Thursday, 25 March 2010

Arjun tank outruns, outguns Russian T-90



Left: With Maj Gen HM Singh, who spent three decades of his career as a tankman, guiding the Arjun development




Right: A comparative chart, snapped by me at the CVRDE, Chennai, comparing the performance of the Arjun with the world's major Main Battle Tanks (MBTs)


by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 25th Mar 2010

India’s home-built Arjun tank has emerged a conclusive winner from its showdown with the Russian T-90. A week of comparative trials, conducted by the army at the Mahajan Ranges, near Bikaner in Rajasthan, has ended; the results are still officially secret. But Business Standard has learned from multiple sources who were involved in the trials that the Arjun tank has outperformed the T-90 on every crucial parameter.

The trial pitted one squadron (14 tanks) of Arjuns against an equal number of T-90s. Each squadron was given three tactical tasks; each involved driving across 50 kilometers of desert terrain and then shooting at a set of targets. Each tank had to fire at least ten rounds, stationary and on the move, with each hit being carefully logged. In total, each tank drove 150 kilometres and fired between 30-50 rounds. The trials also checked the tanks’ ability to drive through a water channel 5-6 feet deep.

The Arjun tanks, the observers all agreed, performed superbly. Whether driving cross-country over rugged sand-dunes; detecting, observing and quickly engaging targets; or accurately hitting targets, both stationery and moving, with pinpoint gunnery; the Arjun demonstrated a clear superiority over the vaunted T-90.

“The Arjun could have performed even better, had it been operated by experienced crewmen”, says an officer who has worked on the Arjun. “As the army’s tank regiments gather experience on the Arjun, they will learn to exploit its capabilities.”

With the trial report still being compiled --- it is expected to reach Army Headquarters after a fortnight --- neither the army, nor the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO), which developed the Arjun tank in Chennai at the Central Vehicles R&D Establishment (CVRDE), are willing to comment officially about the trials.

The importance of this comparative trial can be gauged from a list of those who attended. Witnessing the Arjun in action were most of the army’s senior tank generals, including the Director General of Mechanised Forces, Lt Gen D Bhardwaj; strike corps commander, Lt Gen Anil Chait; Army Commander South, Lt Gen Pradeep Khanna; and Deputy Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen JP Singh. The Director General of Military Operations, Lt Gen AS Sekhon also attended the trials.

Over the last four months, the army had systematically signalled that it did not want to buy more Arjuns. The message from senior officers was: 124 Arjun tanks have been bought already; no more would be ordered for the army’s fleet of 4000 tanks. The comparative trial, or so went the message, was merely to evaluate what operational role could be given to the army’s handful of Arjuns.

“The senior officers who attended the trials were taken aback by the Arjun’s strong performance”, an army officer who was present through the trials frankly stated. “But they were also pleased that the Arjun had finally come of age.”

The army’s Directorate General of Mechanised Forces (DGMF), which has bitterly opposed buying more Arjuns, will now find it difficult to sustain that opposition. In keeping out the Arjun, the DGMF has opted to retain the already obsolescent T-72 tank in service for another two decades, spending thousands of crores in upgrading its vintage systems.

Now, confronted with the Arjun’s demonstrated capability, the army will face growing pressure to order more Arjuns.

The current order of 124 Arjuns is equipping the army’s 140 Armoured Brigade in Jaisalmer. With that order almost completed, the Arjun production line at the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) in Avadi, near Chennai, needs more orders urgently. The Rs 50 crore facility can churn out 50 Arjuns annually. That would allow for the addition of close to one Arjun regiment each year (a regiment is authorised 62 tanks).

Tank experts point out that conducting trials only in Mahajan does not square with the army’s assertion that they are evaluating a role for the Arjun. Says Major General HM Singh, who oversaw the Arjun’s development for decades, “If they were evaluating where the Arjun should be deployed, they should have conducted the trials in different types of terrain: desert, semi-desert, plains and riverine. It seems as if the army has already decided to employ the Arjun in the desert.”

The Arjun’s sterling performance in the desert raises another far-reaching question: should the Arjun --- with its proven mobility, firepower and armour protection --- be restricted to a defensive role or should it equip the army’s strike corps for performing a tank’s most devastating (and glamorous) role: attacking deep into enemy territory during war? Each strike corps has 8-9 tank regiments. If the army recommends the Arjun for a strike role, that would mean an additional order of about 500 Arjuns.

But Business Standard has learned that senior officers are hesitant to induct the Arjun into strike corps. Sources say that the Arjun will be kept out of strike formations on the grounds that it is incompatible with other strike corps equipment, e.g. assault bridges that cannot bear the 60-tonne weight of the Arjun.

158 comments:

Anonymous said...

Induct Arjun in large numbers. We need atleast 1000 Arjun-I's and 1000 Arjun-II's. T-90's are already there so about 1600 of them as planned. Taking India's tank total to 3600 which is below the required strength of 4000+.

Anonymous said...

Ajai, Thanks for the informative article! Have you spoken to the officers and jawans operating these tanks? How do they like the Arjun? What are their opinions on Arjun as compared to T-90/T-72 on these issues:

1. Crew comfort
2. Ease of operation
3. Maintenance of the tank
4. Reliability of the tank

BTW, is it the 340(I) armd regt or 140 regiment? Is 140 a new regiment being raised?

wilson said...

the comparative chart arjun/t-90
makes me think what the army is fussing about.Unless we support Indian achievements, the industry
can never develop and mature .My sincere advise to the army is to stop bickering,cut the crap and move on with the Arjun.

Sparsh said...

Col. Shukla,

>> The current order of 124 Arjuns is
>> equipping the army’s 140 Armoured
>> Brigade in Jaisalmer

When did 24 Division's Armoured brigade move to Jaisalmer? If I recall correctly, it used to be in Bikaner.

the terminator said...

If there was ever an Indian Army officer who was not in favour of indigenisation and Indian made military hardware, that distinction must be the sole propriety of Lt. Gen. Bhardwaj, the DGMF of the Indian Army.

He is so myopic and biased against anything Indian that he would unashamedly opt for anything that has a foreign tag.

When the Arjun has been improved and ungraded time and again just to please the Army officers even though it has consistantly outperformed the Army's quality requirements, people like Bhardwaj have been clinging on to rust buckets such as T-72.

Even when the Arjun has proved beyond any doubt to be a better tank than the much vaunted T-90, it is criminal and tantamount to being traitors when the Army does not want it in its strike forces. If a proven tank is not to be an offencive weapon of choice, it shows how obsessed the Army is with its Russian equipment.

So long as the GOI and MOD listens to people like Bhardwaj. the future of the Indian Army and its readiness to face external threats would be compromised to the detriment of the jawans in the field and the nation as a whole.

Instead of salivating on foreign FMBTs especially from Russia, it would be in India's interest to give DRDO the mandate to come up with an Arjun Mk2 or a very futuristic MBT with all the bells and whistles within a set time frame.

Since time is the essence in any major project, it is imperative the GOI and MOD gives the green light to DRDO without much undue bureaucratic skulduggery.

Anonymous said...

Seems we are getting the fruit of patience & hard work done by the team involved in Arjun project.
Cong. to DRDO & also to the army men who worked with DRDO.

Anonymous said...

You watch a BBC documentary on role of Abraham tanks in Gulf War II. How those 60 ton tanks annihilated T72s operated by Iraqi army. They key to success was fire control system, agility and night vision. Weight was not a constraint at all.

AK said...

Exellent report Ajaiji. DGMF will definitely feel the heat now. It is really amazing that they are upgrading the tin can T-72 while Indian made superior tank languishes in a dark corner.

I bet a lot of Swiss bank accounts will be hurt by this report. Wonder what Mr. Antony and IA will do now to stall this tank in it's track.

Spirit of Exuberance said...

Thanks Ajai,

Nice article. So there are people who still praises Arjun. Atleast the project Arjun should be made feasible by ordering Total 500 Arjuns.

Anonymous said...

Couple of points, Ajai.

1) It is really shameful that IA is not looking at buying a large number of Arjuns even though now it is well established that Arjun is better

2) In the picture which shows how Arjun stacks up against other tanks why is the T-90 missing? Aren't Russians experts in building tanks?

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Thats good, if its true!

Anonymous said...

We need to move now to a heavy tank doctrine. There is no such thing that is simultaneously Safe and Lightweight both.
Then only will everything( bridges, transport aircraft etc) will be compatible with a survivable tank.
Enough of R&D now, even yanks seem to have stopped on it(in Tanks). Just improvise what we have already and induct in large numbers.

Anonymous said...

How can anyone say that a good Tank be kept out of the strike role on the ground of support/logistics!
Can they not be built up?Is it that insurmountable a challenge?
At this rate the army will run out of all valid excuses.
Its more than high time to stop this Theatre of the Absurd.
India can least afford such.

openlight said...

Cheers. Hats off to Arjun team.

At least results of trial translate to more orders and quick development and adaoption by army & DRDO for next iteration - Arjun Mk 2.

Anonymous said...

Namaste Ajai Ji,
Let me be the first one to comment.

Wouhh.. what a wonderful news! Indeed great. Thanks to you for revealing the truth. Kudos to the people behind Arjun Tank.

Couple of queries. The chart doesn't have the T-90 in the list. Being a ex-Army man, how do you compare Arjun Tank with the latest Chinese tank "Type-96"?

Certainly some improvements could have been done/made in view of the future battles, right? Could you explain to us some of them?

Finally, will you conclude that, India has the capacity to produce military machines to the world class?

Once again many thanks!

Regards,
Ravi

openlight said...

Cheers. Hats off to Arjun team.

At least results of trial translate to more orders and quick development and adaoption by army & DRDO for next iteration - Arjun Mk 2.

joydeep ghosh said...

Ajai sir,

I totally agree with Major General HM Singh.

but if I am not wrong, rumors are that there will be still order for 124 to 176 Arjuns. any news on that.

but the DGMF is also correct, isnt it.why? this is why

1. we need to reinforce bridges that can handle these 58 ton behemoth.

2. we need special wider road and rail trailers to transport them across country.

All this will mean extra money spent just to operate Arjuns in which ever role (ofensive or defensive), is that viable.

By the way, I have a few querries.

Q1 Can a country have 2 MBTs.

Q2 Cant we improvise on existing Arjuns to make them more potent weapons.

Q3 Can we add the specialty of Swedish S-tanks (Stridsvagn 103) in Arjuns to make up for the drawback on weight , width and role.

Manu said...

Bum bum bhole!
Allah-o-Akbar!

Thanks for bringing this news to us Ajai - truly and absolutely the best possible news I could have hoped for as far as Arjun is concerned. Yet another sweet victory for DRDO in the recent past. I do hope this translates into more orders from the Army.

I will sleep well tonight, and dream of a giant horde of dusty Arjuns rumbling steadfastly towards Bhawalpur, destroying anything that dares cross their path.

Aarav said...

Hi Ajai Sir,
I thought the Sarvatra Bridge could take the weight of the Arjun, Wasn't it designed for that purpose?

Can the Arjun BLT take the weight of the MBT Arjun?

AK said...

I am a bit surprised that a 52 tonne Centurion tank was operated by India decades ago and never faced any issues. But a 58 tonne tank cannot be operated by the same Army because of lack of infrastructure or whatever.

rsb said...

i do not agree with joydeep ghosh.
And i thank Ajai shukla for reporting the right content.

we have to understand and view the country's growth(defence/ civilian) with a the larger perspective.

india as a country cannot dream of becomming a regional/global superpower while its defence is heavily dependent on imports.

Arjun is an excellent tank. and by international standards its not superheavy.

as to what i believe arjun specific rail carriages have already been made.

if strengthening bridges is the price to be paid for having better defence so be it.

we have learn to boost our own capabilities and competence.

at this point the best way to go would be to induct 500 arjuns in their present form,
and by then DRDO should come out with arjun MK11. with higher powered engine, better sloped armour, urban survival kit.

DRDO should try and make few other arjun operations more and more remote operated eg the antiaircraftgun/HMG should be operable from within the tank.

All in All we should be proud of arjun in its present from and hope that it turns out to be the best tank in the world in the future.

gururaj said...

thanks Ajai sir. great news indeed. drdo needs to be commended for a worthy product, they have brought about.

what i can't understand is how such a potent machine can't be in strike corps?? is creating logistics for the best strike tank secondary to sending our brave soldiers ill protected in an inferior tank?? particularly considering pakistan's T-80 fares much better (going by its specs) against out T-90 even now!!

i keep my fingers crossed, going by army's stubborn attitude so far, on the order of more Arjuns!!

i hope atleast now they wil shed their anti-drdo attitude and learn from their sister wings and help india become immune to foreign arm twists.

btw sir, i commend your mission to bring insightful articles on this whole saga. wish you and the Arjun team and its well wishers a good luck.

Anonymous said...

correct me if iam wrong but road and rail trailers to transport them across country are available? also for how long is the army planning to keep the rust buckets T72's even with the upgrade they are still vulnerable whats the use of spending money on modernisation of these rusties give them to SAIL or a steel company to be melted and the metal extrated for making some thing usefull

Anonymous said...

The weight issue is a lot of hot air IMHO.

It is time to improve the infrastructure of the bridges and roads etc to meet the new weight requirements of the future and not tailor future requirements to the current poor infrastructure.

There are a lot of things that will be 50-60 tons. The road and rail mobile Agni missile will be that heavy too.

The current Arjun is exactly how the Army wanted it to be. One can't lift off QSRs from that list that Ajai has posted and expect a tank to be less than 50 tons.

Although from that picture of the arjun, the exterior needs some major smoothing out. There are too many jutting edges, and adhoc stairs etc. One round of a real battle field and these will be damaged and unusable. The pictures of the inside of the Arjun also display a not too well done interiors.

Anyhow great news. It seems that that army will accept arjun in the numbers that DRDO wants, it is just that the army won't back down and say that it has lost the argument against the Arjun. The Arjun will join incrementally in batches to eventually be in similar numbers as the Tin cans.

joydeep ghosh said...

@rsb

what you dont agree on with me, I cant understand. Also you said "DRDO should try and make few other arjun operations more and more remote operated eg the antiaircraftgun/HMG should be operable from within the tank." that will mean design changes, that not possible now.

Also I never said Arjun is not a good tank. Its one of the best in its class as well as operational requirements with respect to Indian sub continent.

And my friend I think you havent read what Major General HM Singh said.

'with higher powered engine, better sloped armour, urban survival kit'.

Arjun already has 1500 hp engine as to 1000 hp for T-90.

As for my 'Reinforce bridges that can handle these 58 ton behemoth' statement I meant that if Arjun will be used only in desert area (suratgarh, hanumangarh, shakargarh) and not other areas will certainly limit Arjun's operational capability.

Which in effect means a either a defensive role or limited sphere of action for Arjun.

This while the T-90 in strike corps will operate across any part of the country.

Think about it.

@ Anonymous 12:45

transports available or not, point is that for every Arjun there has to be sppecial carraige which cant be used for T-90s. Get it.

Also your SAIL idea looks pretty good but impractical.

@anonymous 14:53
'The road and rail mobile Agni missile will be that heavy too.'

Are you trying to say we can use missile carriages to transport Arjuns.

My Agni can do its job by staying 000s of kilometers away from border while Arjun wil have to do it job on the border.

Broadsword said...

Anonymous 07:57:

The officers and jawans of 43 Armoured Regiment like the Arjun. They have always said that the Arjun would blow away the T-90 in trials or in war.

It is 140 Armoured Brigade, as the article states.

Joydeep Ghosh:

We already have the Sarvatra bridge, which can take a load of 70 tonnes. The latest T-72 Bridge Layer Tank has also been designed for the Arjun.

Rail and road wagons have already been designed and produced for the Arjun

Anonymous said...

Also if the Army is so keen on keeping the T-72's. it is better to upgrade them to Tank ex. The same superior fire power, protection with lesser weight can be a good option rather than keeping the Tin can T-72's. Also scrap the T-90's for about 2000 Arjun to be produce over a period of next ten years. Mass production by Avadi and BHEL is the way to go forward.

Anonymous said...

Also Bridges meant for Arjun can also be utilized by the T-90's and T-72's. So BLT Arjun and standardize on the Arjun, everything else will fit in as well. Sad that the Army did not understand this.

Anonymous said...

T-72's 55's are all useless and need to be replaced immediately and the Mainstay must be Arjun and if the Army requires it, T-90's. But a large number of Arjun's will be really benefiting the nation. Also anything built for the Arjun can also carry the T-90's. Be it the transporters or the Bridges. So what's the problem Indian Army DGMF?

joydeep ghosh said...

But Ajai sir you also said in your article

'Sources say that the Arjun will be kept out of strike formations on the grounds that it is incompatible with other strike corps equipment, e.g. assault bridges that cannot bear the 60-tonne weight of the Arjun.'

Arent you giving contradicting statement, one in article and another in comments.

joydeep ghosh said...

By the way Ajai sir

Can we add the specialty of titled aim capability of Swedish S-tanks (Stridsvagn 103) in Arjuns to make up for the drawback on weight , width and role.

Whats your take on that.

Anonymous said...

I am too curious to know about Arjun-1 and Arjun-2 tanks. Is it completely being made in India or some of the parts are imported(10, 20, 30, 40, or 90, 100%). And we just collate those parts and call Arjun as 'OURS'

Anonymous said...

Congrats to you Ajayji for bringing this great news to us.

hearest Congratulations to DRDO team and the officers and jawans of 43 Armoured Regiment, who have competed with the best tank crews of IA for T 90S.

