I met a Chaiwallah from HVF recently and he mentioned there are issues with Arjun's suspension due to increased weight of Mark II. He was not very enthusiastic about Army's response for Mark II.
Can somebody clarify if it is true?
The increased weight of the Mk2 was to be handled with an improved suspension. Read this article by Ajai Shukla on the Arjun Mk2's improved suspension
I can imagine that there could be a few problems problems, but definitely not a game stopper. Certainly nothing that cannot be dealt with.
The Arjun Mark II features an enhanced version of the Arjun's well-proven hydro-pneumatic suspension, with the new one designed for a 70-tonne load. This is part of an improved "running gear", including the road wheel mountings, the road wheels, axle arms and shock absorbers.
The new suspension has already been tested in the recent trials and run for 1,300 kilometers. In order to obtain an accurate comparison with the earlier suspension, the trial tank was fitted with both: the old suspension on the left side and the new one on the right. The photographs --- in which the new suspension still looks new while the old suspension looks somewhat the worst for wear (not surprising; 1,300 km is a lot of running!) --- point to a successful upgrade.
The Arjun's suspension will be practically all-Indian. The road wheels, which continue to be built by Sundaram Industries, have been improved with better manufacturing and bonding processes for the rubber. Tractor Engineeers Ltd (TENGL), an L&T company, is doing parallel development of the Arjun track (imported so far), including development of one of the most difficult running gear technologies: the track pins.
I am amused at the many who appear to believe that the Arjun is "built entirely of foreign components" that are "hammered together in India". This kind of view is rooted in a deep lack of understanding of the processes of indigenisation. It is true that almost 60% of the cost of the Arjun goes on imported components. Practically all of that goes on just three components --- the power pack; the gunner's main sight (GMS); and the gun control equipment (GCE). Almost all the Arjun's other 10,000-odd component are sourced from Indian industry, which is rising to the challenge. More support from the government, in terms of better procurement procedures, would accelerate this.
see the difference in the 2 suspensions- the older one is quite obviously in bad shape compared to the new one after 1300 kms of running.
I'm marking the last para because it goes over what we've gone over in the ALH discussion as well where vic said that the ALH has very little to do with HAL.