Indian Army Armoured Corps
Indian Armoured Corps Insignia (India).svg

Symbol of Indian Armoured Corps
Active1941 - Present
Country India
Branch Indian Army
RoleArmoured Combat
Size67 Armoured regiments[1]

The Indian Army Armoured Corps is one of the combat arms of the Indian Army. Tracing its origins from the first regiment formed in 1776, the present corps was formed in 1947 from two-thirds of the personnel and assets of the Raj's Indian Armoured Corps. It currently consists of 67 armoured regiments, including the President's Bodyguards.[1]

9th Hodson's Horse (Bengal Lancers), Indian Army, near Vraignes, France, April 1917.
9th Hodson's Horse (Bengal Lancers), Indian Army, near Vraignes, France, April 1917.

School and Centre

The Armoured Corps School and Centre (ACC&S) is located in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. In 1921, six Armoured Car companies arrived and in 1924 the Royal Tank Corps School was established at Ahmednagar to train the personnel of the Royal Tank Corps. This school was the forerunner of the Fighting Vehicle School, which began to impart to driving & maintenance training. The Fighting Vehicle School along with the Machine Gun School, the training regiments, the recruit training centre, Armoured Corps Depot and Armoured Corps Records were amalgamated to form the present school and centre in 1948.[2]

Indian Armoured Corps in a Sherman III tank in the Middle East, March 1944.
Indian Armoured Corps in a Sherman III tank in the Middle East, March 1944.

Armour Day

The Armoured Corps of Indian Army celebrates 'Armour Day' on 1 May. It was on this day in 1938 that Scinde Horse became the first regiment to dismount from their horses and move to tanks.[3] The first equipment inducted were Vickers Light Tanks and Chevrolet Armoured Cars.[4]

A Sherman tank of the Indian Armoured Corps on the road to Rangoon, Burma Campaign.
A Sherman tank of the Indian Armoured Corps on the road to Rangoon, Burma Campaign.

Naming Convention of the Armoured Regiments

The naming of the regiments reflects its historical origins. The terms Cavalry, Horse and Lancers, which have been dispensed with in the case of units raised post-independence, are historical legacies from the raising and renaming of these units when part of the East India Company's army and/or later the British Indian Army.[citation needed]

The Vijayanta - main battle tank of the Indian Army between 1965 and the early 2000s.
The Vijayanta - main battle tank of the Indian Army between 1965 and the early 2000s.

Composition of an Armoured Regiment

An armoured corps regiment is commanded by a Colonel ranked officer, who is known as the Commandant of the Unit. An armoured regiment comprises 3 Sabre Squadrons and a Headquarter Squadron. Each squadron is commanded by a Major ranked officer. He holds the appointment of a Squadron Commander.[5]

An Armoured Regiment has around 45 to 50 tanks in all. Each Sabre Squadron consists of 14-15 tanks and one Armoured Recovery Vehicle. 3 tanks are assigned to the Headquarter Squadron, including that of the commandant.[6] Each squadron consists of four troops, each consisting of 3 tanks.[7]

Tanks of the Indian Army Armoured Corps and BMP-2 IFVs during a training exercise in 2006.
Tanks of the Indian Army Armoured Corps and BMP-2 IFVs during a training exercise in 2006.

Black Beret

The officers and troops of Armoured Corps regiments wear the Black Berets as opposed to the rifle green and blue coloured berets which are worn by the regiments of other arms and services respectively. The Black Beret gives the Tankman a distinct identity of their own within the Army fold.[5]

MBT Arjun MK1A
MBT Arjun MK1A
MBT Arjun MK1
MBT Arjun MK1


The Armoured Corps of the Indian Army is currently equipped with the following tanks-

T-90 tank
T-90 tank
T-72 tank
T-72 tank
Armoured Corps Centre and School, Ahmednagar
Armoured Corps Centre and School, Ahmednagar

