Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

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Picklu
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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Picklu » 24 Aug 2020 01:15

Boy, those NAMICAs are beautiful.

Finally, the pishposh "transformer" looks on Indian designed and developed weapon systems. Me like.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby John » 24 Aug 2020 01:40

At least design wise looks to be better than proposals I have seen for the polish tank destroyer program “Ottokar Brzoza”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... -programme

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Picklu » 24 Aug 2020 01:45

And our standard of photography has also improved; showing the article in the best possible angles, background and lighting condition.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby ks_sachin » 24 Aug 2020 06:00

k prasad wrote:130 mm means a heavier gun, heavier rounds, and fewer rounds.Considering the Arjun is already 'overweight', not sure how upgunning it will help that case. Also, whats wrong with the current Arjun rifled gun? This seems like a foreign OEM offering a shiny new object. Lets see if it actually makes sense for our needs.


We should however explore the turret and see if we can redesign it.

Can we reduce the size of the gun mantle like the Challenger?

Can we move the optics from next to the gun mantle to the top so that there is proper add on armour coverage?

I will leave it to the tank experts to comment as to how well protected the tank is with current arrangement.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 24 Aug 2020 14:56

The most peculiar question, I have on the Arjun saga is how was a GSQR for 4 men tank issued, when our primary tank was 3 men, with autoloader T72!

Then complains about how it turned out be "overweight"!

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby ks_sachin » 24 Aug 2020 16:39

nam wrote:The most peculiar question, I have on the Arjun saga is how was a GSQR for 4 men tank issued, when our primary tank was 3 men, with autoloader T72!

Then complains about how it turned out be "overweight"!

Sirji aap se yeh sawal?

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby tsarkar » 24 Aug 2020 18:03

nam wrote:The most peculiar question, I have on the Arjun saga is how was a GSQR for 4 men tank issued, when our primary tank was 3 men, with autoloader T72! Then complains about how it turned out be "overweight"!

The primary tank was 4 man Centurion and Vijayanta. The Vijayanta was then the most numerous tank with 2200 produced at Avadi. The T-72 was a "temporary tank" until Arjun was developed :) It became the most numerous tank with 2400 produced.

The Centurion that won us Chawinda and Asal Uttar in 1965 and Basantar in 1971 weighed 52 tonnes! Pakistani Patton shells could not penetrate it. However range was low (100 km) due to the weight.

The Vijayanta was similar to the Centurion and had improved armour and better Chieftan tank engine that reduced weight to 38 tonnes.

Between Vijayanta and T-72, all infrastructure (bridges, engineering, ARV) was in that weight class.

Hence the conundrum.

Having said that, there is a need to move all infrastructure to MLC-70 given the overall evolution of warfare and associated hardware.

For example, as new 155mm artillery enters service and older 105mm, 122mm and 130 mm retire, weight of ammunition and their trucks will increase.

Similarly 300 mm Smerch and 212 mm Pinaka will weigh more than 122 mm Grad.

New infrastructure needs to be funded by the Govt outside the Army's budget for tanks. For the army, buying Arjun means spending extra on military bridges and associated engineering. T-90's can use the T-72, Vijayanta & T-55 infrastructure and the additional cost is saved.

Having a champion tank like 52 tonne Centurion solves part of the problem. The larger problem is getting the 52 tonne winner to battle.

Battlefield accessibility is a serious challenge.

Image

Take this example. With a heavier tank, the LST will have deeper draft. So an LST will need beaches with steeper gradients so that its propeller and rudder are under water. Otherwise the LST will get stranded.

If one needs beaches with steeper gradients, then the number of beaches accessible automatically decreases. Since beaches with shallower gradients cant be used.

Thus battlefield accessibility is reduced.

BTW it is precisely because of lack of battlefield accessibility that tanks worldwide are losing priority with military leaders. The focus of armies is to win wars, not perform civil engineering feats of hauling tanks.

Attack Helicopters are the replacement of tanks providing same level of firepower and most importantly, super rapid access.

For persistence, drones provide coverage.

