Russia’s Sprut SDM-1 can be the answer to China’s growing sea and land challenge
A FORCE Report
Patriot Park, Moscow: At Army 2018 exhibition, Rosoboronexport unveiled the export version of its lightweight, amphibious tank to the Indian media. Operational with it’s Special Forces and Marine Corps, Russia’s Sprut SDM-1 is ideal for the growing Chinese threat in the Indian Ocean and the Himalayas for four reasons.
One, it can be an offensive platform to protect India’s Andaman & Nicobar islands. Only five per cent of these islands are physically occupied by Indian military with the others vulnerable to occupation by hostile elements. If given to 108 Mountain Brigade of Andaman & Nicobar Command, these can help in early eviction of hostile forces on our islands.
Two, Special Forces will have a major role to play in any show of strength between India and China. For example, Chinese Special Forces have capability to be dropped on the Brahmaputra river line. These tanks paradroped along with our Special Forces can provide the required challenge to hostile elements.
Three, these tanks are ideal for paradrop along with the M-777 artillery guns to quickly restore a tactical reversal any where on the Line of Control.
Four, these tanks have the same 125mm gun as the T-90 Main Battle Tank and both can fire common missiles and shells. This will be a big maintenance advantage across all the three services which could be armed with these tanks.
Given the commonality of these two tanks, the transfer or technology will be easier, cheaper and quicker. This will help boost jointness as well as the ‘Make in India’.