Finally congratulations to all those who have believe in Arjun tank.

As far as Lt. Gen. Bhardwaj (DGMF) is concern be better resign from his job.

plus an enquiry has to be order against all those who have systematically tried to derail induction of Arjun tank.

as some one has posted that this trial/report is going to hurt many including their Swiss bank accounts.

As per the Standing committee report we need 3800 modern tank.

We better have large number of Arjun tank and rest Arjun MK-II tanks.

indranil said...

Hi ajai!
Can you tell me what are the advantages/ disadvantages of a rifled main gun vs a smoothbore one?

Anonymous said...

Ajayji perhaps you should try invite the opponents and proponents of the Arjun tank to answer a set of relevant questions posted by people on your blog.So you choose a set of best questions which both parties will try to answer to try remove any doubts from our minds.

vineet said...

sarvatra bridges are still in production. May be army has few of them. Ajay i saw this article somewhere else also. Please post updates as you get them.

If army is taking some decision there must be reason, or they are not looking into all the perspectives.

Munish said...

Thanks for excellent information about the trails.

Can you tell when the report will be submitted by evaluation committee.

Anonymous said...

For those who think Arjun would might be a burden because of infrastructure, to be frank we are insulting our nation's intelligence.

I can understand if Army unexpectedly got Arjun as a christmas gift last year, then they have worry about the infrastructure.

For God's sake every one's dad know that Arjun is been developed for the 20 odd years and it is on it's way in to the force.If some one in the Army forgot a "tiny aspect" of upgrading the infra, then it is a straight forward insult to Army and nation's intelligent.

We are a bunch of fools. Simple as that.

And for the writer who mentioned about building new trains to transport Arjun, ever wondered how Arjun landed in Rajasthan from Avadi,Tamilnadu in the first place!

Anonymous said...

Ajayji can you pls show us a vedio of Arjun firing & moving fast enough as we see in exercise. I have a seen several vedios, showing Arjun driven by civilian in slow motion but not the actual battle going one.

Anonymous said...

@ joydeep ghosh, can a country have 2 MBT ?

how many do we have now, let's count !

T-90, T-72, T-55, vijayanta, that makes FOUR.

Anonymous said...

That's some wonderful insight Ajai.

Also read the one posted by Shiv.

Well while the army will have to induct more Arjuns, Shiv's article also makes sense.

Now, Army wants a futuristic battle tank.

Okay, so have they decided on how and what it's supposed to be and has this been put across to the DRDO to look into.

No.

It says about better synergy these days, wish that continues.

Now again, Why did Arjun become overweight, what inputs did Army give or help DRDO , not known.

However, Army does not want more Arjuns at least in greater number and wants further improvements in the platform. self protection yes that's valid and DRDO will come up with a useful plan.

So, where does the T-90 fit in teh Army's futuristic battle tank vision in numbers. ( Well, let me clarify I'm a huge fan of T-90 and it's features and abilities).

What does the Army want and better lay it down and work on it. For even with a Futuristic battle tank it needs to a two tank theory not a one tank.

So, the faster the Army comes clear faster the work would begin on a Futuristic MBT, Army in the meanwhile may also consider the second tank with russia or whoever.

Surely unless it's unmanned it not going to be lower than 60 tons.

World well wisher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ravi said...

I came across a news report today that Indian Army and IAF want Arjun and LCA to be scrapped as they say these are the weapons of yesterday. It would be a great disservice to the nation if so much effort and money goes down the drain because of stubbornness of the armed forces.

Anonymous said...

@ joydeep ghosh

Arent you giving contradicting statement, one in article and another in comments.


no and no. please read and understand, he is talking of the opinion of people in the article. in the comments he is saying the reality.

joydeep ghosh said...

By the way Ajai sir

Can we add the specialty of titled aim capability of Swedish S-tanks (Stridsvagn 103) in Arjuns to make up for the drawback on weight , width and role.

Whats your take on that.

you are making absolutely NO sense whatsoever do you know that ??

what drawbacks of arjun are you talking about ? neither the weight nor width (drawback of role ? is that even english ?) of arjun is a drawback.
there were certain performance criteria set by the army's GSQR and arjun's width and weight are necessary to fulfill it. the weight allows it to have superb protection, it still has enough engine power and low ground pressure to be much more agile than t-90 or t-72.
the width is also necessary to accommodate all the stuff that makes arjun a world class tank, it's a tank, not a scooter.

coming to the s-tank, it was a complete freak that was ABSOLUTELY USELESS outside sweden's very limited ultra-defensive needs. that's the reason why no one else copied, arjun is a thousand times better tank than the s-tank.
and the swedes use leopard tanks now, having retired the s-tank 15 years back.

seriously, do you even know what you are talking about ?

Gagan said...

I was talking to a JCO from one of the tank regiments that has experience with the Arjun. This was 5+ years ago.

He mentioned a few things.
1. The Arjun because of its width jutted out about a foot each on the sides of the railway carriages. While loading it on, the tank crew had to take a lot of time correctly aligning it correctly. He mentioned that there was a real danger that the tank's belt might be damaged if it hit some obstacle.
2. This was years ago, and the crew were still not comfortable with imported stuff. They mentioned that a lot of stuff was imported, and there was no concept of repair. Things had to be replaced.
3. On crew comfort, he did mention that the tank was 'somewhat' more comfortable.
His impression was that this was an unecessarily big tank.

That having been said, a lot of water has flown down the ganges. I would love to hear from the crew who are running the arjun. The army now has railway carriages which are raised up 1 feet or so so that the tank belt does not scrape the sides of the platforms when it crosses them at high speed.
The railway's complain that railway bridges will have to be strengthened if a train that has 30 odd arjuns on it were to pass by on a track. But ongoing railway development projects will have taken care of this.

Great article Ajai-sir, please be a little more candid about both the pluses and the minuses of the Arjun.

But I agree that the arjun does need a cosmetic surgeon's touch to improve its aesthetics a bit - its one ugly looking beast :-)

Anonymous said...

one small question to the author of this article is that why the heck is army shying away from arjun. when our RM crows that indegenous is the nature of the game Do u want to convey to us that IA is rotten to the core.

Anonymous said...

Fire Bharadwaj and others will fall in line. Set the precedent once or else for years to come this indigenous capability killing mafia will keep promoting their ilk.

NJS said...

Firstly india should increase Sanctioned strength of MBT(right now india army is in level of 4,000 nos mbt , govt need to increase the sanctioned level to atleast 5,000 nos , than army may not stop production level of arjun . Atleast india should place order for another 300 - 400 nos of arjun , to keep project live .

Block 2 should be made with some suitable better modifications like reduce weight , because our structural bridges are not capable to operate 52 ton weight, than structure suitable for transport by rail routes.

Current Block 1 has very best anti-tank missile LAHAT (israel).

joydeep ghosh said...

@ anonymous 22:40

my friend T-55, vijayanta, have been al scraped or used for target practice. Only a few Vijayantas are in reserve as there guns are though to be in supreme condition.

Hynniewtrep said...

Your report differs completely from that of Shiv Arror on livefist blog.
Now I really wonder where does the Arjun stand.

devindra sethi said...

The US Army has been in Iraq since 1990 and despite their love for the M1Abrams tank, they feel they need a 'heavier'tank with all bells and whistles for the next war.Off the record they concede India has a winner in the present ARJUN.The next campaign will need a 70 ton T-Rex to take on ATGMS is their sane advice.The Israelis now concede that the Merkava too needs an 'IRON FIST' UPGRADE very very soon.With these inputs from the battle zones across many forums, time to reconsider every issue wrt ARJUN by our army&MOD.It appears we have a winner from Avadi.GO FOR IT and train hard as the Chinese have their own MBT T96 in Tibet.

Anonymous said...

gagan, your JCO is lying, he has no experience on arjun, in the T-90's trials the driver fainted of heat, the arjun crew however drives for 100's of km on end. the LED based ergonomics on arjun is generations ahead of anything the T-90 features.

your JCO thinks this is a big tank ? big wrt what ? is it better to ride a bigger tank or a destroyed tank ? ask him next time.

no concept of repair ? what a bl@@dy liar !

is the arjun ugly ? nothing is more ugly than a burning tin-can tank. ;)

Anonymous said...

joydeep ghosh said...

@ anonymous 22:40

my friend T-55, vijayanta, have been al scraped or used for target practice. Only a few Vijayantas are in reserve as there guns are though to be in supreme condition.

joydeep where did you get such information ? it's completely wrong. the project gulmohar T-55s are still well in service in the divisional armoured regiments.

as are a number of vijayantas, not because of their gun, whose quality is nothing to write home about. you might want to check where you get your info from, someone been's feeding you cock and bull stories. ;)

Marcus said...

From the articule is seems that the tank is really first rate. It is well like by its operators. What more can you ask.

You had some of the most important members of the brass there. These guys have spent their whole lives thinking and putting india first, irrespective of what arm chair generals think. Also remember these guys know who they could be facing in a war which can hot up very quickly.

So the question is why don't they REALLY like the tank?

Pratik Khadloya said...

This is one part of the trial.
What about the durability? Would the Arjun be capable of doing it over and over again at the same capability for years in all weather conditions?

This, we'll only know when we actually start using the Arjun. Probably this is ALSO the reason Army is not comfortable with inducting the Arjun as a main strike tank yet.

Kartik said...

To the Anonymous guy who wanted to see the Arjun firing on the move..

see this video and listen to what the gunner has to say.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqnfmiUnZCM

go to the

"Its firing accuracy is far better than other tanks. It can easily fire on the move at the target even at 25 kmph. And its firing rate in both day and night conditions is very good."

joydeep ghosh said...

@ anonymous 06:35

My friend I was talking about the ability of S-Tank to raise and lower its position with help of something like couplers attached to the belts.

That allowed them to shoot farther and even from uneven terrains.

Think about it.

nithin said...

Defence news website
http://indiandefencedirectory.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

WELL most people here are all praise for the Abrams tank what they dont realise its a hungry tank you need 7trucks for 1 tank to keep its gas turbine engine on the go. its Auxiliary power unit is exposed the T-90 does not possess these drawbacks though its not invincible as to the Arjun DRDO is to be blame

Ghorcharrah Gabbar said...

There's a bogey at work here.. The Americans habitually announce (or rarely contest claims) that their pilots lost out in mock aerial combat to Indians / Israelis / XXX - the admission or announcement is not professionally honest but a means to induce Congressional-panic to accelerate funding or acquisition for newer weapons & craft. Maybe the T-90 'loss' to the Arjun may unintentionally spur the Russians to transfer (ToT) crucial upgrades to the T-90 & T-72 tank families serving India. I can think of 125 mm (2A46M) gun barrel manufacture technology - its crucial & critical.

As far as comparative trials go - this one was hot air. A poorly conceived weighted performance matrix drawn up by a couple of young Majors who thought they knew it all on the retarde Tank Technology Course the Army runs for its mechanised arms. Check out the comparative trials done when the Brazilian MBT EE-T1 Osório prototype was pitted with contemporary stalwarts in the Saudi tank selection trials at http://www.forte.jor.br/1-ee-t1-osorio/ [translate through Google Translate] or at http://www.forte.jor.br/index.php?s=Osorio (haven't really browsed much there yet)

The British follow the concept in trials, especially in comparative trials, of a Battlefield Day. In the Reliability Growth Trials for the Challenger 2, trials were conducted for 285 battlefield days - each battlefield day comprising of 27 km road travel, 33 km cross-country travel, firing 34 rounds of main armament, 1000 rounds of the secondary armament, 16 continuous hours of operating the weapon systems (powered gun controls, FCS, thermal sights, communication equipment et al, 10 hours of main engine idling & 3.5 hours of main engine idling at various speeds [refer Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank 1987-2006 By Simon Dunstan, Tony Bryanthe ] The Indian Trials of Truth were a sham by these standards. Pity... the T-90 is another armoured coffin like the MiG-21 BIS of yore. You have to hear the shocking stories from T-90 tankers about the reliability aspect & with HVF jumping into the assembly / manufacture fray it's gonna be the T-72 Ajay quality-assurance nightmare all over again. The black berets have now earned & deserve the brickbats & de-merits foisted on them by the quota-system of promotions & vacancies. Hoohah !!

manu sood said...

Armed forces people I spoke to say that the weight and width problem (left out in the CVRDE comparison) means that the Sarvatra bridges cannot be used. Hence Arjun no good for crossing ditch cum bunds in South Kashmir and Punjab and hence Arjun will only be deployed in the desert. My sources say that the armed forces are not opposed to Arjun, they just want CVRDE to give them Arjun MKII with changes. I have done a follow up article on the issues here http://bit.ly/bR8G4B

Typhoon said...

Well the T-95 could get displayed at Russian Expo Arms in Nizhny Tagil this year, might make some interesting viewing...

Ghorcharrah Gabbar said...

DRDO-bashing is a favourite idlers' past-time in the Army. I wonder if the Arjun was a TATA product or a Bofors one - the Army would have been 'sold' over its performance. It's our good fortune that we have a say - however ignorant it may be - in product improvement. For the scores of doubting thomases out there donning the black beret - the OFB has developed a new 125 mm smoothbore barrel that has a remarkably high fatigue life 1700 EFC. Its called the T-72 auto-frettage barrel 2A46 Maple . Army sources have corroborated the same coyly after it was revealed that the very same people had rejected the effort prematurely as another DRDO/OFB self-promotional stunt. The barrel has been tried out by the Israelis & found to be outstanding in its performance & fatigue/wear-endurance. they are in the process of developing the ballistic data for their ammunition fired from the Indian barrel. Check out mid-page at http://ofbindia.gov.in/units/index.php?unit=ofc&page=my_3&lang=en Rise & shine yo boys in black !!!!

Anonymous said...

joydeep ghosh said...

@ anonymous 06:35

My friend I was talking about the ability of S-Tank to raise and lower its position with help of something like couplers attached to the belts.

That allowed them to shoot farther and even from uneven terrains.

Think about it.

oh ho ho !! my dear friend you know NOTHING about the arjun do you ? HA HA HA !

arjun already has that capability (of lowering, raising and even tilting its chasis by virtue of its advanced hydropneumatic suspension. it's a more sophisticated system than the s-tank's system and much easier to use, being fully automated. )

Anonymous said...

Pratik Khadloya said...

This is one part of the trial.
What about the durability? Would the Arjun be capable of doing it over and over again at the same capability for years in all weather conditions?

This, we'll only know when we actually start using the Arjun. Probably this is ALSO the reason Army is not comfortable with inducting the Arjun as a main strike tank yet.


sir, do you have any idea how any engineering equipment is tested ?

they test a whole lifetime of usage over a small period of time to check its reliability. in the army it's called accelerated user cum reliability trials which arjun passed with flying colours (but T-90 failed). although army tried to lie at first saying arjun had failed too, they were soon caught at it and had to admit that that arjun had cleared all requirements.

Anonymous said...

@Manu Sood: Pray tell me what are the requirements for FMBT? Did army come out with any set of requirements or specifications yet? How could any company start working on FMBT or FFFFFMBT for that matter unless the user (Army or DGMF) tells them that here, these are the requirements of the so called MK2, FMBT or FFFFFMBT so you guys (DRDO) can start working on it!?!

As of now they whine that it is too wide and too high and too heavy, correct? What did they really want.. a tank of the size of a Maruti 800 with a 1000mm gun on it which can survive a nuclear attack and can fly too?

Big ticket items like tank, aircrafts, ships and submarines are work of continuous iterative improvements where the user first uses these items and then tell the developer the further improvements desired. Indian Army did the same with T90 and they should learn to do the same with indigenous products as well. You Journalists (@Manu Sood) should know how to separate wheat (correct information) from chaff (BS) like Ajai does and you guys may even learn something in this process!

Rajiv Devaiah said...

Manu Sood, seriously, you should start using your own serious analysis instead of blindly believing what people say and then trying to do DRDO bashing on specious grounds. How exactly is the Arjun width and weight a problem for the Sarvatra?

Arjun weight: 58.5 tons
Sarvatra: MLC 70 - ie Military Load Class 70 and can handle upto 70 tons

Width Arjun: 3.86
Sarvatra width: 4

All they have to do is align the Arjuns properly!

Besides which unfortunately, your comments on your webpage make a mockery out of defence analyis as you have not done any basic digging itself!

http://www.8ak.in/8ak_india_defence_news/2010/03/arjun-wins-against-the-russian-t90-but-may-only-be-deployed-in-rajasthan-until-arjun-mark-ii.html

The other problem is the Arjun's extra weight. The CVRDE chart claims that Arjun weighs 58.5 tonnes but it is widely believed to be 60 tonnes. Also, the chart, while comparing the Arjun to 5 tanks cunningly leaves out a comparison to the Russian tanks, we suspect because the T-72 which only weighs 41 tonnes and the T-90 weighs 46.5 tonnes.

Do you have any specific source for the 60 tons? Widely believed - how- when there are tens of authentic sources out there stating the Arjuns weight. Heck, even Wiki has it.

If you are saying that the Arjun gets 1.5 extra tons as part of some extra combat weight lugging around more gear, than the same will apply to the T-series tanks or any tank!

The CVRDE chart leaves out the T-90 and T-72 because they are not worldclass tanks, not becuase DRDO is cunning - what is that supposed to mean?

T-72 and T-90 vs the Arjun have poorer FCS, lower armour protection, worse mobility, worse gun depression/elevation, worse internal ergonomics, the list is endless. Why in anyones name would CVRDE include them in that chart?

Kindly look into the topics before using adjectives such as cunning.

