India - battle tank of future DISCUSSION


Senior Member
Oct 27, 2009
India's battle tank of future & love for Russia

India's battle tank of future & love for Russia

The battle lines have been drawn. At stake is the future of one of India's most prestigious defence products: the Arjun Main Battle Tank.

In its 29th report, which was tabled in Parliament earlier this week, Parliament's Standing Committee on Defence writes that it is 'startled' to be told that the tank had performed poorly in winter trials, and that it was miles away from meeting the army's requirements.

Business Standard has come to know from three different members of the Standing Committee on Defence that it is more than 'startled' -- it is frankly disbelieving of the army's deposition.

In its last annual report for 2007-08, the committee was told by the ministry that the Arjun tank was 'a product unique in its class', an improved system over the T-72, Rs 6-8 crore cheaper than its contemporary system in the West, far superior (in firing accuracy) to the other two tanks (T-72 and T-90), driven for over 60,000 km and fired more than 8,000 rounds and 'there was no problem'.

After the army representative slammed the Arjun, the Standing Committee chairman, Balasaheb Vikhe Patil, as well as the defence secretary and several other members agreed that the committee would formulate a clear policy on India's tank of the future.

Underlying this decision is the belief amongst most members of the Standing Committee that the army is biased against the Arjun tank and is in favour of continuing to use the Russian T-72 and T-90 tanks. There were clear factual inaccuracies in the army's deposition before the Standing Committee. The most glaring of them is the army's suggestion that it is carrying out trials on the Arjun's performance.

In fact, the army has already accepted the Arjun for introduction into service, based upon its driving and firing performance over the years. After firing trials in summer 2006, the trial report (written by the army) said: "The accuracy and consistency of the Arjun has been proved beyond doubt."

The ongoing trials in Pokhran are being cited by the army as Accelerated Usage cum Reliability Trials. In these, two Arjun tanks were run almost non-stop for 3,000 kilometres, not to judge performance, but to evaluate the tank's requirement of spare parts, fuel and lubricants during its entire service life.

In fact, it is the Arjun's developer, the Central Vehicle R&D Laboratory, Avadi, that has long demanded comparative trials, where the performance of five Arjuns would be gauged against five Russian T-90s and T-72s. The army has consistently sidestepped that invitation.

The army has also testified incorrectly to the Standing Committee about four engine failures during the recent AUCRT. In fact, sources closely associated with the trials say, the problems were with four gearboxes manufactured by German company Renk AG. A world leader in transmission systems, Renk representatives are already in Pokhran and Avadi, analysing and resolving the problem.

The army does not mention, but problems were also experienced with four hydro-pneumatic suspension units (HSUs), which leaked after the Arjuns had run 2,000 kilometres.

But Arjun's makers say 2,000 kilometres is the service life of the suspension; normally they would have been replaced before the point at which they leaked.

Officers closely associated with the Arjun, as well as several members of the Standing Committee on Defence, contrast the army's approach to the Arjun with the navy's acceptance of indigenous projects.

They say the navy has achieved striking success in building its own warships by associating itself with the project right from the design stage; warships are accepted into service and many hiccups overcome during their service lives. In contrast, the army is resisting accepting the Arjun until every last hiccup is resolved by the DRDO.

An application to interview the army's Director General of Mechanised Forces was approved by the MoD eight months ago. However, the DGMF has not granted an interview so far because of 'scheduling problems'.



India readying weapon system

Express News Service
First Published : 04 Jan 2010 02:41:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 04 Jan 2010 12:25:41 PM IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: India is all set to do a China visa-a-vis anti-satellite capabilities. With space technology emerging as a crucial factor in the nation's defence, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) plans greater emphasis on space security which will include development of anti-satellite systems, Director General of DRDO V K Saraswat said here on the sidelines of the Indian Science Congress.

"We have the building blocks.

What is needed is technology to track the movements of enemy satellites, for instance before making a kinetic kill. We are trying to build a credible deterrence capability.

Many of these technologies may never be used," Saraswat, who is also adviser to Defence Minister A K Antony, said.

Space security, he said, involves the need for a gamut of capabilities including the protection of our satellites, communication and navigation systems and how you can deny your enemy his own space systems forms an important part of this strategy. The DRDO, he said, is all set to launch a national programme for developing tank propulsion systems. This will be taken up in association with R&D institutions across the country.

