II CORPS ZULU FORCE -24XT-90S – THOR -CHOLISTAN DESSERT – INETERNATIONAL BORDER
Major Daljit was not a happy man .Neither he was very disturbed . No formal declaration of war has still been made but still he was tasked by his Colonel to take out the advance guard of 30 odd T-80 s that Pakistanis have placed just inside their side of the border to act as trip wire for any sudden Indian advance .A detachment of which was responsible for the skirmish on supply convoy.
Intelligence sources have indicated that Pakistani tanks may attempt a sneak attack under cover of darkness anytime and he was ordered to stop such attack and destroy the attacking contingent preferably they come anywhere close to the central ammo dump just next the state highway and in the open like most war time dumps .
The Pakistani T-80 s were placed in a wide semicircle in a shallow irrigation ditch with just the gun barrels protruding out ,bulk of the tank out of clear line of sight giving them some protection from a sudden assault .Daljit knew they must be watching him through their night vision right at this moment .
He had no covert approach and the distance was nearly 4 km s .
There was just one option –an expensive option .He had to spook the Pakistani tanks into moving out of their protective ditch.
The first page in the history of domestic tank construction was written over seventy years ago, on August 31, 1920, when the first-born Russian tank emerged from the Krasnoye Sormovo plant and was subjected to test runs, launching this essential branch of the defense industry.
Paradoxes are frequent in history. The tank had been invented as a combat weapon by Russian engineers well before 1920. However, its subsequent development did not follow.
Tank construction necessitated the advancement of science, special metallurgy, motor engineering, which was a privilege of developed countries, but Russia was not such a country at that time.
Although a pioneer in inventing the tank, Russia lagged behind Western countries in tank construction at the start. England and France employed tanks against German troops in offensive operations during World War I. The first-born Russian tank, frankly speaking, was an improved prototype of a captured French Reno tank.
The tank weighed seven tons and was armed with the naval Gochkis gun and manned with two crew members. During test runs the tank developed a speed of 8.5 km/h, levelled the ruins of a building and negotiated a barrier half a meter high. People are right to say: "A man is famous for his deeds". Fitter Mikhail Koshkin was one of the first people to organize tank production at the Krasnoye Sormovo plant. He also did his best in the production of the first combat armored vehicles. Who could foresee that this young worker, who had come from Vyatka to Nizhni Novgorod, possessed exceptional "design intuition" and that after twenty years Koshkin would, together with A.A. Morozov, develop the best tank of World War II, T-34 and would be honored as a Hero of Socialist Labor and win the State Prize.
According to English writer D. Ordgill, the "T-34 was not the inspiration of a genius but the result of common sense. Its advent was due to people who could have seen the battlefield in the middle of the 20th century better than anyone in the West." Tank construction and tank battles are exceptional chapters in the chronicle of World War II against Hitlerism and their contribution to the victory is of paramount importance. Anyone who remembers those years can readily imagine what would have happened to Russia and the world as a whole, if we had not set up, based on the industry, powerful tank construction centers in Leningrad, Kharkov, Nizhni Tagil, Nizhni Novgorod, Chelyabinsk and had not involved such men of design gifts as M. Koshkin, A. Morozov (designers of T-34) and Zh. Kotin (KV and IS heavy tanks).
Remember the July-August 1943, the battle of Kursk and its remarkable daySour victory in the greatest tank battle on the Prohorovka field. In this battle tanks fought Nwall-against-wallO: one power had to crush the other. On July 12, 1,200 tanks and self-propelled guns participated from both sides on a relatively small patch of land. The enemy lost 400 tanks in one day alone.
The vaunted Panthers and Tigers, tanks created by German designers specially for the battle of Kursk, could not hold out against the Koshkin and Morozov T-34s and KotinOs heavy tanks. A revolution in tank design was marked by the advent of the T-64 tank created by the A.A. Morozov design bureau in the late 1960s. The tank was the first to employ missile-gun armament (even now no foreign tank can boast such weapons) and automatic gun load.