"Arjun's width of 3.86m is the widest of all tanks. 8ak sources argue that the extra width makes the Arjun the easiest to target by Pakistan's F-16s.

Pakistan will have a grand total of around 70 F-16s if all planned procurements go through. These 70 F-16s - their best fighters- have no better work to do than find individual Arjun tanks and target them? Meanwhile, the IAF with its 238 Su-30 MKIs, 63 MiG-29 Upg, 50 odd Mirage 2000s, 120 MiG-21 Bisons will presumably sit around and do nothing? What of the Army AD Corps with its groups of SA-6, Tunguskas, and now even SpyDers?

Seriously,this is ridiculous.

"Secondly it makes the transportation of the tanks using the Indian rail network very difficult if not completely impractical. For example, the Arjun cannot be transported on a rail track that is adjacent to a platform. Only where there are 3 tracks next to each other, can the train/bogey carrying Arjun use the centre track."

So? Did the US ditch the Abrams because it was too wide or too heavy for its trains?

They spent for the infrastructure and so can we. Nothing stops us from identifying a series of networks that can transport the Arjun and do so accordingly. Besides which, Cold Start envisages forward deployed groups and equipment.

All said and done, your article comes across as a ridiculous attack on the Arjun using dodgy claims. Interjecting the last diatribe about Antony and the public sector makes no sense whatsoever either, as the Sarvatra can carry the Arjun.

You would know that there is already an Arjun BLT developed by DRDO & L&T which can also handle the weight of the Arjun apart from the Sarvatra itself.

I am sorry to say this, but if 8AK wants to become a serious site, as versus an amateur site trying to position itself commercially, you guys need to fact check everything you write, like Ajai does and query what your sources tell you and at least validate what you are told. Otherwise, its just inaccurate data dump which is not worth the effort.

Broadsword said...

I'm completely mystified by this entirely artificial debate over the S-Tank! I'm sure all of you know that the S-Tank was developed in order to reduce their AFV's height. And that was done by doing away with a turret and mounting the gun directly on the hull.

How on earth can such a tank be equated with a conventional turreted tank like the Arjun?

Indranil, you can easily google the inter-se advantages and disadvantages of a rifled and a turreted gun.

Gagan, what people were saying 5 years ago about the Arjun is as relevant as what people were saying 5 years ago about Obama. It's today that counts... and both of them have become realities of today.

Ghorcharrah Gabar: Are you under the impression that the comparative trials (in fact, as my articles have clarified, these are not comparative trials at all) are the only trials that have been carried out on the Arjun?

To get to this stage, pre-production Arjuns have run well over 15,000 kilometers; fired over 5000 rounds; and all this in varying terrain and weather conditions. The kind of trials that the Arjuns have undergone are unprecedented in the history of tank development.

You really do need to learn the difference between the DRDO and the OFB. There is nothing known as DRDO/OFB. The DRDO is an R&D agency with no production facilities. The OFB is a production agency with minimal R&D capability, regardless of how much they try to play up their "product development" skills.

The OFB has a long and illustrious history of "developing" 125 mm T-72 gun barrels. So far, close to 20 Indian Army tankmen have died as a result of barrel bursts due to OFB Kanpur having tempered 125 mm barrels at inadequate temperatures. This despite the Russian production documents specifying the temperature at which the barrels had to be tempered.

Your conspiracy theory --- that the Arjun's proved superiority over the T-90 is a ploy to get the Russians to transfer "crucial upgrades" to India --- is wildly off the mark. Russia is more than willing to sell India any and every "upgrade" to the T-90. It is India that has not put the money down as yet.

Manu Sood: The Sarvatra bridge is designed to take the Arjun... in terms of weight classification as well as track width. I think you must be confusing it with the AM-50 bridge that is currently with the strike corps.

thanks!

fighterclass said...

manu sood is a pathetic excuse of a journalist but that is par for the course for most Indian reporters, people like ajai and T subramanium are exceptions rather than the rule.

the F-16 and arjun width's comment is probably the STUPIDEST comment of the year, OMG my brain hurts to even imagine someone with the pretensions of being a defence journalist can think like that !!

T-90's width : 3.78 metre
arjun's width : 3.86 metre

at the typical height of operation of a fighter (ignore for a moment that PAF F-16's don't have any anti-tank weapons in the first place) say, 10,000 metres,

T-90 subtends an angle of 0.0216594 degrees, arjun subtends an angle of 0.0221178 degress, that's a difference of 0.0004584 degrees i.e LESS THAN 2000th of a degree !

and that makes the arjun more vulnerable ? are you f'king kidding me ?

one has to be a moron of the very highest order with a certified negative IQ to come up with trash like manu sood has ! shame on you ! shame on this garbage dump called 8ak.

Ghorcharrah Gabbar said...

Reference my earlier comment on the Saudi tank selection trials involving the still-born Brazilian EE-1T Osorio versus the M1A1 Abrams & others. Here's a transcript of the trial test(s)taken from the Brazilian web site I have referred to before. I can not vouch for the authenticity but the tests appear to have been structured to test extremities of machine performance & are therefore quite logical & likely...

On July 7, 1987 the AMX-40, Challenger 1, M1A1 Abrams & the EE-1T formally began trials for the Saudi Army on July 8 extending upto September 10. The tests consisted of the following:-

• Move under self-propulsion 2350 km on road, 1750 km in the desert;

• Tests of acceleration, braking & pivot turns (180 degrees);

• Fuel consumption on highway & in the desert
<(till the on-board fuel tanks ran dry);

• Engine static run for six hours with all on-board systems running;

• Driving 6 km in reverse;

• Towing a tank of 35 tons for 10 km;

• Removal & installation of track;

• Trench crossing three feet wide;

• Starting the tank from a stop on a ramp of 65% slope;

• Turn on a side-slope of 30%;

• Engaging static & moving targets at a max range of 4000 mtrs from a static position;

• Engaging moving targets at a max range of 1500 mtrs while moving at 20 km/h.

Some test results were discussed by the then Technical Director at Engesa engineer Odilon Lobo de Andrade

[...]In shooting tests, the Osorio was the only one to hit a stationary tgt at 4,000 mtrs. Also while engaging moving targets at 1,500, 2,000 & 2,500 mtrs with a total of 12 rds, each fired by 6 crews of the mfr & Saudi Army Osório hit 8, M1 Abrams hit 5 while AMX-40 & Challenger hit just 1 target each. In the fuel endurance test, Osorio covered a straight line distance of 400 km, leaving behind its competitors. [...]

The final announcement came in February 1988. Among the vehicles that participated in the competition, the French & the British tanks were discarded. The Osório & Abrams were included in a "short list" as "which can be bought."

The M1A1 Abrams was ultimately selected as it was already in production whereas the EE-1T Osorio was still a prototype. Owing to a shortage of overseas orders, further devp & production of the EE-1T was frozen thereafter.


Neither of the two tanks, T-90S or the Arjun, appear to have been tested for extremities of performance which could have been a part of the trial regime. There was a time when our trial procedures were vaunted & feared. I believe that the Indian Navy's ammunition trial procedures still carry a good international (professional)reputation. The lesser said about the Army's (and Armoured Corps) trial expertise - the better. Hum Honge Kamayab.... Ek Din..... hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm hmmmmmmm

Ghorcharrah Gabbar said...

Dear Broadsword,

The conspiracy theory (has a nice ring to it !) is just that - and certainly not my intent. The Russians have been dragging their feet over ToT issues for barrel manufacture for the T-90 (2A46M or better). Maybe with the T-90 taking a minor (and well-publicised) beating in the high-visibility Truth Trials in India would spur the Russian to act positively to set the record & their tank design /manufacture reputation straight. Additional orders for the Arjun may spur them to speed up ToT before other potential T-90 buyers pause to ponder. Again - it is a theory & a point of view. Don't fight it as absurd - accommodate absurdities as long as they are not intellectually or otherwise insulting ! I know the boss is always right but the commoners' cries make the blog counters ring!!!

OFB & DRDO are separate entities - me knows. But the panic induced by the strange case of exploding gun barrels brought the OFB, MDNL (Misra Dhatu...) & DMRL together to scratch their heads together. Barrel manufacture remains an exclusive OFB domain & they seem to have learnt from their mistakes.

Other readers may refer to Paragraph 20 at the following link http://www.cag.gov.in/reports/defence/2000_book2/chapter3.htm

The barrels... ah yes... Exploding 125 mm tank gun barrels were investigated and found to be caused by a mix of metallurgical deficiencies, poor bore-maintenance (gun barrels are prone to fatigue, wear & corrosion - and the three have independent causes), and ammunition malfunction (most burst barrels had a malfunctioning HE round going off in the bore). This is not the forum but maybe a peek at the appropriate reports may be in order. The Transfer of Technology for 2A46 (D-81) barrel manufacture has still not matured yet there is a dramatic reduction in burst barrel instances. Wonder why ? May be we have improved all three aspects - manufacture, maintenance & ammunition...

As far as the comparative trials go, I am aware of each engine hour and track hour spent in 'perfecting' the Arjun as also of the Accelerated User cum Reliability Trials that the T-90S & the Arjun may have been individually put through. The 1000s of kilometers & rounds fired were for a specific phase of testing & trial - be it of the hull, power-plant, weapon system or ammunition. The myriad defects & breakdowns therein remain unspoken of. I merely suggested 'a method' & not 'the method' for side-by-side evaluation. The current Trials of Truth incorporated a fraction of these tests of extreme performance limits - at least in spirit. There are numerous procedures for trials to establish reliability, maintenance parameters (MTTR) & scales, defect rates (MTBF) etc. But in a one-off trial, or a duel so to say, assessing comparative limits of extreme performance would have been one such interesting input as would have been ballistic performance of the ammunition & armour of each 'protagonist'. The truth probably lies buries amongst the piles of target scrap at PEE Balasore.

As usual, the intention was to enrich & enliven the blog for stimulating discussion. To be put down for an inoffensive point of view is - well, offensive ! No ?

Gagan said...

Anon. 26 March 2010 20:12

I have also spoken to one of the tank crewmen of the I-90. One of the first things he told me was about the heat issues during summers during deployment in Rajasthan / Punjab. One has to really understand that the Jawan in the army is a very astute person, who is well aware of what's going on in the news media.

That having been said, I have no hope of meeting the two gentlemen whose meeting I've described, to re-check with what they've said. But I will have to wait until I again meet some new panwallah for some more info.

What features would the experts expect in an Arjun Mark II.

Gagan said...

Also watch this. This is an artificial skin on the arjun. I don't think this tank can be identified visually from the air.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VORdv0HRUek

Anonymous said...

"Arjun's width of 3.86m is the widest of all tanks. 8ak sources argue that the extra width makes the Arjun the easiest to target by Pakistan's F-16s.

ROTFL ! one wonders if 8ak and its sources are all from the new delhi zoo ? LOL !

Broadsword said...

Ghorcharrah Gabbar:

Didn't mean to offend you... apologies if I have. Your posts indeed do enhance the quality of this blog and I'd be very happy if you continued visiting and posting. Not to make the counters ring... that'll happen anyway... but because there's discernible sense behind even your... er... nonsense!

Apologies having been proffered, I still believe that you have mixed up two different issues. One, the need for rigorous trials that MUST precede the induction of equipment into service... which India does. And, two, your drawing of sweeping lessons from the tank trials that have just been carried out.

Let me elaborate. When the Brazilians were testing tanks for procurement, every one of the four tanks that you mention were unknown quantities to the Brazilian Army. And so they tested them to death.

In our case, the T-90 has been in service for 8 years and the Arjun has already been tested extensively. Each of Brazil's testing parameters (except perhaps the driving in reverse for 10 km... I would have imagined that only the Italian Army would have insisted on that. Just kidding) has already been tested in various trails, with the many failures that you mention gradually transforming into success.

The AUCRT also did some of that, though not in the manner that AUCRT should.

What I'm coming to is the fact (which all my recent Arjun-related articles have suggested quite openly) that these trails were hardly a process of evaluating equipment in a rigorous, empirical manner. These trials were a form of rubber-stamping a decision that had already been made.

Except that the Arjun's unexpectedly good performance distorted the rubber on the stamp a bit. See what I mean?

You're looking for something that was never going to be there. But these tank trials were hardly a comment on the Indian trial process for procuring foreign equipment. That process is alive and is best exemplified in the ongoing MMRCA trials.

On the OFB/DRDO comment, you'll have to go back and read what you posted. Perhaps it was just inadvertently written, but it does convey the impression of some confusion between the roles of these two agencies. Not a bid deal, I often write sloppily myself.

btw, the exploding guns had NOTHING to do with bad ammunition, fatigue, or prematurely exploding HE shells. Most of the barrels burst while firing APFSDS, not HE.

I happened to be in a position in those days to know what was happening. This matter was thrashed out fully at a major meeting in OFB Kanpur in 1998, attended by the OFB people, the DGMF people, the Deputy Chief and a full-fledged Russian delegation at which this matter was thrashed out. Broadsword (then young, unwrinkled and a Lt Col) was there too, taking notes. The reason for the bursting barrels, the meeting concluded, was SINGLE-FOLD: tempering at 690 degrees instead of the 725 (I could be very slightly off on the figures... it was 12 years ago) that the Russian manufacturing documents specified.

Don't go by reports. The only function that reports serve is to cover up the truth and let people get away with murder.

Thanks!

Raghu said...

The 8 Ak article is very poorly written. Unfortunately, on going through the blog, many of the remaining articles were equally bad. One even cited Pakistani websites as a source about their superiority vis a vis India, without even the most basic of fact checking.

I wonder if there is some sort of feedback mechanism for all these new debutants to defence journalism. At least Ajai makes the attempt to state his viewpoint and debates it passionately.

Seriously, adjectives such as cunning have no business in serious analysis which should be dispassionate.

And the trignometric lesson about the F-16s was classic. Also as stated by another person, will Pakistan waste its handful of "worth their weight in gold" F-16s to track Arjuns or do counter air against IAF airbases or protect high value assets?

These are such basic questions that should have been thought of before rushing to print.

Also 8ak seems to rely on just linking to a handful of news reports where others have put their point of view, and then adding its editorialized comments to it without much fact checking. Thats simply unacceptable. A serious author who publishes in a magazine like Ajai would know what it is to put ones credibility on the line, and how much effort is required.

8AK should spend less time editorializing and more time listening. Perhaps in a year or two, Manu Sood et al would understand the basics of military technology better and put out more informed articles and be a proper complement to Broadsword.

Anonymous said...

"Broadsword (then young, unwrinkled and a Lt Col)"

Oh come on! Wrinkles and all, you are in fine fettle.

There you are with a full mane, whereas here we rats working in the corporate mines are going bald in our 30s. :-(

Ghorcharrah Gabbar said...

Dear BroadSword,

Indeed apologies accepted & reciprocated in greater measure.

The Brazilians were not inducting the new tank, the Saudis were hunting for a new MBT. The Osorio was brand new (the second or third prototype participated) while other tanks were ex-production series. My sole motive for highlighting the Saudi trials & that of the British Battlefield Day was to convey a point that trials, especially comparative ones, should test both baseline (GSQR) & extreme limit of performances to establish comparative merit between competing equipment. The Arjun prolonged trials are abnormal - except for the weapon system per se (and may be the hydro-pneumatic suspension), a majority of the components were mature sub-systems, ex-import. 'Requirements creep', tardy systems integration & changes in the sub-system OEMs - all contributed to the programme stretch. The EE-T1 Osorio (there we go again) was conceived in 1982 & a prototype fielded in 1987 for competitive trials. Similarly, the South Korean Type-88 design was finalised in 1981, prototyped in 1983 & productionised in 1985. Despite its outstanding performance & technological currency, the Brazilian Army did not order the tank for themselves. Like the Arjun it used matured components off-the-shelf with the exception of the hydro-pneumatic suspension. And if I may, the Osorio in 1987 was as good, if not better, than the Arjun of today in terms of performance & technology. Apropos, I whole-heartedly agree with & reinforce the much ridiculed observation that the Arjun of today is yesterday's technology. Some rather interesting tit-bits from the Truth Trials... the Arjun APFSDS performance (terminal ballistics) was markedly inferior to that of the T-90 (but these were not ammunition trials, right ?) The Arjun mantlet cover is made of ordinary tarpaulin & costs a whopping Rs 30K - just another example of inflated pricing to feed favoured ancillary suppliers by HVF. And the sharks are waiting for the goodies yet to come with repeat orders for the Arjun. Remember the hose-pipe scam for the T-72 engine ??

As for the case of exploding mangos.. err barrels... I have some data & will share it with the forum shortly. It is interesting to note that the original protocol signed with USSR for the T-72 barrels had approved tempering of barrle forgings at/below 430 degrees C; it is only after the Russians were asked did they ascribe the cause to a deviation in the tempering process without consulting the original designer Why was the original protocol signed by both parties with this serious anomaly ?

Check out Paragraph 20 at http://www.cag.gov.in/reports/defence/2000_book2/chapter3.htm

These are not issues under discussion here, I am merely rebutting & hence rest my case - truth be told. I hope Arjun Mk II is under development & we can contribute to its QR in some manner through you & your blog. Thank you for caring to post my sensible 'nonsense' & thank you for responding personally. Gracias!! Will continue to haunt these pages though....

joydeep ghosh said...

@ anonymous 21:09

I agree around 500 project gulmohar T-55s are still well in service but that till 2015.

As for the number of vijayantas in service, only around 800 of them are operational b'coz there guns are in perfect condition. Also around 250 vijayanta chassis with self propelled guns are operational but these will remain till 2015.