Long range fires from rockets like Smerch & Pinaka and artillery like Vajra and Dhanush have reduced the need for tanks to accompany formations.

Infantry themselves have the firepower of tanks in weapons like Spike, Konkurs & Milan.

All these factors are making tanks globally obsolete.

There is barely any tank development globally. The latest models from US, UK, Germany, France, Russia are decades old.
Last edited by tsarkar on 24 Aug 2020 18:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 24 Aug 2020 18:30

If that was the case, it is peculiar why IA assumed a 4 crew, 120MM Arjun would be equal to Centurion. A cursory glance on the weight of M1A1, Leo, Chally would tell you what a 4 crewed modern tank would weigh!

if you want to replace Centurion's with Chally, you are getting a 60 ton tank! Even if T72 was meant to be temporary, logically one can see that it's weight is an advantage with the support system we have.

Fundamentally Arjun's GSQR was a wild goose chase. You are producing a 3 men 45 ton tank at Avadi, while developing a 4 men 58 ton tank at the same time!

No one in the Armor corp seem to have noticed this paradox!

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Aditya_V » 24 Aug 2020 18:34

As I said, the smart thing to do would be split our requirement into medium and heavy tanks. Arjun should be classified as heavy tank, with 1500 Hp engine- Diesel or Gas turbine, with superior protection and ordered in 600 or so numbers with related ARV etc. Meanwhile, as we are doing indegenise everything in the T- Series from Night sights, engines, armour and deploy them in Numbers.

The Abrams is great Tank in the Desert- and the Gulf War 1 was never a fair fight but in Yemen, Syria etc in challenging conditions we have seen with the Syrians, Saudis and Turks, if dig a bit further the Israeli- Hesbollah war, T Series, Abrams, Merkeva, Leopard 2- all have some drawback which can be exploited.

Gulf war-1 was an exception where with complete Communication and Air superiority the Abrams to destroy a lot T-72's. Its like the initial Wermacht- Soviet encounters.

We need our Heavy Tanks- but I think the lighter T-Series is also required- cheaper to produce, maintain but in a tank on Tank battle in Desert type or where line of sight visibility is greater T-series will suffer against a heavy tank. And probably Arjun will have greater survivality against ATGM, RPG etc.

This 124 Order for Arjun 1, 118 order for Arjun 1A etc, makes no sense after being developed on Army GSQR's.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby tsarkar » 24 Aug 2020 18:36

nam wrote:If that was the case, it is peculiar why IA assumed a 4 crew, 120MM Arjun would be equal to Centurion. A cursory glance on the weight of M1A1, Leo, Chally would tell you what a 4 crewed modern tank would weigh!

if you want to replace Centurion's with Chally, you are getting a 60 ton tank! Even if T72 was meant to be temporary, logically one can see that it's weight is an advantage with the support system we have.

Fundamentally Arjun's GSQR was a wild goose chase. You are producing a 3 men 45 ton tank at Avadi, while developing a 4 men 58 ton tank at the same time!

No one in the Armor corp seem to have noticed this paradox!


The Vijayanta with 4 crew weighed 38 tonnes and the Arjun was expected in the same range. Not 52 tonne Centurion.

The original requirement was for a 40 tonne tank.

https://www.facebook.com/IndianDefenceF ... 715802628/
However the original requirement was for a 40-ton tank armed with a 105mm gun changed to a 120mm gun armed heavier tank, capable of going toe-to-toe with the American Abrams tank, which Pakistan, was thought to be about to acquire from the United States in the 1980s. Between this army also changed requirements to 110mm , 115mm finally settling on the ARDE developed 120mm cannon built indigenously in India. Being a rifled cannon ( used by Challenger 2 also ) it was deemed lesser powerful than smoothbore cannons which was sported by T-90 , T-72 and others. Fun fact is that even M1 Abrams once sported M68A1 105 mm rifled tank gun which was license-built from L7 similar to Arjun tank.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 24 Aug 2020 18:48

I understand for a 105MM, you will get a lighter tank with 4 crew. Not 120MM. And there was already existing examples in M1A1, Leo & Chally. The simple solution to reduce weight was to introduce a autoloader. And we were already producing one example of that..T72. Then there was Lerlec..

