Indian state-owned company Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has been awarded a contract to retro-modify the commander sight of the Indian Army’s T-90 battle tanks.

The company has signed a contract, worth $142.57m (Rs10.75bn), with the Indian Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Acquisition Wing.

The contract will contribute towards the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative in the defence sector.

Under the contract, the company will perform the retro-modification of 957 T-90 tanks.

It will provide 957 commander thermal imager-cum-day sights for the tanks.

The tank’s commander sight is currently equipped with an image converter (IC) tube-based sight. This is used for viewing in very low visibility conditions, mainly during night-time.

The Indian Army is seeking a replacement for the IC based sight.

As per the needs of the service, BEL teamed up with the Defence Research and Development Organisation, and built an advanced sight based on mid-wave thermal image (MWIR).

The new indigenously developed sight makes use of a thermal imager, and a laser ranger finder (LRF).

The operator can detect targets at distances of up to 8km using a thermal imager during the day and night, and the LRF can accurately capture the target up to a range of 5km.

This capability allows the tank’s commander to detect, engage, and destroy targets with precision.

According to information provided by the MoD, the sight was put through extensive evaluations, and successfully completed testing under field conditions.

In 2018, BEL and L&T signed an agreement to develop products and solutions for the Indian Armed Forces.