List of regiments

The list of regiments forming part of the Armoured Corps of the Indian Army is as follows. This list is as per unit serial number but not as per the order of precedence of the Indian Army. In that list, The President's Bodyguard is first, but is followed by 16 Light Cavalry, 7 Light Cavalry, 8 Cavalry and 1st Horse. As a matter of tradition, each Armoured Regiment has its own "Colonel of the Regiment", an honorary post for a senior officer who oversees the regimental issues concerning the unit.[8]

Name Other Name(s) Raising Date Raising Commander Raising Location Current Location References Tank
President's Bodyguard 1773 New Delhi Horse
1st Horse Skinner's Horse, The Yellow Boys 23 February 1803 Col James Skinner Hansi [9] T-72
2nd Lancers Gardner's Horse 1809 Lt Col William Gardner Farrukhabad and Mainpuri [10] T-72
3rd Cavalry 1822 [11] T-72
4 Horse Hodson's Horse, Flamingoes 1857 Brevet Major WSR Hodson Punjab [12] T-72
5th Armoured Regiment** 1 December 1983 Lt Col JPS Hanspal Jodhpur Patiala [13][14] T-90
6th Lancers*** 1 February 1984 Lt Col RS Deol, SM Nabha
7th Light Cavalry 3rd Madras Lancers, 28th Light Cavalry 1784 T-72
8th Light Cavalry 5th Madras Native Cavalry, 1st Madras Native Cavalry, 4th Nizam of Hyderabad's Contingent Cavalry, 30th Lancers (Gordon's Horse), 26th Prince of Wales' Own Cavalry, 26th King George's Own Cavalry, 8th King George's Own Light Cavalry 23 Oct 1787 Maj Henry Darley Arcot T-72
9th Deccan Horse The Royal Deccan Horse 1790
10th Armoured Regiment 16 April 1984 Lt Col Kulwant Singh Ahmednagar T-72
11th Armoured Regiment 7 May 1984 Lt Col Harjeet Singh Lamba Kaluchak
12th Armoured Regiment Barsinghas 1 October 1984 Lt Col LR Vaid Kapurthala T-90
13th Armoured Regiment Triskaideca, Nightstrikers 21 December 1984 Lt Col Balram Singh Mehta Ahmednagar T-90
14 Horse The Scinde Horse 8 August 1839 Captain W Ward Hyderabad, Sindh [15] T-72
15th Armoured Regiment 1 March 1985 Lt Col MD Law Mamun T-90
16th Light Cavalry 1776 T-72
17 Horse The Poona Horse, Fakr-e-Hind 15 July 1817 Sirur [16] T-72
18 Cavalry 31 January 1842 Amritsar [17][18] T-72
19th Armoured Regiment Invincibles 25 March 1985 Ahmednagar T-90
20th Lancers 1857/1858
Re-raised 10 July 1956
Lt Col Umrao Singh Ahmednagar T-72
Central India Horse 21st King George V's Own Horse 1857 Captain Henry Otway Mayne [19][20]
41st Armoured Regiment 1 July 1980 Lt Col JP Singh Ahmednagar [13] T-72
42nd Armoured Regiment 1 January 1981 Lt Col Ranjit Talwar Babina [13] T-90
43rd Armoured Regiment Charioteers 1981 Lt Col BM Kapur Ahmednagar [13][21] Arjun Mk1
44 Armoured Regiment 15 December 1981 Lt Col DS Dhillon Ahmednagar [13][22][23] T-72
45th Cavalry Paintalis Risala 16 May 1965 Lt Col SK Candade New Delhi Suratgarh, Rajasthan [13] T-90
46th Armoured Regiment Thunderbolts 1 July 1982 Lt Col Prithpal Singh Sandhu Ahmednagar [13][24][25] T-72
47th Armoured Regiment Penetrators 15 November 1982 Lt Col Tejvir Singh Sirohi Babina Sikkim [26][27] T-72
