Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Rather than buying more Arjun tanks, Indian Army to spend billions on refurbishing outdated T-72s

An Iraqi T-72 fires a broadside at a target in the desert. The Indian Army will be spending about Rs 5000 crores on modernising its aging T-72 for serving another 15-20 years.

(2nd part of a 3-article series on next month's comparative trial between the T-90 and the Arjun)

By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 3rd Feb 2010

The Indian Army chief’s dismaying disclosure last month, that India’s tank fleet was largely incapable of fighting at night, highlighted only a part of the problem with the Russian T-72, the army’s main tank. In fact, the T-72 is in far worse shape than General Deepak Kapoor let on.

Another signal of the T-72’s obsolescence was its recent withdrawal, by the army’s Directorate General of Mechanised Forces (DGMF), from next month’s comparative trials with the indigenous Arjun tank. An embarrassed DGMF has realized that, without major refurbishing, the T-72 was not in the Arjun’s class.

But in the army’s long-term planning, the T-72 --- which the more advance T-90 will replace only gradually --- will continue to equip almost half of the army’s 59 tank regiments as far in the future as 2022.

Business Standard has accessed a sheaf of technical reports and funding requests that actually quantify the state of the T-72. Exactly 32 years have passed since the first T-72s arrived in India; army guidelines stipulate 32 years as the service life of a tank. The earliest tanks from the army’s 2418-strong T-72 inventory should have already been retired, making way for a more modern tank, such as the T-90 or the Arjun.

Instead, the DGMF --- longstanding advocates of Russian equipment --- plans to spend Rs 5 crores per T-72, hoping to add another 15-20 years to that tank’s service life by replacing crucial systems, such as its fire control system, main engine and night vision devices.

The military’s Annual Acquisition Plan for 2008-2010 (AAP 2008-10) lists out the cost of modernizing the T-72 fleet as follows:

• New 1000-horsepower engines (identical to the T-90 tank) to replace the T-72’s old 780 horsepower engines. The cost of each engine: Rs 3 crores.

• Thermal Imaging Fire Control Systems (TIFCS) that will allow the T-72 gunners to observe, and fight at night. Each TIFCS will cost Rs 1.4 crores.

• Thermal Imaging (TI) sights to provide T-72 tank commanders with night vision. Each TI sight costs Rs 0.4 crores.

• An auxillary power unit (APU) to generate power for the tank’s electrical systems. Each APU will cost Rs 0.16 crores.

The Rs 5 crore cost of upgrading each T-72 knocks out the argument that the T-72 --- at Rs 9 crores apiece --- is value-for-money. Retrofitting upgraded systems will escalate the cost of the T-72 to Rs 14 crores. In contrast, a brand new Arjun, with a 1500 horsepower engine, state-of-the-art integrated electronics, and the indigenous, widely praised Kanchan armour, can be had for a marginally more expensive Rs 16.8 crores.

“It is folly to stick with Russian tanks despite having developed the Arjun, and the design capability to continuously improve it?” says Lt Gen Ajai Singh, who headed the army’s Directorate of Combat Vehicles before becoming Governor of Assam. “India can tailor the Arjun to our specific requirements and continuously upgrade the tank to keep it state-of-the-art. Why upgrade old T-72s? It is time to bring in the Arjun.”

The T-72’s galloping obsolescence is magnified by the MoD’s failure to overhaul tanks on schedule: some 800 T-72s are years overdue for overhaul. Originally, each T-72 was to be overhauled twice during its service life of 32 years. But as the overhaul agencies --- the Heavy Vehicles Factory, Avadi; and 505 Army Base Workshop, Delhi --- failed to meet their overhaul targets of 70 and 50 tanks respectively, the army decided that one overhaul was good enough. And with even that schedule not implemented, a desperate MoD has approached Indian industry to play a role in overhauling the T-72 fleet.

The total expenditure on the T-72 tank, budgeted for AAP 2008-10, is over Rs 5000 crores. The cost of overhaul has not been accurately determined.

[Tomorrow: Concluding part: The Russian T-90 contract: shooting ourselves in the foot]


Summary: The cost of refurbishing each T-72

  1. New 1000 horsepower engine : Rs 3 crores
  2. Thermal Imagining Fire Control System : Rs 1.4 crores
  3. Commander’s Thermal Imaging Sight : Rs 0.4 crores
  4. Auxillary generator : Rs 0.16 crores
TOTAL Rs 5 crores per tank

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

we do have around 2400 T-72's which cannot fight and win a war. So it's better to replace them with both 1200 Arjun's and 1200 T-90's which can give the IA the winning formula and the numbers. It's high time that the Indian Army is modernized not only the MBT's but also the artillery, apc's (Abhay) and infantry weapons and missiles like Nag, Akash and Shaurya, Brahmos-Block II, Agni-III, V's, satellites, Samyukta, better communication equipment, surveillance UAV's like Nishant, Rustom etc.