We could have just taken the T72 autoloader and put it on Arjun. Made the turret smaller.

Little bit of common sense in the GSQR would have prevented the mess we created...

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 24 Aug 2020 19:01

ks_sachin wrote:We should however explore the turret and see if we can redesign it.

Can we reduce the size of the gun mantle like the Challenger?

Can we move the optics from next to the gun mantle to the top so that there is proper add on armour coverage?

I will leave it to the tank experts to comment as to how well protected the tank is with current arrangement.


Introducing 130MM would fundamentally be a new tank. Single piece 130MM ammo are huge. Overall a 2 men in the turret with 130MM ammo will result in a big & heavy turret.

It might be useful to consider a unmanned turret, if we want 130MM. The auto loader has to be a ingenious design, so that not may rounds needs to be in the turret. Otherwise the turret will be quite heavy.

Regarding the current position of sight on Arjun, just my personal view it is not a major concern. I feel it is not easy to hit the "eye".

Even the upgrade of Leo 2A4, has not changed the sight position. They have made it more difficult to hit the sight, with add on armor. Only Leo 2A6 has moved the sight, as they wanted to introduce spaced armor on the front.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Pratyush » 24 Aug 2020 20:59

nam wrote:
Introducing 130MM would fundamentally be a new tank. Single piece 130MM ammo are huge. Overall a 2 men in the turret with 130MM ammo will result in a big & heavy turret.

It might be useful to consider a unmanned turret, if we want 130MM. The auto loader has to be a ingenious design, so that not may rounds needs to be in the turret. Otherwise the turret will be quite heavy.

Regarding the current position of sight on Arjun, just my personal view it is not a major concern. I feel it is not easy to hit the "eye".

Even the upgrade of Leo 2A4, has not changed the sight position. They have made it more difficult to hit the sight, with add on armor. Only Leo 2A6 has moved the sight, as they wanted to introduce spaced armor on the front.


In the late 1980s NATO was working on a 140 mm smoothbore and USSR on 152 mm gun. The rounds were massive taking out the ability of the human loader to manage loading the gun. That in turn made autoloader mandatory.

However, the turrets always appeared to be quite normal. With the exception of the thumper.

Some of the examples of western 140 mm gun prototypes are as follows.

1) US army : Thumper based on M1 hull
2) French army : Terminator, on the Leclerc hull
3) Swiss army : Leopard 2 140 kw lll
4) South Korea : K2 is designed for 140 mm but not equipped with it.

So it is possible to build a 140 armed turret for existing western tanks. I am quite sure that same should be possible for the Arjun as well.

If the IA shows inclination to go beyond 125 mm. It should be possible to get something done quickly on the Arjun hull, with a new turret.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby k prasad » 24 Aug 2020 22:20

130 mm tank rounds are 30 kg each, while 120 mm tank rounds are 21 kg. Which means Just the weight of 40 rounds in a tank will come to half a ton more, not to mention need for autoloader, extra weight of barrel and mounting, excess weight for balancing this excess weight, larger storage area for larger rounds, etc etc.

The way to go would be like the T-14, with an unmanned, lightly armored turret to save costs, but tons of electronics to ensure situational awareness.

... Or to improve metallurgy for longer, higher pressure barrels for faster muzzle velocity. If we assume that 75 tons is the max practical limit of an MBT on infrastructure conceivably available for the next 20-30 years, that puts a limit on the kind of punching power we can expect tanks to have. It'll take unconventional solutions to the problem rather than simply upgunning everything to unreasonable proportions. The other factor of weight is also that with increased weight, even if bridges and other infra can handle the weight, the chassis will need to become larger to ensure lower ground pressure.

Then again, given the massive electronics and sensors that tanks are most reliant on these days, all you need to do is to take out the comms and sights, and the tank is effectively crippled. Much like the 5.56 vs 7.62 mm round philosophy.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby ks_sachin » 25 Aug 2020 01:51

nam wrote:
ks_sachin wrote:We should however explore the turret and see if we can redesign it.

