Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

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Philip
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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Philip » 18 Sep 2018 09:58

Karan, any figs. for costs of our legacy Milan and Konkurs licence built? Plus, is there any stat./ report regarding the numbers (and types) of ATGMs that the IA needs for infantry, AVs and attack helos.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Prem Kumar » 18 Sep 2018 10:09

M289's muzzle velocity is 1.5Km/sec and when an Abrams takes a shot at an adversary who is 3 Km away, the adversary has 2 seconds to:

1) Detect the incoming projectile (a Mach 4.5 sabot round, with very low RCS & which could come from a 360 degree angle)
2) Do the math
3) Shoot a counter projectile fast enough that it will defeat the sabot round at a safe distance from the tank.

That's a seriously difficult engineering problem! If someone can demonstrate active protection against APFSDS rounds, that would be "wow"!

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby ks_sachin » 18 Sep 2018 11:14

And the Abrams will not necessarily fire once. Prem Kumar what is its rate of fire for APFSDS rounds?

May be we suffer from a severe case of brochuritis!!!

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Manish_P » 18 Sep 2018 12:24

^ On US Tank forums, they claim fire rates starting around 3 to 5 seconds (for good, experienced loaders)... increasing as fatigue starts creeping in. The fire rates for human loaders also vary based on the rounds, whether the tank is stationary or moving, the type of terrain. Compared to the steady 7 to 8 seconds for the Russian auto-loaders.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby tsarkar » 18 Sep 2018 12:56

Karan M wrote:The cost of each missile is so much that a few loadouts will beggar any army. They have far more handling restrictions and its one thing for large platforms and bases to carefully manage them. Tanks which perforce have to be rugged and manage with minimal support..its easy to see why APFSDS remains so popular.

Yet India ordered 25,000 Invar missiles way back in 2011 for T-90s. LOS is the biggest limitation of APFSDS.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Manish_P » 18 Sep 2018 13:15

^ Tsarkar sir, isn't the Invar a guided missile (laser beam riding, controlled by the tank gunner)... needing guidance till impact.. thereby meaning that it is also LOS dependent. Or was that only limited to the older gen versions?

Also are there any tank gun-capable LOAL ATGMs ?

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 18 Sep 2018 14:55

tsarkar wrote:
Karan M wrote:The cost of each missile is so much that a few loadouts will beggar any army. They have far more handling restrictions and its one thing for large platforms and bases to carefully manage them. Tanks which perforce have to be rugged and manage with minimal support..its easy to see why APFSDS remains so popular.

Yet India ordered 25,000 Invar missiles way back in 2011 for T-90s. LOS is the biggest limitation of APFSDS.


India ordered INVAR precisely because our T-90S have the obsolete BM-42/Mango APFSDS with limited L:d ratio and propellant size limitations (autoloader size challenge) which will fail against heavily armored MBTs like the T-80UD, we basically bought tanks on the cheap and were forced to purchase gold plated ammunition to compensate for the gun/ammo combination on the T-90.

If we talk about penny wise, pound foolish our procurements take the cake - because now with heavier ERA emerging out of labs and INVAR specs widely known and variants available (from Ukraine f.e. who had access to a lot of its predecessors data vis a vis the T-80 line and made the Kombat), countermeasures can be easily developed and IA is forced to look at even more expensive ATGMs to supplant the INVAR.
And INVAR is also unfortunately LOS, guided via the gunners sight.
http://fofanov.armor.kiev.ua/Tanks/ARM/refleks.html

The LAHAT is claimed to be NLOS and can take offboard guidance.

Thanks to spending money on INVAR and similar "compensations" our T-90s etc continue to lack the capex for stuff like an APS, workable AC and many other doodads which are more and more essential on a modern battlefield, especially since the T-90S ammo storage is so compromised, its completely underprovisioned volume means extra vectronics fail in the heat etc. Its a classic case of "jugaad" failing when put to the test. A rugged tank in its baseline version but ask it to be everything from a dedicated tank hunter to this to that and manage Indian climes, and suddenly its no longer as useful as it first appeared. :(

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 18 Sep 2018 15:04

Manish_P wrote:^ Tsarkar sir, isn't the Invar a guided missile (laser beam riding, controlled by the tank gunner)... needing guidance till impact.. thereby meaning that it is also LOS dependent. Or was that only limited to the older gen versions?

Also are there any tank gun-capable LOAL ATGMs ?


Its LOS dependent.

As of 2013:
https://www.armyrecognition.com/idex_20 ... 02135.html

Check the design optimization against ERA protected tanks. Its far cheaper to deploy APFSDS against threats (and safer as the rounds are hypersonic and the firing tank does not have to remain exposed) than expensive, slower ATGMs which are also very susceptible to countermeasures.

Per several reports, Pak T-80s/Al Khalids also deploy dazzler systems like Shtora (Ukrainian/PRC version). If they indeed do so, relying on INVAR may not be as suitable as we think.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 18 Sep 2018 15:14

The requirement that CLGM needs to have a minimum range of 500mtrs tells us that IA is not confident our sabot rounds will work against Pak ERA tanks.

