DRDO ERA MK2 & Anti thermal, anti laser smoke grenade


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Aug 9, 2014
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Indigenously developed protective covering for T-72 tanks of Indian Army

Pune: As many as 2,500 T-72 tanks of the Indian Army will soon be equipped with an indigenously developed protective covering to ensure safety from enemy tank fire.

Top Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) officials told TOI on Friday that the tanks will be equipped with the advanced version of Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) Mk-II for effective protection. "Besides, the will also result in saving of huge foreign exchange," they said.

Presently, the T-72 tanks of the Indian army are fitted with ERA Mk I. To get better protection for the tanks, the Indian Army had put forth its demand for advanced version of the ERA in 2010 to the DRDO.

The development of ERA Mk-II was thus undertaken by the DRDO in 2011 with city-based High Energy Materials Research Laboratory as a nodal lab in association with the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment and the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory.

The DRDO officials said the user trials of the ERA Mk-II were carried out in four phases from November 2015 to January 2016. "During these trials, ERA Mk-II was evaluated against 84mm heat, 125mm heat, Milan warhead and AMK- 339 ammunition," they added.

The officials said, "With improved explosive properties and armour materials, the performance of ERA Mk-II against shaped charge warheads and kinetic energy projectiles was excellent and better than ERA Mk- I."

"Army officers have also evaluated various performance parameters, like mobility, turret traverse, gun stabilisation among others as per the trial directives. All the requirements were met during the user evaluation," the officials added.

A top DRDO official, who did not wish to be named, told TOI, "Adaption of ERA Mk-II will significantly enhance the protection level of tanks. Thus, the Army wants advanced version for T-72 first and they will equip this system to their T- 90 and Arjun MK-II in the near future."

The official said the weight of reactive panel is similar of ERA MK- I. It means, it will not put any additional weight on the tank.

Commenting on ERA's role, a senior army officer said, "The main task of the ERA is to reduce the penetration of shaped charge warheads and KE projectiles, thereby, ensuring the non-perforation of tank armour and protection of the crew within. Positively, the newly developed ERA has achieved all necessary requirements during the trials."

The DRDO aims to start the mass production of the ERA after Transfer of Technology (ToT) to private defence manufacturers. "We will complete the process once we finalise manufacturers in the next few months," sources from the DRDO said.


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