Indian Army News

WolfPack86

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The panic buys

As the Himalayan stand-off between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army of China in eastern Ladakh entered its fourth month, the country’s armed forces embarked on a fresh round of emergency fast-track procurements (FTPs) of weapons and ammunition to replenish their arsenal. The defence ministry is buzzing with activity as files and proposals are being drafted for approvals in South Block with a speed that only crisis brings. On the anvil are a slew of weapon imports, including light tanks, tank ammunition, surface-to-air missiles,assault rifles and drones, estimated at over Rs 10,000 crore from three of India’s biggest defence suppliers, Russia, the US and Israel. The weapons are meant to equip the army and the air force forward-deployed in Ladakh since late May. On July 16, the defence ministry allowed emergency procurements worth Rs 500 crore for each of the three services, with no restrictions on the number of such programmes. The army, which has deployed four divisions in the theatre of action, has the most numerous requirements. It wants kamikaze drones, anti-tank guided munitions, shoulder-fired missiles, high-mobility vehicles and GPS-guided shells for the newly-acquired ultra-light howitzers, and even ammunition for small arms (see Fast-Track Purchases). The air force wants additional shipments of Derby and MICA air-to-air missiles and Spice-1000 precision-guided munitions for its fighters. Rather than wait to integrate Israeli munitions on its Rafale fighter jets, it has opted for French Hammer precision-guided munitions to equip its first five jets flying in from France, literally into the thick of action, on July 29. A defence ministry official indicated that almost 100 cases are in the contractual process, to be concluded by the end of the current financial year, March 2021. The road less taken The world over, defence purchases are a cumbersome process lasting several years. In India, the byzantine procurement process involves the civil and military bureaucracy as well as the political leadership, which means it could take even a decade to purchase anything from a sophisticated fighter jet to a bulletproof jacket. The armed forces have to identify requirements, look for hardware that meets their needs, conduct extensive trials and finally invite competing bids from global suppliers. The arrival of the Rafale jets is the culmination of a process that began soon after the 1999 Kargil War, with the contract finally signed in 2016. Emergency FTPs, which shorten the defence ministry’s cumbersome weapons acquisition processes, first began during the Kargil War. The army found its ammunition stocks insufficient to last even that short border conflict. Artillery, essential for softening up enemy targets before soldiers can move in, relies on a constant supply of ammunition. A 155 mm Bofors gun, for instance, requires at least 250 shells per day to fire in an offensive mode. In Kargil, even as Indian artillery trained their gunsights at features like Tiger Hill and in Batalik, army and defence ministry procurement teams were flying into Cape Town and Tel Aviv to top up the depleting stocks of shells. The FTP, a beguiling enemy-at-the-gates syndrome, has been a feature of every military crisis ever since. The purchases triggered by the ongoing Ladakh stand-off would be the third occasion in recent years when the armed forces went on an emergency weapons and ammunition-buying spree. FTPs had also followed the cross-border raids by Indian forces in the aftermath of the September 2016 Uri terror attack and the February 2019 air strikes in Balakot, when India and Pakistan once again teetered on the brink of a conflict. An army official explains how FTPs and the delegation of emergency financial powers are helpful. Between January 2014 and October 2016, the army concluded 20 contracts valued at Rs 400 crore. When the delegation of powers happened in 2016, the army did contracts worth Rs 11,000 crore. “It gave a big boost to this model and revived the government’s confidence, and therefore, it was allowed to go beyond the stipulated time and 40 more contacts worth Rs 4,500 crore were done through this process,” says the official. FTPs can be explained by India’s heavy and continuing dependence on imported military hardware. The country was the world’s second-largest importer of arms in 2014-18 and accounts for 9.2 per cent of the global arms sales. Indian armed forces are among the five largest in the world. At $71 billion, India’s defence budget in 2019 was only a fraction of what the US ($705.4 billion) and China ($261 billion) spent, but it was still the world’s third largest. The failure to create an indigenous