Saraswat said that no problem existed with the design of the Agni II missile, the test-firing of which failed twice last year. "There are no problems with the design. The problem is basically with the production quality. I won't say a 'slip' in production quality, but an 'oversight' at minute levels. We've to make sure that manpower at the production agencies is adequately trained," he said.

On Arjun, the Main Battle Tank developed by the DRDO, Saraswat said that the Army was "comfortable" with the first batch of 124 tanks. A second batch will be supplied soon. The locally-designed Kaveri engine will be fitted on the advanced medium combat aircraft.

The engine is undergoing high-altitude tests in Russia, he said.

India readying weapon system

MBT-EX / Tank-Ex / Karna

By 2002 the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had developed a new prototype battle tank with a code name 'Tank-Ex' or "MBT-EX". This tank has been developed by integrating a modified low silhouette chassis of in-service T-72 tank and re-engineered turret of MBT-Arjun. The weight of this tank will be around 47 tons and the maximum road speed of about 60 Km/hr. The tank has undergone limited technical trials by DRDO only. It will be offered for trials to Army at an appropriate stage.

One successful upgrade effort includes the mating of the Arjun's turret with the T-72's chassis, christened the 'Karna', the firstborn of Kunti. Karna, the unknown eldest son of the Pandavs, was born of divinity but raised as the son of a lowly chariot rider. At every step, fate deals Karna a rotten hand, but also entices him to seek his destiny, his rightful place as the Warrior of the Sun. Karna (also known as Karnan) is one of the central figures in Hindu epic Mahabharata. He was the first son of Kunti, and was thus half brother to the Pandavas, and the eldest of them. Although Duryodhana of the Kauravas anoints him king of Anga, his role in the legend far exceeds the importance of a king. He fought for the Kauravas in the great battle at Kurukshetra.

In the Mahabharat, Karna promises Gandhari that till he is alive, Duryodhan will never be alone. But since he will be facing Arjun in battle, he cannot promise who will be by Duryodhan's side after his death. Karna and Arjun finally come face to face and start shooting arrows at each other. But the two warriors are evenly matched and their fight fails to present a clear victor until they start using their divine weapons. Parshuram's curse takes effect, when Karna summons a divine weapon, but nothing happens. Karna refuses to surrender and continues fighting when his second curse takes effect and the wheel of his chariot gets stuck in the earth. Karna tries to free the wheel of his chariot and reminds Arjun that he cannot attack him since he is on foot. But Krishna instigates Arjun by saying that even Karna has broken rules of the war and he was the man who had called Draupadi a prostitute and led the attack against Abhimanyu. Arjun changes his mind after listening to Krishna and shoots an arrow. Karna faces the arrow that is about to kill him without fear and dies after the arrow severs his head from his body.

MBT-EX / Tank-Ex

India, Russia plan to build futuristic main battle tank

Vladimir Radyuhin

Russian defence industry team coming

“Will consolidate edge over Pakistan’s T-80 MBT”

It will feature higher speed and better firepower

MOSCOW: Encouraged by the remarkable success of their pilot co-development defence project, the BrahMos missile, India and Russia are planning to design and build a futuristic main battle tank.

Defence industry experts will discuss the new project when a delegation of the Russian Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) tank-building factory visits India this week to participate in an international seminar on the Future Main Battle Tank (FMBT) organised by the Army along with the Confederation of Indian Industry.

The two sides have already had preliminary discussions on the issue, according to UVZ Director General Nikolai Malykh.
Similar proposal

“We put forward this idea [of a joint tank project] at the turn of the 21st century,” he told journalists in Moscow. “The Indian side has now come up with a similar proposal. We will take the first step when our experts go to India to attend a conference on the future tank and prospects for the tank-building industry.”

A leading Russian defence expert says it makes good sense for India and Russia to join hands in building a futuristic tank.

“The new tank will consolidate India’s edge over the Pakistani Army armed with Ukraine’s potent T-80 MBT and the Al-Khalid MBT built jointly with China and Ukraine,” Ruslan Pukhov, Director, Centre for Analysis and Technologies, said.

“Russia’s Uralvagonzavod would be the best partner for India in designing and building the new tank given a long history of its cooperation with the Heavy Vehicles Factory in Avadi in the production of T-72 and T-90S MBTs.”

