Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Surya
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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Surya » 05 Oct 2009 00:42

Bala

not heard an official statement on it.

If I missed - my apologies - but I think the only statement we have seen was on Mahindras web site.

I sincerely hope we have officially ordered it.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby skher » 05 Oct 2009 01:39

“Joolay!" Somethings might become 'free at last,free at last,free at last'.

RahulM wrote:one family of pseudo-light tanks in use for quite sometime is the russian BMD family, especially the BMD-4.


I'm partial to Soviet cavalry but saar at 8 tons it is imho very secularly in airborne light tank category.Nothing psuedo light about it.

If that's not light enough, then probably then perhaps only heliborne Wiesel is a true light tank appropriate for the blitzkrieg in mind (for jernails who see no need for IAF to be called etc. etc.).

Nice to go with the decor of HAL Dhruv/Medium Lift Helo.

Seems it can be upgunned/uparmored loads.....perhaps a track to wheel conversion might be a nifty addition.

Gurulog, seek enlightenment abt tank specs apt for fighting in Zoji la & Ak'sai Chin.
A himalayan task ne'er attempted before.

I'll hazard generic ones:-

.High Power/weight: 24-34 hp/tonne
.Weight : Max 13/19 tons (An-32/?MTA) Preferred max:8 tonnes
.Compact width :- ?? [ <3 metres?]
.gun -105mm autocannon
.Armor - Kanchan NERA high density composite
.Wheel to track conversion at workshop.
.Suspension - ?? [multi-link?]

According to a new white paper, our deadline is 2017....by which other pieces of the dice would also be in initial operation...Tejas,MTA, HAL Transport Helo, PAK-FA etc. etc.

JMT
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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 05 Oct 2009 01:44

skher, pseudo light tank ==> pseudo tank which is light.

it's not the lightness that s pseudo. :wink:

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Sanjay » 05 Oct 2009 01:50

Check a recent issue of Tech Focus. DRDO has developed a light tank prototype on the BMP-2 chassis.

http://www.drdo.com/pub/techfocus/2009/aug09.pdf
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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby csharma » 05 Oct 2009 01:55

With the light tanks is India looking to achieve an offensive posture along the LAC?

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby kittoo » 05 Oct 2009 02:10

skher wrote:According to a new white paper, our deadline is 2017....by which other pieces of the dice would also be in initial operation...Tejas,MTA, HAL Transport Helo, PAK-FA etc. etc.

JMT


I keep hearing about this 2017 deadline a lot. Is there anything concrete as to why 2017 is chosen (or it is that its just coincidence that all the delays will finally be no more in that year?)? I know that report that said India thinks China war coming in 2017 etc, but anything concrete?

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby ParGha » 05 Oct 2009 02:15

RahulM wrote:If that's not light enough, then probably then perhaps only heliborne Wiesel is a true light tank appropriate for the blitzkrieg in mind (for jernails who see no need for IAF to be called etc. etc.).

Not to be flippant, but wouldn't the simplest and most flexible solution be to simply give the IA control over more aerial gunships (light and heavy)? Perhaps a major swap can be arranged between the services - IA gets control over gunships and any fixed-wing CAS aircrafts, IAF in turn gets control over all major airborne formations.

I know a few officers who have used tanks in such mountainous terrain: They are very justly proud of having pulled off what was previously thought impossible, and they also think it worth it to have a few light tanks which can be used to pull it off in some tactical scenarios once again - but almost all of them concluded that it would be prohibitively expensive (even for a rich, small, land-locked Switzerland) to maintain a dedicated armored force for that role alone... especially when helo-gunships were much more flexible and faster (i.e. more tactical surprise). The exchequer factor effectively demands that this light tank be serviceable in mountain, recce, force-protection and amphibious roles at least.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 05 Oct 2009 02:28

^^^
just a correction. that's not my post you are quoting, it's skher's ! :wink:

anyway, to your post
Not to be flippant, but wouldn't the simplest and most flexible solution be to simply give the IA control over more aerial gunships (light and heavy)? Perhaps a major swap can be arranged between the services - IA gets control over gunships and any fixed-wing CAS aircrafts, IAF in turn gets control over all major airborne formations.