military-industrial complex that would keep pace with a military machine and its requirements is what leads to imports of fighter jets, tanks and submarines. While these acquisitions significantly boost combat capability, they also leave the country vulnerable to imports. “Your capability to fight anything, from a local skirmish to a long war, is ultimately dictated by your domestic production capabilities,” says Lt General Sanjay Kulkarni, former director general, Infantry. Among the early indications that the Ladakh stand-off was going to be a prolonged one, necessitating overseas weapons purchases, was defence minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Moscow in June. Singh was there as a state guest at the Victory Day parade on June 24. He took along a defence ministry delegation, including the defence secretary, senior bureaucrats and military officials, and spent a full day meeting key members of Russia’s military-industrial complex and discussing urgent buys from India’s largest overseas supplier. Indigenous the way Proponents of an indigenous defence industrial base say fast-track imports are like a foot in the door and gradually expand into larger orders, diverting limited budgetary resources. The army is close to placing a second order of 72,000 battle rifles from US arms-maker SIG Sauer, after an identical purchase last year. Indian manufacturers who have invested in developing domestic capabilities to design and develop small arms are aghast. “FTPs strike the biggest blow to Indian industry. When the armed forces go for foreign weapons, even small arms, you are effectively telling the world that your indigenous capacity is worthless. When we try and export, the first question we are asked is ‘why isn’t your own army buying your products’,” says the CEO of a private sector firm. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is worried that an order for a regiment (45 vehicles) of Russian 2SDS ‘Sprut’ light tanks for use in high-altitude terrains like Ladakh will kill its own under-the-wraps light tank project. The infantry wants more Israeli-built ‘Spike’ anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) even as the DRDO is readying an indigenous man portable anti-tank guided missile (MPATGM) for the army. A bulk of the current fast-track buys are for ammunition. The shortfalls, army officials say, have been caused by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), whose 41 factories have failed to keep the supply lines running. The OFB is part of the defence ministry’s Department of Defence Production. A series of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports have highlighted deficiencies in OFB-produced ammunition. A 2015 CAG report noted that 74 per cent of 170 types of ammunition failed to meet the ‘minimum acceptable risk level’ and only 10 per cent met the ‘war wastage reserve’ requirements. Another CAG audit for 2017-18 presented in Parliament in December 2019 said that the ordnance factories ‘had achieved production targets for only 49 per cent of the items’. A significant quantity of the army’s demand for principal ammunition items remained outstanding as on March 31, 2018, adversely impacting its operational preparedness, said the report. OFB exports, the report said, decreased by 39 per cent in 2017-18 over 2016-17. Attempts at private sector ammunition production have not taken off either, though not for want of capacity, capability or investments. In June, the army’s Master General of Ordnance Branch inexplicably pulled the plug on a 2016 plan to procure ammunition from the private sector. A brainchild of then defence minister Manohar Parrikar, the plan had aimed to bring the private sector into what was until then a government monopoly. It studied the 2016 experience where ammunition deficiencies led to fast-track buys. The goal was not only import substitution but also to create a vast domestic ammunition manufacturing capacity that the armed forces could tap into in an emergency. Deliveries would commence from six months of signing of the contract and spread over 10 years. Fifteen private sector firms had planned to bid for eight procurement contracts for specialised tank, anti-aircraft and infantry ammunition for the army’s vast Russian-origin arsenal of battle tanks, anti-aircraft guns, multiple grenade launchers and 155 mm artillery guns (see A Lost Opportunity). Some of the private players had even established plants and scouted for international partners, anticipating orders. Five requests for proposal (RFPs) for ammunition were withdrawn while no decision has been taken on proposals for BMCS (Bi Modular Charge System) and fuses. With the collapse of long-term capability building plans, short-term weapons acquisitions will continue to remain more attractive.
 