The only way to beat ERA is tandem warhead ATGM. We were suppose to get sabot tech from Israel, that has not worked out. No investment in Arjun sabot, because IA has no plans to mass induct. Last year OFB produced zero Arjun sabot rounds. Mango rounds we are getting is outdated.

So fundamentally IA has hit a wall. If IA makes tank launched ATGM as the primary weapon, we are looking at very expensive crew training or reduced crew training to contain cost.

This also explains IA's focus towards gunships and IAF doing the mud moving.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Manish_P » 18 Sep 2018 16:55

Centre approves Rs 9,100 crore 'Made in India' defence equipment

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by defence minster Nirmala Sitharaman, on Tuesday approved the procurement of Rs 9,100 crore-worth of equipment. The approvals were accorded for two regiments of Akash Missile Systems

Also approved was the progressing of design and development of Individual Under Water Breathing Apparatus (IUWBA) for T90 Tank

The DAC also accorded approval for the design and development of test equipment for Guided Weapons System of the T 90 Tank

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby tsarkar » 18 Sep 2018 17:46

Manish_P wrote:^ Tsarkar sir, isn't the Invar a guided missile (laser beam riding, controlled by the tank gunner)... needing guidance till impact.. thereby meaning that it is also LOS dependent. Or was that only limited to the older gen versions?

INVAR missile is indeed laser beam riding but the laser designation can be done by -
1. Own Tank
2. Helicopter
3. UAV
4. Another Tank
5. Forward Observers with portable designators
That gives it 4 NLOS guidance modes.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Manish_P » 18 Sep 2018 18:41

Thank you. The Forward Observers with portable designators, and in the future battlefield - the UAV, are vital & stealthy force multipliers

A couple of years ago there were reports of the Russians looking to install an 'on-board' Recce-Targeting drone onto the Armata MBT itself, feed from which would be shared by the entire platoon/squadron

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby tsarkar » 18 Sep 2018 18:48

Karan M wrote:India ordered INVAR precisely because our T-90S have the obsolete BM-42/Mango APFSDS with limited L:d ratio and propellant size limitations (autoloader size challenge) which will fail against heavily armored MBTs like the T-80UD, we basically bought tanks on the cheap and were forced to purchase gold plated ammunition to compensate for the gun/ammo combination on the T-90.

It is an incorrect speculation that missiles are bought to compensate for lack of APFSDS performance.

Indian Army has separate programs for both kinetic penetrators and missiles.

For 125 mm kinetic penetrators, we have the DRDO Mk2 that has a L:D ratio of 20:1 with 3+ km range.

For missiles, IA is insisting on a missile for Arjun and has a follow up program for INVAR replacement for a whopping 8 km range and 800-850 mm RHA DoP against 5 km range of INVAR.

8 km on land will require NLOS targeting because even in relatively flat desert terrain its impossible to get 8 km LOS.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india ... s-4805071/
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cit ... 515076.cms

With such high end specifications, the IA's commitment to missiles is irrespective of developments in kinetic penetrators.

The operational benefits of missiles are well established.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Prem Kumar » 18 Sep 2018 23:00

A few thoughts on Invar & laser designation. Notwithstanding tsarkar's points about missile programs & APFSDS rounds being complementary, there are some real drawbacks to Invar, like Karan mentions:

1) At Mach 1, it will take the Invar a good 8 second flight time to target
2) This gives the enemy 4X more time to deploy countermeasures (APS, smoke grenades, dazzlers etc), compared to APFSDS rounds
3) During this time, the firing tank has to be stationary for continuous lasing, thereby exposing itself to counterfire. Actually, a countermeasure to Invar might be for the targeted tank to quickly shoot back (if its LWR can detect the source), causing the attacking tank to move and break the lock. APFSDS rounds offer shoot and scoot capability
4) The firing rate for Invar is slower because of its flight time. Its half the firing rate of APFSDS rounds
5) Lasing by other designators like UAVs, Helicopters etc, while good in theory, have limitations in practice I feel. I can lase a target and if its going to be used by an air launched LGB, the aircraft can launch from within a wider cone. If its a tank-launched missile, the designator and the launcher have to work within narrower angles. I have my doubts about either the Lahat or Invar operating in a true shoot & scoot mode

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 19 Sep 2018 00:09

TSarkar, you are repeating the very point I am making and mixing up cause and effect.

1. If INVAR was such an ideal solution, what is the need for this new ATGM replacement? That was the exact reason I pointed to, when I said INVAR has already been taken into account by several tank forces and needs a replacement sooner than later. INVAR is designed as an armor killer. Surely INVAR is not meant to take down attack helicopters despite its claims it can do so! It would not be necessary if the IA had a superior FSAPDS at far lesser expense and virtually unjammable, and hypersonic.