CAS to IA -- don't think is a particularly good idea, mostly because
1) that demarcation is being steadily eroded, most aircrafts being inducted will be swing role. IA can't utilise those. better would be an unified command which can attach CAS sqdns to IA formations on a temporary basis.

2) IA gets control over gunships -- that has already happened. the IAF attack choppers, i.e the mi-25 and mi-35 are manned by IAF but controlled by IA
further down the line, IA is looking at about 105 LCH and 150 odd (someone please give the correct figures. I'm probably off by a large margin on this) WSI dhruvs. IAF was supposed to ask for 65 LCH for itself. so this problem is more or less solved.

IAF in turn gets control over all major airborne formations.

unnecessary use of resources and duplication of facilities IMHO. attaching sqdns to airborne formations on a semi-permanent basis would give same advantages.

and they also think it worth it to have a few light tanks which can be used to pull it off in some tactical scenarios once again - but almost all of them concluded that it would be prohibitively expensive (even for a rich, small, land-locked Switzerland) to maintain a dedicated armored force for that role alone... especially when helo-gunships were much more flexible and faster (i.e. more tactical surprise). The exchequer factor effectively demands that this light tank be serviceable in mountain, recce, force-protection and amphibious roles at least.

you mean attack helos in lieu of tanks for mtn formations right ? that also is on the cards AFA I can tell.
but I guess there will be some situations where there is no alternative to having armour on the ground. which is why this new quest.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Surya » 05 Oct 2009 02:46

Cool so there is a GIAT 105 mm gun on the BMP

So does the Army want the BMP version? If so then great

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby ParGha » 05 Oct 2009 03:03

Rahul M wrote:^^^just a correction. that's not my post you are quoting, it's skher's ! :wink:

:oops: My apologies.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Dmurphy » 05 Oct 2009 08:41

Hello there!

India's next big buy is a missile from US

Added Later : The above is apart from the Nags and 15000 Konkurs and 4100 Milan

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Raj Malhotra » 05 Oct 2009 12:26

Sanjay wrote:Check a recent issue of Tech Focus. DRDO has developed a light tank prototype on the BMP-2 chassis.

http://www.drdo.com/pub/techfocus/2009/aug09.pdf



IIRC a requirement for light tank was made by IA in 1980s and the project was completed by DRDO is 1990s. As usual the Army withdrew its requirement. Now it seems that the Ghost has been resurrected. I can bet that DRDO project will not be bought. In any case, DRDO should have retained the chassis, wheels, tracks, engine, tranny etc and built a new compact body for a light tank. As the body is still of BMP-2 it has high volume and consequently less protection. It is also not clear if only the turret is french or the gun also (I think it should be UK L7). The same thing happened with HAL-LoH or HAL-HTT-34/35.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Aditya G » 05 Oct 2009 15:04

Rahul M wrote:nash, the first requirement for a light tank is that it has to be 'light'.
tank-ex is a main battle tank (MBT) which by definition is NOT a light tank.

also, I don't think the editor has made a mistake. what constitutes a light tank is always a somewhat hazy definition. think of it as a role that can filled by a variety of vehicles rather than one particular definition.
to put it simply,
# some ICVs are light tanks
# all light tanks are not ICVs
# some ICVs can become light tanks.

savvy ? :wink:


Can we establish why exactly the Army needs a light tank? Globally, light tanks are needed because:

1. Anti-tank (modern day Jeep mounted RCL)

2. Easy deployment by air (only C-5 can deploy a western MBT). Even T-90 is not deployable by IL-76 unless the turret is removed.

3. Low cost due to simpler mechanicals and thin armour

4. More 'roadable'

IA can deploy BMP-2s in Ladakh, what is it that BMP-2 lacks? Do we expect to counter PLA armour? Then in that casee defintely need minimum 105 mm rifle... DRDO has already developed a prototype on BMP-2... lets go a step further and mate the turret to Abhay chassis and we have a modern light tank. But it will still be tracked vehicle - IMHO simply import the limited number of 8x8 tanks.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Raj Malhotra » 05 Oct 2009 18:13

Aditya G wrote:
Rahul M wrote:nash, the first requirement for a light tank is that it has to be 'light'.
tank-ex is a main battle tank (MBT) which by definition is NOT a light tank.

also, I don't think the editor has made a mistake. what constitutes a light tank is always a somewhat hazy definition. think of it as a role that can filled by a variety of vehicles rather than one particular definition.
to put it simply,
# some ICVs are light tanks
# all light tanks are not ICVs
# some ICVs can become light tanks.

savvy ? :wink:


Can we establish why exactly the Army needs a light tank? Globally, light tanks are needed because:

1. Anti-tank (modern day Jeep mounted RCL)

2. Easy deployment by air (only C-5 can deploy a western MBT). Even T-90 is not deployable by IL-76 unless the turret is removed.