Vijainder K Thakur said...

A 1,000 HP engine on a 46 ton tank (T-72) and a 1,000 HP engine on a 60 ton tank (Arjun) - I am afraid there is a big difference.

Your post comes through as one sided. There has been no attempt on your part to delve into the reasons behind Army's opposition to the Arjun.

Maybe I am missing something...

Daanish said...

granted that the arjun is a good tank and these trials will prove it, but it will at the same time be prudent to look at the t -72 as a second line tank. They still have utilities apc conversions, reconnaissance vehicles, TEL's for tactical ballistic missiles, high mobility sam station, unmanned demining vehicle the list is endless.

the terminator said...

So long as the dinasaurs at the top level of the Indian Army and the baboos control the purchase and induction of defence equipment, the Army with all its quick reaction doctrine and what not is just hogwash.

These morons need another jolt such as 1962 and Kargil to wake them up. Even then they would pussyfoot and drag their decision making over numerous chai and biskoot idiotic chats. By then thousands of our brave jawans would have sacrificed their lives because of these useless and shameless Army officers and MOD wallahs.

The whole MOD and Army needs an urgent revamp to get rid of the driftwood to make it an efficient and forward looking entity.

Why are they so averse to indegenous military hardware? Why the unholy love with anything foreign even when those foreign (Russian) equipment are found to be defective? Proven defective but MOD and Army still want to upgrade those obsolete tanks with taxpayers' money. What sort of convoluted reasoning and patriotism is this?

joydeep ghosh said...

well said Ajai sir,

unless the MoD does allow major pvt. concerns to build or refurbish our capital assets, our armed forces will continue to be plagued, with these kinds of problem.

U remembr some time back I told u we need to have expertise to refurbish and repair with dedicated facilities, side by side going for newer defensse system.

Anonymous said...

5 Crores per tank is not justifiable at all...

Shiv Aroor said...

superb. such a wealth of info. can't wait for tomorrow's ajai!

Spirit of Exuberance said...

Mr. Shukla,

Absolutely stunning article. This has put forward actual level of corruption in IA. Excellent journalism you have shown. I hope you keep up with the intensity and passion in future too.

Anonymous said...

probably IA has some operational issues with other tank, IA has already established its support bases for russian made talks. it helps with logistics,doctrines, strategy, etc.

With Arjun the problem is it has come too little to late,late because T90 is the mbt now,once t90 deal was finalised arjun was correctly doomed, we don't need arjun mark 2 now, we need futuristic mbt project rolling. T 72 eith 5 crore and with numbers will manage another 10-15 yrs with little costs, after that scope is:futuristic mbt

Anonymous said...

Col., 1,200 Arjuns = 19,200 crores for 30 years worth.

Perhaps that is the reason for the DGMF to continue pushing for the lesser T72. Either that or the fact that 2% of 5,000 crores will be enjoyed by certain individuals. How could we justify a cost of $5bn and how can we get the IA to look at it in terms of a 30 year lifecycle? Could we also include this angle in your conclusion (assuming it has not already been filed?)

MD said...

I doubt a single person (DGMF Bhardwaj) can take such important and crucial decision to sideline Arjun Tank. If thats the case, then how long dose it take MoD or higher ups in Army to remove him for putting India's security at risk and risking Indian soldiers lives who operates this tin cans? I am pretty sure the entire top IA leadership is hand in glove in this decision to import russian stuff. IA's opposition is legendary when it comes to buying Indian origin military hardware. They prefer foreign stuff. I wonder why?

Anonymous said...

The Indian Army chief’s dismaying disclosure last month, that India’s tank fleet was largely incapable of fighting at night,

I thought you knew better, being a Tanker yourself, a 70's Tank is not expected to have thermal/night goggles. If required, it was just a matter of slapping one!!!

But nice opening pic of Iraqi tank, expected to show the rotting one or maybe bombed out georgian ones.


An embarrassed DGMF has realized that, without major refurbishing, the T-72 was not in the Arjun’s class.