2. Your claim was that missiles were the solution and APFSDS was no longer necessary, then why this statement that the Indian Army has separate programs for both KE and Missiles? Could it be that one (the missile) is necessary, to make up for the lack of performance of the other (the FSAPDS). This should automatically tell us what are the current limitations of our current inventory.

3. The IA is hobbled right now by the BM-42 Mango rounds and claiming the DRDO MK2 round is sufficient is, unfortunately, fallacy. The DRDO round has achieved ~600mm DOP for the 120mm Arjun Mk2 round. This is fairly credible (matches what SoKo achieved around 2012-14 as a comparison), but the challenge remains for specific portions of the frontal arc of heavy armor arrays on MBTs. The DRDO 125mm round is lesser in terms of performance and matches the Mango/slightly surpasses it. While credible, we have a ways to go before matching the performance of the advanced penetrators like the DM-63 which feature penetrators with high L:d but also designed to specifically defeat advanced armor combinations. Kindly read the link I have posted above for the test criteria. The DM-63 is part of a weapons system, with the L55 gun capable of handling the MPA the round generates over its profile, something that needs to be closely calibrated.

4. As a result, the DRDO has a parallel program to develop higher L:D rounds, newer propellants - see the L:D ratio of the modern western penetrators with a L:D ratio of around 30 in 2010, multiple references exist in literature for the same. After that, its not merely L:D ratio but also more advanced methods, jacketing, segmenting, multi-density penetrators - the arrays are becoming more challenging and designs keep advancing.

5. The Army had DRDO stop working on FSAPDS stating that it preferred importing Israeli rounds and later to be assembled at OFB. As a result of which DRDO's Mk2 FSAPDS program languished for years without funding, direction and even a SQR. They did this after a prior DRDO/OFB FSAPDS program was ditched because of severe QA/QC issues (OFB mixed and matched 125mm local penetrators with imported Russian propellant) and lakh plus rounds were lost because of propellant leakage and the poor production quality. Instead of sticking the course, the MOD took the easy course of importing Israeli rounds post 1999 and stopped the DRDO program more or less which trundled along purely as a TD initiative on account of the Arjun, whose lack of production clearance meant its Mk1 rounds also trundled along till the tank finally cleared FCS trials a few years back and IA then asked for the rounds to be brought up to par. Ironically enough, the same OFB is to now assemble the BM-42 rounds. We can only hope they don't mess that up as well.

6. The DRDO's existing work was dusted off & put back in trials, after several years, resulting in the current Mk2 rounds for the 120mm/125mm (matching/slightly surpassing the imported BM-42 Mango & Israeli round performance) once the OFB deal with IAI fell through on account of corruption charges and OFB's problems with absorbing the so called Israeli TOT which consisted of assembling the rounds in India with penetrators machined from Tungsten alloy blanks ex-import Israel, which basically meant the critical KE penetrator technology was missing in India. We are still talking of several years of trials and the Mk2 rounds cleared trials but recently.

7. All this meant a critical FSAPDS shortage & inability to handle advanced armor with the Israeli pipeline shut, no Indian rounds available
As a result, after the new Govt came into power, the DRDO round has been dusted off, pushed through trials and we have the above. Yet, if you ask anybody well versed with the topic, it remains doubtful whether Indian rounds or the Mango can penetrate heavy armor arrays at 2km and above. Even below that, advanced heavy ERA has started making its appearance along with heavy composite panels as the PRC has managed to build a pipeline of tanks with more powerful engine and transmission combinations. They are belatedly realizing that mobility alone is not the answer, something we realized with the Arjun and hence its heavy armor arrays.

8. This is why the Army has a missile program going on with the INVAR/LAHAT to at least give it a fighting chance to take out current Al Khalids & T-80UDs (the latter, ironically enough have severe reliability issues but are very heavily armored & remain the PA's pride and joy, public statements in favor of the Akl Khalid apart. Comparisons to the PAF F-16 fleet are germane).

9. The INVAR is designed to go through heavy ERA & provide ~800 mm of RHA penetration behind the main armor array (as versus ~560-600 mm for our current FSAPDS rounds). All this is public information. However, RHAe penetration can differ substantially based on test criteria, standard values are against blocks of metal & spaced armor arrays (NATO triple heavy targets) which are no longer representative of complex armor arrays.

10. DRDO hence uses its own Kanchan arrays to proof test its armor & rounds. Like the BM program, having both the sword & the shield within its own aegis has its own advantages, however we can get an estimate of where they are technologically by looking at crude measures like the L:D ratio & what their own statements are.

11. DRDO was fairly honest about its own projections. Dr VK Saraswat himself several years back laid out the plans noting that the first focus was in rushing a production ready 125mm round to the forces to supplant the Mango & reduce our import reliance, and then the focus would be on catching up with the best out there. Penetration of the order beyond current levels. This automatically implies advanced technologies. This has now been confirmed by DRDO's latest Parliamentary submission wherein they have requested funding for advanced penetrators. The Arjun has a greater chance of taking advantage of the DRDO effort because we own the gun, ammo, FCS and also its greater volume means we can shoehorn larger rounds, gun modifications into the tank. With the T-90, we can't even fit in vetronics easily.