3. Low cost due to simpler mechanicals and thin armour

4. More 'roadable'

IA can deploy BMP-2s in Ladakh, what is it that BMP-2 lacks? Do we expect to counter PLA armour? Then in that casee defintely need minimum 105 mm rifle... DRDO has already developed a prototype on BMP-2... lets go a step further and mate the turret to Abhay chassis and we have a modern light tank. But it will still be tracked vehicle - IMHO simply import the limited number of 8x8 tanks.


A light tank can be made on the basis of BMP & Abhay and wheeled light tank can be fabricated on the changed TATRA 8x8 chassis. In fact TATRA, TATA, Ashok Leyland IIRC have already vehicles in 8x8, 6x6 etc. India already has L7-105mm cannon, turret tech and the chassis. So an indigenous "light" 18-27 ton tank should not be difficult. But one can bet it will be imported

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Kailash » 05 Oct 2009 19:18

So let us build and export that. What say?

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby KiranM » 05 Oct 2009 19:23

For the sake of a debate, how difficult is it have an ICV class vehicle (Abhay since it is in development stage) with configurable tracks or wheels? The change being carried out at Army base depots or say even in field (most optimistic scenario).

Regards,
Kiran

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby tsarkar » 05 Oct 2009 19:41

Tanks need the triad of mobility, protection and firepower. We cannot compromise ANY of these three factors. Light tanks compromise protection.

Seems the IA is not learning its bad experience with the light AMX-13 in 1965, where lacking armour protection, it got whacked very badly and heavy Centurions saved the day. The heavy T-55 were then inducted post haste that led us to victory in 1971. One of General J N Chaudhury’s procurement goofups.

If the roads/rail infrastructure is bad, then improve them! Don’t scale the tank down!

If your kid outgrows his clothes, you buy newer clothes. You don’t chop his limbs to fit smaller clothes.

Raj - A light tank cannot take the recoil of the L7. The 105 mm guns designed specifically for light tanks have lower muzzle velocities. There are loads of such 105 mm light guns from Ruag, Giat, Rhienmetal, Cockrill, etc, but not selected by any major armies.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby tsarkar » 05 Oct 2009 19:51

Indian AMX-13 in Pak hands http://www.pakdef.info/pakmilitary/airf ... an0006.jpg

Canada had liquidated about half of its park of Leopard tanks in the early 2000s, with the intention of replacing them with the airmobile Mobile Gun System. The decision was reversed. In fall of 2006 a squadron of Leopards were sent to Afghanistan, and as of the summer of 2007 Canada is in the process of acquiring 100 surplus Leopard 2 main battle tanks for quick deployment.

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

Yet we never learn!

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby KrishG » 05 Oct 2009 20:15

tsarkar wrote:Indian AMX-13 in Pak hands http://www.pakdef.info/pakmilitary/airf ... an0006.jpg

Canada had liquidated about half of its park of Leopard tanks in the early 2000s, with the intention of replacing them with the airmobile Mobile Gun System. The decision was reversed. In fall of 2006 a squadron of Leopards were sent to Afghanistan, and as of the summer of 2007 Canada is in the process of acquiring 100 surplus Leopard 2 main battle tanks for quick deployment.

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

Yet we never learn!


A mobile gun system like M1128 is in no way a replacement for a main Battle tanks. It can take some of the roles of an MBT it not a replacement but will compliment the MBT fleet. Their light weight, speed and agility are it's advantages. But it is up to the army to decide whether they would have to have the additional capability of troop mobility.

We don't for sure if IA requires troop mobility as one of the abilities of light tank. The Frenh have two versions of their AMX 10. The RC version is used in anti-tank role, wheeled, has a 105 mm gun and doesn't have troop accommodation. The P version is a troop carrying version with a 27 mm gun and is tracked.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 05 Oct 2009 20:17

tsarkar wrote:If the roads/rail infrastructure is bad, then improve them! Don’t scale the tank down!