Embarresed??? of what a, a 30 year old tank is not in league or is he indicating, just adding a night goggles, new firecontrol unit and a power plant will make T-72 faaarrr better than a Arjun joke!!!

a brand new Arjun, with a 1500 horsepower engine, state-of-the-art integrated electronics, and the indigenous, widely praised Kanchan armour,

You might be aware the 1500HP powerplant is imported, so is the electronics, and the night goggles. IF DRDO had made an effort developing the "crucial" technologies, Army would not have to think of the options. What we have here after 35 years is a khichdi of assorted imported bits and pieces from different countries. In every trail some part or the other will fall apart and the clueless "scientists" would pick those pieces to head over to another "foreign" joint.

By the way there is no word on T-72 Armour upgrade, is it better than "the indigenous and widely praised kanchan"?????

Anonymous said...

what the hell is this?? In case of war we would be sending our soldiers to die & not to fight. This is a disgrace to tax payers.

Thank you very much for your article Sir.

Anonymous said...

@Vijainder K Thakur
Indeed sir you are missing something. Arjun has 1400 HP powerpack. A newer 1500 HP engine is being developed by DRDO.

Broadsword said...

VIJAINDER K THAKUR:

"a 1,000 HP engine on a 60 ton tank (Arjun)..."

Good morning! The Arjun's MTU engine generates 1400-1500 HP.

"Your post comes through as one sided. There has been no attempt on your part to delve into the reasons behind Army's opposition to the Arjun."

My article (which just happens to be posted) is a 700 word article, not a thesis that can explore everything. But, if you really want to know the reason, here it is: There is a major breakdown of trust between the CVRDE and the DGMF. For years, the CVRDE claimed that they would provide the Arjun in short order... and failed to deliver on those claims. Now that the tank is in good enough shape to be introduced into service, the DGMF finds itself unable to shed its old mindset of "if it's Arjun, it must be scuttled unceremoniously".

Vijainder, you've clearly come very recently into this debate. Go into the writing on the subject, including my own in this very blog.

ANONYMOUS 11:15

"I thought you knew better, being a Tanker yourself, a 70's Tank is not expected to have thermal/night goggles. If required, it was just a matter of slapping one!!!"

You really need to go back and read that article all over again. If the T-72 is not expected to have night vision, why are thousands of crores being spend on retrofitting NVDs?

"...just adding a night goggles, new firecontrol unit and a power plant will make T-72 faaarrr better than a Arjun joke!!!"

That's funny! The whole world is stupid, isn't it, for believing that a new-generation tank is better than a retrofitted earlier-generation one.

"You might be aware the 1500HP powerplant is imported, so is the electronics, and the night goggles."

And you might be aware that the entire T-72 is imported!!

"What we have here after 35 years is a khichdi of assorted imported bits and pieces from different countries."

Except that the biggest contributor to the Arjun is India.

"In every trail some part or the other will fall apart and the clueless "scientists" would pick those pieces to head over to another "foreign" joint."

Wow! You're a fortune teller... good for you. The rest of us prefer to wait and watch the Arjun's performance in the forthcoming comparative trials.

Shailendra said...

Here the thing is that if they are going to spend 5000 CR for re-haul or whatever they call, they will eat up around 500 CR from it. Entire world knows that INDIAN Army is also corrupt. There are two main problems with INDIAN defense industry
1. Entirely Government headed by Deaf and blind ministry.
2. They do not want to admit their mistakes.
3. They do not want to face competition from private industries. Mahindra can create better Tanks than this Minstry of Deaf.
4. They do not know what is planning and what is a successful project. Go and learn from Israelis.
5. Why we are so so corrupt even at grass root levels ?

INDIAN Engineers are so much behind the world that they needed to import a 1500 HP engine ?

Sometimes I should think I should move to Africa and better pay my tax to needed person, no need to pay this MOD or IA

NJS said...

The upgradations on T-72 are totally different .
I think Arjun will accomplish the tests with T-90 , and it will get more orders by MoD .

Anonymous said...

ANONYMOUS 11:15

"I thought you knew better, being a Tanker yourself, a 70's Tank is not expected to have thermal/night goggles. If required, it was just a matter of slapping one!!!"

You really need to go back and read that article all over again. If the T-72 is not expected to have night vision, why are thousands of crores being spend on retrofitting NVDs?


C'mon Ajai, when T-72 were procured 30 years ago, there was no need for NVD's. Now there is, so the retrofitting program. Why General Deepak Kapoor matter of fact admission became "dismaying disclosure", is beyond me to understand.