12. So current state of play:
1. IA has BM-42s for T-90/T-72 fleet & license production for a total of ~60k rounds (current needs for basic threats)

2. INVAR for heavy threats T-80 UD/Al Khalid/new Type-9X variants from PRC, similarly LAHAT for Arjun. Arjun's Mk1 FSAPDS was actually behind Mango as well. Now Mk2 has entered production. INVAR itself had issues in trials and had to be rectified.

3.DRDO MK2 rounds for both 120mm and 125mm to supplant Mango/ Arjun MK1 round has also been cleared as rounds get consumed in trials & get allocated for WWR allocation (for a fleet of ~2000 tanks, 60K Mangos barely translates to a loadout of 30 rounds per tank).

4. Advanced DRDO rounds for taking the FSAPDS program forward. Again, FSAPDS tech. DRDO has greater chances of making mods to Arjun as versus the space limited T-90/T-72, how can the autoloader fit high L:d rounds?

5. IA simultaneously has released exploratory RFIs for FSAPDS rounds to supplant the Israeli rounds, Mango and the older DRDO Mk1 rounds. After lackluster response, the deal was struck to license assemble the Mango round in India with a limited production run. It has now started at OFB & a Russian team visited recently to check.

6. IA has realized the rounds are tailored to the gun & hence the gun system also needs changing. Again, exploratory RFIs have gone out looking for 125mm guns with new gen ammo to replace the current guns on the T-fleet and see what can be done.

7. In parallel, since the realization is there the physical penetrator dimensions are not easy to manage, they are looking for a compact missile which leverages more advanced tech than the current REFLEKS which like the Mango dates from the 1990s and earlier, given SVIR etc antecedents. DRDO is happily trundling along with CLGM for Arjun MK2 and plus it has its new KE program.

8. Private sector has also been asked to see if they can license existing rounds for the T-XX fleet or work on KE rounds. Bharat Forge is an interesting player in this arena. This will give an option beyond Mango/DRDO program.

9. Given the T-90/T-7X limitations, the IA's choices are hobbled.
1. Existing gun/ammo combination has reached its development threshold
2. RFIs remain that ... RFIs. No concrete RFP has gone out for a working OTS/commercial round + gun to magically solve the T-90/T-XX issue.
3. Ditto for the next gen missile program. Exploratory RFI.
4. DRDO's program remains the best bet as long as MOD/IA don't change their minds once again, but the gun challenge/physical constraints remain. Without significantly reworking the tank, one can only do so much.
5. A lot of this could have been avoided if the IA had actually looked at long term upgradeability of the T-XX tank in question. We didn't and what the OEM should be providing as a convenient package is now sought to be addressed by the IA, from rounds to missiles, to ACs. Frankly, this is the vendors challenge not the customers, yet the customer chose the wrong platform from the POV of upgradeability and we are saddled with this challenge.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 19 Sep 2018 00:11

Prem Kumar wrote:A few thoughts on Invar & laser designation. Notwithstanding tsarkar's points about missile programs & APFSDS rounds being complementary, there are some real drawbacks to Invar, like Karan mentions:

1) At Mach 1, it will take the Invar a good 8 second flight time to target
2) This gives the enemy 4X more time to deploy countermeasures (APS, smoke grenades, dazzlers etc), compared to APFSDS rounds
3) During this time, the firing tank has to be stationary for continuous lasing, thereby exposing itself to counterfire. Actually, a countermeasure to Invar might be for the targeted tank to quickly shoot back (if its LWR can detect the source), causing the attacking tank to move and break the lock. APFSDS rounds offer shoot and scoot capability
4) The firing rate for Invar is slower because of its flight time. Its half the firing rate of APFSDS rounds
5) Lasing by other designators like UAVs, Helicopters etc, while good in theory, have limitations in practice I feel. I can lase a target and if its going to be used by an air launched LGB, the aircraft can launch from within a wider cone. If its a tank-launched missile, the designator and the launcher have to work within narrower angles. I have my doubts about either the Lahat or Invar operating in a true shoot & scoot mode


Precisely and well articulated.

There is a good reason US, most western armies have not enmasse adopted Missiles as their primary weapon and retain the FSAPDS as their primary tank killer.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Katare » 19 Sep 2018 01:33

tsarkar wrote:
Katare wrote:Active protection system against tank rounds? That would be some technology!

IBD Deisenroth Engineering has developed an APS with Dense Inert Metal Explosives to take out rod penetrators.

Apparently so does Iron Fist
https://www.wired.com/2009/01/mystery-weapon/
The Israeli "Iron Fist" interceptor unveiled in 2006 is a similar concept, with small radar-guided projectiles. "Iron Fist uses only the blast effect to defeat the threat, crushing the soft components of a shaped charge or deflecting and destabilizing the missile or kinetic rod in their flight," according to Defense Update. This suggests DIME technology.