India has purchased over 1,600 T-90S MBTs built by the UVZ of which 1,000 will be manufactured at the Avadi plant.

The Indo-Russian MBT is likely to incorporate the best features of prototype tanks developed at Russia’s leading tank-building plants — UVZ and Omsk Transport Machine-Building Plant — which are now being merged into a single corporation.
Armour protection

According to the Moscow Defence Brief magazine, the new tank will mark a great step forward in armour technology. It will feature higher speed, better firepower, sophisticated armour protection and a low silhouette. An armour-protected crew compartment will be sealed from the unmanned turret equipped with an automatic loader.

The crew will be provided with a virtual-reality command information system linked to reconnaissance aircraft and will enjoy a smoother ride thanks to a new hydro-pneumatic suspension.

The new tank is likely to have a new main gun of up to 152 mm calibre and a new hunter-killer fire control system with target acquisition in optical, thermal, infrared and radar spectrums that will be accessible both to the gunner and tank commander, the Moscow Defence Brief said.


The Hindu : National : India, Russia plan to build futuristic main battle tank


Senior Member
Sep 5, 2009
This is the kind of news that helps iron out the belief that there's light at the end of the tunnel for the IA in search of a more reliable MBT than the Arjun and a next generation MBT(FMBT). This takes our defense cooperation with Russia to the next level, after the success of the Brahmos missile program and now India jointly producing a futuristic MBT and a Fifth generation fighter aircraft (PAK-FA/T-50) with Russia.

More on the TANK-EX program by DRDO :-

Tank-Ex is a significant development and is the second attempt (after the successful Combat Improved Ajeya /upgraded T-72M1)by the Arjun MBT developers to harness its technology spin-offs. The Tank Ex appears to be an ideal solution for upgrading the Indian Army's vast and aging T-72M1 fleet. Having undergone six months of trials in Rajasthan till now, it will presumably need many more to be fine tuned per Army requirements. However, it must be noted that the two crucial "parts" of the Tank Ex - namely the Arjun turret with its weapon system and the T-72M1 (Ajeya) platform/chassis are well tested and already certified by the Army.

General details:

Crew: 4 - commander, gunner, loader and driver.

Combat weight: The Tank -Ex at 47 tons is heavier than the T-72M1 (41 tons) and much lighter than the Arjun MBT, which tips the scales at 58.5 tons.

Power plant:The Tank-Ex has a 1000 hp power plant (as on the Combat Improved Ajeya) giving a power to weight ratio of 21 hp/ton for a weight of 47 tons. This represents an improvement over the T-72M1's 20 hp/ton with a weight of 41 tons and an 780 hp power plant.

Ground pressure: 0.94 Kgf/cm Square, marginally higher than the T-72M1's 0.90 Kgf/cm square.

Suspension: Torsion bar with hydrostruts; also an improvement over the T-72M1 torsion bar system.

Dimensions: The usage of the T-72M1 chassis gives the Tank Ex a lower silhouette than the Arjun MBT, which stands tall at 3.03 meters (over AD gun mount).

Length (gun forward): 9.19metres

Width(over tracks): 3.37metres

Height(over AD gun mount): 2.93metres

Ground clearance: 0.47metres

Armament: The Tank Ex utilizes the Arjun MBT's 120mm rifled gun firing unitary APFSDS and HESH semi combustible cartridge case ammunition. A total of 32 rounds are carried as compared to 39 in the Arjun and 45 two piece ones in the T-72.The Arjun's armament system is the most powerful one available to Indian developers today. The choice of calibre, weapon design and ammunition make it superior to the in-service 125mm 2A46 guns on the T-72M1. The Tank Ex retains the Arjun's third generation director type integrated FCS (Fire Control System) including a sophisticated digital ballistic computer. It may be noted that the Arjun FCS is an updated one(with digital components replacing the original analogue ones) as compared to the original, which faced numerous technical problems. Firepower trials validated the efficacy of the updated Arjun FCS and led to its recent acceptance by the Army. Capable of firing on the move, the Tank Ex also is fully "night ready" with the gunner having a thermal imager integrated with his main sight. A standby articulated sight is provided as backup for the main sight. The tank commander (as in the Arjun MBT) has his own fully stabilized sight with relevant controls for surveillance, target acquisition and engagement, giving excellent hunter-killer ability. The gun control system is electro-hydraulic. Gun elevation/depression is +16.5 deg/-10 deg , better than the T-72M1's + 14 deg/-6 deg. As in the Arjun MBT and the T-72M1, a co-axial 7.62mm PKT machine gun and a 12.7mm NVST Heavy Machine gun(air defense) are standard. The tank also incorporates an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) to operate the weapons systems in silent watch mode.