garg_bharat

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The panic buys

As the Himalayan stand-off between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army of China in eastern Ladakh entered its fourth month, the country’s armed forces embarked on a fresh round of emergency fast-track procurements (FTPs) of weapons and ammunition to replenish their arsenal. The defence ministry is buzzing with activity as files and proposals are being drafted for approvals in South Block with a speed that only crisis brings. On the anvil are a slew of weapon imports, including light tanks, tank ammunition, surface-to-air missiles,assault rifles and drones, estimated at over Rs 10,000 crore from three of India’s biggest defence suppliers, Russia, the US and Israel. The weapons are meant to equip the army and the air force forward-deployed in Ladakh since late May. On July 16, the defence ministry allowed emergency procurements worth Rs 500 crore for each of the three services, with no restrictions on the number of such programmes. The army, which has deployed four divisions in the theatre of action, has the most numerous requirements. It wants kamikaze drones, anti-tank guided munitions, shoulder-fired missiles, high-mobility vehicles and GPS-guided shells for the newly-acquired ultra-light howitzers, and even ammunition for small arms (see Fast-Track Purchases). The air force wants additional shipments of Derby and MICA air-to-air missiles and Spice-1000 precision-guided munitions for its fighters. Rather than wait to integrate Israeli munitions on its Rafale fighter jets, it has opted for French Hammer precision-guided munitions to equip its first five jets flying in from France, literally into the thick of action, on July 29. A defence ministry official indicated that almost 100 cases are in the contractual process, to be concluded by the end of the current financial year, March 2021. The road less taken The world over, defence purchases are a cumbersome process lasting several years. In India, the byzantine procurement process involves the civil and military bureaucracy as well as the political leadership, which means it could take even a decade to purchase anything from a sophisticated fighter jet to a bulletproof jacket. The armed forces have to identify requirements, look for hardware that meets their needs, conduct extensive trials and finally invite competing bids from global suppliers. The arrival of the Rafale jets is the culmination of a process that began soon after the 1999 Kargil War, with the contract finally signed in 2016. Emergency FTPs, which shorten the defence ministry’s cumbersome weapons acquisition processes, first began during the Kargil War. The army found its ammunition stocks insufficient to last even that short border conflict. Artillery, essential for softening up enemy targets before soldiers can move in, relies on a constant supply of ammunition. A 155 mm Bofors gun, for instance, requires at least 250 shells per day to fire in an offensive mode. In Kargil, even as Indian artillery trained their gunsights at features like Tiger Hill and in Batalik, army and defence ministry procurement teams were flying into Cape Town and Tel Aviv to top up the depleting stocks of shells. The FTP, a beguiling enemy-at-the-gates syndrome, has been a feature of every military crisis ever since. The purchases triggered by the ongoing Ladakh stand-off would be the third occasion in recent years when the armed forces went on an emergency weapons and ammunition-buying spree. FTPs had also followed the cross-border raids by Indian forces in the aftermath of the September 2016 Uri terror attack and the February 2019 air strikes in Balakot, when India and Pakistan once again teetered on the brink of a conflict. An army official explains how FTPs and the delegation of emergency financial powers are helpful. Between January 2014 and October 2016, the army concluded 20 contracts valued at Rs 400 crore. When the delegation of powers happened in 2016, the army did contracts worth Rs 11,000 crore. “It gave a big boost to this model and revived the government’s confidence, and therefore, it was allowed to go beyond the stipulated time and 40 more contacts worth Rs 4,500 crore were done through this process,” says the official. FTPs can be explained by India’s heavy and continuing dependence on imported military hardware. The country was the world’s second-largest importer of arms in 2014-18 and accounts for 9.2 per cent of the global arms sales. Indian armed forces are among the five largest in the world. At $71 billion, India’s defence budget in 2019 was only a fraction of what the US ($705.4 billion) and China ($261 billion) spent, but it was still the world’s third largest. The failure to create an indigenous military-industrial complex that would keep pace with a military