The article does say what you are saying but it does not pass my commonsense test to be an implementable solution with current technology. Tank rounds travel more than 1+ KM/sec (most MBT have muzzle velocity of 1.4 to 1.8KM/sec) . A tank firing a shell from 1 Km away gives less than a sec of total time for detection, tracking, calculating firing solution and firing. Tank shell don't gain altitude so any radar would have to detect and track the projectile, not against a cool/clear uniform sky like WLRs do, but against a cluttered landscape. Doesn't seem like anyone is near such a technology today although it may become viable solution in some distant future. One thing is for certain that what you are saying is the most logical direction for armor evolution.

The RPG and antitank missiles have several second long window for engagement so it's possible to destroy them in flight with the current state of the art technology.

If against all odds, Israelis pull this it off I'll be mighty surprised. I would love to see a Merkava, without it's armor, entering into the Gaza strip.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby abhik » 19 Sep 2018 09:23

tsarkar wrote:
Manish_P wrote:^ Tsarkar sir, isn't the Invar a guided missile (laser beam riding, controlled by the tank gunner)... needing guidance till impact.. thereby meaning that it is also LOS dependent. Or was that only limited to the older gen versions?

INVAR missile is indeed laser beam riding but the laser designation can be done by -
1. Own Tank
2. Helicopter
3. UAV
4. Another Tank
5. Forward Observers with portable designators
That gives it 4 NLOS guidance modes.

Beam riding != Semi active laser guidance, I don't see how it can be guided by anything other than the launcher (or something very close to it).

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 19 Sep 2018 10:47

tsarkar wrote:
Manish_P wrote:^ Tsarkar sir, isn't the Invar a guided missile (laser beam riding, controlled by the tank gunner)... needing guidance till impact.. thereby meaning that it is also LOS dependent. Or was that only limited to the older gen versions?

INVAR missile is indeed laser beam riding but the laser designation can be done by -
1. Own Tank
2. Helicopter
3. UAV
4. Another Tank
5. Forward Observers with portable designators
That gives it 4 NLOS guidance modes.


Haven't seen anything to support this - surely some evidence must exist to show that the Russians or Indians deployed multiple designation platforms? Also NLOS is not just designation, the missile trajectory and guidance itself must allow for that sort of designation. The Refleks is basically, from whatever sources are published, a straight forward beam rider which homes in on the center of the reflected cone of laser energy from the target.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 19 Sep 2018 10:55

abhik wrote:
tsarkar wrote:INVAR missile is indeed laser beam riding but the laser designation can be done by -
1. Own Tank
2. Helicopter
3. UAV
4. Another Tank
5. Forward Observers with portable designators
That gives it 4 NLOS guidance modes.

Beam riding != Semi active laser guidance, I don't see how it can be guided by anything other than the launcher (or something very close to it).


Yes, there is no evidence I can see so far that INVAR is nothing but a standard beam rider which requires constant illumination & hence cannot be just handed off from guidance platform to guidance platform.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Pratyush » 19 Sep 2018 11:35

tsarkar wrote:INVAR missile is indeed laser beam riding but the laser designation can be done by -
1. Own Tank
2. Helicopter
3. UAV
4. Another Tank
5. Forward Observers with portable designators
That gives it 4 NLOS guidance modes.


But how will the Invar enter the guidence beam of the NLOS target designator?

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Manish_P » 19 Sep 2018 11:46

Prem Kumar wrote:1) At Mach 1, it will take the Invar a good 8 second flight time to target
2) This gives the enemy 4X more time to deploy countermeasures (APS, smoke grenades, dazzlers etc), compared to APFSDS rounds
3) During this time, the firing tank has to be stationary for continuous lasing, thereby exposing itself to counterfire. Actually, a countermeasure to Invar might be for the targeted tank to quickly shoot back (if its LWR can detect the source), causing the attacking tank to move and break the lock.


An interesting approach to this issue is being projected by the Ukranian 'Kombat' ATGM

The KOMBAT is a laser-beam-riding guided missile, the laser beam being directed onto the tail of the flying missile rather than on the target proper. The missile’s control system allows for a few guidance modes. One such is so called “lead-on” mode, whereby the laser beam is directed frontward the designated target without actually illuminating it. The laser beam is only brought into coincidence with the target (tank or helicopter) for 0.3 seconds prior to impact, effectively leaving the enemy with no time to activate a laser-warning system.


Source - here

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 19 Sep 2018 13:39

The two piece ammo business has virtually reached the dead end. Either we create a new gen gun for T-90, which can allow for higher muzzle velocity or come up with something innovative with the size restriction due to auto loader.

The only saving grace is LCH + Apaches coming online and development of SANT, SAW which can be loaded on heavy hitters like SU-30, who can roam the skies for hours.

