India's future main battle tank, the T-90MS 'Tagil', which will be license manufactured in Avadi in Chennai, will not be equipped with new-generation active armour systems that destroy incoming missiles and shells before they can hit the tank. Active armour systems have saved the lives of dozens of tank crew deployed in Israeli combat operations in Gaza and have now been deployed by the Russian Army in operations in Syria.
For decades, tanks have depended on their armour to protect their crew from enemy shells and anti-tank guided missiles. However, the singular vulnerability of modern tanks to the latest anti-tank guided missiles in the ongoing Iraq and Syria conflicts have raised serious question marks on the ability of armour alone to prevent casualties among tank crews.
Active armour systems are meant to counter this threat. Radars fitted on tanks detect the launch of hostile missiles and tank shells, predict their incoming trajectory and launch guided ammunition that can destroy or deflect hostile projectiles upto 50 metres away from the tank. The ensuing blast destroys the enemy missile, rocket propelled grenade or shell before it can pierce the armour of the tank.