Navigational aids: A global positioning system is provided for accurate navigation. This is a feature common to both the Arjun MBT as well as the Combat Improved Ajeya .

Protection: The Tank Ex utilizes the state of the Art composite armor-"kanchan"-especially over its frontal arc(Turret as well as glacis) giving excellent protection against both Kinetic and Chemical rounds. The usage of the Arjun turret design indicates that the Tank-Ex may also have its "ready" ammunition stored in the bustle (as in the Arjun),separated from the crew and provided with blow off panels. This would be a significant protective feature in line with "western" design practices. Kanchan is an extensively tested and successful armor, which is available for retrofit to other IFV programs. The Tank Ex also has fully integrated Nuclear Biological and Chemical (NBC) protection The usual turret mounted 81mm antithermal smoke grenade launchers are also standard on the Tank-Ex.

Performance and Obstacle Negotiation: The Tank Ex retains the T-72 attributes of speed and agility with a maximum speed of 60 km/hr (on road) and 40 km/hr (cross country).While the gradient climbing at 30 degrees it remains in line with all variants of the T-72 like the B(M). The Tank Ex is better at trench crossing.(2.6 metres as compared to the T-72M1's 2.28 meters).Vertical Obstacles 0.85 metres tall can be surmounted, same as the T-72M1.Shallow fording is quoted as 1.2 metres.


Senior Member
Oct 27, 2009
Improvements on Russian T-90x

The new compact conditioner for tanks, armored and civilian vehicles was developed in Russia. It used Peltier effect: thermoelectric cooling, based on creating a heat flux between the junction of two different types of materials. The most problem successfully solved was effectiveness of the Peltier modules. It's all solid state freon-free device, without any negative effect on ozone layer and global warming. Also it's very compact and stress-withstanding. Unlike current models it can be installed inside the Russian MBT tank T-90A. However, the more probable target for the new conditioner installation is 'Burlak' - the modernized version of T-90 tank currently over the tests. It could be installed on the export version T-90S or T-90M instead of the external conditioner, which can be seen on the Algerian and Libian T-90s. Naturally the Russian Future MBT, which published name is T-95, would be equipped with a conditioner based on the same principles, if the program succeeds.

SOURCE & more images here

Defunct Humanity: New tank conditioner

Т-90М. New Specs.

Sunday, January 3, 2010
Т-90М. New Specs.

The new pictures and main specs of T-90M (ob.188M) were appeared on a Russian site. This tank was first time demonstrated for Putin in Dec.10 at N-Tagil. It has got:

- New bigger turret without weakened frontal areas and with the all-aspect ERA covering.
- ERA 'Relict'
- Additional roof protection against atop attacking munition.
- New additional autoloader, placed on the aft part of the turret and able using the new longer sub-caliber rods.
- Aft ammo storage.
- Panoramic 3-channel IR commander site with improved anti-split/rounds protection.
- 7.62 mm automatic turret instead of 12.7mm.
- Totally new 2A82 125 mm MG (2A46M5 - optional).
- FCS with the net-centric module.
- New radio.
- New navigation system.
- New anti-split kevlar layer instead of the standard Russian anti-neutron layer.
- new anti-fire system.

Defunct Humanity: ?-90?. New Specs.

T-90ME was demonstrated first time

In work:

- Mono-block power unit on 1200 hp V-99 engine.
- Steering wheel control.

T-90M - is intended for the export purpose mainly. For domestic use there was confirmed 'Burlak' program with heavy Tomsk OKBTM's input.

The export version of modernized T-90M tank was demonstrated for Russian PM Putin today in 'UVZ plant (N-Tagil). The tank has a new, bigger turrets,
- 'Relict' ERA on the turret (but not on the hull),
- a new panoramic commander sight with 360 degree vision,
- new commander hatch with better accessability
- different placement of the air conditioner
- new tracks
- stronger rolls and some improvement in the chassis
- possibly 1200 hp engine

Defunct Humanity: T-90ME was demonstrated first time

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