machine and its requirements is what leads to imports of fighter jets, tanks and submarines. While these acquisitions significantly boost combat capability, they also leave the country vulnerable to imports. “Your capability to fight anything, from a local skirmish to a long war, is ultimately dictated by your domestic production capabilities,” says Lt General Sanjay Kulkarni, former director general, Infantry. Among the early indications that the Ladakh stand-off was going to be a prolonged one, necessitating overseas weapons purchases, was defence minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Moscow in June. Singh was there as a state guest at the Victory Day parade on June 24. He took along a defence ministry delegation, including the defence secretary, senior bureaucrats and military officials, and spent a full day meeting key members of Russia’s military-industrial complex and discussing urgent buys from India’s largest overseas supplier. Indigenous the way Proponents of an indigenous defence industrial base say fast-track imports are like a foot in the door and gradually expand into larger orders, diverting limited budgetary resources. The army is close to placing a second order of 72,000 battle rifles from US arms-maker SIG Sauer, after an identical purchase last year. Indian manufacturers who have invested in developing domestic capabilities to design and develop small arms are aghast. “FTPs strike the biggest blow to Indian industry. When the armed forces go for foreign weapons, even small arms, you are effectively telling the world that your indigenous capacity is worthless. When we try and export, the first question we are asked is ‘why isn’t your own army buying your products’,” says the CEO of a private sector firm. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is worried that an order for a regiment (45 vehicles) of Russian 2SDS ‘Sprut’ light tanks for use in high-altitude terrains like Ladakh will kill its own under-the-wraps light tank project. The infantry wants more Israeli-built ‘Spike’ anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) even as the DRDO is readying an indigenous man portable anti-tank guided missile (MPATGM) for the army. A bulk of the current fast-track buys are for ammunition. The shortfalls, army officials say, have been caused by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), whose 41 factories have failed to keep the supply lines running. The OFB is part of the defence ministry’s Department of Defence Production. A series of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports have highlighted deficiencies in OFB-produced ammunition. A 2015 CAG report noted that 74 per cent of 170 types of ammunition failed to meet the ‘minimum acceptable risk level’ and only 10 per cent met the ‘war wastage reserve’ requirements. Another CAG audit for 2017-18 presented in Parliament in December 2019 said that the ordnance factories ‘had achieved production targets for only 49 per cent of the items’. A significant quantity of the army’s demand for principal ammunition items remained outstanding as on March 31, 2018, adversely impacting its operational preparedness, said the report. OFB exports, the report said, decreased by 39 per cent in 2017-18 over 2016-17. Attempts at private sector ammunition production have not taken off either, though not for want of capacity, capability or investments. In June, the army’s Master General of Ordnance Branch inexplicably pulled the plug on a 2016 plan to procure ammunition from the private sector. A brainchild of then defence minister Manohar Parrikar, the plan had aimed to bring the private sector into what was until then a government monopoly. It studied the 2016 experience where ammunition deficiencies led to fast-track buys. The goal was not only import substitution but also to create a vast domestic ammunition manufacturing capacity that the armed forces could tap into in an emergency. Deliveries would commence from six months of signing of the contract and spread over 10 years. Fifteen private sector firms had planned to bid for eight procurement contracts for specialised tank, anti-aircraft and infantry ammunition for the army’s vast Russian-origin arsenal of battle tanks, anti-aircraft guns, multiple grenade launchers and 155 mm artillery guns (see A Lost Opportunity). Some of the private players had even established plants and scouted for international partners, anticipating orders. Five requests for proposal (RFPs) for ammunition were withdrawn while no decision has been taken on proposals for BMCS (Bi Modular Charge System) and fuses. With the collapse of long-term capability building plans, short-term weapons acquisitions will continue to remain more attractive.
Why procurement from local private sector not done? A very troubling situation. Hope it is remedied soon.
 