If your kid outgrows his clothes, you buy newer clothes. You don’t chop his limbs to fit smaller clothes.

Yes I believe similar views have been aired numerous times on BRF by many members (including me),specially when afaik the issue with transporting Arjun class tracked vehicles via RAIL was due to unavailability of suitable bogeis/carriages and not the GAUGE of the railway track itself for Indian RAIL gauge is widest gauge out there in the world as of now.However I don't know about gauge standard in the forward areas specially the one's near the border.
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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby nash » 05 Oct 2009 20:26

Rahul M wrote:nash, the first requirement for a light tank is that it has to be 'light'.
tank-ex is a main battle tank (MBT) which by definition is NOT a light tank.

also, I don't think the editor has made a mistake. what constitutes a light tank is always a somewhat hazy definition. think of it as a role that can filled by a variety of vehicles rather than one particular definition.
to put it simply,
# some ICVs are light tanks
# all light tanks are not ICVs
# some ICVs can become light tanks.


savvy ? :wink:


is this post or logical reasoning ques.. :rotfl: :rotfl: ,just kidding

any i got your point ....,thanks :)

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby rohitvats » 05 Oct 2009 21:13

Guys, lets get the whole Light Tank matter in proper context before shooting off our opinions.

Role: As per the article, the utilization is for HAA (High Altitude Area) theater like the one in Sikkim or southern section of Ladakh. We already have T-72s in these areas and maybe, these tanks will complement the main armored force and provide support fire to Infantry. There is only one article, IA hasn't come out with complete details and we've passed judgements on the IA.

@tsarkar: If you get a light tank to do a MBTs role, like with AMX-13s or MGS, it will get its arse whipped. But mind you, these very AMX-13s were the tanks which we deployed in the Spanggur Gap in southern Ladakh. It was a light tank which allowed for the operation in Zojila in 1948. The requirement for Light Tank is not because of lack of roads or bridges. If IA can deploy a Regiment/Squadron of T-72 in Ladakh and Sikkim, it can very well deploy more. We yet do not know the operational/doctrinal compulsions behind the requirement.

I qoute this from Globalsecurity.org to explain the doctrine in US Army behind the MGS:

This is not a tank replacement, but it gives a direct fire capability to support the infantry elements. The principal function of the Mobile Gun System (MGS) is to provide rapid and lethal direct fires to support assaulting infantry. The MGS is a key weapons overmatch platform to ensure mission success and survivability of the Combined Arms Company.


Successful decisive combat operations are characterized by the application of overwhelming precision firepower in a killing zone while countering the enemy's ability to effectively return fire. The IBCT's Combined Arms Company operations are conducted in a collective synchronization of overmatching firepower to ensure success. The MGS is essential in setting and maintaining the tactical conditions for this collective overmatch by providing the capability to rapidly and in succession engage and destroy a diversity of stationary and mobile threat personnel, infrastructure, and materiel targets. It will have the capability to apply a broad spectrum of munitions with lethal effects under all weather and visibility conditions


Allotment to a unit is as such:

FM 7-22 lays out the MGS Platoon as an organic element of each IBCT Infantry Company within the IBCT BN. Each Company Commander has at his disposal within the MGS PLT 3 MGS Strykers, with the mission of supporting the dismounted Infantry with direct, supporting fires in order to destroy hardened enemy bunkers, machine guns, and sniper positions. The MGS Stryker is armed with a 105mm Low Profile Turret capable of a 6 second cycle rate and 18 ready rounds. Apparently, the MGS is a popular system and will be a tremendous asset to the IBCT Company Commander. Similar to an AT Platoon attached to an Airborne Infantry Company; the MGS PLT will provide the lighter armed Strykers and dismounts with outstanding firepower


So, there needs to be clarity on the utilization. Another use apart from HAA is the requirement for dedicated Recce Regiments/Sqn/troops in Armored Divisions/Bde/Regiments. In the TOE that I have posted in the IA thread, there is authorized strength of 9 Light Tanks within an Armored Regiment. The same is not held and the job is done by light skinned vehicles. The Armored Divisions also need dedicated Recce Regiments, well suited and equipped for the role.

As an example, please see this:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formation_reconnaissance_regiment

These are part of the British Army.