IA on it's part is compensating it by adding numbers. Paks have 500-600 AK+T80s, pitted against will be 1600 T90. We are betting on quantity has a quality of it's own. PA has decided to reduce it's dependency on AK and is scouting for new tanks. Do note PA's experiments the most in it's armour and anti-armour department. Obsession level of gunship induction of all types and not scouting for new armour.

IA betting on gun fired ATGM as the primary weapon is sure way to disaster in terms of training.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Philip » 19 Sep 2018 18:49

Going through the very detailed piece on the perceived limitations of MBT ammo for the T- series and tilt towards ATGMs in general, it explains why we have a new beast, the " Terminator", as part of the Armata family.Possessing both ( Ataka X 4 ) missiles,a twin 30mm auto-cannon, grenade launchers, etc.as part of the armoured columns able to deal with both MBTs and enemy infantry equipped with ATGMs and tandem warhead RPGs.

Most recent conflicts have seen severe attrition warfare where densely populated urban centres stuffed with heavily armed " rebels", have tried to stave off conventional armies equipped with various kinds of firepower.These battles have been intense and bloody and AVs have come under intense fire from embedded fighters equipped with the firepower mentioned above .This would also be happening in any European conflict in the future between Russia and NATO. Hence the Ru philosophy to outnumber the enemy and allow for expendable losses.It worked against the Nazis in WW2.

Our scenario however is quite different.Vast desert spaces, riverine plains and mountainous terrain require their own combat requirements.In the West, Pak will " as per usual", try and wr
est J&K from us.In the east and in Aksai Chin, the Chins will attempt to seize as much territory as they can where we are most vulnerable especially in the NEast where they've claimed Ar.Pr. as S. Tibet. Thus we too need large numbers of AVs which have to be spread out over different terrain and which will also have to be assisted by large numbets of attack helos and even CS/ GA aircraft. There is a need for a multi-role light tank for both amphib.and mountain wsrfare reqs., After the PT-76, we have nothing suitable for our island territories. Also reqd. a light attack aircraft/trainer if a dedicated bird like the A- 10/ SU-25 type is not available.Attack helos will be subject to v.heavy ground fire from both triple- A and SAMs.

Since NAG has been certified and ordered, but only 300 missiles when the stated req. is 8000 (with only 25 NAMICAs ,-modified BMP-2s), where will the remaining missiles and their AV carriers come from? Has the "stopgap" Spike deal been resurrected for 4.5K missiles for $500M? One is sure that the orders for NAG can be hugely increased and measures taken to increase prod. of NAMICAs or other AV ATGM platforms from the pvt. sector.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Picklu » 20 Sep 2018 01:46

tsarkar wrote:
Manish_P wrote:^ Tsarkar sir, isn't the Invar a guided missile (laser beam riding, controlled by the tank gunner)... needing guidance till impact.. thereby meaning that it is also LOS dependent. Or was that only limited to the older gen versions?

INVAR missile is indeed laser beam riding but the laser designation can be done by -
1. Own Tank
2. Helicopter
3. UAV
4. Another Tank
5. Forward Observers with portable designators
That gives it 4 NLOS guidance modes.


Invar(clicky) is beam riding only and must be guided by tank gunner till the point of impact.

LAHAT(clicky) on the other hand is laser homing and capable of indirect designation.

Looks like army is trying to take a wee bit of advantage of their navy brethren here ;)

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Picklu » 20 Sep 2018 02:05

Picklu wrote:
tsarkar wrote:ParGha Ji, you have missile armed destroyers and frigates rather than gun and armoured Yamato and Iowa class battleships. The writing is on the wall.

The tank gun and armour is obsolete. As ships use missiles and CIWS, combat vehicles will use missiles and APS.


There is no melee in naval combat any more, the last one was attack of Karachi. No contested landing either for a long long time.

No concept of holding the ground as none stays on water, it is used only as a path of transportation.

Since none stays and only transport vessels roam on open ocean, it allows the military powers to create protective bubble using naval air power and long range shooting using missile. Or creation of mobile area denial zone using submarine.

Not sure all these conditions can be true or ported one is to one in land battle.


I would repeat my question once again.

The vast open expanse of ocean allows the battle concept of "Either outgun or outrun". No one holds ground on an ocean.

And in littoral area, the land based forces + coast guard dominate.

How the same is applicable in case of land battle on thickly populated area which the world increasingly is?

How an agile missile carrier will hold ground?

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby ramana » 26 Sep 2018 06:37

From Twitter

Defence Acquisitions Council, led by @nsitharaman, accords approval for procurement of 1000 engines of 1000 BHP for T-72 tanks under ‘Buy & Make’ category for over Rs 2300 crore. Post transfer of technology most of these engines will be manufactured by Ordnance Factories Board

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Pratyush » 26 Sep 2018 11:58

Weren't we making engine's for the 90.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Aditya_V » 26 Sep 2018 16:49

Yes, but only recently almost all parts are being manufactured in India and now we are fitting them on T-72's

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby tsarkar » 26 Sep 2018 17:41

Karan M wrote:TSarkar, you are repeating the very point I am making and mixing up cause and effect.