Further tank development was undertaken in the city on the Neva River, where the design bureau headed by N.S. Popov created a tank with a gas turbine engine, designated T-80U. In Nizhni Tagil, General Designer V.N. Venedictov developed the T-72. These tanks are still considered the world's best models.
The most commonly used ammunition allowance of modern tanks comprises two types of armor-piercing shells: HVAP and HEAT fragmentation or HVAP and high-explosive squash head (HESH). Once a HEAT-F or HESH shell has been fired, the fragmentation and blast effects are secondary and collateral. It may well augment the armor-piercing effect to the detriment of other tank missions.
Explanations are offered in different original concepts of the tank as a weapons system. According to one such concept, the main tank mission is to fight enemy tanks presenting a major threat (to realize the "fight the equal" principle), while the tank defense against ground and air antitank weapons is considered the responsibility of a covering party, e.i., accompanying infantry combat vehicles and self-propelled air defense mounts.
When confronted by hit-and-run maneuver tank battle, especially on rugged, smoked and dust-laden terrain, the dominant factor is played by the readiness to fire instantly as soon as an enemy tank appears. To this end, the tank gun must be kept loaded, and any shell of the ammunition load must provide high armor-piercing effect. The idea of ammunition allowance comprising two types of armor-piercing shells is based on this principle.
However, military experience disproves this concept. For example, the tank losses during the fourth Arab-Israel war in 1973 broke down as follows: over 50 percent destroyed by antitank guided missiles, 28 percent by aircraft, light antitank grenade launchers, tank-killing mines, and only 22 percent by tank fire.
Under another concept the tank constitutes a self-contained weapons system capable of accomplishing independently all combat missions, including self-defense against tank destroyers. This problem cannot be solved by using available standard impact-fuzed shells, as the fragmentation effect on single targets during flat trajectory fire by these shells indicates very poor coordination between the impact point f (x, y) and kill probability curve G (x, y).
The dispersion pattern, with a ratio of longer axes of approximately 50:1 at a distance of 2 km, is extended along the line of fire, while the bursting effect area is perpendicular to this line. As a result, the fire pattern and the bursting effect area only coincide over a very small section.
To find a way out, a multipurpose tank-gun shell of versatile application boasting a killing pattern extended along the shell path has been developed and patented by the Bauman State University Special Engineering Research Institute (Russian Lcns No. 2018779, M. cl. F42 V 13/48, published on August 30, 1994).
The shell produces simultaneously two fragmentation patterns: axial (focused) pattern of submunitions and radial (circular) pattern of split fragments. The shell comprises an explosive charge and a nose unit containing submunitions made from steel or heavy tungsten-based alloys in a form allowing for their dense stowage in the nose unit, for instance hexahedral prisms. Dense stowage retains the shape of submunitions during blast propulsion and consequently reduces the losses of explosive charge energy for submunition deformation. Owing to the base detonation of the explosive charge, the submunition unit is propelled by incident blast wave, thereby increasing the propulsion velocity. The velocity of the submunition unit ejection from the shell body depends on the weight and other design parameters and ranges from 300 to 500 m/s, with the initial resultant velocity of the subminitions ranging from 1,100 to 1,300 m/s at a shell velocity of 800 m/s. A light head cap provided with a point contact-sensing device and filled with polyurethane foam does not impede the submunition unit ejection.
Explosion of a 125mm focused fragmentation shell at a distance of 30 m from a target produces a killing circle 5 m in diameter. With the submunition unit and the submunition weighing 2.5 kg and 5 g, respectively, and a submunition total number of 500, the average density in the killing zone will be 25 pcs/m2 which is quite sufficient to reliably defeat any targets with a steel equivalent of up to 6 mm. A 15-20 g rise in the submunition weight will increase the steel equivalent of penetrated target up to 10 mm. It will be sufficient to defeat light armor targets. The effect of a dense submunition beam on the tank front armor will destroy all external vision devices and cause full blinding of the tank.