Can we reduce the size of the gun mantle like the Challenger?

Can we move the optics from next to the gun mantle to the top so that there is proper add on armour coverage?

I will leave it to the tank experts to comment as to how well protected the tank is with current arrangement.


Introducing 130MM would fundamentally be a new tank. Single piece 130MM ammo are huge. Overall a 2 men in the turret with 130MM ammo will result in a big & heavy turret.

It might be useful to consider a unmanned turret, if we want 130MM. The auto loader has to be a ingenious design, so that not may rounds needs to be in the turret. Otherwise the turret will be quite heavy.

Regarding the current position of sight on Arjun, just my personal view it is not a major concern. I feel it is not easy to hit the "eye".

Even the upgrade of Leo 2A4, has not changed the sight position. They have made it more difficult to hit the sight, with add on armor. Only Leo 2A6 has moved the sight, as they wanted to introduce spaced armor on the front.


I am not advocating a change in the gun but the MK2 turret is messy.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby k prasad » 25 Aug 2020 02:12

please explain, sachin-saar?

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby ks_sachin » 25 Aug 2020 05:15

k prasad wrote:please explain, sachin-saar?


As part of the Mk2 upgrade we could have looked at the turret layout as well and optimised it further. Could we also have looked at the weight?

There is no symmetry in the way the ERA is replaced with other stuff on the side of the turret with the optics.

That said I am not an expert I don't want to fall into the trap of "perfect is the enemy of the good".

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby pushkar.bhat » 25 Aug 2020 12:41

If wishes were horses I would love a Arjun/K2 sized tank with a T-14 Armata like unmanned turret. It will integrate a low silhouette with good range and armament carrying capacity. But I guess that is what the new 5th Gen Tank is all about.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 25 Aug 2020 13:01

ks_sachin wrote:I am not advocating a change in the gun but the MK2 turret is messy.


I agree MK1A turret "looks" messy. However IA seems to have approved the change. The Chief said it meets the requirement. The gap around the sight does look like an obvious issue, however IA would have pointed it out as well. May be it has capability to auto detect in coming projectile and take counter measure like auto rotating the gun towards the attacker.

Since CVRDE is a lab, you may not get a "good looking" solution.

If it was a company, you would get something like this:

Image

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby tsarkar » 25 Aug 2020 13:58

k prasad wrote:The way to go would be like the T-14, with an unmanned, lightly armored turret to save costs, but tons of electronics to ensure situational awareness.

Taking it one step further, build a NAMICA with 40 LAHAT (13 kg each for 6 km range), INVAR (17 kg each for 4 km range), Spike and MPATGM (14 kg each for 2.5 km range)

Nag missile weighing 43 kg will reduce loadout.

Dump the gun, turret and tons of ERA. The weight and complexity saving will be huge. One doesnt need a gun to achieve the outcome of putting explosives on target.

I would love to see an Arjun chassis with smaller turret carrying 40 MPATGMs or lesser number of Nags or a combination of both

Crew can be reduced to 2 - Driver & Firer. A commander can be added for hunter killer capabilities.

The missiles can be loaded similar to Pinaka Pods.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby pushkar.bhat » 25 Aug 2020 14:07

A 2-man team may cause a work overload. 3 person with a Driver - Weapon System Operator (WSO) - Commander will be optimal. I think similar to the Design your Fighter Thread we need to have a Design your Tank Thread

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 25 Aug 2020 14:17

Going with ATGM is fine for standoff attacks, however the flexibility and cost factor provided by the gun can never be matched by a ATGM.

We see this on the warship. Despite having all sorts of missiles, the main gun is yet to go. Zumwalt infact has got two!

The velocity provided by a gun round is it's USP. ATGM will be stopped by APS. A gun round is not easy to stop and will always be cheaper than an ATGM.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby mody » 25 Aug 2020 14:41

Rhinemetal and Nexter together have showed a prototype of a new tank. The gun is the rhinemetal 130mm gun, LeClerc based autoloader and three man crew.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby srin » 25 Aug 2020 19:20

I second tsarkar's thought on ATGM equipped tanks.