Karan M wrote:1. If INVAR was such an ideal solution, what is the need for this new ATGM replacement?

Requirement of longer range to meet upcoming threats. Presently missiles like Spike LR/MR have ranges around 8 km. INVAR has a range of 5 km. Hence the search for a longer range missile.

Karan M wrote:2. Your claim was that missiles were the solution and APFSDS was no longer necessary, then why this statement that the Indian Army has separate programs for both KE and Missiles? Could it be that one (the missile) is necessary, to make up for the lack of performance of the other (the FSAPDS). This should automatically tell us what are the current limitations of our current inventory.

No, I spoke to multiple folks and none of them spoke any lack of performance APFSDS as the reason for investing in missiles. They believe guns have reached an evolutionary dead end and missiles are the way of the future. And cited the Yamato example. I have not heard this reason from anyone except on this forum from you.

You've given a very nice description of Indian APFSDS development, though, and my compliments to you for that. Rohit too used to post quite informative posts in this matter.

The other development I was told is posted in Military Helicopters thread

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 26 Sep 2018 17:50

Is the evolutionary dead end of the gun with respect to T-90 gun in general? If T90, then yes. In general, I wouldn't agree.

Germans and French are experimenting with 130MM rounds. They are massive rounds and would required lot of armor to stop them.

I am pretty sure these round will come up in few years. With APS, countries would want to invest in a sabot round, which is not easy to counter, compared to ATGM.

So i am not sure about the thinking that gun will place no role in the future.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby tsarkar » 26 Sep 2018 18:22

Prem Kumar wrote:1) At Mach 1, it will take the Invar a good 8 second flight time to target
2) This gives the enemy 4X more time to deploy countermeasures (APS, smoke grenades, dazzlers etc), compared to APFSDS rounds


Speed is higher and flight time is lower of ship fired shell compared to a missile. Surely missile detection is simpler compared to high speed shells that gives enemy time to react. Then why does a US Arleigh Burke destroyer carries only 8 Harpoon compared to hundreds of shells of an Iowa class battleship?

As in aircraft targeting, the radar illumination isnt constant but in bursts. Typically laser illumination is offset to a point next to the target tank so as not to trigger enemy tanks laser warning receiver.

Missiles are also have the advantage of being guided. Missiles also dont have a gun shell's physical limitation of propellant it can store limiting range.

Prem Kumar wrote:3) During this time, the firing tank has to be stationary for continuous lasing, thereby exposing itself to counterfire. Actually, a countermeasure to Invar might be for the targeted tank to quickly shoot back (if its LWR can detect the source), causing the attacking tank to move and break the lock. APFSDS rounds offer shoot and scoot capability

And what is the basis of the grossly incorrect assumption that tanks need to be stationary to lase the target? Do fighters stay stationary to lase targets with Litening pods? The COMPASS laser designator of newest NAMICA is the same used in Litening.

So if the fighter carrying Litening can fly at high speed, why would a COMPASS carrying NAMICA stay stationary :rotfl:

Similarly, Apaches guide SALH Hellfires while moving. So even to guide a missile, a tank doesnt have to be stationary.

Prem Kumar wrote:4) The firing rate for Invar is slower because of its flight time. Its half the firing rate of APFSDS rounds

Its the accuracy that matters rather than the volume. Ek Goli Ek Dushman is a well established doctrine. Which is why Sniper Rifles have a place in war, otherwise everyone would be carrying MMGs. Both Dragunov Sniper Rifle and PK machine guns fire the 7.62×54mm rounds with similar range.

Accuracy is important in a fluid battlefield. Volume fire can be provided by Dhanush/Pinaka.

And while the laser designator guides the fired missile, the gun can be reloaded and realigned.

Prem Kumar wrote:5) Lasing by other designators like UAVs, Helicopters etc, while good in theory, have limitations in practice I feel. I can lase a target and if its going to be used by an air launched LGB, the aircraft can launch from within a wider cone. If its a tank-launched missile, the designator and the launcher have to work within narrower angles. I have my doubts about either the Lahat or Invar operating in a true shoot & scoot mode

Your feelings are way removed from reality. :rotfl:

I am sure everyone would have seen the rock steady stabilization of Arjun gun or Japanese tank carrying wine glasses. The same stabilization is provided to laser designators.

And the Range and Field of View of a Litening laser designator of a fighter and COMPASS laser designator of NAMICA or COMPASS laser designator of LCH is the same :rotfl:

While designators on Arjun & T-90 are of a different make, they dont have any such limitations either.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby tsarkar » 26 Sep 2018 18:27

nam wrote:Germans and French are experimenting with 130MM rounds. They are massive rounds and would required lot of armor to stop them. I am pretty sure these round will come up in few years. With APS, countries would want to invest in a sabot round, which is not easy to counter, compared to ATGM.