Formation reconnaissance regiments, as the name would indicate, are intended to provide Armoured Reconnaissance for a higher-level formation, usually a division or a heavy brigade.[1] In a large-scale defensive operation, they would delay attacking forces, whilst screening heavier units as they moved to engage the enemy. The regiments are, currently, almost entirely equipped with vehicles of the CVR(T) family.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Surya » 05 Oct 2009 22:27

Nothing dictates that the recce elements need to be equipped with tracked vehicles or light tanks??

They could just as well be wheeled vehicles.

Lets forget the usage of AMX 13 all those years ago. With modern weaponry its shock value is frankly debatable.



And from my view - I am not so concerned about the reqmnt as much as how and from where it is fulfilled.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby tsarkar » 05 Oct 2009 22:57

Rohit – You’re correct in mentioning the role AMX-13 played in 1962 Battle of Chushul airlifted by An-12. However the Chinese had only infantry weapons and large numbers – against which AMX-13 was useful. Given the proliferation of man portable munitions (RPG, RCLs, ATGMs, bunker busters like Shipon or RPO), effectiveness of such relatively unprotected tanks would be minimal.

Same goes for Stewart tanks at Zojila or PT-76 at Bangladesh. Today, a 10 person section probably has a 84mm RCL or a RPG, whether regular or irregulars.

The Canadians procured Leopard 2 against Taliban, when it found out that MGS/LAV (based on Swiss Piranha) was useless in the “direct fire capability to support the infantry elements”, to quote from the SBCT doctrine.

Here’s the feedback from the Canadian Army Chief of Land Staff, Lt. Gen. Andrew Leslie http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2 ... 10421.html

Point I’m making here is that mobility at the cost of protection doesn’t work. And light tanks – in any roles – whether against other tanks, infantry or in recce - don’t offer any protection.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Bala Vignesh » 05 Oct 2009 23:23

Isn't a light tanks supposed to have extra mobility, so that it can out run or out-turn a larger tank??? And with these tanks positioned in hull down positions should help delay ( there's no way they can hold the line completely ) the collapse of any defensive lines that we have set up there.. I guess that's why these tanks are being required suddenly..
JMHO...

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby rohitvats » 05 Oct 2009 23:36

@tsarkar: The indictment in the article you posted is against every possible Light APC ranging from LAV of Canadian Forces to BTRs of Russia. Like I said earlier, if you try to use something which was not meant to be there in first place, you'll face problems. The survivability of M2/M3 and LAV has been clear from GW-II where M2/M3 survived hits while LAv were completely lost.

The advent of Stryker in US Army in form of BCT was in addition to the existing M2/M3 Bradley IFV with the heavy Armored, Cavalry and Infantry divisions. BCT consist of troops earlier equipped with HMMWV. Strykers+MGS are at any given day better than being on plains of Afghanistan in a Hummer. What the Canadians are doing in Afghanistan is trying to match a force raised for conventional warfare to CI Ops, although far different than ours.

And as for protection versus mobility, the Recce Regiments in any army, save the true blue Cavalry Regiments of US Army with their M1A1, lack the firepower to fight it out. There role is to provide a screening force, watch the flanks, recce and come back. They are not ment to fight a holding fight.

And given a choice, would you prefer the IA to equip its non-mechanized troops with LAV+MGS or slug it out on the foot? Ideal choice is a beast like M2/M3@30+tonnes but you cannot equip everything with them.

@Surya:
Nothing dictates that the recce elements need to be equipped with tracked vehicles or light tanks??
-Couldn't understand what your're trying to say.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Surya » 05 Oct 2009 23:38

hi Rohit

I was responding to

Another use apart from HAA is the requirement for dedicated Recce Regiments/Sqn/troops in Armored Divisions/Bde/Regiments.In the TOE that I have posted in the IA thread, there is authorized strength of 9 Light Tanks within an Armored Regiment. The same is not held and the job is done by light skinned vehicles


regards

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 05 Oct 2009 23:42

to understand why IA is looking at light tanks for HAA people need to factor in what PLA would bring to the table in similar theater. I don't think IA is looking for light tanks to face normal PLA armoured forces but the numerous ICVs and light tanks fielded by PLA.

another small but very important detail that is usually missed is that normal tank main guns have very shallow elevation. in mountainous areas where virtually all major roads travel through valley like formations tanks can't respond with their main guns to threats at a higher elevation.