WolfPack86

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Indian Army to buy 45 2S5 Sprut-SD/SDM Light Tanks on Emergency basis, which delivery to be started with in a year and completed before 2 years...... Later
@DRDO
's Light Tank Project to be revised.
 

WolfPack86

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India shows interest to acquire Russian 2S25M Sprut-SDM1 self-propelled anti-tank tracked arrmored
“Amidst the ongoing standoff in Ladakh, India has sent out a Request for Information (RFI) to Russia for its Sprut light tanks. India has not yet disclosed the exact numbers of tanks to be purchased,” said the website Indian Defence Industries (IDI), citing unnamed sources.

The Sprut-SDM1 is a deeply updated variant of the renowned Sprut-SD air-droppable SPATG. Russia’s arms exporting company Rosoboronexport (a subsidiary of state corporation Rostec) introduced an export-oriented variant of the system to the global market in mid-2018. According to the company, the Sprut-SDM1 land platform (its export-oriented model is designated ‘an amphibious light tank’, not ‘a SPATG’) combines high maneuverability and decent firepower. The new system features firepower of the main battle tank and can be airdropped.

The export-oriented Sprut-SDM1 is initially intended for naval infantry and ground troops; however, it can be operated as a traditional light tank in an effective manner. The platform’s armament suite integrates a 125 mm tank cannon, a guided weapon, and a remotely operated weapon system with a 7.62 mm general-purpose machinegun. It should be mentioned that the Sprut-SDM1 fires on-the-move and when swimming. Its sensor suite allows the crew to engage targets round-the-clock and in low-visibility environments. The light tank also features a modern highly automated fire-control system.


The Sprut-SDM1’s firepower capabilities seem to be on par with those of main battle tanks: the platform’s guided weapon allows the system to engage heavy targets, which are protected by explosive reactive armor, at a distance of up to 5 km.

The combat vehicle weighs some 18 t and is powered by a 450-hp engine, producing a road speed of up to 70 km/h and a cruising range of 500 km. As mentioned earlier, the platform is amphibious and can swim for seven hours. The Sprut-SDM1 is manned by a three-strong crew.

The new light tank has two main competitors in the global market, namely the Chinese Type 15 light tank and the Turkish Kaplan MT medium tank. Being a vehicle of the same class, the Sprut-SDM1 has two advantages — a main battle tank-type main gun and amphibious capabilities. Both Type 15 and Kaplan MT carry 105 mm main guns with shortened barrels, while the Sprut-SDM1 is armed with the 125 mm cannon that features higher muzzle velocity and lethality. The use of a guided weapon (neither Type 15 nor Kaplan MT deploys such a capacity) dramatically increases the platform’s distance of firing, turning it into ‘a long hand’ on the battlefield.

The second advantage of the new platform is its tactical flexibility — the Sprut-SDM1 can fire during swims. The system can also be air-transported by a heavy helicopter or a medium airlifter. The combination of light ballistic protection and high maneuverability provides the light tank with decent combat survivability.

The Sprut-SDM1 can be effectively used over rough and mountainous terrains.
 

vishnugupt

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What Indian armed forces were doing before Galwan ?? Specially Army, our Army don't know even what they need in next 2 years. Buying only 5 Apaches, 40 tanks, 144 ULH, 40 Guns based Arjun chesis, 114 dhanush, 300 Spikes. Even today, Army don't know what caliber rifle they need. Importing more than 90% equipments from abroad, right form Bullets to helicopters. Today Armed forces gone nuts buying everything passing by them like Deaf, Dumb and Blind. They just using this LAC standoff as a another Kick back festival. Seeds of Dalaali has been sown so deep in Army ranks that they will import same outdated equipment for next 20 years.
These are not traits of profession army or formidable Army. Indian must adopt a resolution where we can fix responsibility of Armed forces and punish them for their deficiencies or lack of professionalism.
 

