The Indian Army’s battle tank T-55 was unveiled Thursday on the campus of Rajkumar College (RKC) in Rajkot. The T-55 battle tanks, designed by Soviet Russia and considered the best in their class at the time, played a critical role in India’s victory in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war, which resulted in the formation of Bangladesh.
During 1966-67, India purchased T-55 tanks in various batches from Russia, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. The T-55s were eventually phased out of the army and are now classified as derelict and war trophies. Those classified as derelict are used for weapons training, while those classified as war trophies are displayed in public. The tank was purchased by RKC from the Central Armoured Fighting Vehicle Depot in Pune via the Ministry of Defence’s Directorate of Ordnance.
‘We are sure the display of the war trophy tank T55 in the school campus will continue to motivate more students of our school as well as other youths from our city to join the forces,’ the school stated in a release. With this, RKC becomes the first non-military school in Gujarat to have a war trophy tank installed on its campus.
Sujan Chinoy, director general of the Manohar Parrikar Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis and a former Indian ambassador to Japan and Mexico, unveiled the tank in the presence of Lieutenant General KS Brar, director general of the Indian Army’s armoured corps, and officers from the National Cadet Corps.
In addition, a decommissioned Indian Air Force Mig-27 fighter jet is on display in the city’s Kotecha Chowk. As a result, the T-55 battle tank became Rajkot’s second war trophy.
Chinoy, an alumnus of RKC, said he felt getting a battle tank installed in the college after finding one in Rajkumar College, Raipur in Chhattisgarh last year.