1st May : Armour Day is celebrated each year on 01 May to commemorate the commencement of mechanization of the Indian cavalry regiments. On this date in 1938, the Scinde Horse became the first regiment to shed their horses and convert to tanks. The first equipment was the Vickers light tanks and Chevrolet armoured cars.
In 1943 Indian Armour was equipped with the comparatively modern Sherman tanks (M4) of American origin. Expansion and modernisation of the Armoured Corps was initiated post independence with Centurions Mark 7 and AMX-13 light tanks. Since then the Armoured Corps has operated the indigenous Vijayanta tank, the Russian T-54 and T-55 tanks and the T-72 main battle tank which has been the workhorse of the corps for the past three decades.
Man and machine gave a sterling performance in the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965 by decimating the sophisticated Pakistani Patton tanks to form the famous graveyard, “Patton Nagar” near Khemkaran in Punjab. Lt Col AB Tarapore was posthumously honoured with the Param Vir Chakra for his gallant action against the Pakistanis in the Shakargarh bulge. The Corps covered itself with glory again in the 1971 war with Pakistan wherein tanks were at the forefront of action in the Western and Eastern fronts. 2nd Lt Arun Khetarpal fought gallantly and made the supreme sacrifice in the battle of Basantar River earning his regiment, The Poona Horse, yet another Param Vir Chakra.
The corps contributes substantially to the anti insurgency operations at any given time. This includes service with the Rashtriya Rifles, Assam Rifles and other Para Military Forces. The corps is also doing its share for world peace by contributing a small contingent to the UN peace keeping mission in Lebanon.
The armoured corps has remained the arm of decision with its characteristic flexibility and ability to adapt new technology and armoured formations are increasingly referred to as instruments of national power. Thus, mechanized forces are the basic forces capable of achieving the desired strategic aim in the plains, be it on the borders or in the heartland of the enemy.
Today, the armoured corps is in the process of modernisation. The existing fleet is being refurbished and is being made at par with the best. Legacy equipment is being phased out and new systems are being put into place.