WolfPack86

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India’s light tank debate crosses shores
The PLA’s aggressive deployment in eastern Ladakh and its potential of quickly escalating into a full-blown conflict has seen the Indian army going in for fast track purchases to meet equipment shortfalls. On the list is a requirement for up to 300 air-transportable light tanks. There is a debate underway within the government — a section of the establishment favours imports, another wants the light tanks to be built indigenously.


Top candidates for fast track imports include Russia’s 18-ton Sprut light tank. The Sprut’s 125 mm main gun, derived from Russian MBTs, means commonality of ammunition with the army’s existing T-90 and T-72 tanks. The Russian side indicates that the first 20 tanks could be made available in a few months. The indigenous alternative is a DRDO- L&T team up for a 35-ton tank based on the army’s in-service K9 ‘Vajra’ 155 mm self-propelled howitzer. The 100th unit of the Vajra, based on the Hanwha Techwin K-9, is to be delivered to the army this December. It was part of a Rs 4,500 crore contract signed in 2017 with all guns built indigenously by L&T at its Hazira plant. Discussions over the last two years have picked up speed. The project aims to field the first three tank prototypes in 18 months at a project cost of under Rs 200 crore. The DRDO design swaps the K9’s 155/52 mm howitzer with a modular turret and 105 mm gun made by Belgian firm John Cockerel Defence SA. The gun can fire at a 42-degree elevation, suited for mountain warfare. L&T’s highly automated production line set to be idle by the year-end can churn these tanks at a rate of nearly 100 tanks a year. The K9 light tank’s 1000 Horse Power engine will give it a power-to-weight ratio of 28 HP/ tonne.
What might finally happen — as CDS General Bipin Rawat has indicated in the past — is a balance between desi and videshi. The Army might end up importing a regiment of tanks (45 vehicles) and opt for indigenous tanks to make up the numbers.
 

WolfPack86

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DRDO- L&T team might develop K-9 Chassis based Light Battle Tank – Defence News of India
SOURCE: MAIL TODAY
The PLA’s aggressive deployment in eastern Ladakh and its potential of quickly escalating into a full-blown conflict has seen the Indian army going in for fast track purchases to meet equipment shortfalls. On the list is a requirement for up to 300 air-transportable light tanks. There is a debate underway within the government — a section of the establishment favours imports, another wants the light tanks to be built indigenously.

Top candidates for fast track imports include Russia’s 18-ton Sprut light tank. The Sprut’s 125 mm main gun, derived from Russian MBTs, means commonality of ammunition with the army’s existing T-90 and T-72 tanks. The Russian side indicates that the first 20 tanks could be made available in a few months. The indigenous alternative is a DRDO- L&T team up for a 35-ton tank based on the army’s in-service K9 ‘Vajra’ 155 mm self-propelled howitzer.

The 100th unit of the Vajra, based on the Hanwha Techwin K-9, is to be delivered to the army this December. It was part of a Rs 4,500 crore contract signed in 2017 with all guns built indigenously by L&T at its Hazira plant. Discussions over the last two years have picked up speed. The project aims to field the first three tank prototypes in 18 months at a project cost of under Rs 200 crore. The DRDO design swaps the K9’s 155/52 mm howitzer with a modular turret and 105 mm gun made by Belgian firm John Cockerel Defence SA. The gun can fire at a 42-degree elevation, suited for mountain warfare. L&T’s highly automated production line set to be idle by the year-end can churn these tanks at a rate of nearly 100 tanks a year. The K9 light tank’s 1000 Horse Power engine will give it a power-to-weight ratio of 28 HP/ tonne.

What might finally happen — as CDS General Bipin Rawat has indicated in the past — is a balance between desi and videshi. The Army might end up importing a regiment of tanks (45 vehicles) and opt for indigenous tanks to make up the numbers.
 

LondonParisTokyo

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Why is MoD constantly running to Russia for everything instead of looking for a domestic alternative? Especially when domestic alternatives exist? This is disgusting!
 