Ajai sir since you are a former tank man I think you can tell what is right.

Anonymous said...

joydeep, if you agree to those then how many active tank types does it make in our inventory ? even if till 2015.

T-72,T-90, vijayanta, t-55 and arjun.

I always wonder why all these silly excuses are always brought up in case of arjun but never in case of foreign tanks. army has always operated 2-3 varieties of tanks, centurions, PT-76 and amx-13 all were operated at the same time by army.

Anonymous said...

This shows each one of Manu Soods comments to be absolutely bogus. Perhaps 8AK will crosscheck its so called sources next time before jumping in such a hamfisted manner into a serious debate.
http://frontierindia.net/arjun-mbt-weight-implications/
Arjun MBT weight implications
June 27th, 2007
The weight of the Arjun MBT is incidental to the Indian Army General Staff Qualitative Requirement (GSQR). Arjun Tank weight arises due to the systems and protection levels as monitored by the Vice Chiefs of Army Staff right from the project inception. Since Arjun Tank project was initiated to match the current western MBT’s, naturally, the Arjun MBT weight will also match them.

Some senior Indian army officers have the opinion that the Arjun is too heavy for bridges on Indian western border and for the bridging equipment held by the Indian Army Corps of Engineers. We need to look at the Arjun MBT weight issue in a broader perspective, at the entirety of reasons and implications. It has to be analyzed based on tactical and strategic mobility of the Arjun Tank.


India busted the myth of the Patton’s in 1965, with Centurions Mk VII which weighed close to 52t. In 35 years gone by, Indian infrastructural woes has caught up with Arjun Tanks too, in addition to not being able to run heavier cost efficient big trucks on the roads and bridges. In comparission to Centurions Mk VII, the Arjun Tank is a mere 7 ton heavier. As the China builds “otherwise” impossible rail and road networks on Indian border to counter a future threat, India has not bothered to make infrastructural improvements to take on current threats.

The Arjun MBT is the heaviest tank in our inventory, but that is not a reflection of its agility and gradability. Being powered with a 1400 HP engine, its HP / t ratio is 23.9 which is substantially better than 20.4 of the BMP which is its combat support.

COMPARATIVE DATA OF AFVs

Tank HP* Wt** HP/wt NGP***(kg / cm2)

T-72 780 41.5 18.8 0.83

T-90 1000 46.5 21.5 0.94

Challenger 1200 62.5 19.2 0.90

Merkava 1200 61.0 19.7 0.96

LeoII 1500 55.2 27.2 0.83

M1A2 1500 63.0 23.3 0.96

Leclerc 1500 54.5 27.5 0.90

Arjun 1400 58.5 23.9 0.84

BMP 285 14 20.4 0.65

* Horse Power

** Weight in tons

*** Nominal Ground Pressure

Arjun MBT has a bigger track-print, hence, its Nominal Ground Pressure is only 0.84 kg/cm2 which compares well with other MBTs of the world . Further, with a combination of low NGP and high power / weight ratio, it has commendable going ability. The proof being Arjun MBT crossing the Ravi at Lassian, without any engineer support, whatsoever and it has crossed numerous patches of marshy terrain which are marked ‘non-tankable’ in going maps of the Gurdaspur-Pathankot sector.
MBT Arjun is broader and heavier than other tanks in our fleet, resulting in special, but not insurmountable, difficulties in transportation. During the last 15 years, various prototypes of Arjun MBT has been moved for trials to various sectors, by both, rail and road, by existing means of transportation, albeit with adhoc expedients, but without facing any serious difficulties.

Anonymous said...

Part 3:

The Arjun excels the specifics for self-propulsion stated in the GSQR. As for transportation and bridging are concerned, no one in the world designs tanks to suit these means. Instead, civil and military bridges, and the means of rail / road transportation are upgraded to suit new tanks. If Indian Army has problems with the bridges on the defensive canals or assault bridging equipment, its Indian Army’s fault.
---
Everything 8AK wrote was poorly thought out when such details are available from 2007 itself.

Anonymous said...

--continued---
The existing BWTA wagons have pay load capacity of 60+ tons ; the Arjun weighs 58.5 tons. The only issue is that the width of the tank is more than that of the flat and so, the tracks protrude on both sides. A six inch wooden sleepers when placed on the floor of the wagons before loading the Arjun MBT ensures that the tank tracks move over adjacent platforms without fouling with them. With this arrangement Arjun MBT’s were moved as class ‘A’ ODC on Chennai-Delhi, Delhi-Suratgarh, Delhi-Jaiselmer, Chennai-Balasore and Balasore-Delhi lines, on several occasions. In addition, Ministry of Railways, RDSO, Lucknow were approached in 1992 to conduct a feasibility study for rail transportation of MBT Arjun. The study was based on a two pronged approach i.e. design of a new wagon and modification of existing BWTA wagon. The feasibility report was submitted along with all-India broad gauge railway maps showing sectors where the loaded wagon could move as class ‘A’ ODC and the empty wagon could be run as non-ODC. In consonance, the Army HQ, Q Move (Rail) approved both proposals.
The RITES / Texmaco team has delivered prototypes of the new wagon for field trials in 2006, it has been proposed that the case for modification to existing BWTA wagons be foreclosed because the population of the new rail wagons can comfortably match the production schedule of the Arjun MBT.
On a number of occasions, the Arjuns has been ferried over long distances, on BEML P-80 trailers towed by Tatra Tractors. Of course, in this case also, the tracks of the tank protrude on either side of the P-80 mount, but that is so with even other tanks like T-90S and T-72’s in Indian Army fleet.In December 1994 the DGST sent a copy of their Draft GSQR 636 for a 65 ton trailer to BEML Bangalore who, in turn, have issued their specification for the new trailer which is to be towed by BEML-Tatra T815 VTI 8×8 tractor which is already in service.CVRDE has successfully designed and proven a scissors type 20m, cl 60 BLT (christened Kartik) on the Vijayanta chassis. Another scissors type bridge layer of MLC 70 has been built on the T-72 hull and this also spans 20m. The latest on the anvil is the Arjun BLT with a sliding MLC 70 bridge and a span of 24m.
That constitutes substantial initiative and homework on the part of DRDO for trafficability of the Arjun and any other heavy vehicles / equipment.It is true that assault bridging equipment are scarce but are a number of bridging equipment over which Arjuns can traverse without risk. These include the PMP / PMS, MGB, MLAB, Sarvatra, CEASE (60) and the KM (wet type).
The issue of “Civil Bridges Over Defence Oriented Canals” is a painfull episode for the simple reason that, when India built ‘defence oriented canals’, we ought to have also planned ‘defence oriented bridges’ on them. Alternatively, we should have upgraded them in requisite sectors which, in any case, is imperative now. It would be quixotic to propose a solution by seeking reduction of the weight of the Arjun to suit vintage bridges!
There have been proposals of purning the Arjun MBT weight. Even Indian Army’s opinion is divided over this new, trivial issue which may be referred, perhaps more aptly, as a ‘non-issue’. Yet, in the din which accrues from the gambit of dissent and the consequent ‘unfounded fear of non-acceptance’, panic-driven designers and a section of supporting Users have jointly undertaken a weight reduction exercise !Several areas of the tank have been identified and targeted for reductions ranging from a couple of hundred kgs to just a few hundred grams! In ultimate judgement, if the cumulative loss is not going to change the bridge classification of the Arjun, the whole effort will have been rendered futile. All attempts at weight reduction must be made conditional, in that, there will be no trade-offs with some other parameters such as levels of protection, structural strength, life expectancy of alternate materials and the ease of handling and maintenance.

Anonymous said...

Ghorcharrah Gabbar really has nothing to add but to be another critic of the Arjun. Undoubtedly, he appears to be a military man or buff .. but his statement that Arjun technology is outdated is absurd..the Arjun competes well in its weight class with the best in the world as per the spreadsheet. The trials have proved Arjun's firepower superiority and endurance. What is reprehensible is the attempt by the Army and vested interests in constantly elevating the benchmarks - through the mention of add on modules into an immediate quality requirement e.g. night vison, shotra defense and so on. The Arjun Tank has proved its mettle and will evolve into a better tank gradually - not as a newly designed MK II - which will again be rejected for ridiculous reasons - but an accepted tank that shall develop via a fruitful liasion between the army field officers/jawans and the DRDO. The DRDO is driven to improve the indigenise the engine and increase the HP to 1500 HP, and make the tank Hi-Tech. God speed!

joydeep ghosh said...

@anonymous 23:48

My friend I have few points to make

1. T-55, Vijayanta are to remain in service maximum till 2015 or 2018.

2. These operate in Divisional Armoured Regiments, if so they wont be the first to attack, there role will be limited to supporting the T-90, T-72.

3. We are talking about Arjuns remember. As the present situation stands Arjuns will most likely be used only in desert, while the T-90 will move across the country.

4. There is need to understand that extending Arjun mk1 production line line beyond 300 (with 2 more regiments reportedly ordered) will not help us.
What we need ultimately is develop our knowledge and expertise from these 300 and enhance Arjun mk2 capability.

BTW good news unconfirmed news say LCH flew today. here is an image http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_zUe7sq7m3h0/SMXNa2n5aPI/AAAAAAAAAXw/OkDdJz_N-yc/s1600/LCH%2Bmockup.JPG

Manu Sood said...

This is Manu from www.8ak.in. Thank you all for your comments which are part of a healthy debate. Since I am currently out of Delhi I have limited internet access. However, I am conducting telephone interviews to either justify my position or admit that I have got it all wrong. Please expect another article within 2 days.

Broadsword said...

Ghorcharrah:

You're behaving like a lawyer, picking nits to pass on a share of the complicity to the Russians.

Read the CAG report carefully. OF Kanpur was repeatedly warned about the danger of tempering at too low a temperature... including by CQA representatives. How do you imagine the CQA reps knew that the tempering was being improperly done? It was because the Russians had laid down clearly the temperatures at which each of the two stages of tempering were to be done.

But I'm waiting to see the information that you have regarding this fiasco.

----------------

I agree entirely with your observation that many of the systems in the Arjun are outdated. What you don't mention, though, is that many of the systems in EVERY in-service tank in the world, including the Abrams, is outdated. And that is because in-service is invariably behind cutting edge. It takes time to bring the state-of-the-art into service and by then, state-of-the-art has moved along.

But, even if one goes along with the argument that the Arjun is behind the times, the advantages of having indigenised a system, created a feedback loop by introducing it into service, and responding to that feedback through the development of improved versions (Mk II, Mk III, etc)... far, far outweigh the benefits of a more high-tech system which does not provide the user country with a responsive development loop.

-----------

The mantlet cover scam etc, reprehensible though it is, is hardly reason to move away from the process of indigenisation. Such scams do occur and they should be nipped in the bud. But you don't throw out the programme with the mantlet cover, a la baby with the bath water.

I know about the tarpaulin scam with the T-72. What is the hose-pipe scam?

Anonymous said...

What is this "Outdated" business? What in the Arjun is "outdated"? What impact will this "outdatedness" have on the battlefield efficacy of the Arjun?

Anonymous said...

Noted by DRDO to be the amongst the best bridging systems available on a medium class tank. It has an option to carry a 20 m (66 ft) or a 22 m (72 ft) class 70 MLC bridge, which can be negotiated by all tanks in service with Indian Army, including MBT Arjun. User trial completed during 1996. Twelve numbers of BLT T-72 are under production at HVF, Avadi, Chennai.

Ghorcharrah Gabbar said...

Dear BroadSword,

In the continuing saga of the case of exploding barrels.. I'd love to split hair on the issue but can not for want of defensible data. However, to foist the blame on OFB for mismanaging the metallurgical finishing processes singularly is patently wrong. In fact, it smacks of a larger cover-up ! My observation was that why was the tempering temperature flaw not pointed out when the Russians & their OFB counterparts signed on a 'protocol' governing 125mm barrel manufacture? Why did the CQA folks stay dumb on the issue ? How come the Russians saw the light only when called to explain the same at a joint forum - why not before ? Why did they refer to the advice of the designer at the witch-hunt stage & not include it in the protocol ? How has OFB now, independently, developed a 125mm gun barrel that is eons ahead of what the Russians have supplied on the T-90 ?

"Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan."

Coming to the Arjun. I have taken no position over the subject ....yet. I have driven & fired the tank - as may have BroadSword - & come away inspired. That was on the pre-production series. The intervening years have added absolutely no value to the tank. Instead they have made the tank somewhat of a dodo . Take, for example, the following flaws:-

The sight installation severely compromises the turret-frontal armour integrity.

The crew seats of the driver & commander are incapable of being raised / adjusted.

The Commander's Panoramic Sight is a day-sight only with no ranging or night vision ability.

The fuel endurance of the tank was a mere 150 km & has been upgraded with ad-hoc external fuel tanks that defy tank design logic.

The anti-aircraft machine gun is the Russian-origin 12.7mm (as in the T-72/T-90) but the coaxial is the British-origin 7.62mm MAG (from the Vijayanta?).

The ammunition diversity is rather poor (where is the anti-helicopter ammunition?) & the performance even poorer !

There is very little on the Arjun that can be repaired at field workshop level - all of it has to be replaced anew ! The power-pack (including the transmission), the suspension, the sights, the gun control cubicle... have we missed out something ?? The equipment life-cycle costs for the same, particularly low-volume, low-population (and dated) assemblies will be a la Vijayanta redux !!

The mantlet tarpaulin tit-bit was an illustration not to reject the tank but to depict that there are a lot of people looking to make money in pushing through a tank that is in essence a good developmental prototype but a pathetic MBT

Like the shelved FCS (Future Combat System) project in the US Army, may be, just maybe, we can rise to the occasion & bury the Arjun with dignity. And, instead use the considerable experience gained, especially with sub-systems integration, to upgrade the T-72 or the T-90 to world-class specs especially as far as the turret systems go. Or better still, put all the criticism to good use & get the Mk II out now.

The Americans have made available a BoK (Body of Knowledge) based on the matured technologies realised while developing the FCS to potential developers for the next generation of ICVs & M1A3 upgrade - yes sir M1A3! Can we ? Can the DRDO ? Not if BroadSword or his swooning legions have their way.... for them the Army must accept the Arjun for what it is & what it has become - thanks to the Army's 'shifting goal-posts'!@#$

Let the Arjun RIP !!! Jai Ho !!!

Anonymous said...

If the weight of tank on the bridges is a problem then how will it be able to carry the trucks loaded with interceptors for missile defence shield to the forward states? Or do they plan to lauch that also from Orissa ?

Anonymous said...

@ joydeep :
4. There is need to understand that extending Arjun mk1 production line line beyond 300 (with 2 more regiments reportedly ordered) will not help us.

the excuses become more ridiculous by the hour ! why dear sir ?
because you can't count beyond 300 ?
you need to understand that you are not making sense.
would you rather like to see some army soldiers burn to death in tincans ?
easy for you to say from an air-conditioned office.

the rail bridge argument is a complete red herring. in case of a war pakistan is not going to leave a single bridge intact in the border areas, that's a simple rule of ground wars that has been followed for thousands of years.
it will have to be our assault bridging equipment through and through. as of now, each and every piece of bridging equipment army buys, t-72 BLT, sarvatra or arjun BLT will be capable of taking the arjun. so whatever they buy next (they have to buy as the old kartik BLT is long slated for retirement) will be good enough for arjun.

wagons for arjuns :
another nonsense, the arjun specific BWTA wwagons have been productionised for a number of years now and nothing stops the army from procuring these. you were arguing that it can't be used for T-90 which is another shamefaced LIE.

I can understand genuine queries but to lie again and again is unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

3. We are talking about Arjuns remember. As the present situation stands Arjuns will most likely be used only in desert, while the T-90 will move across the country.

that's what you said, it's wrong as usual.

Anonymous said...

@ joydeep BTW good news unconfirmed news say LCH flew today. here is an image http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_zUe7sq7m3h0/SMXNa2n5aPI/AAAAAAAAAXw/OkDdJz_N-yc/s1600/LCH%2Bmockup.JPG

how is this good news ? shouldn't we buy mi-28 in stead ? or apache, or puma or tiger or mangusta ?

oh I forgot we already have mi-35, why should we buy Indian, we should always buy foreign, after a few years we will outsource our complete security to the russians and americans (along with any dignity we have left) don't you think ? a fanboy like you will love nothing more ?

Broadsword said...

Ghorcharrah Gabbar:

Just answer one question for me please: if you had to go to war today, would you choose to go in a T-72 Ajaya... or an Arjun?

Yes/No answer please.

Gagan said...

No such thing as outdated on the arjun.

It is the tank that is NOT night blind as described by Gen Kapoor. Its computers can function just fine in the Rajasthan summer heat, and its airconditioning is fine too. And it already has a battle field management system under development and testing - similar to the datalinks on the IAF fighters.

Compare this with the "state of the art" T-90.
1. Night vision already needs upgradation
2. Heat issues with the computer
3. Lack of AC.
4. No shotra self protection system bought by india.

Arjun rules man.
I say, give it a remotely fired machine gun, indegenize the engine, and the suspension, and increase the indeginized component to as high as commercially viable, do some upgradation to MK-2 and it will proudly be one of the top 4 tanks in the world.

Ghorcharrah Gabbar said...

Dear BroadSword,

If I'd go to war today I would go on the T-72 Ajay with the assurance of having mastered all the nuances of the tank & its third-world sub-systems.

The argument so far was, however, between choosing the T-90S over the Arjun. Having already pitched for the T-72 Ajay, there's no further argument at all when it comes to choosing the T-90S over the Arjun. AND THAT'S A PERSONAL OPINION ONLY(or a bias...)till I get to see Arjun Mk II at work.