specialised vehicles are required in such terrain.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 05 Oct 2009 23:49

Bala Vignesh wrote:Isn't a light tanks supposed to have extra mobility, so that it can out run or out-turn a larger tank??? And with these tanks positioned in hull down positions should help delay ( there's no way they can hold the line completely ) the collapse of any defensive lines that we have set up there.. I guess that's why these tanks are being required suddenly..
JMHO...

that's old thinking which has been proved to be wrong in various battles since WW2. US had something called tank destroyers which let them down big time. all major armies have since moved away from the light tanks if they could field a MBT in stead.

mainly because of the symmetry between the main weapons of both types, light tanks/tank destroyers and main battle tanks had to be in each others firing range. unfortunately only one type had the protection needed to survive a hit from the other.

personally, I believe long range ATGM mounted tank destroyers like NAMICA can break this symmetry by engaging MBTs from outside their main gun range, a kind of tank sniper if you will.
you will still need well armoured vehicles to hold the frontlines though.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 06 Oct 2009 00:02

Rahul M wrote:another small but very important detail that is usually missed is that normal tank main guns have very shallow elevation.

Well Tanks engage targets in direct fire mode hence no need for a gun to fire at large elevation angles ; and same is the case with lighter Tanks or even ICV's . Only Howitzers ,mortars or field guns are known to engage stationary targets in indirect/direct fire mode , but then again all these never fire on the move.

May be future platforms might be able to meet best of the two worlds. :idea:

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 06 Oct 2009 00:11

naveen, didn't get you. vehicles do need to fire at steep angles in moutainous terrain.
medium caliber guns of ICVs can fire at much steeper angles. tanks can't and are at a distinct disadvantage.

this particular point was specifically mentioned in the official soviet army study by frunze academy experts on the afghanistan campaign.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Bala Vignesh » 06 Oct 2009 00:16

Rahul M wrote:
Bala Vignesh wrote:Isn't a light tanks supposed to have extra mobility, so that it can out run or out-turn a larger tank??? And with these tanks positioned in hull down positions should help delay ( there's no way they can hold the line completely ) the collapse of any defensive lines that we have set up there.. I guess that's why these tanks are being required suddenly..
JMHO...

that's old thinking which has been proved to be wrong in various battles since WW2. US had something called tank destroyers which let them down big time. all major armies have since moved away from the light tanks if they could field a MBT in stead.

mainly because of the symmetry between the main weapons of both types, light tanks/tank destroyers and main battle tanks had to be in each others firing range. unfortunately only one type had the protection needed to survive a hit from the other.

personally, I believe long range ATGM mounted tank destroyers like NAMICA can break this symmetry by engaging MBTs from outside their main gun range, a kind of tank sniper if you will.
you will still need well armoured vehicles to hold the frontlines though.


RahulJi.. Thanks for enlightening me...Knew i might be wrong, but never imagined i would be off by such a huge margin... probably the Konkurs or the Nag will be retro-fitted to these light tanks... to give them an edge...

On the lighter side of the post.. My 100th post... Hopefully a meaningful one...

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Avik » 06 Oct 2009 00:48

Hi,
Been following this discussion for some time and just wanted to share some thoughts and queries.
While comparing medium tanks with a light tank, the only possible advantage for the latter would be in terms of mobility (the scales are tipped towards T-72s and other tanks in case of protection and firepower). A light tank, which could be anything from a Piranha to a GIAT or a BTR version, would be able to “go up the hills and mountains” relatively better than the medium and heavy tanks. Please don’t forget the T-72s and BMPs are in the Leh and Nubra valleys. Scaling up the valleys and fighting on the “perimeter of the bowl” will be in my limited assessment a very different matter. Moreover, the high ground pressure of a heavy/medium tank may degrade the already weak road links we have in East and North Ladakh and North Sikkim.
Also, the FOL backend for a regiment of heavy tanks is much higher compared to lighter tanks.
Moreover, we may be assuming a tank-on–tank scenario for the light tanks. While there may be such encounters, I think the primary role of the light tank will be as a high mobility , heavy battlefield support weapon for the infantry. To that extent, the lighter tanks may be adequate. Finally, coming back to the issue of mobility; given the possibility of multiple neighbouring theatres in both Ladakh and NE, it may be easier to shift light tanks on their own motive power rather than medium tanks which may well require tank-transporters (which would be well nigh impossible on those roads)!
One last thing, about the source of these tanks; the ideal situation would be if a Tata Motors or L&T or Ashok Leyland or BEML were to pick up the gauntlet with a foreign partner, but given the limited production run ( 300-400 tanks) and the urgency of deployment, this may not happen. With regard to modifying or acquiring BMPs, I was under the impression that the max output of the Medak Factory is 100 units per year and that is committed to the Mechanized Infantry. Development of a new and enhanced model alongwith a suitable power pack may require time that we may not have!

