There really needs to be a FAQ for this, we've had the same questions so many times..
karthik wrote:After seeing the News report on Headlines today about the Arjun, I am sort of surprised about its performance. However i have a few questions that i hope some of the more informed members can clarify.
1) I have heard the Kanchan Armour took a point blank hit from a T-72s guns and survived without serious damage and they claim even the ERA is not required to much. Now how did they achieve so much strength without sloping the amour?! Doesn't slope amour decrease the weight and also increase the metals cross section thickness? How does the Kanchan Armour mange not have sloped armor and still have a reasonable weight ratio? Even the Abrams M1 being a bit heavier than our Arjun MBT has sloped armor, is it then to say we have something better here?
Sloped armour is not magic and nor is it bad. All it means is that the designers tried to incorporate as many armour arrays as possible into the design by maximizing the volume available for armour.
Remember, what you are seeing is the exterior of the tank- that sloped shape is not armour, but the heavy RHA shell, within which the actual modules are placed. Sloped shaping- apart from the above, had uses against earlier gen FSAPDS which could ricochet off the tank.
Today, this doesnt hold true as modern long rod FSAPDS penetrate as is.
In the case of the Arjun, the "block shape" actually holds the large armour arrays within, which are the actual defeat mechanism of the incoming round whether HEAT or FSAPDS.
2) The Hydroneumatic suspensions have been quite trouble some in the past, the army wasn't satisfied with its life cycle and performance but DRDO claims it has been sorted out! Now is that true and does it require anymore maintenance than the torsion bar suspension? Can it go on without unmaintained just like the torsion bar suspicions?
Hydropneumatic suspensions by their nature are more maintenance intensive, but this will occur at the depot level. The complete unit by itself is sealed and has a high MTBF. The latter is what the IA wanted DRDO to achieve and they did it. The advantage of hydrogas over the torsion bar unit is that of greater ride comfort and smoothness- important for not just crew comfort but for fire control accuracy.
3) The Hydroneumatic suspensions looks some what exposed and vulnerable to exterior attacks, would that be a problem if it came under small arms fire or grenade attack which may damage the suspicions and hence make the tank immobile? In other words doesn't the hydroneumatic system look a bit exposed to be considered a weak point?
You can take several of those units out and the Arjun will still be mobile on account of the remaining wheels.
The key to disabling the Arjun, or for that matter any large MBT of its size is not the wheels or the suspension, its the tracks. Disable it by having a mine blow out a track and any tank whether it be an Abrams or a T-90 or an Arjun will be immobile.