of T-72M1 tanks, which have been in service for several years.
The key improvement in the Atharva tank is the replacement of the old T-72M1 Ajeya turret with a newer one from the T-90S Bishma tank, which is produced locally in Awadh, India, under license. This turret replacement significantly enhances the tank’s firepower, situational awareness, and overall protection.
The upgraded tank now features a modernized combat compartment equipped with advanced sighting devices, including thermal imaging and night vision capabilities, as well as improved communication systems. It is presumed that the tank’s 125mm 2A46M-5 gun received an updated and more accurate version, along with an expanded automatic loader during the turret replacement.
The addition of new sights allows the tank to utilize 125mm anti-tank guided missiles, particularly the Russian 9M119M Invar and 9M119M1 Invar-M missiles, which can effectively engage heavily armored targets at distances of up to 5,000 meters. The substitution of the old cast turret with a new welded one significantly bolsters the tank’s protection level, especially in scenarios involving tank battles or targeting by enemy anti-tank guided missiles.
However, the installation of the advanced turret has led to an increase in the tank’s weight, from its original 43.8 tons to 45.8 tons. Despite this weight gain, the tank retains its existing 780hp B-46-6 engine, which has the potential to negatively impact its mobility.
Furthermore, while the upper portion of the tank’s profile has seen improved protection with the new turret, the overall vulnerability of the tank remains relatively unchanged. This is an important consideration, especially in situations where the tank may face threats from enemy anti-tank guided missiles or engage in tank warfare.