Surya
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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Surya » 06 Oct 2009 00:55

The soviets found that the 30 mm and 23 mm worked best for elevation

Plus we have the 40 mm if needed

So bottom line a home grown solution is possible - do not see any need for an import.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 06 Oct 2009 01:38

Rahul M wrote:naveen, didn't get you. vehicles do need to fire at steep angles in mountainous terrain.

Yeah my bad I was posting in context of AMX-13 vs MBT discussion the former has very low values for elevation angle within which the main gun can be maneuvered (afaik less than that of T-72's main gun).

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby tsarkar » 06 Oct 2009 10:06

Rohit – I agree with your PoV for light tanks equipping currently non-mechanized units.

However I disagree with the flawed thinking like the US FCS program of having light C-130 transportable “direct fires” replacing MBTs.

Avik – “A light tank, which could be anything from a Piranha to a GIAT or a BTR version, would be able to “go up the hills and mountains” relatively better than the medium and heavy tanks.”

This is incorrect. By the above logic, the Deepak should have a better climb rate than the Su-30. Traction is a function of power to weight ratio and the drivetrain. Arjun can negotiate gradients of 35º T-90/72/BMP-2/BTR can negotiate gradients of 30º. A Tatra truck handles gradient of 20° at 43 tons GVW.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby RayC » 06 Oct 2009 10:43

The three traditional factors determining a tank's effectiveness in battle are its firepower, protection, and mobility.

A light tank can manoeuvre in the hills better than an MBT.

Once on the Tibetan Plateau, how does the light tank reconcile the three traditional factors?

I presume that the Chinese would be fielding their MBTs on the Tibetan Plateau.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby aditp » 06 Oct 2009 10:56

X-posting an earlier suggestion. (I still think this should not be an industrial impossibility, nor way too expensive)

If the T-72 was air transportable and deployable in Laddakh in the 1980s, so will the T-90 be in 2009.

PS : WHy not set up a small assembly shed with heavy overhead cranes at Leh, transport Arjun chassis and turret separately, reassemble and deploy the Arjun Tank in Laddakh. We will have superior armour in the sector, since the chinese border is less likely to turn hot, the army can keep the arjun deployed at a less controversial place, and the arjun tank's engine will also perform without overheating as it is designed for colder climes.


Okay - "since the chinese border is less likely to turn hot, the army can keep the arjun deployed at a less controversial place" - doesnt apply anymore, but the rest is still true.

Okay again - This might be too radical for some, but IMHO taking on the Chinese is itself a very radical idea

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Dmurphy » 06 Oct 2009 11:14

RayC wrote:The three traditional factors determining a tank's effectiveness in battle are its firepower, protection, and mobility.

A light tank can manoeuvre in the hills better than an MBT.

Once on the Tibetan Plateau, how does the light tank reconcile the three traditional factors?

I presume that the Chinese would be fielding their MBTs on the Tibetan Plateau.

Excuse me for my ignorance, Sir. But doesn't their better manoeuvrability/agility make up for the inadequacies on the other 2 fronts? At the same time, with good ATGMs available these days isn't small better - say, making the tank more difficult to spot and better at dodging?

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Re: Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread

Postby Raj Malhotra » 06 Oct 2009 11:46

Re Ray


The issue is not that Light armoured tank is not necessary but why import are better than BMP-2/Abhay? The import which is a possibility is Russian Sprut, which (can float in water) so its armour density would be near BMP-2 (which can also float). For wheeled tanks, why DRDO Armoured vehicles cannot be used to mount light guns & missiles. Also if this requirement existed then it did not come into being on one nice day, why could the Army not commission DRDO or Pvt sector to build prototypes??


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