48th Armoured Regiment 1 December 1982 Lt Col DS Dhadwal Meerut T-90
49th Armoured Regiment Falcons 1 October 1983 Lt Col JPS Nakai Ahmednagar Jodhpur
50 Armoured Regiment Fear Naught July 1989 Lt Col AK Bhatia Ahmednagar [28][29] T-72
51 Armoured Regiment The Unicorn 15 July 1989 Lt Col RS Gill T-72
52 Armoured Regiment 1 February 1994 Col Jugvir Singh Roorkee T-72
53 Armoured Regiment 1 April 2002 [30]
54 Armoured Regiment 1 July 2010 [31] T-90
55 Armoured Regiment T-90
56 Armoured Regiment Lionhearts 1 October 2011 [32]
57 Armoured Regiment
58 Armoured Regiment T-90
59 Armoured Regiment
60 Armoured Regiment Panthers 2019 Ahmednagar [33] T-90
61 Cavalry 1 October 1953 Lt Col Phulel Singh Gwalior Horse
62 Cavalry 31 March 1957 Lt Col RS Butalia Ambala Dehradun [34] T-72
63 Cavalry Tresath 2 January 1957 Lt Col Harmandar Singh Alwar T-72
64 Cavalry 31 March 1966 Lt Col Trevor Lancelot Perry Babina
65 Armoured Regiment 1 September 1966 Lt Col KK Kaul T-72
66 Armoured Regiment 1 September 1966 Lt Col Narinder Singh Ahmednagar T-72
67 Armoured Regiment 15 September 1967 Lt Col Niranjan Singh Cheema T-72
68 Armoured Regiment Gladiators 1 March 1968 Lt Col RN Thumby T-72
69 Armoured Regiment 1 October 1968 Ahmednagar [35] T-72
70 Armoured Regiment 11 February 1968 Lt Col R Christian Ahmednagar Raised as 70 Guided Missile Regiment T-90
71 Armoured Regiment 1 January 1971 Lt Col BS Chimni Ahmednagar T-90
72 Armoured Regiment The Chhamb Knights 1 July 1971 Lt Col Inderjit Chopra Ahmednagar Jaisalmer youngest armd regt of the indian army to be blooded in war T-90
73 Armoured Regiment The Desert Rats 3 Dec 1971 Lt Col KM Dhody Ahmednagar T-90
74 Armoured Regiment 1 Jun 1972 Lt Col KS Khajuria Ahmednagar T-90
75 Armoured Regiment 12 March 1972 Lt Col Vijai Singh Sakna Jaisalmer Only regiment to be raised on foreign soil[36][21] Arjun Mk1
76 Armoured Regiment 21 March 1985 Ahmednagar T-72
81 Armoured Regiment 1 October 1973
82 Armoured Regiment Toofan-e-hind 1 Oct 1975 Lt Col Moti Lal Dhar T-72
83 Armoured Regiment 1 Jan 1976 Ahmednagar [37] T-90
84 Armoured Regiment 1 July 1976 Lt Col Tarif Singh Dhiyia Ahmednagar Pathankot [38][29] T-72
85 Armoured Regiment 1 October 1976 Lt Col DP Singh Ahmednagar Nyoma [39] T-72
86 Armoured Regiment Chhiassi 1 March 1977 Lt Col NS Malik Ahmednagar Nabha [36] T-90
87 Armoured Regiment Lightning Streaks Regiment 1 July 1979 Lt Col DD Singh Ahmednagar Suratgarh [40] T-72
88 Armoured Regiment September 1979 Lt Col Iesh Rikhy Ahmednagar [41] T-72
89 Armoured Regiment 1 February 1980 Lt Col KL Bakshi Ahmednagar Namkum [42] T-72
90 Armoured Regiment 15 August 1979 Lt Col Manjit Singh Sawhney Pawan Da Chak Amritsar

** The original 5th Horse (Probyn's) was transferred to Pakistan in 1947.

*** Original 6th Duke of Connaught's Own Lancers was transferred to Pakistan in 1947.


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Further reading