The issue with the gun is the range - it is effective within a short range against a mobile target like another tank, and the enormous weight penalty of that on the turret. An ATGM has double the range and thus can strike from much farther - in theory. You still need a gun to take care of helicopters and UAVs. So I'd add a 40mm dual-feed autocannon to it. And keep the weight low - around 30-35tons.

At the higher end, if you are anyway going to have a 65ton tank, I'd put a 152mm gun (apparently the effective range is awesome) and since it is inhuman to manually load such a shell, put an auto loader on it. That's my Arjun Mk3.

As for APS, when they become widespread, I'm sure ATGMs will adapt to it (like MIRV equivalent - multiple submunitions, or jamming the RF sensor etc). Look at the TOW-2B, it fires an EFP from overhead without being head-on with the tank.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby kit » 26 Aug 2020 05:44

k prasad wrote:130 mm means a heavier gun, heavier rounds, and fewer rounds.Considering the Arjun is already 'overweight', not sure how upgunning it will help that case. Also, whats wrong with the current Arjun rifled gun? This seems like a foreign OEM offering a shiny new object. Lets see if it actually makes sense for our needs.

Maybe it could lose some stuff like the mine ploughs

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby nachiket » 26 Aug 2020 05:47

Counting the weight of the mine plough as part of the total weight of the Arjun Mk2 was yet another way to show that it was overweight and discredit the tank. Not every tank in the field is going to be using a mine plough all the time and the weight of the mine plough is never counted as part of the actual Tank's weight for any other tank, including the T-90.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Anoop » 26 Aug 2020 07:10

What would be the cost of an ATGM vs a 120 or 125 mm HeEAT round? The interview with an officer from Mech Infantry suggests that ATGM, especially the ones that have LOAL are very expensive and can't be used extensively. Training on those rounds will also be very expensive. For targets that don't require such missilese.g. APCs, light fortifications, these NAMiCAs, will have to be accompanied by a tank, so wont that defeat the purpose? But in hard to reach places, like Ladakh these dedicated missile carriers will be very useful.

https://youtu.be/tyIUThJac6s

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby k prasad » 26 Aug 2020 07:35

Kit, even if it loses the mine ploughs, it doesn't matter... The more fundamental issue at stake here is where the user chooses to accept a sub-perfect sub-unit in the quest for a more optimal system overall.

What do I mean by this? Well, bigger gun means bigger, more powerful rounds. Then army will say (as they did with the Insas steel rounds that could cut through level III body Armor at 700 m), "omg, se need to now have armour thats capable of withstanding such rounds. Then the composite armour weight increases, along with all the extra weight that the larger gun entails. Then they'll say oh no, too heavy, tank is too slow, get a more powerful engine. Bigger engine, bigger transmission. More weight. Then theyll say oh no, we need to have same number of rounds as before. More weight. After all that, it'll come back to "too heavy, we can't use this tank".

Where does this end? At some point, the users need to say, "okay, we need to relax some requirements, so that we can meet our non-negotiables."

Problem is, what are these non-negotiable minimum requirements, and how stable are they? Constant brochuritis isn't the solution to something like this. A more rational, level-headed approach is required. Who knows, in 10 years, maybe the 130 mm round will become an absolute necessity. But that needs to be foreseen today, and planned for, across all branches - armour, logistics, military engineers, army and Air aviation. You can't have 50 ton bridge capacity in your military logistics plan, but demand requirements that can only be achieved with an 80 ton tank. That'll give you an incredible tank that cant get anywhere it's needed.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Prem Kumar » 26 Aug 2020 12:01

The problem is also the "anticipated use of tanks" that keep changing & the IA falling for the latest brochuritis.