Anonymous said...

@ Ghorcharrah Gabbar
sir,
your opinion so differs from the opinion expressed in this blog thatit makes for an enlightening reading. i always stand by the viewpoint that each coin has two sides. your opinion and expertise helps one understand the other aspect of the issue and leaves it up to the reader to evaluate which side is heavier. grat going and thank you! hope you keep posting on this forum and keep up the intresting debate. cheers!

Anonymous said...

Ghorcharrah should have been in the T-72s in the eeraaq. One has to be Bharadwaj himself to love that Tincan. Like children how grow attached to what they grow with he seems to love T-72 that he rose to high position with, to the detriment of preparedness of jawans. Sigh

Anonymous said...

Ghorcharrah Gabbar, not every tankman is suicidal, unlike you. you may hate your life and want nothing more than to die inside a tank but there are people in the army's armoured forces who would prefer a tank in which they can wage war successfully and live to tell the tale.

or may be you have retired and it is like mera baap ka kya ? or is it that you are too lethargic to learn new tricks and want to stick to a known devil, however obsolete it may be ?
regards.

Ravi said...

Ghorcharrah Gabbar,

Enough please. As they say, you overexposed your hand in the game and the end result was that it was easy to make out your talking nonsense.
Here are the replies to your bunkum:

>>>The sight installation severely compromises the turret-frontal armour integrity.

Total Bakwaas. If you take a look at an Arjun schema - as I have, the armour modules behind the sight extend further into the tank. There is no ballistic weakness thanks to the sight. It was designed that way as the crtiical GMS sight is heavily protected by armour on all 3 sides, and does not suffer exposure to arty by being placed on the turret top. That you didnt even know this, just shows that you were writing bunkum.


>>>The crew seats of the driver & commander are incapable of being raised / adjusted.

This is such a minor issue that you raising it makes it humorous. The Arjun seats were made according to Army specs BTW, and cleared by a NID panel which evaluated the tank and asked the drivers and commanders for their comments. The Army even rejected attempts to make a full blown seat and asked for a simple apparatus as they felt it was light weight and sufficient.

>>>The Commander's Panoramic Sight is a day-sight only with no ranging or night vision ability.

As if this is some big deal. The T-90 sight does not have either capability either.

IRDE can develop a LRF sight with integrated TI for the Arjun, as it has been currently asked to do a TI integrated CPS for the T-90S, based on the one they developed for the NAMICA.

I guess you didnt know this one either.

>>>The fuel endurance of the tank was a mere 150 km & has been upgraded with ad-hoc external fuel tanks that defy tank design logic.

Absolute bunkum. I dont know whether the DRDO has revealed these details publically or even the Army, so I wont give them out either. But again, you are just making up things at this point.

But lets assume you were right, which you arent, the Centurion used to great effect in 1971 had a fuel radius of only 150 odd km. So much for that. To date there are Army officers who consider the sell off of Centurions, which made their way to South Africa and elsewhere, as an example of stupid planning by the Army.

Next, your claim of adding fuel tanks being a bad thing - the Army asked for the T-72 and T-90 to receive the same thing.

>>>The anti-aircraft machine gun is the Russian-origin 12.7mm (as in the T-72/T-90) but the coaxial is the British-origin 7.62mm MAG (from the Vijayanta?).

So? Both were specified by the Army as they liked both guns and found them operationally suitable and had logistics in place for both weapons. Again an irrelavant and useless claim which adds nothing to the discussion.

Ravi said...

Continued:

>>>The ammunition diversity is rather poor (where is the anti-helicopter ammunition?) & the performance even poorer !

Wrong again. The Arjun has two ammo pieces specified, the APFDS and HESH. And the LAHAT is the antihelicopter round. And in terms of performance, the Arjun round is superior to the 125m FSAPDS produced with foreign help.

The performance validated in trials and at TBRL @ 120mm operational series production FSAPDS blows the competition away. The OFB MK1 is its peer but barely.

And as regards HESH, the Canadians in Afghan are sad that their new Leo2s dont have the HESH capability their rifled gun Leo1s had. The Arjun HESH has shown superb results against even heavy concrete structures, and all of this is from the Army btw, including the Brigadier who set up the production of both rounds, so no more bunkum please.


>>>There is very little on the Arjun that can be repaired at field workshop level - all of it has to be replaced anew ! The power-pack (including the transmission), the suspension, the sights, the gun control cubicle... have we missed out something ??

More bunkum. The same held true for the T-72 before infrastructure was set up.

>>The equipment life-cycle costs for the same, particularly low-volume, low-population (and dated) assemblies will be a la Vijayanta redux !!

Fear mongering BS. So dont order the Arjun so the number of assemblies remain low, and then claim that the assembly numbers are low so lets not order the Arjun.

You know, all your claims and posturing aside, you really have not said anything so far which implies that you have any sort of inside knowledge of the Arjun.

Its all half hearted stuff picked up out of the internet, including that ridiculous tangent about the OFB gun which you got by googling and seeing the google cache.

>>>The mantlet tarpaulin tit-bit was an illustration not to reject the tank but to depict that there are a lot of people looking to make money in pushing through a tank that is in essence a good developmental prototype but a pathetic MBT "

The mantlet tarpaulin comment is also BS, as the T-90 has the exact same set up. As matter of fact, the T-90S that are in production have far more serious issues than a cloth which is not even required to cover the mantlet, but is used nonetheless as an extra layer of cheap, protection.

Namely, that the T-90S engines keep packing up in trials, and service, and suffer from overheating issues. And thats its vaunted Thales Catherine equipped Peleng gunsight just does not work.

All in all, almost everything you said is absolute bakwaas.

As regards making money, one wonders how much money you are making from your Russian handlers to troll on this board and do FUD with made up claims.

Vinay said...

I agree with Tsarkar aka Ghorcharrah Gabbar sahib that the T-90 should be bought.
TSarkar should be believed as he is old visitor to this blog and old time member of BR Forum, where he is respected.

Anonymous said...

"The Americans have made available a BoK (Body of Knowledge) based on the matured technologies realised while developing the FCS to potential developers for the next generation of ICVs & M1A3 upgrade - yes sir M1A3! Can we ? Can the DRDO ? Not if BroadSword or his swooning legions have their way.... for them the Army must accept the Arjun for what it is & what it has become - thanks to the Army's 'shifting goal-posts'!@#$ "

This is very funny!
Somebody is really upset at Broadsword and his "swooning legions"!!. Looks like Ajai Shuklas efforts to dig up the truth are hitting somebodys pocketbooks and best laid plans!!
Or is that a serviceman is supporting indigenous product from evil DRDO and is regarded as betrayer?!

Go on Gabbar singh, if you have what it takes, start up your own blog and rebut Ajai Shukla point by point, not hide behind lawyer like points when Ajai points out gaffes in your claims like the heat tempering issue!!

Furthermore, your statements that systems on the Arjun are outdated, makes anyone laugh, because if that is so, then systems on the T-90 are not even obsolete but from the Jurassic Era!!

Including Cold War era ATGM which still does not work! FCS which is a ripoff of the T-80 FCS and has significant problems in fire on the move! Interior which is full of cartridge cases arranged haphazardly! T-72 and T-90 crewmembers repeatedly have heatstroke!! Other tank man have clasutrophobia!

Sorry if it is Ajai Shukla versus Gabbar Singh, i will go for Ajai Shukla! Broadsword is at least sword, not a copy of acting from Hindi movie which just makes noise!

Anonymous said...

Ghorcharrah Gabbar

Neither of the two tanks, T-90S or the Arjun, appear to have been tested for extremities of performance which could have been a part of the trial regime. There was a time when our trial procedures were vaunted & feared. I believe that the Indian Navy's ammunition trial procedures still carry a good international (professional)reputation. The lesser said about the Army's (and Armoured Corps) trial expertise - the better. Hum Honge Kamayab.... Ek Din..... hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm hmmmmmmm


Sir, many mistakes in your claims about armour and sight and seats and gun ammo - the sight does not compromise armour integrity, seats were per Army GSQR, also ammo is proven and in production at private and public industry partnership. However, above is also wrong about extremities of performance, as Arjun PPS was tested to extremities, so were LSP tanks. Arjun entire performance data is with CVRDE and ARMY both.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Ghorcharrah Gabbar exposes his absurd logic by the minute. He should watch a You Tube analysis by the British on the T-72 and how it got hammered in Iraq. I am quite certain that the T-90 has similar problems except upgraded by contemporary add-ons. Mr. Gabbar, if that is his name can never quite understand what he is saying. There is not a single reason that he presents which is sufficient to reject a tank UNLESS THERE ARE VESTED INTERESTS. His logic is patently biased - the lame Indian Army logic, if you please. I REPEAT - The Tank has performed extremely well against a leading Tank in the world in comparative Trials - people like Mr. Gabbar need to eat it - and good or they will have to explain their treasonous actions and be RIP ed -- with JAI HO! plastered all over them. The perverted statements by the Army to make the Indian DRDO a research establishment to keep them "busy" with "jobs" while they tour the world shopping for weapons that the Indian poor have to subsidize need not find actualization. ARJUN has matured into a great tank and needs further attention - The MK II is a military red herring to reject the Arjun outright and further continue their erring ways with inferior products. Mr. Gabbar never criticizes the T-90, but brings up the M1A1 --- How does the T-90 compare with M1A1..Could he let us know? He is a proponent of M1A1 now - anything but the ARJUN - help him someone, please!
Subedar Gabbar's argumentative edge is that he has driven an Arjun Tank - and he felt crappy because the seats did not adjust to his height. Ajai Ji - Is this a joke - you are playing on Indians? Is Mr. Gabbar you?
Mr. Gabbar, you and hateful slanderers like you RIP ! And JAI HO after that.

Anonymous said...

"The sight installation severely compromises the turret-frontal armour integrity."

Since you see a glass in the front in googled pictures, it must be a hole all the way in right? :D This is the joke of the decade! All production, manufacturing & quality issues of the Arjun (inherent in any program) apart, please please give some credit to the designers to not put a hole in the turret. If you have really been inside the Arjun (as you claim), you would know how the sight works.

Anonymous said...

Many many thanks to you Ajai sir.

Many things are clear....

1) Why the Army did not want a comparative trial between Arjun and Junk-90S.

2) Our soldiers are not safe in those junk-72 and junk-90s.

Look at the pics of recent Georgia and Iraq war, how T-Junks are destroyed into pieces.

The Army always had a old time mentality. While Navy goes for nuclear submarine and air force goes for fifth generation fighters they still live in T-junk era!

Swiss bank ki Jai Ho........

gururaj said...

@Ravi

great rebuttals at inane accusations..

great work. appreciate that.

Broadsword said...

May I suggest that, while rebutting any post on Broadsword, just stick to the issues concerned.

It is a peculiarly Indian characteristic to answer any opposing viewpoint by discrediting it. Unfortunately, in doing so, one generally ends up discrediting oneself.

Broadsword is not, and never will be, a club for rah-rah Indians where blind patriotism pushes out reason and logic. India's national interest will be better served by vibrant debate... and if someone has a reasonable argument against, say, the Arjun tank, the LCA, or the Arihant... he/she is perfectly welcome to post here.

I think I've made a mistake in allowing posts that contain personal attacks. Henceforth, any post, with even a line of personal attacks, e.g. " you are being bribed by the Russians", or "you are actually Mr XYZ from ABC blog", will not be posted.

Just stick to the issues please.

Ghorcharrah Gabbar said...

Hey folks...

Let peace prevail. I am a T-72 tanker and love the job (and the tank). I am acutely aware of its vulnerabilities and combat performance(s). I am also aware of some of the well-publicised flaws in the Arjun development program. These flaws have also been honestly attributed to causes that we all know of including the feared 'requirements creep'. Addressing the requirements creep has made the production-model Arjun a pathwork of upgrades & fixes. If the development agency had insisted on fielding the tank with its warts & pimples ten years back (when PV Narsimha Rao dedicated it to the Nation)as stridently as it is now, we would probably had been at Mark II by now.

I have the highest respect for BroadSword for the weight of his arguments, the merit of his stand and for his patience & honesty in brooking 'crap' from a low life like me. I am privy to T-90 firing performance on a scale that makes me somewhat of an authority. The quality of maintenance of the tanks that fire, the standard of the crews that fire from them (many for the first time)and the ammunition lot diversity are such that any other tank would give up. T-90s are 'soldier-proof', rugged and perform admirably despite poor handling and maintenance. Sure, I have conceded that given its T-64/T-80/T-72 lineage, the ammunition cook-off vulnerabilities remain unaddressed. The difference is that the standard and level of systems integration on the T-72 or the T-90 is far superior and durable vis.a.vis the Arjun. In battle, I would prefer a tank with the same assurance that I had trained with. The Arjun comes with a Vijayanta legacy - and add to that suspect systems integration of disparate sub-systems - their state-of-the-art status notwithstanding. The Army's got its 124 tanks - let these speak for themselves during training and everyday exploitation by the regiments concerned. What interests me is that why DRDO has gone Arjun-solo and not even ventured into developing sub-system improvements for the T-72 even if the Army never asked for them. The Tank-X (or EX) was a hobby-club product so I do not consider it a viable offering. What about a new night sight for the T-72 ? The active IR in the TPN-1 could have been replaced with a Gen 3 II, the fire extinguishing system for the T-72 could have been upgraded to an explosion suppression system and what have you. Small upgrades that would have capitalised on DRDO expertise and demonstrated deficiencies of the T-72M1. Yet to the best of my knowledge it was never attempted.

I have been a tank man and know what I want better than others who profess an interest in tank design and theory. How can someone force the Arjun down my throat - when I am the one who is gonna fight in the tank? In 1971, the Indian 'peasants' in their Centurions hammered Pakis in their vaunted techno-best Pattons ! Any guesses why ?

The turret-front integrity bit... The Germans, Americans & the British (in fact every damn tank development nation) have restored the GMS or the primary gunner's sight to a periscopic installation on the turret top. Why ??? The German have redesigned the flat slab-like turret with wedge-shaped armour to enhance protection levels. The relocation of the sights has facilitated the same. When will Arjun change ? Will it?

Ghorcharrah Gabbar said...

All prior trials of the Arjun were proving trials or AUCRTs or developmental trials - by preproduction models. I was keen on the results of a well-structured comparative trial between the T-90 and Arjun as I have been harping. We will never get to know the actual results because the trials were watered down in intent or conduct or both for reasons I am not privy to. Maybe it would have been the Army shooting itself in the foot to show one tank poorer than the other especially when both are already in frontline service.

Broadsword is privy to facts and decisions that I am not. I respect that and accommodate that. But I eat, sleep and live tanks - not as a DRDO dude but as a tankman of some professional merit in MBT technology.

I take umbrage to Ravi's choice of language and also of other gentlemen who prefer the professional protection afforded by the pseudonym Anonymous rather than the vaunted Kanchan armour. I do wish they would learn better language or expression or both in a professional forum. So whether I trawl my observations from Google or quote from personal experience- it is my business Mr Ravi & Anonymous. You are free to do the same - I'd love to learn from that.

Poor show folks - all around including me ! Sorry for ever coming here ! Guess I stick to pongo-forums with folks who can teach me a trick or two without slander. Adios. Jai Hind !

Anonymous said...

Dear Ghorcharrah Gabbar,

The point remains sir, that as rude as the earlier posters were, what you said was wrong. That you were so certain in your beliefs would surely rub people

For instance:The turret-front integrity bit... The Germans, Americans & the British (in fact every damn tank development nation) have restored the GMS or the primary gunner's sight to a periscopic installation on the turret top. Why ??? The German have redesigned the flat slab-like turret with wedge-shaped armour to enhance protection levels. The relocation of the sights has facilitated the same. When will Arjun change ? Will it?

Are you even aware sir, of the reasons behind such a move? For your information, the Germans didnt redesign the slab sided turret with wedge shaped armour. They merely added spaced armour wedges to the basic Leo2A4, (its called perforated armour btw) to save time and money so that they didnt have to rebuild the armour array inside. Given that the spaced armour was placed in front of the entire turret so as to ensure turret Cg was not affected, the GMS had to be relocated to the turret top, and so did other sights. For your information, this is still a matter of debate, wherein tankers question the wisdom of having exposed both the GPS and the CPS to top attack fragments from arty air bursts. Secondly, your reference to "wedge shaped armour" as superior to slab sided armour is also incorrect. If you were to indeed research the issue, you would realise that the external shape has little to do with the composition of the armour inside. In fact, take off the ERA on the latest T-90S that were sold to India, and you'll see flat, slab sided arrays welded to the T-90. The real effect lies within the arrays themselves, and it is here where Kanchan has proved its worth. The reason the Abrams and some other tanks were slab sided is because they reflect their 80's design heritage, wherein, Russian FSAPDS/ gun combo from your beloved T-72 tanks was believed to be of substandard quality and did not have a proper flat trajectory, as such angled armour made sense for both allowing more armour arrays within the tank and also for angling FSAPDS rounds away on striking. Tests showed there was a chance of these rounds disintegrating thanks to yaw, and hence it was preferred.

Today, none of this has much practical impact. The Arjuns armour design in fact is amongst the newest of the lot, and has been constantly updated, and is proof against rounds much superior to what are being inducted today.

Kindly dont go by external shapes and then make such remarks. Unfortunately, what you construe as rude belligerent tones are the frustration one perceives at being told such stuff which is clearly untrue.