Time setting (time of flight to a set-forward point of burst) is introduced in the base or nose command receiver through a contact or noncontact line. To rule out errors, the shell velocity is measured by the noncontact method and the resultant value is introduced into the computation of time setting. The latter is subsequently fed to the time fuze via a laser beam (or by any other noncontact method). The tank fire control system must incorporate a laser rangefinder, shell velocity meter, ballistic computer and automatic time fuze setting device. Such systems have been developed and adopted for service.
This engagement method is an obvious asset related to the fire control system accuracy. When a time-fuze HE fragmentation shell is exploded in the effective killing zone, the total error (root-mean-square deviation) of fire control must not exceed 0.001 s (this accuracy level is highly improbable in near future). For a focused shell blasted at the point of prediction, a total error of up to 0.01 s will be acceptable.
Major Daljit picked up the field phone and requested for a short artillery barrage
It was almost 15 minutes before the first of 130 mm field guns roared somewhere from behind and the first shell landed almost 500 meters behind the concealed T-80 group
- 500 meter minus – 7 degree off to south – captain ,shouted Daljit as he watched the first shell land harmlessly though the eyes of his min UAV with infra red camera
- Correcting sir ,came the voice of the young artillery captain in charge of the 130 mm field gun battery assigned to his regiment
The gun roared again and this time the shell landed closer but still about 50 meters behind nut the orientation was more less where he wanted
- 50 minus and fire for effect – 5 minutes –captain.
On the other side of the border the Pakistani weapon locating radar went on alert and it will be ready to launch saturation strike to the Indian guns in less than 3 minutes
Lt colonel Niyamat Khan on the other side of the border ,looke through his glasses and did not like what he saw ,being caught in the middle of an arty duel with his precious tanks was not he was paid for . As he ordered his T-80 s to move out of the ditch, he in adherently gave the chance Major Daljit was looking for.
The T-80 s came out of ditch one by one and then started reversing and turning out of the arty range. The Indian 130 mm guns were blazing out as if no tomorrow till the Pakistani weapon locating radar got a fix and the Pakistani gunners too opened up forcing the Indian gunners to scoot and scoot fast .
- gunner target – tuna 1 and 3 – launch missile –now
The Indian field guns stopped firing and for a minute there was silence and then all hell broke loose
The two anti tank missiles launched and flashed forward towards the lead T-80s who have just finished reversing out of the protective ditch and trying to get out of the intense shelling.
- ZULU TEAM –LEAD – PICK TARGET AND FIRE AT WILL
All the T-90 s moved in unison rushing towards the international border but still not crossing it, discharging copious amount of smoke both intentional and unintentional.
The first and then the second missile hit the lead T-80 in less than 10 seconds .The Rest of the T-80 stopped in their tracks and turned outwards firing on the move.
For next 3 minutes it was utter chaos with close to 50 heavy tanks firing their main guns all the while moving to stay out of harms way.
Major Daljit took command effortlessly
- gunner tank
The main gun boomed and the first of the armor piercing shells or rather a high velocity tungsten dart rocketed out at over 800 meters per second towards the target hitting the ill fated Pakistani tank right at the junction of hull and turret blowing ,punching through the weakest section of frontal armor and killing everyone instantly
- sabot up
- target tank – 1345 meters – 215 –
- target identified
The T-90 rocked once again on its heavy duty hydro pneumatic suspension.
The T-80 Stopped in its track at that very moment and made a sharp 90 degree turn and then accelerated out the shell hitting it on the right track ,immobilizing it .But still capable of shooting back
-gunner -re engage
- sabot up
This time the T-80 had no chance to survive and blew up as the armor piercing round blew up its fuel tank. The hatch opened and the crew bailed out all of them in fire.
The engagement lasted all of 6 minutes. 16 T-80 s were destroyed 8 pf them in the first 2 minutes of the battle. 3 T-90 were also killed and 4 badly damaged 2 of them by anti tank mines. As the warring tanks disengaged to safer areas ,Major Manjit was already busy planning his evening movie and beer with the art captain . –all in a days work for an Indian soldier.