The theory that was doing the rounds for some time now is that tanks have to be heavy to fight in urban built-up areas against proliferation of MANPATGMs & RPGs with tandem warheads. Err .... this is a requirement for the U.S Army in Iraq or Israelis in Gaza. Not necessarily a requirement for our MBTs. But still, the heavy-duty protection was added as a requirement and resulted in an Arjun Mk2 that's in the same weight range as the Merkava, Leopard etc.

After the Chinese deploy light tanks, these seem to be the new seasonal flavor. Its almost as if our DGMF is incapable of independent thought. This is quite tragic because we have war experience, understand our terrain & enemies well. Yet we haven't developed our own armored philosophy. Our philosophy needs to evolve with time no doubt, but we need to have one in the first place.

Regarding NAMICA with MANPATGM's, the issue I feel is one of range. A Namica cannot engage in a frontal assault against an armored column. It has to strike from stand-off distances and scoot. So, it needs a larger loadout of 4 Km+ ATGMs that can outrange a tank's main gun, with probably a smaller loadout of MANPATGMs for close combat type situations. We can start inducting the Namicas that we have and over time have Namica mk2, mk3 etc which have lighter and/or longer-ranged loadouts of Helina/Dhruvastra/Spike-ER/ Sant etc

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Rsatchi » 26 Aug 2020 14:43

The BRITHITS are having the same manthan : 'Tanks but not Tanks'
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/d ... d=msedgdhp

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Yagnasri » 26 Aug 2020 16:14

Rifle bore Arjun tank is suppose to out range many of the tanks out there IIRC. This drama of one kind or another is just to put down systems made in India. Nothing new.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Prem Kumar » 26 Aug 2020 19:58

The DGMF swings from "best of brochuritis" on one extreme to "we will fight with what we have" on the other, with nothing in-between (the in-between is where common sense might reside)

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Vivek K » 26 Aug 2020 20:13

Prem Kumar wrote:The DGMF swings from "best of brochuritis" on one extreme to "we will fight with what we have" on the other, with nothing in-between (the in-between is where common sense might reside)

Its the "Anything but Indian" policy.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Anoop » 26 Aug 2020 20:32

The Arjun was conceptualized as a response to the impending transfer of M1A1 Abrams to the PA. It was a legitimate requirement at that time (80s) when ATGMs were not in significant inventory. Even now we don't have enough.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby ParGha » 26 Aug 2020 22:22

The British are an island nation, so tanks are a "want", not a "need". India is a continental nation with adjacent hostile neighbors, so tanks are a "need", not a "want". A bad bet on armor, say in Iraq or Jordan, is only an embarrassment for the Brits. A bad bet in Akhnoor or Gudaspur is a life-or-death situation for the Indian Republic. The Brits can afford to have as much "mathan" (churn) as they want, but India needs to take a more deliberate strategy.

Forget the British -- they are distant history. Look at the Indian Navy -- they are the future.

The Indian Navy faces the same kind of the challenges as the Armored Corps. Each capital investment is a long-term bet: a tank's peace-time life is 25 years, similar to a navy ship. But a LOT can change in 25 years: Sundarji Doctrine went from Armor/Mechanized Infantry's Bible+Quran+Bhagvadgita in mid-1980s to DG Military Operation's dustbin by 1992). Navy's strategy is to produce a limited number of units per design, but start the next design almost immediately after the previous design goes into production. That way they are able to adjust to new requirements in new designs. Small bets, frequently updated with better data and lessons learned. That is the only way to keep up with the dynamic situation.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Anoop » 27 Aug 2020 00:25

ParGha,

Thank you for the insight.

But how would you square the very limited number of ships in Indian inventory with the much larger number of tanks, when you apply a similar approach? A production run of 6 ships can break even economically for the yard whereas a production run of atleast 500 tanks is needed in each iteration for economic breakeven. Furthermore, midlife upgrades in electronics and other easier to replace subsystems can keep a ship relevant for about 40 years without significant hull and propulsion modifications. What would be similar systems that can be retrofitted to a tank in the limited space available, apart from maybe FCS, sights etc? Would those necessarily be reflective of an evolving doctrine of warfighting?