These flaws have also been honestly attributed to causes that we all know of including the feared 'requirements creep'. Addressing the requirements creep has made the production-model Arjun a pathwork of upgrades & fixes. If the development agency had insisted on fielding the tank with its warts & pimples ten years back (when PV Narsimha Rao dedicated it to the Nation)as stridently as it is now, we would probably had been at Mark II by now.

Sir, this is another assertion of yours which falls flat when compared to the reality at the time and as it exists. If DRDO had been strident, it would have been accused of being anti-national. It was the Armys decision to make on taking a TD tank into service. That it did not. Today when the tank is ready, the Army says it will not take it, so is it DRDO stridency which is the issue, or Army obduracy? Clearly Mr Gabbar, your argument here is a red herring.

Anonymous said...

To continue:

The difference is that the standard and level of systems integration on the T-72 or the T-90 is far superior and durable vis.a.vis the Arjun. In battle, I would prefer a tank with the same assurance that I had trained with. The Arjun comes with a Vijayanta legacy - and add to that suspect systems integration of disparate sub-systems - their state-of-the-art status notwithstanding.

The blog has a word limit, so let me also add that you stated that the T-90/T-72 have superb systems integration.

These claims - your words in bold plus the T-72 and T-90 ones are as wrong as can be.

The Catherine sight on the obsolete 1G46 just doesnt work. An example of superb integration perhaps. So much so that the Army is now frantically rushing around for any solutions, an airconditioner, an ECS just to ensure the eyes of the T-90 work! Army units are using discretionary funds to acquire excess imagers! If that were not enough, the Ballistic Computer does not accept details for Indian ammo, so that has to be changed. And the latest, industry has been told that more electronics into the T-90 have to await their turn till the ECS is fixed and an APU is found. An APU which the Arjun already has and works very well. Is this an example of superb engineering or Frankensteins monster recreated by India while the original OEM counts himself lucky that he found such a willing customer? In contrast, the Arjun is a far better piece of kit, and its integration was testified in terms of overall systems design and design for manufactureability by no less than IMI of Israel, the makers of the Merkava. Who of course have made a name for themselves by ripping apart T-xx tanks in actual combat.

What interests me is that why DRDO has gone Arjun-solo and not even ventured into developing sub-system improvements for the T-72 even if the Army never asked for them. The Tank-X (or EX) was a hobby-club product so I do not consider it a viable offering. What about a new night sight for the T-72 ? The active IR in the TPN-1 could have been replaced with a Gen 3 II, the fire extinguishing system for the T-72 could have been upgraded to an explosion suppression system and what have you. Small upgrades that would have capitalised on DRDO expertise and demonstrated deficiencies of the T-72M1. Yet to the best of my knowledge it was never attempted.

When you make statements like these, one does wonder as to how you are unaware that the Combat Improved Ajeya, 692 of which were ordered and arein service, are entirely derived from DRDOs homegrown Arjun technology.

Even tech developed for but not used on the Arjun like the ERA. Fire extinguishing systems, LWS, improved NBC fit,allcame from DRDO and its manufacturing partners.

As regards why DRDO did not replace the sight, it was equally straightforward. The DRDO told the Army that it was developing a GMS for the Arjun and it could make a derivative for the T-72 once done. The Army stated it would rather go for a quick off the shelf induction, and have it done. First they chose the Polish FCS. It flopped. Then they bought a few hundred Israeli ones. Then they said not good enough. For the past 5-7 years, the Army has been evaluating FCS after FCS and has not yet settled on one. So what exactly is the DRDO supposed to do in this case. Similarly, the Army said it would take ownership of upgrading the T-72 automotives and airconditioning. Even that is yet to be completed, latest one heard.

And as regards sights - you would be pleased to know that the IRDE's Panoramic sight with integrated thermal imager, for the T-72/T-90 family, is currently in trials.

Anonymous said...

Ghorcharrah Gabbar-ji

I honestly fail to grasp your line of argument.

1. You first begin by saying "If the development agency had insisted on fielding the tank with its warts & pimples ten years back" indicating that the development agency should have insisted that the tank be fielded, flaws and all - and then you end by saying that the Arjun should not be forced down your throat! Somewhere in the middle, you say that the tank should not be fielded with the minutest of flaws. Are you going to turn around 10 years from now and then claim that the development agency should have insisted that Arjun should be fielded in numbers in 2010?

2. I fail to grasp what you mean by "suspect systems integration of disparate sub-systems - their state-of-the-art status notwithstanding." For the T90, the thermal sight is from France, RFIs have gone out to Rafael & Raytheon for active protection. The engine is from chelyabinsk plant, ammo will eventually be manufactured in OFB. Does that qualify as "disparate subsystems"? If some of these subsystems are indigenized, and new indigenous subsystems are imported/developed as you want for the T72, would it become more disparate and "suspect" in your eyes?

What exactly do you mean by "suspect"? Even if Arjun subsystems are bought from 50 different vendors and integrated. Has testing showed any flaws? Has the tank underperformed in mobility, firepower or protection? If neither is the case, then why worry about the diversity of subsystems? "Superior and durable" should be quantified!! It cannot be based on where the subsystems are sourced from, but should be based on time between failures, how frequently maintenance is needed and ease of maintainability! Do you have any specific gripes about this? Especially when compared to the show that T90s are putting up? ;)

3. You ask the DRDO to "develop subsystems for T72 even if Army does not want them" and then fault them for developing Tank-EX. In the tank force today, the biggest headache as you know, is T72 upgradation. We all know how the CI Ajeya is going. So should we now fault the DRDO for offering an upgrade path?

Anonymous said...

Finally:


The Army's got its 124 tanks - let these speak for themselves during training and everyday exploitation by the regiments concerned.

The regiment concerned, the 43 AR has already spoken up. The trials have already demonstrated the Arjuns worth. Its now the Armys worth to demonstrate that it will do the nation and taxpayer right and choose the better equipment, which is the Arjun, not the obsolete T-72 and T-90.

But I eat, sleep and live tanks - not as a DRDO dude but as a tankman of some professional merit in MBT technology.

Perhaps you would also be aware then, that several DRDO dudes eat sleep and live tanks having been tankmen, like HM Singh, and several others from the 43 AR who have given blood and sweat to develop something like the Arjun.

You should also be aware that your T-72 and T-90 tanks were not designed by tankmen either, but by Chief Designers, the same as those that exist in DRDO who ate, slept and dreamed about tanks. And several of their products in Russia were selected on the basis of political merit, not technical. Something to remember while you say paeans about Russian systems while implying the Indian ones are subpar. Similarly, those that designed the US and German tanks were mostly engineers, (D.Eng. as the Germans say).

So please, lets not have this idle belief that the DRDO's tank designers are unaware of what needs be done.

Sir, many of your statements were wrong, based on improper understanding of technology, and put down the strong points of the Arjun. Now I cant speak for the others, but perhaps you may consider the fact that the reason most dont care for names is because we dont really care for flame wars on the internet. Ravi may have spoken rudely, but try telling anyone that his/her product is worthless, and that too with the wrong facts at hand.

When Broadsword makes factual claims and these are then attacked in such a manner, occasionally, even the most even tempered of men do respond harshly.

Having said that, I for one would have both you & Ravi here, provided, you could ditch the certitude that only you are right, and the rest of the people here are "Broadswords swooning legions". If I had to swoon, I would swoon for a Bollywood starlet whom I shall not name, and that too provided I had some chance of success.

Good day.

Anonymous said...

>>How can someone force the Arjun down my throat - when I am the one who is gonna fight in the tank?

Gabbar ji,

Arjun is designed as per the Army GSQR for their use. If there is any someone that made the Arjun of what it is, then the someone who you are referring is the Army.

Anonymous said...

Gabbar jis comments have been discussed enough already, but let me add that by for a man who lives and breathes tank technology, he seems curiously unaware of what that technology really is ..and what drives its use?

If angled armour is so great, why is the latest KX2 from Korea full of flat modules!

If roof mounted sights are so great, why did a Euro designer at IDEX show a model of tank with 2 sets of sights on roof and elsewhere?

Answer, always is not to go by the end shape or positioning, but by the need that drove that shape or positioning.

Broadsword said...

Ghorcharrah Gabbar:

"I have been a tank man and know what I want better than others who profess an interest in tank design and theory. How can someone force the Arjun down my throat - when I am the one who is gonna fight in the tank?"

Ghorcharrah, I do have a little experience on tanks myself, having served 22 years in the armoured corps and commanded a T-72 regiment. There are others on this blog with personal experience as well.

With that experience, and having experienced today's Arjun, I can tell you that the T-72 is just not in that league. Did you see the Arsenal-Barcelona match last night? It would be a similar mismatch.

Ghorcharrah, you say, "In 1971, the Indian 'peasants' in their Centurions hammered Pakis in their vaunted techno-best Pattons ! Any guesses why ?"

I don't have to guess. When I joined my regiment in 1979, the crews --- still fresh from their triumphs in the Basantar bridgehead --- were very clear why their tanks hammered the Pakis. It was because the Pakis adopted tactics out of the era of cavalry charges... assaulting in extended line formation and providing easy targets for our gunners. In those circumstances, we would have obliterated them with any tanks, perhaps even with RCL guns.

For more on this, read an article entitled, "The tank attack that failed", by one Brigadier Jahangir Karamat.

Ghorcharrah, you write: "Poor show folks - all around including me ! Sorry for ever coming here ! Guess I stick to pongo-forums with folks who can teach me a trick or two without slander. Adios. Jai Hind !"

We're sorry to see you go because, as I have posted, contrarian views will be respected on this forum. But the internet is a rough neighbourhood and there will always be people who don't agree with you, sometimes for good reasons and sometimes for silly ones. If you want to stick to the comfort of "pongo-forums", where everyone agrees with one another, I don't think you are doing yourself justice.

Read the stuff that "Anonymous" has posted below. I agree that the Anonymous tag leaves one feeling cheated, but, there's no denying that he/she has an argument.

Ghorcharrah Gabbar said...

@ Anonymous(es) comments dt 31 Mar 2010

I wish I could rebut each observation at comments # 112 onwards with entitled sarcasm & insult but then I would have fallen to his level. No ?

I am aware that the Leo A5 used spaced armour. It could have been any form of armour, but why did the sight installation shift to the turret top ? Would Mr Anonymous (from DRDO obviously) elaborate ? There's lots to support my contention but we can start at http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?41132-Tanks-interior-pictures/page12 and at http://militarynuts.com/index.php?showtopic=1165

While you are at it check out http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1445407/posts

Arty shelling seems to be bothering Anonymous more than it does regular folks do battle in these tanks. The reasoning that a turret front sight is relatively immune to arty shelling fragments (locational) is ludicrous & amazing.

The factories that you mention in the context of the T-72/T-90 were feeder industries that were producing the engine designed for the T-72 as also other parts & components. Btw the T-90 thermal sight is the one from ESSA with the Catherine thermal camera from Thales. 1G46 is the day sight sir ! I presume you know the difference there... Hope so ! At least get the specs correct!

Tank-EX is not a sub-system - it is a hobby-club product. It denotes the usual DRDO spare-time activity of mating disparate sub-systems / systems to produce a prototype. A good professional development past-time but only for in-house consumption.

Ah yes... you may not be privy to the issues raised by the (Israeli) design consultants hired to audit the Arjun design. I have no idea who hired them but their mere presense seems to have given Arjun a battleworthy license. Some of their observations were scathing and severely critical of major flaws in the Arjun design. Further elaboration is not merited here - read it in your 'archives'!

Combat Improved Ajays pah! Goosebumps here ! These are regular T-72s with absolutely no qualitative improvement except ERA arrays added externally (copied panel for panel from T-72Bs) and relocated smoke grenade launchers (a la T-90). The fire fighting system is unchanged. The tank certainly needs more workshop attention than the original versions. Atleast the EME gets regular practice if not the Armoured Corps...

As for 43 Armored regiment going ga-ga. Well after a T-55 anything newer will do. Let them speak a couple of years from now when there are no droves of eager CVRDE engineers on call for repairs and maintenance. With a mere 14-23 production-series tanks in service the DRDO is patting itself on the back. After 30 years of living off tax-payers money ! Ha !

I can say with some conviction that DRDO engineers tend to move on (career mobility) after projects slow down or die-out. I don't blame them. Their role is in contrast to the users - always. Requirement elicitation, specification & tracing is an art & science by itself. DRDO folks like Anonymous feel what they have developed is what the user wants and that they know best. I must add that even the Al Khalid has apparently done a better job at systems integration - or atleast they have managed better press. I see that the Peruvian Army seems to have bought Al Khalid-enriched derivatives Type 96/98 from China.

Lets wait & watch for further developments and leaks on the Arjun v/s T-90 rather than improve our standards of slander & wit with much ado about nothing. In fact look for a new job as there won't be much to do hereafter since HVF is churning out the 124 tanks and we don't need the Mark II just yet.

Ghorcharrah Gabbar said...

Dear BroadSword,

I do not seek affirmative action in 'pongo forums'. The quality of discussion here has turned acerbic & personal. While one highlights equipment related deficiencies certain folks here get hyper & question professional credentials. Boy would I love to take them on word for word but then we dilute the quality & volume of this forum's content.Somewhere the arguments have gone personal & veered out of context. Sadly so & insultingly so.

The comparison was never T-72 v/s Arjun as even you seem to infer in your last comment on 01 Apr. It was on the Arjun v/s T-90.

I am aware of your credentials in command, on the tube and in general. Have I questioned them? I have merely submitted mine. I too have served in a T-72 regiment for 22 years and commanded one when the tank was 22 years old. I had a mix of originals from Russia, HVF overhauled ones and the CIAs. I have attended AFV courses at IAT & ACCS with distinction, having taught at ACCS & commanded a gunnery instructional establishment therein, and therefore know what I am talking about - decidedly more than what I ought to know as a user. Yet there are folks here who split hair to the point of being psychotic. And factually they are unable to sustain arguments. I am constrained by the Official Secrets Act. Either keep such personal jibes & posts off the wall or let it be a free for all - slander & flame.

I had, at the very outset, admitted reliability problems with the T-90. These will be addressed in the normal course of things. What has the DRDO done for the T-72 (forget CIA & Tank-X) ? What have they done as a 'hobby-club' project ? Your article on the business we seem to have generated for the Israelis in T-72 upgrades is a case in point. Why did the DRDO not pitch in ? Even with the FCS-ballistic mismatch in certain ammunition varieties, the DRDO has not proffered any viable solution !

The Arjun has to earn its stripes in a armoured regiment - or an armoured brigade. Mere chest-beating & brouhaha on this blog does not fetch it additional merit. 124 of these tanks have got the chance, can we wait and see......???? Can we ?

Broadsword said...

Ghorcharrah Gabbar:

You have spectacularly missed the point!

While the trials were T-90 versus Arjun, the decision about whether to induct or not induct more Arjuns is actually a T-72 versus Arjun decision.

Until the late 2020s, India will continue to field T-72s. Each Arjun that is inducted into service until then will replace a T-72, not a T-90.

There are 2418 T-72s in service today. If they are replaced at the rate of 100 tanks a year, it will take 24 years to phase out that entire fleet. If they are replaced by 100 T-90s and 100 Arjuns (first Mk 1 and then Mk 2), we will still have a considerable number of T-72s into the 2020s.

Ghorcharrah, you had said in an earlier post that you would rather continue with the T-72 than bring in the Arjun. I simply don't agree. I think that the Arjun, in its Mk 1 version, is already superior to the T-72 (and the army now believes it is superior to the T-90 as well!). Once the Mk 1 enters service in numbers, it will inevitably lead to the Arjun Mk 2. That will happen by 2015, when you'll still have 1800 T-72s in service!!

Ghorcharrah... think about it some more. Don't get stubbornly wedded to an untenable position!!

Ghorcharrah Gabbar said...

BroadSword

Sir ji I haven't missed anything. That T-72s have to be phased out is not an issue or argument. The issue is what replaces them - the Arjun or additional T-90 tanks. Hence the trial's significance - though not stated to be so. As a country we can not have two MBTs; an MBT and a light tank - maybe! T-90s are already in frontline service. Arjun has managed a toehold into the business. Do we wait till the Arjun proves its mettle - in peacetime exploitation ? If so then what about the T-72s? Well the newer T-72s (vintage) can be upgraded with night vision and maybe a new FCS & survivability features. The older ones that are beyond rejuvenation slip into divisional armoured regiments till their replacement. The Arjun MBT demands extensive re-engineering of logistics & operational mobility aspects. I feel that it is too high a price to pay for a developmental tank despite its merits. No wonder it is being deployed (even initially so) in an area where combat bridging and in-theatre transportation is not an issue and its existing USPs are exploited.

Anonymous said...

There is no system that is perfect and if you sit down to find flaws you can find in any system. Being so nitpicking on Arjun's shortcomings and completely forgiving of T-90 shows the hypocricy of end-user. Look where China is now in indigenous manufacture of arms and exports. And their products too were always short of capabilities of best in the market. Short-sightedness looking at getting the best type of individual product(tank in this case) instead of long term vision of sustained improvement has landed India where it is.

And when people looking at this situation of country, out of frustration make some heated comments, then we have people(G.G.) wallowing in Self-pity.

Even if army wants to use T-90, let it be but replace the T-72s with Arjuns. What is better a new Arjun or a worn-out, near end-of-life T-72s?

Anonymous said...