Bhadra

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What Indian armed forces were doing before Galwan ?? Specially Army, our Army don't know even what they need in next 2 years. Buying only 5 Apaches, 40 tanks, 144 ULH, 40 Guns based Arjun chesis, 114 dhanush, 300 Spikes. Even today, Army don't know what caliber rifle they need. Importing more than 90% equipments from abroad, right form Bullets to helicopters. Today Armed forces gone nuts buying everything passing by them like Deaf, Dumb and Blind. They just using this LAC standoff as a another Kick back festival. Seeds of Dalaali has been sown so deep in Army ranks that they will import same outdated equipment for next 20 years.
These are not traits of profession army or formidable Army. Indian must adopt a resolution where we can fix responsibility of Armed forces and punish them for their deficiencies or lack of professionalism.
Free For All... Is it ??

Dalal....
Army ranks (Do you you what is rank..??)
Kick back Festivals.. (who kicked whom>>) but certainly you are trying hard..
Deaf Dumb and blind...
Buying everything (including one responsible for your physical being)
Fix responsibility... well do that .. must do that..
Punish them.... bhos**i Ka...
 

vishnugupt

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Free For All... Is it ??

Dalal....
Army ranks (Do you you what is rank..??)
Kick back Festivals.. (who kicked whom>>) but certainly you are trying hard..
Deaf Dumb and blind...
Buying everything (including one responsible for your physical being)
Fix responsibility... well do that .. must do that..
Punish them.... bhos**i Ka...
End me Apna Signature bhi kiya hai apne. Bade wale ho A-bhadra
 

12arya

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WolfPack86

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India Clears Procurement of 5,000 Anti-Tank Guided Missiles From France

The Indian Defense Acquisition Council, the Ministry of Defense’s (MoD) principal procurement body chaired by Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, approved the procurement of 5,000 French-made second-generation MILAN anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) on January 31.

The total value of the defense deal is estimated at over $167 million. The MoD did not announce when the new ATGM systems are expected to be introduced into service.

India’s Bharat Dynamics has license-built tens of thousands of MILAN ATGMs of different variants since the 1970s, and will manufacture the latest batch of missiles. The man portable MILAN 2T is capable of firing a 115 millimeter tandem high-explosive anti-tank warhead at armored targets at a distance of up to 2,000 meters. The 2T version, first introduced into service in the early 1990s, is reportedly able to penetrate reactive armor defenses.

As I reported previously, the Indian Army claims that it lacks 68,000 ATGMs of various types and around 850 launchers. The service is reportedly pushing for a fast-track procurement of 2,500 third-generation shoulder-fired ATGMs and 96 launchers through a government-government contract. Following extensive user trials, the Army selected the third-generation Israeli Spike ATGM over the FGM-148 Javelin ATGM in October.

The Spike ATGM is a third-generation fire-and-forget weapon system with a tandem-charge HEAT warhead, with the long-range variant of the missile capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to 4 kilometers. The Spike ATGM can be fired in ‘top attack’ mode in lofted trajectory hitting its target from above.

Notably, the Indian government scrapped a $500 million deal with Israeli defense contractor Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. for 321 Spike ATGM systems and 8,356 missiles in favor of an indigenously designed and developed man portable anti-tank guided missile (MPATGM) currently under development by India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in December 2017.

A final decision over the procurement of the Spike, however, is still pending. The Indian Army is expected to conduct validation trials of the Spike ATGM this summer in India’s western Rajasthan desert region. Meanwhile, DRDO has successfully test fired the MPATGM at the Ahmednagar test range in the western Indian state of Maharashtra in September 2018.

The MPATGM is a third-generation ATGM which has been under development by DRDO in partnership with Indian defense contractor VEM Technologies Ltd. since 2015. It reportedly has an engagement range of about 2.5 kilometers. DRDO has promised the Indian Army to hand over the first MPATGM prototype by the end of 2018 for user trials, but no announcement has been made to date. Mass production of the missile is expected to begin in 2021, but may be delayed.