Instead, would it not be easier to have two different types of holdings, one for the mountains and riverine borders and another, much larger, holding for the Western border? At least the terrain requirements are fixed, only enemy capability changes.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby amar_p » 27 Aug 2020 00:26

Next we will be hearing news about mating KALI with ARJUN never mind how much haraam that sounds.

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby ks_sachin » 27 Aug 2020 02:38

Anoop wrote:ParGha,

Thank you for the insight.

But how would you square the very limited number of ships in Indian inventory with the much larger number of tanks, when you apply a similar approach? A production run of 6 ships can break even economically for the yard whereas a production run of atleast 500 tanks is needed in each iteration for economic breakeven. Furthermore, midlife upgrades in electronics and other easier to replace subsystems can keep a ship relevant for about 40 years without significant hull and propulsion modifications. What would be similar systems that can be retrofitted to a tank in the limited space available, apart from maybe FCS, sights etc? Would those necessarily be reflective of an evolving doctrine of warfighting?

Instead, would it not be easier to have two different types of holdings, one for the mountains and riverine borders and another, much larger, holding for the Western border? At least the terrain requirements are fixed, only enemy capability changes.


ParGha and Anoop,

We are assuming that the Army thinks along with line of incremental upgrades.

I am not sure as three are numerous examples of this approach to capability uplift not being followed.

The more I think about it the more I am convinced that after Mk1 Arjun the Mk2 should have been a deeper redesign. We had learnt tank design the hard way and a deeper redesign as a half way house to the proposal of a tank with a automated turret etc would have been better. Offcourse that requires a committment from the IA to support and nuture the program.

This support and nuture is important as a tank due to its nature involves a lot of trade-offs in design. You can already see that in the Mk2 Arjun.

Also we keep talking about the Tank per se. But the tank is a sum of its parts. How much evolution has been happening in the critical sub components space. The DRDO keeps tom tomming Kanchan. Is Kanchan still contemporary? Is the 120 mm rifled still the most optimal solution for us (I am talking from a capability of the gun perspective).

THis is not just a failure of the Army but a deeper malaise in our MIC or lack thereof.

The Arjun was conceived at a different time but events and situations overtook it. We should have had the balls to either can the program completely and pivot to meet the new requirements or stick to our guns and evolve Arjun to be a proper heavy iteratively. But alas - Army saddled with a tank it does not want.

IF I was an Armd corps officer the last regiment I would like to be posted to would be an Arjun regiment!!!

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby k prasad » 27 Aug 2020 05:26

@sachin, even in its current state, the Arjun handily beats the T-90 on almost every.single.metric. So this idea of obsolescence is completely off-base.

Moreover, I think your suggestion that the Mk2 should've been a deeper redesign is actually something we should look to move away from... this deep redesign business is dangerous. The deeper the redesign, the longer the development time, and the more chance that the users will change the requirements mid-stream in light of either changing fads or brochuritis. And then, before you know it, its an entirely new program, but users and DDM will still harp on "Its taken X number of years to get the Arjun Mk2", ignoring the fact that its really two very different programs.

Rather, what needs to be pushed is to have closer ties between user and designers, but holding both their feet to the fire on deliverables - the user had better have clear and fairly unchanging requirements, and the developer should have a clear timetable. Then, once the initial Mk1 comes out, work iteratively to get it to maturity based on initial low-rate deployment. Meanwhile, by the Mk3 stage, the user will hopefully have a better sense of the next generation needs, and can start framing GSQRs or MSQRs for the follow-up program, which DRDO then starts exploratory research on, with the aim to begin program development 5 years down the line.

This iterative approach is followed by most successful programs - the Merkava being one example (it took till Mk3 for them to really get a mature system).

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Re: Armoured Vehicles: News & Discussion

Postby Anoop » 27 Aug 2020 05:28

ks_sachin wrote:We are assuming that the Army thinks along with line of incremental upgrades.
I am not sure as three are numerous examples of this approach to capability uplift not being followed.


Sachin, in the tank context, the counterexample to your claim is IA's preference for T-55 -> T-72 -> T-90.


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