I am aware that the Leo A5 used spaced armour. It could have been any form of armour, but why did the sight installation shift to the turret top ? Would Mr Anonymous (from DRDO obviously) elaborate ? There's lots to support my contention but we can start at http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?41132-Tanks-interior-pictures/page12 and at http://militarynuts.com/index.php?showtopic=1165

Dear sir, it was moved to the top because it would have created an opening in the spaced armor, and there was no volume to move the modules back as you could with the volume within the tank! Would you like an armour overhang on one side of the turret whereas the other there is not? What does that do to your overall stabilization and each time you boresight the barrel!

The purpose of spaced armour is to induce flexing in the projectile and yaw. Furthermore, the wedge shaped armour is an add on kit,for the Leo2A5 and the Leo2A6s were new builds, so they could play around with the basic module. Simpler to just move the entire sight to the top and play around with the front.

Basic fact is you were unaware, mistaken. Fine, move on. Your much vaunted T-90 behind those ERA panels has slab sided armour, and that is the "advanced version" known as the Vladimir after the designer who designed it.

http://adsoftheworld.com/files/images/Tank.preview.jpg

See the exposed portion of the tank turret armour not covered by the the ERA, is it angled?

While you are at it check out http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1445407/posts

Report from 2005, that too full of incorrect statements, point being?

Arty shelling seems to be bothering Anonymous more than it does regular folks do battle in these tanks. The reasoning that a turret front sight is relatively immune to arty shelling fragments (locational) is ludicrous & amazing.

Clearly you missed the point and are clutching at straws here sir.

The epitome of successful design is simplicity which meets the requirements. The Arjun GMS is protected on 3 sides by heavy armour, and exposed on one side (the front) alone. That holds true whether it is arty shellng or otherwise.

In contrast, a raised sight on the turret roof is far more vulnerable from multiple directions! It simply does not have the protection the Arjun GMS currently has.

Why change what works and works well.

Since foreign systems are what catch your attention, do see how the Leclerc has positioned its sight.

http://www.fncv.com/biblio/temoignages/images/char_leclerc.jpg

Anonymous said...

The factories that you mention in the context of the T-72/T-90 were feeder industries that were producing the engine designed for the T-72 as also other parts & components.

So what? They still made shoddy stuff integrated into the T-72/T-90. How amusing that in one case substandard items are dismissed as "from feeder industries", whereas on the other perfectly functioning items from worldclass OEMs are poorly integrated. Nice word games, sir!

Btw the T-90 thermal sight is the one from ESSA with the Catherine thermal camera from Thales. 1G46 is the day sight sir ! I presume you know the difference there... Hope so ! At least get the specs correct!

Happy that you know these terms sir! FYI, just goes to show how poorly integrated the T-90 sight is where a standalone Byelorussian sight ESSA with Catherine had to be attached to the 1G46 day sight to even get a thermal imager performance to modern day standards. The latest sight offered by Russia now follows the Arjun approach of an integrated GMS on one platform. How funny these advanced feeder industries from Russia are!

Ah yes... you may not be privy to the issues raised by the (Israeli) design consultants hired to audit the Arjun design. I have no idea who hired them but their mere presense seems to have given Arjun a battleworthy license. Some of their observations were scathing and severely critical of major flaws in the Arjun design. Further elaboration is not merited here - read it in your 'archives'!

Sorry sir, but I'd rather believe the actual truth versus rumours and hearsay, especially when so far what you consider as Arjun weaknesses are actually considered design decisions. Suffice to say I do think the IMI team would have found the entire issue over the Arjun humorous and why wouldnt they if their Tankers had acted the same way, there would be no Merkava.
And they were hired because the Army wanted them.

Combat Improved Ajays pah! Goosebumps here ! These are regular T-72s with absolutely no qualitative improvement except ERA arrays added externally (copied panel for panel from T-72Bs) and relocated smoke grenade launchers (a la T-90). The fire fighting system is unchanged. The tank certainly needs more workshop attention than the original versions. Atleast the EME gets regular practice if not the Armoured Corps...

Sorry, wrong again, the fire fighting system is changed, and the armour is not copied from the T-72B but is a design created to Army GSQR effective against Milan type warheads as specified by the Army itself. It also has a LWS, the initial batches had Tadiran radios, several (I wont mention how many) have TISAS sights sourced from another OEM and other changes. Now I am sure you will say Pak has more advanced ATGMs today, well in that case the DRDO has developed the next series of ERA also, but kindly first upgrade the automotive system to take the weight. And yes, to add more advanced electronics, you will need an APU also, like the Arjun has...but the T-72 and T-90 dont!

Anonymous said...

I can say with some conviction that DRDO engineers tend to move on (career mobility) after projects slow down or die-out. I don't blame them. Their role is in contrast to the users - always. Requirement elicitation, specification & tracing is an art & science by itself. DRDO folks like Anonymous feel what they have developed is what the user wants and that they know best.

Can you tell me one engineer or human being who would not move on if he sees his hard work thrown down the drain? Actually, I believe the Army will have a good time working with the private sector. For then, the Army will understand what people who are "career mobile" are capable of when they feel their work is disregarded. Anyways.

Actually the Arjun was developed by the Army trial teams who painstakingly gathered requirements and framed them into functional specifications with the help of DRDO engineers. Doesnt support your argument though.

I must add that even the Al Khalid has apparently done a better job at systems integration - or atleast they have managed better press. I see that the Peruvian Army seems to have bought Al Khalid-enriched derivatives Type 96/98 from China.

Looks like you are confused again sir. "Better press" yes, after all in Pakistan they have won all wars, what is one tank versus their war record, which is full of victories and no defeats. Lets not get too much into their propoganda.

And no its not "Al Khalid enriched Type 96/98" but the Norinco MBT-2000 export tank which is the base design for the AL Khalid.

Better integration - the Al Khalid is worse in some ways than the T-90 and that is saying something, given the problems the T-90 has had.

The difference is that in India, we all know what the problems are. In Pakistan, the Army makes no mistakes, ever.

Anonymous said...

I had, at the very outset, admitted reliability problems with the T-90. These will be addressed in the normal course of things. What has the DRDO done for the T-72 (forget CIA & Tank-X) ? What have they done as a 'hobby-club' project ? Your article on the business we seem to have generated for the Israelis in T-72 upgrades is a case in point. Why did the DRDO not pitch in ? Even with the FCS-ballistic mismatch in certain ammunition varieties, the DRDO has not proffered any viable solution !

You know Gabbar ji, the statements you make are amusing.

Heres what DRDO provided. They worked with TATA to develop a Ballistic Computer and the software for different ammo, which is now the standard BC for the Arjun integrated with the Sagem GMS and certain other things DRDO developed. That same company, using the same technology is now attempting to find a solution for the T-90 issue, which the Army, hadnt thought might occur. If not for DRDO and if not for the Arjun there would be no Ballistic Computer solution even available for modification for something like this.

Really sir, so far your aimed fire has consistently missed the mark. Looks like you are using the T-72 FCS!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Tank-EX is not a sub-system - it is a hobby-club product. It denotes the usual DRDO spare-time activity of mating disparate sub-systems / systems to produce a prototype. A good professional development past-time but only for in-house consumption.

When did I say Tank ex was a subsystem?

Here is another Hobby Project developed for a T-72 upgrade, taking a modified Leclerc turret and putting it on the T-72, suitably dressed up with PR terms of modern turret etc.

http://www.tanksim.com/topic9.htm

Of course, since a bunch of westerners are doing it, from France, this is a revolutionary design and forward thinking. If DRDO does something similar, then it is a hobby club project, usual spare time activity..

I guess DRDO and its designers should quit experimentation, meditate on tank design and magically come up with solutions. After all, this is India, the land of spirituality and mind over matter!

Broadsword said...

Anonymous and Ghorcharrah:

I have never seen a debate of this quality on the engineering benefits/drawbacks of the Arjun.

Top stuff. My thanks to you both. Keep going.

Incidentally, Ghorcharrah, the T-90 line is way, way, way behind the schedule proposed for inducting T-90s. You're proposing that T-90s ALSO replace the T-72s in full?

Not feasible in our lifetimes, alas.

I don't buy the argument that a country the size of India, with terrain and op-role variations of the kind that we have, should have a single type of tank. We need at least three. A heavy tank for desert and plains warfare (a la Arjun); a medium tank for plains/riverine warfare (a la T-90); and a light/amphibious tank for mountainous/riverine terrain.

It may cause logistical complications. But the operational requirements are clear. And, remember, logistics drive operations only at the tactical, not the strategic level.

Ghorcharrah Gabbar said...

@Anonymous (DRDO):

Your arguments have worn me down by their utter lack of factual / interpretational basis. That's a CVRDE strength I presume.

The Leclerc GMS is a turret-top (periscopic) installation. The tank has a low turret because of its autoloader. Please analyse each of the images that I have referenced and make intelligent assesments - for your own opinions only - please.

A hull-down Leclerc
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/96/Leclerc-openphotonet_PICT5995.JPG

Turret-top Installation of GMS http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/45/Leclerc-IMG_1708.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Leclerc-IMG_1736.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e6/Char_Leclerc_Emirati_001.jpg

The Gunner's cupola unity vision-devices & the GMS
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/74/Leclerc-IMG_1734.jpg

Absolute close-up of the GMS externals
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d2/Leclerc_p1040881.jpg

A Leclerc at full-lick
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fc/Leclerc-openphotonet_PICT6015.JPG

I don't wallow in self-pity ! Don't make personal remarks or I'll make it hurt bad. This bad-ass attitude smacks of an imbecilic, argumentative attitude that bulldozes through logic, intellect & wisdom. No wonder the users & developers never pull along. If I could I'd bury the Arjun just for spawning a person of your calibre. All fart & no sh*t ! Personal attacks hurt ! QED

Again, I did not give a fig whether spaced armour or spare armour or cow-dung was used in the Leopard 2 or Arjun or T-90 or Maruti-800 - the point I made was that the GMS has been relocated to the turret-top in every MBT for a reason - primarily turret-frontal armour integrity particularly when modern sighting systems use integrated sights & the sight head has to be big enough to accomodate day & night channels. You have gone off on tangents about 'Vladimir' & yadda yadda yadda.

Curiously, you folks floated a silly rumour that the Columbians were inquiring about the tank. What happened ? Well Peru bought the MBT-2000 (Chinese-Pak).

Why don't you ask your folks what was the Arjun 120mm FSAPDS penetration on the 'hybrid' triple-NATO target during the comparitive trials? What about the abnomally lengthened axle-arms to raise ground-clearance & the observations/effects thereafter?

The PPS & the LPS Arjuns may have been tested to extremes.. that was developmental trials & did not involve production equipment in the hands of the users. What nonsense is this claim ?
When the power packs begin to fail the developer runs to fetch OEM reps & cry wolf over 'sabotage'. Pah!

You talk of a DRDO-developed FCS built by TATA. Wow ! I wonder who bore-sighted the tanks for the trials ? The crews I presume ? As per them it was the folks from IMI who came & instituted a procedure for boresighting which is inordinately complex thanks to the inadequacies of the FCS. I shall speak no more on the issue. You know the rest.

I suggest have a word with someone in the know in CVRDE - the FFE in the CIA is the same old one unless we have got cheaper stuff from 'biradari'.

Enough Anonymous... I could not give a damn anymore about your opinions & points of view. If you have an email address drop me a line and lets switch to a more personal level of offensive stuff anytime ... anyplace !

Ghorcharrah Gabbar said...

Dear BroadSword

This discussion is going nowhere as issues get side-tracked & highjacked with ease. Its become somewhat of a slanging match though I enjoyed my last salvo today - it is the last one !

My only grounds for accepting the Arjun would be that the development agency could work on a follow-up Mark 2. It would be a strategic concession to ensure crucial tank development skills are not lost even if they are used for upgradation packages.

The light tank would fill-in for the North-East & high altitude /Out-of-Area contingencies. The T-90 would spearhead offensive formations & undergo upgrades to stay abreast of the foes. The majority of the T-72s would be upgraded in bulk whereas a smaller proportion maybe replaced in part by the T-90 & the Arjun till 2020. If the Arjuns manage to perform to their PR reputation or expectations then maybe, another brigade or two may be worth the price of keeping MBT development skills alive.

Adios

gururaj said...

that was one hell of a debate!! very enlightening indeed.

kudos to anonymous for a splendid and great work.

ArjunTankFan said...

What exactly does "Ghorcharrah" mean?

Anonymous said...

Your arguments have worn me down by their utter lack of factual / interpretational basis. That's a CVRDE strength I presume.
The Leclerc GMS is a turret-top (periscopic) installation. The tank has a low turret because of its autoloader. Please analyse each of the images that I have referenced and make intelligent assesments - for your own opinions only - please.


Ghorcharrah ji,


I see a lot of wikipedia images, thank you for that, but can you kindly look to the left of the tank main gun? You'll see the GMS . Its amusing that you found the time to google all these images but read nothing from the webpage you copied them from.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leclerc

Wikipedia states:

Note the commanders sight on the right and gunners sight on the left side of the picture.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/45/Leclerc-IMG_1763.jpg

So the sight you were claiming to be the GMS was actually the Commanders sight, and the Gunners Sight is on the left!



Again, I did not give a fig whether spaced armour or spare armour or cow-dung was used in the Leopard 2 or Arjun or T-90 or Maruti-800 - the point I made was that the GMS has been relocated to the turret-top in every MBT for a reason - primarily turret-frontal armour integrity particularly when modern sighting systems use integrated sights & the sight head has to be big enough to accomodate day & night channels. You have gone off on tangents about 'Vladimir' & yadda yadda yadda.


As the Leclerc example shows above, you were quite clearly wrong.

Furthermore, if you had any access to the Arjun schema, you would see the ballistic modules extending far behind the sight.

Second, the example of the Vladimir was relevant, as it showed that that your comments on sloped armour being the be-all and end-all were wrong, since the T-90, which you support so much too uses slab sided armour.

And of course, the serious observer should be concerned about what kind of armour goes on what tank, whether it be ERA, NERA, composite, or even ballistic steel fabricated to build a turret or just a cast turret with inserts. The type of armour decides the manner in which it is positioned, and how sights etc also need to be positioned!

Curiously, you folks floated a silly rumour that the Columbians were inquiring about the tank. What happened ? Well Peru bought the MBT-2000 (Chinese-Pak).

As far as I know sir, Columbia and Peru are different nations, so your point was? Also, Columbia is free to enquire with India about the Arjun, but they really cant enquire with us about the T-90 can they? For all the money we paid, do we even have export rights?

Why don't you ask your folks what was the Arjun 120mm FSAPDS penetration on the 'hybrid' triple-NATO target during the comparitive trials? What about the abnomally lengthened axle-arms to raise ground-clearance & the observations/effects thereafter?

NATO triple heavy targets were used during ammunition trials, and the Arjun ammo did fairly well. You might be getting a bit confused here I think. And if you are still not happy with the Arjun FSAPDS ammo, and only imported shall do, IMI Israel makes a very good range of 120 mm rounds available for manufacture, and so does Germany. After all thats what we aim for the T-90, ditching the Russian rounds, and are now producing the IMI FSAPDS@ 15K/yr.

The PPS & the LPS Arjuns may have been tested to extremes.. that was developmental trials & did not involve production equipment in the hands of the users.

In which case the T-90 should also have been rejected as it too was tested to only a limited extent and yet 310 were ordered ASAP. FYI, the Arjun as it stands is the most heavily tested tank ever to be inducted in the Army. I am sorry, but this claim of yours still doesnt have much leg to stand on.

Anonymous said...

Final..


You talk of a DRDO-developed FCS built by TATA. Wow ! I wonder who bore-sighted the tanks for the trials ? The crews I presume ? As per them it was the folks from IMI who came & instituted a procedure for boresighting which is inordinately complex thanks to the inadequacies of the FCS. I shall speak no more on the issue. You know the rest.


No sir, I didnt say it was a DRDO developed FCS built by TATA. I said it was a DRDO-TATA developed Ballistic Computer which was incorporated into a FCS designed by DRDO and Sagem of France who were roped in by Delft of Belgium, who was the original partner.

As regards the "inadequacies of the FCS", unfortunately sir, the Army crew who have evaluated the Arjun systems disagree with you.
As would the people here.

http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/the-arjun-battle-tank-acquiresgrowing-fan-club/326234/

If IMI indeed institutes a procedure for boresighting which is superior to current Indian practices, then I have no qualms with that either.

The fact remains that the Arjun has better stabilization and better fire on the move capability across the board than the yesterdays system on the T-90. The Arjun FCS will also continue to evolve with further capabilities.

One wishes the same could be said of the T-90 FCS, for which we have to surreptitiously change the basic BC itself just so that we can use our own ammo. Never mind, that the Russians themselves are doing their utmost to develop a more modern FCS a la the Arjuns and include those on the T-90.

One does hope though, that while they do such ambitious things, they fix the thermal imager issue on the T-90. As an Indian taxpayer, I seriously dont see how the current situation is tenable & all it does is saddle us with an unworkable system. Adding an ECS is all fine and all, but if that does not work, we are in trouble.


I suggest have a word with someone in the know in CVRDE - the FFE in the CIA is the same old one unless we have got cheaper stuff from 'biradari'.


Sir, I am unaware of any biradari ,but the FFE on the series T-72 upgrade was indeed changed. Other things can also be changed especially electronics, and upgraded but the defining limit is the lack of an APU and the non upgraded automotive system. Furthermore, the lack of internal volume places a severe constraint on future upgrades both on the T-72 and its brushed up derivative the T-90. We will one day perhaps end up doing what the South Africans did with their upgrade proposals, and cut through the the entire frontal armour array and start adding bits and pieces. Thats what happens when a tank is designed for the immediate with only limited future upgrade seriously thought of.