The Indian Army remains deeply skeptical of MPATGM capabilities and does not believe that it will be meet its operational requirements.

 

WolfPack86

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2S25 Sprut Coming to Ladakh? This Could Be India’s Next Battle Tank From Russia
Following brief clashes with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in mid-June, in which India’s armed forces suffered over 150 casualties, a number of sources have indicated that the Indian Defence Ministry is seeking to acquire a light mountain-friendly battle tank capable of better operating near the country’s northern borders. This has come as part of a wider trend in the Indian military over the past month towards prioritising acquiring weapons systems with a conflict with the PLA in mind, with the Defence Ministry's previous priority having been its security challenges in Kashmir and from neighbouring Pakistan to the West. While India’s tank forces are among the most sophisticated and capable in the world, with the country operating several thousand T-72 and T-90 platforms and having recently placed multiple orders for T-90MS platforms, these tanks are not ideally suited to combat in the extreme conditions of the northern border regions.



Where India lacks a suitable mountain tank, China has developed what is widely considered the world’s most capable platform for such a role, the new Type 15 tank, which is currently deployed in considerable numbers under the PLA’s Western Theatre Command facing India. An issue for India in seeking a light tank to counter the Type 15 is that few platforms of this kind are currently operational. One option for would be to look to North Korea, which has developed tanks heavily optimised for mountain warfare due to its own topography and has exported its armour in the past. Korea has previously sold arms to potential Chinese adversaries such as Vietnam, and even offered to sell attack submarines to Taiwan, but India’s willingness to purchase a Korean platform, given the expectation of harsh repercussions from Western powers, remains questionable. One potentially promising alternative which has emerged is the Russian 2S25 Sprut-SD light tank, which though not developed specifically for mountain warfare is light enough to prove useful in mountainous regions.



The Sprut-SD is operated solely by the Russian Airborne Forces and entered service in the mid-2000s. Although designed for air drops and amphibious landings, its resulting light weight of just 18 tons makes suitable for mountain terrain, with the tank’s hydoopneumatic suspension likely to be useful. The platform is designated an amphibious tank destroyer, and carries a 125mm cannon capable of deploying APFSDS, HE-Frag, HEAT and ATGM rounds. The gun is the same calibre as that on the T-90, and larger than those on tank designs which are several times heavier such as the American M1 Abrams, which weighs 64.6 tons but only has a 120mm gun - or 105mm for older variants. This is disproportionately large for the size of the platform if it is considered as a battle tank. For protection the Sprut-SD makes use of welded aluminium armour with a composite skin, although only the frontal arc, 40° left and right of the frontal armour, can provide protection against attacks from 23mm weapons with the remainder only armoured to withstand small arms fire.



The Sprut-SD notably has more firepower than the Chinese Type 15, with the latter using only a 105mm cannon. Whether the Russian platform’s munitions will match the sophistication of those used by the Type 15, which has specialised munition types such as laser guided anti tank missiles and kinetic energy penetrators, remain uncertain. The Russian tank was designed to be able to operate in a wider range of climates than more standard heavier models like the T-90, and can use either rubber-clad shoes or snow-riding tracks to operate in mountains. Although more strongly emphasising amphibious and air dropping capabilities, the Sprut-SD is also capable of operating at extreme altitudes of up to 4000 meters. The Indian Army is expected to place orders for the Sprut-SD in the near future, and could well operate the platform in larger numbers than the Russian military itself given its more mountainous border with China - where Russia’s borders with NATO have relatively flat topographies. It remains to be seen whether India's armed forces will employ the design for other purposes such as airborne landings, and if the country will seek to manufacture the Sprut-SD under license if placing a larger order as it has done for a number of major Russian weapons systems such as the T-90 tank and Su-30MKI heavyweight fighter.
 

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