DIME countermeasures deflect and distort rod penetrators.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby tsarkar » 26 Sep 2018 18:37

Manish_P wrote:An interesting approach to this issue is being projected by the Ukranian 'Kombat' ATGM

The KOMBAT is a laser-beam-riding guided missile, the laser beam being directed onto the tail of the flying missile rather than on the target proper. The missile’s control system allows for a few guidance modes. One such is so called “lead-on” mode, whereby the laser beam is directed frontward the designated target without actually illuminating it. The laser beam is only brought into coincidence with the target (tank or helicopter) for 0.3 seconds prior to impact, effectively leaving the enemy with no time to activate a laser-warning system.


Source - here


All missile firing tanks do that. Even helicopter and ground launched laser guided missile launchers do that.

Similarly, aircraft firing BVR missiles too fly the missiles offset so that the datalink updates dont trigger targeted aircraft ESM. Terminal Illumination is done for fraction of seconds by missile seeker during end game.

And Imaging Infrared Missiles like Nag have no such issues at all.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 26 Sep 2018 18:49

tsarkar wrote:
Karan M wrote:TSarkar, you are repeating the very point I am making and mixing up cause and effect.


Requirement of longer range to meet upcoming threats. Presently missiles like Spike LR/MR have ranges around 8 km. INVAR has a range of 5 km. Hence the search for a longer range missile.


No, I spoke to multiple folks and none of them spoke any lack of performance APFSDS as the reason for investing in missiles. They believe guns have reached an evolutionary dead end and missiles are the way of the future. And cited the Yamato example. I have not heard this reason from anyone except on this forum from you.

You've given a very nice description of Indian APFSDS development, though, and my compliments to you for that. Rohit too used to post quite informative posts in this matter.

The other development I was told is posted in Military Helicopters thread


Tsarkar, thank you for your kind words. These gents you are speaking to are constrained by what they have, the T-XX platform in which case the gun has indeed reached an evolutionary challenge because fitting in anything more advanced is a huge challenge. DRDO itself which provides tech briefings to the user, is constrained by its current state of the art & TBH, its gradually changing its view after more interaction with worldwide peers who only collaborate when the wallet is opened & when more options become available they may change their view. You are right that missiles are indeed the "future" and provide unparalleled versatility, for instance, what prevents a rocket propelled hypersonic missile from approaching FSAPDS style performance, yet being NLOS etc. However, the costs, technology involved, make them still a bit too pricey for mass deployment the way FSAPDS has been used. All I'll say is the way fighters were written off in favor of missiles, so has FSAPDS but its too early, yet.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby ramana » 26 Sep 2018 19:31

Can the T-90 125mm smooth bore gun be changed to the Arjun 120mm rifled barrel?

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby SaiK » 26 Sep 2018 21:07

I thought we mastered and came up with our own 1000 hp engines (multi-fuel) for Arjun (tank-ex specs?). the uprated ordinance factory was available for industry participation.

This was supposed to be a common engine for T 72,90s, (and Arjun mk-2?) as well.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Kakkaji » 26 Sep 2018 21:19

DAC clears procurement of engines worth Rs 2300 crore for T-72 tanks

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on Tuesday approved procurement of 1,000 enginesNSE 1.45 % for fitment in T-72 tanks of the Army at an approximate cost of over Rs 2,300 crore, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

"The DAC also accorded approval for procurement of 1,000 engines of 1,000 BHP (brake horse power) for fitment in T-72 tanks of the Army under 'Buy & Make' category and at an approximate cost of over Rs 2,300 crore," the statement said.

Post transfer of technology, most of these engines will be manufactured by Ordnance Factories Board (OFB).

The engines will enhance mobility, agility and acceleration of T-72 tanks making them more versatile and effective in the battlefield, the statement said.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby ArjunPandit » 26 Sep 2018 21:46

BHP brake horse power!!! I always thought it's bi horse power

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 26 Sep 2018 21:56

The best counter against armor is air power. No tank can stand against a 100kg warhead PGM.

If IA is think about cannon launched ATGM and gunship, it better be backed up by IAF. The khan obviously has this set up.

If we are planning to send in our gunship without any cover, then it is a recipe for disaster. I hope IA is not thinking about gunship as a standalone solution. And I am not sure how integrated are IA with IAF for CAS, with the decades long argument about who can own the gunships.

If we have such a setup, then it does not matter what are the penetration numbers for our sabot rounds. If applied effectively gunship+IAF should clean the fields, with IA armor mopping up the leftover.

From a tank's perspective, I am not convinced about tanks battles at NLOS ranges. It is fine to carry NLOS ATGM as a solution, however as soon as one of the enemy tank is hit, the tank units will disperses. Unless there is a forward observer, how are you doing to re-target the enemy? Why not just send in the airforce, which can bring in more firepower.

If tank battles are to move towards NLOS, then there is no need of heavy duty armor. An IFV, with APS + ATGM rounds are enough.


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