The other option, as Broadsword has convincingly made a case for, is to ditch the older T-72s at least, and switch to the Arjun.


Enough Anonymous... I could not give a damn anymore about your opinions & points of view. If you have an email address drop me a line and lets switch to a more personal level of offensive stuff anytime ... anyplace !


Sorry sir - but I'll have to pass. The older one grows, the less time there is for fisticuffs, verbal or otherwise, nor do I wish you ill.

Good day.

Anonymous said...

Continued..

I don't wallow in self-pity ! Don't make personal remarks or I'll make it hurt bad. This bad-ass attitude smacks of an imbecilic, argumentative attitude that bulldozes through logic, intellect & wisdom. No wonder the users & developers never pull along. If I could I'd bury the Arjun just for spawning a person of your calibre. All fart & no sh*t ! Personal attacks hurt ! QED

So far sir, you have been the one resorting to abuse at the drop of a hat. Nor am I with CVRDE.

I have just been correcting your misperceptions.

That you would ditch an entire national program "if I could, I would bury the Arjun", just because you cannot handle an opposing point of view on the net, well...words fail me.

What nonsense is this claim ?
When the power packs begin to fail the developer runs to fetch OEM reps & cry wolf over 'sabotage'. Pah!


Sir, Renk made the transmission, obviously they will be called. Do you think Nizhny Tagil wont ask its suppliers to step up when something doesnt work right in the T-90?

Anyways, it was actually that the developer who just asked the OEM which was Renk, to fix the issue as the contract stated, and the OEM was livid over how its equipment had been used and installed a datalogger to ensure its equipment was not mishandled. Renk is a worldclass manufacturer which is fairly brand conscious, so they were very concerned (and aggravated) and expressed their statements very strongly to the MOD. Their concerns led MOS to state concerns about sabotage. Be as it may, the data logger has indeed solved the issue.

Hope the same could be said of the T-90, whose engines continue to pack up, one packed up in the original trials itself and had to be hastily replaced. Of course our Russian friends then released a statement saying the trials went superbly well and some military glossies even ran a nice article on the superb rugged T-90. :-)

I do wonder how the Algerian friends are finding their T-90s.

Ravi said...

Ok, Ravi here..Ghorcharrah Gabbar sirji, sorry if I caused you any hurt, but to be honest the statements yyou made. these are the same usual stuff one reads from flame warriors on the internet, usually Pakistanis. They then drag religion into the mix (one guy even made it a point to call the Al Khalid ..el Khaled, Arabic you see, so its even better). Anyways, when i saw your claims which anon has also corrected,it just raised a red flag to a bull.

So no hard feelings.

Apart from what anon has stated, KMW of Germany worked with DRDO on the initial design of the Arjun using the LEO2A4 as a template. Of course it ended up being significantly different over time.I daresay the Arjun has features which are better than the original LEO2A4 and its actually more heavily armoured too. See where the GMS is?

http://data.primeportal.net/apc/arnd_mud/Leo%202%20A4%20Bild%206.jpg

Now check this from steelbeasts, a professional sim which is used by the US Army armour training community.

http://www.steelbeasts.com/sbwiki/images/e/eb/Leo2frontLOS.jpg

See the turret armor values on either side of the gun mantlet?

They are identical, thats because the armour extends farther behind the sights to give equal values.

So anon was absolutely right.

And this was easily regarded as the best tank of its class then, superior to even the Abrams which had serious reliability issues; the Americans ended up even license manufacturing the 120 MM Rheinmetall gun from the LEO2A4 for their Abrams to improve on their tank..over time, the Abrams became a world class tank too and even superior in some features. But the LEO2A4 remains a very potent system..

Today Singapore, Poland, and even Finland (and others) operate this tank, with minor improvements. They really like it and Arjun actually improves on it in some areas.

So that GMS thing you are saying really makes no sense..no offence, frankly.

The Arjun as things stand, is frankly much superior to the T series tanks. Again no offence, but its the truth.No western designer even considers these tanks beyond a point.

As things stand, I see almost fanatical belief in the T series tanks, and disregard for the actual combat experience of this very flawed design ..not speaking of you in specific but generally, but thats to be expected from folks who operate a piece of machinery for so long..they have to really identify with/love the tank.

One thing that came up in my talks with the black berets is how insulated the Indian tank community is, relatively..in terms of seeing worldwide systems in action via exercises, thanks to earlier politics and cost issues. That is not a slur on their combat capability or their training or even combat experience..

I mean..the IAF has been exercising all over the world..and so has the IN. The Army's are just beginning...these should be extended to armour...if the IA takes its T-90s to Fort Irwin in the US...and sees how they face against the "large, heavy, large silhouette" Abrams...then I assure you your perception will change..and the average T series tanker will start seeing there are other ways to slice an orange..


Again..no offence..because the basic issue is of perception. When the Army is exposed to other tanks, other designs, they will start seeing how they too are made of "integrated systems" from different companies, and despite being larger, heavier, they actually leave the T series in the dust.

Anonymous said...

What exactly does "Ghor-charrah" mean?

it's a bengali word AFAIK. means homeless or musafir.

Anonymous said...

This GMS stuff, seats dont move stuff is too funny.

So let me get this the current stuff works, but Ghorcharrah Gabbar dislikes it, so if he joins the Arjun team, so then another year spent in putting the sight on top.

After that, next guy who comes will say, AHA! The Russians are now moving to sights on the hull. So they will spend another 2 years moving it to the hull.

After all this, the next guy who sees the Arjun will say, aha! The Challenger has coffee heater inside, the Arjun doesnt, so they will add that.

This thing will keep on happening.

Then they will ask for a MK3 a MK4 a MK5 a MK40..at the end the Army will buy T-1000 from Russia.

News from 2020:
" The Army has ordered all of five Arjun MK40, and has said "Arjun MK40 is a medium technology tank, it has a coffee heater, now we are waiting for MK41 which makes bread omelette and toast". Thanks to the delay in the Arjun MK41, the Army now plans to order 2000 T-1000s".

News from 2021:
"Russian T-1000 tanks in trouble, as the French super-thermo-vision does not work, and the engines overheated in trials. Army officials dismissed this as teething problems and reiterated their decision to purchase another 1000 T-1000 tanks, thanks to the delay in the Arjun program."

Procurement, India style.

Arun said...

Ghorcharrah Gabbar,

You refer to the Leclerc as having a turret top installation.
And hence not being vulnerable. Well, the jurys out on that. Here see this top view.
http://strony.aster.pl/vodnik/pages/Leclerc/leclerc_04.jpg
http://i21.servimg.com/u/f21/11/34/13/70/100_1710.jpg

I think anon is approaching the issue from another angle or thought you were referring to the CPS (even I thought that at first ). But anon has a valid point, namely that the Leclerc GMS also extends "into" the tank.

Depending on the shot, a APFSDS round and its resultant spall, can enter the crew compartment and cause a lot of grief.

I think the Arjun arrangement is better because it is simpler and also avoids manufacturing complexity, looking at the amount of welds, joints in the Leclerc makes my eyes hurt. From the engineering point of view, this tank is way over-engineered and demands a level of skill to manufacture that would test even a worldclass western manufacturer. I can imagine the trouble that would occur. How did this shot get through? Well sir, you see Weld # 1000 on the RHS, towards the bottom failed, we had checked all the other 999 but..

To be honest, even the T-90 sight arrangement does not inspire confidence:
http://www.defencetalk.com/pictures/data/3071/t90.jpg

Just look at all that ERA, E standing for Explosive as we both know.
http://fofanov.armor.kiev.ua/Tanks/EQP/obps.jpg

With all those fragments flying around, I wonder whats going to happen to the sights?

Anyways, even though the Leo2 pic above kind of settles the issue, and I am a latecomer to your party, but just thought I'd chip in.

Another thing, in the Arjun (and the other manually loaded tanks), you can keep up a brisk rate of fire also. In the T-90, what are you going to do once your autoloader runs dry? Refilling it with other rounds in the turret is going to be a pain. Admittedly its 20 odd rounds till it runs dry, but from what I am told, the T-90 Pk is so-so and not that great against moving targets, and with not all rounds APFSDS, you might run out. Its not as bad as the 12 round external magazine on the AMX-13 where you were out of luck, if it emptied, but still I think this is where the Arjun surely has an advantage.

Anonymous said...

All this hoo haa over the GMS position misses the basic point.

As Ajai then noted:

http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20070025577

"In the year 2000, the Indian Kanchan Armour proved itself in trials - a T-72 couldn't penetrate the Arjun even from point blank range."

http://frontierindia.net/dissimilar-combat-arjun-mbt-vs-t-90s-specs

"Protection of MBT Arjun against FSAPDS and HESH ammunitions has been demonstrated. In January 2000 at Proof & Experimental Establishment (PXE), Balasore, Arjun tank armor defeated all available HESH and FSAPDS rounds including Israeli FSAPDS rounds."

So all this GMS, LMS, NMS from googled pics and stuff is immaterial, the actual trials showed what the Arjun was worth.

Anonymous said...

There were few comments regarding angular versus flat faced armour.
Let me try to explain a bit(as much I know). It is all physics.

Take a example of a bullet fired. The speed of bullet will vary through a air,liquid,semi liquid and solid medium. Basically if the bullet is made to travel through air first, then water, then gel material etc it speed will keep decreasing because of the medium it travels.

So if i have materials made up of these mediums and arrange them in such a way that the when the bullet reaches the surface of a particular medium it should not have enough energy to penetrate it.

This is the concept used in a composite armour, which is a composite of varying materials effecting the speed of a projectile.

Hence it does not matter if a composite armour is not sloped. A perforated steel armour like that of Merk is sloped because it uses the brute fashion of providing maximum steel depth to stop the sabot, while composite needs to provide enough volume to absorb the force,to slow down the sabot.

And yeah the armour face of T-90 is also flat..because it use composite armour, but does not have enough volume thereby needing ERA's for additional safety.

-Nit

Anonymous said...

Ghorcharrah Gabbar said...
This bad-ass attitude smacks of an imbecilic, argumentative attitude that bulldozes through logic, intellect & wisdom. No wonder the users & developers never pull along. If I could I'd bury the Arjun just for spawning a person of your calibre. All fart & no sh*t ! Personal attacks hurt ! QED

What a condescending attitude! If this is the kind of ego being expressed by every know-all army types, i'm not suprised to see why 'Arjun project' is getting abandoned. Sincerely, i dont like such people to be guardians of my country.
Whether we are inducting good or bad tank is another issue. One can't serve a better army by having such people who put their ego before the nation. What a pity!

FatMan said...

Ghrocharah Gabbar % Anonymous,

Thanx for a truly 'enlivened' & forceful debate on the relative merits of the Arjun & T-90.

My sole regret is that the debate has turned a wee bit un-parliamentary. I hold professional credentials similar to Gabbar but am convinced that the T-72 needs out. The T-90 has not done away with any of the T-72's weaknesses as evident in Iraq, Lebanon (Bekka Valley) or Chechnya. And the Russians have started dictating terms on the local manufacture of T-90 assemblies, or even the simulators. I have no idea of the comparative trial performances but the Arjun couldn't have done all that bad to merit outright rejection. I'd love the Arjun with a 120mm smoothbore, though.
Its nice to have our own MBT that may not be 100% Indian (even the Yanks have a German gun on the M1A2) but the imported content is sourced from the best in business. I do wish that the Arjun would rid itself of the V-shaped anti-surge vanes/plates - it is so T-72 like.

Great debate, great content & references - tone down the rhetoric though. Let the blog-master & others decide the weight of each argument.

Anonymous said...

After all the sound and light show, here are the criticisms that stand out for arjun, (as I understand them as a layman).

1) Low range: Gabbar ji claims only 150 odd kms on internal fuel.
- Wikipedia states that Arjun internal fuel capacity is 1610 liters, similar to that of Leclerc, so unless the MTU engine is a fuel hog, thats a little difficult to believe.

2) APFSDS round has unsatisfactory performance.
- Performance of the Gun will be a combination of FCS (arjun has a great FCS, as per many reports), ammunition and muzzle velocity. The Indian ammunition manufacturing capability will be the same, whether it is the arjun or the T90 (so a draw). Having said that, the Arjun can take much longer APFSDS rounds than the T90 because of the autoloader restrictions.
http://www.drdo.org/pub/techfocus/feb02/arjun.htm

And Gandeev guns muzzle velocity is 1650m/sec, not much slower than the 1850m/sec of 2A46, and in any case, the kinetic energy imparted may be the same due to higher mass of the ammunition.

- Not the same anonymous :-)

Anonymous said...

Fatman sir,

I am not much into rhetoric. Do you see me calling the Army names? I am of the category which believes the older one gets, the more one realizes the more one needs to achieve, ergo life is too short to be spent on bickering..dont know if that made any sense. If not, apologies.
My point was just to correct glaring misconceptions, which then take on a life of their own. And malign a fine product and the hard work of so many people, from the DRDO, Army and associated industries.

Fellow Anon,
Coming to the points about range and FSAPDS raise earlier, I dont think either claim has much merit to be honest. If the Arjun range was bad (lets leave out what I know or dont know), the Army would have made sure its objections on this front were plastered over the net/media. Similarly, the FSAPDS claim is a red herring.

Now, if you want a source for what the Arjun is worth, here:
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/LAND-FORCES/Special/184-Arjun-Experiment.html

"The Arjun's 120mm gun with the FSAPDS (Fin Stabilised Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot) and Hash ammunition, is excellent."

"Its firepower is tremendous. Particularly on the move, its firepower is very accurate and good."

This was from 8 April 2005.

It has also been tested extensively in a continuing manner, including proof testing trials in 2008 at PXE in Orissa.
http://www.zeenews.com/news480999.html

Furthermore, if the Arjun/FCS combo was not optimal, we wouldnt see crack performance by first timers as Ajai's article mentions.

Now, the 2AM46 or whatever is on the T-90, may claim 1850 m/s, but as things stand the best ammo we currently produce obtained from IMI Israel, has a velocity of 1660 m/s. Provided we can get the ballistic computer on the T-90 changed that is.

Which raises the other point, if the Army wants more variety in terms of FSAPDS, there are Israeli, German, and even American 120mm rounds available. And the Israelis will give TOT as well. Simply put, this is more of a non issue than anything relevant.

sreekanth said...

well done and keep it up ARJUN

Anonymous said...

Leave for a moment the repeated thwarting of 1 on 1 trials between Arjun & T90.Let there be even a benefit of doubt about both ,the comparable 'parity' of both tanks after trials, & the past motives of DGMF.Let's even contend with 1300 of T90s vs 124 'perhaps' mildly superior ,indegenious Arjun.
But what about Massive upgradation of obsolete t 72.Something is outrightly smelly here.
We hope that the new IA Chief does something about internal health of none other than the DGMF & DGMO first.

Anonymous said...

Now that (fingers crossed) the cat is out of the bag, the million dollar(or may be the billion dollar) que is ,just who kept the cat inside of the bag for so long.
Good job DGMF!!!!

Anonymous said...

When the official test trial reports will be made public? Any news on that?

rahul said...

Arjun cannot be compared with its lighter cousin T-90. Arjun is a 60T tank & T-90 is abt 46-47 ton tank. How can two tanks of different class be compared. Indian Army sees tank battles taking place on Eastern Frontiers and all the infrastructure and the support equipment of the Indian Army cannot support a tank of Arjun class (60T).

Anonymous said...


With the trial report still being compiled --- it is expected to reach Army Headquarters after a fortnight --- neither the army, nor the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO)...


Fortnight has turned into Fortnights....still no news... :(

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous

[b]Just look at all that ERA, E standing for Explosive as we both know.
http://fofanov.armor.kiev.ua/Tanks/EQP/obps.jpg

With all those fragments flying around, I wonder whats going to happen to the sights? [/b]

I find this comment illogical. Even without ERA the shrapnel from an incoming round will damage the sights.

"It is like the American comment on ERA. The soldiers cannot go close to the tanks because of exploding ERA when hit."

They fail to see that the soldier will die anyway, ERA or no ERA.

Anonymous said...

If Arjun's performance is indeed as superior as concluded in these tests, it puts the hesitation on part of top army brass in a more disturbing light.
What reason could these gentlemen have preferring to use an obsolete foreign tank model which is now costing us crores to simply upgrade?To me and certainly to many other patriotic indian citizens this whole affair reeks of corruption in the army's highest ranks.
I am hoping against hope that this is noticed and investigated at the highest levels, or else even the most useless science fiction level of weapons, cannot protect this country from its enemies.

Pawan said...

It is proven now that Arjun is equivalent or superior to T 72 & T-90. It is shameful that some vested interests are pushing foreign weapons instead of indigenous. In emerging geo-political scenario it is important that India become self reliant in defense technologies otherwise we will at mercy of other nations.

Ivan said...

Behaviour of our senior officers gives visible signs of being pro foreign and a definitely very fishy. Our Defence Minister should take charge of this situation and understand why senior Indian Army officers are keen on spending Indian tax payers money outside the country when such excellent quality is availble in the country. Well they better change when there is a chance else may find themselves open to investigation. Maybe it would be a good idea to get all our defence uniformed officers under the ambit of Lokpal too. Army and Airforce chiefs and their officers have for their own reasons shown open partiality to foreign products. The Navy has been better supporting a lot of indigenous products.

Order 3000 Arjun's and develop the support infrastructure

Akhou Keditsu said...

Great read! Many moons have since passed. Perhaps all can re-congregrate to debate current status.