"...just adding a night goggles, new firecontrol unit and a power plant will make T-72 faaarrr better than a Arjun joke!!!"

That's funny! The whole world is stupid, isn't it, for believing that a new-generation tank is better than a retrofitted earlier-generation one.



Where ever you see, most of the Armies who operate tanks, are upgrading their existing tanks. The example is numerous to count, but still.. Algeria-T-72, Saudi thier Abrams, Jordan--their fine Falcon program, Turkey- thier m-60!! the assorted Leopard-2 retrofit and sales. heck our neighbor upgrading T-55.

"You might be aware the 1500HP powerplant is imported, so is the electronics, and the night goggles."

And you might be aware that the entire T-72 is imported!!


Ofcourse I do, like any military enthusiast on this site. But thats history and the price paid was soviet friendly price, unlike hard cash you pay and still not able to get ..like German latest 1500 powerplant.


"What we have here after 35 years is a khichdi of assorted imported bits and pieces from different countries."

Except that the biggest contributor to the Arjun is India.



Am not sure about that, if you take the value of each component of Arjun, am sure India's local manufactured content is abysmal. You can always claim the 35 years sweat and all, but there is nothing tangible when you count the components by value.

"In every trail some part or the other will fall apart and the clueless "scientists" would pick those pieces to head over to another "foreign" joint."

Wow! You're a fortune teller... good for you. The rest of us prefer to wait and watch the Arjun's performance in the forthcoming comparative trials.


Ajai, am not the one who believe in fortune telling, but whatever is documented facts, in fact in this very same blog. Remeber the engine transmission failures,..all DRDO "Scientist" did was to run for german junkets. Remember the firecontrol unit problems.... again back to the oem. They could not calibrate the equipment before trails. I hope you don't need links, as you documented all this and know more than any journalist.


You still want this joke?? If there is any problem again, the "scientists" only solution seems to be call oem consultants. Am sure those consultant would not be anywhere near near battlefield, when there is real need.

KR said...

Maybe DRDO can make a case for gifting Arjuns to the Afghan Army since the Indian Army does not want it. As long as the tank is arrayed against Pakistan armor, it will get the chance to earn its chops some day.

Anonymous said...

Ha! Ha! Well said Ajai! Looks like your article has brought out the Natashas in full force.

Anonymous said...

Our major problem is rate of production. Can we replace 1500 T-72 within the next 10 years/15 years?

The optimal solution is upgrade a part of T-72 and replace the older ones with either T-EX(if possible) or Arjuns.
Ofcourse there will be issues like finding 4 men instead of 3 and training aspects. It is a decision IA has to make. But then when the Russians come out with T-95 would IA place to replace the T-72 with them?
Frankly speaking the issues are with IA's armour planning rather than Arjuns's or T-72 or T-90's

To the Anon who was questioning India's contribution to Arjun;
By his comments it looks like he is "assuming" there is nothing Indian.
Let me list them once again(like most of supporters of Indian Systems do thousands of times, but still people repeat the same question!)

Armour
!20 mm rifle gun
Hydro pnuematic shocks (even M1A's dont have them)
BMS
APU
ERA
120 mm Sabot round & HESH rounds
Simulator
NBC system
Gun fired missile
BEL IGMS(Ind. Gunner's main sight) & FCS
http://www.bel-india.com/index.aspx?q=&sectionid=315

If some one tells me these are imported, lets start with finding a 120 mm rifle gun which fires a single piece ammo or a shown me a rifle gun which can fire missile?

-Nit

Anonymous said...

Mr. V. K. Thakur
Please google your knowledge about Arjun MBT. It uses a 1,400 H.P. engine & 1,500 H.P. engine is in development. I know you were a Marut fighter pilot & probably live in that era only.
Things have changed a lot in the engineering & scientific field. Only thing which has not changed is the mindset of people like you, who still leads the Indian Armed Forces.
Mr. Thakur, please answer this simple question, whether you would be happy or be sad, if indigenous products like Arjun & LCA would performs well.

Anil
Mumbai

riyaz said...

hey gr8 article ajai,
well i m really surprised that IA is spending rs 5000 crs on t-72 upgrade bcoz a few months back army rejected the arjun on the basis that it would serve at best 10 yrs so this means that they want us to believe that t-72 is better than arjun.
well coments apart I hav a few questions if you could answer-
is the 1500 hp engine DRDO's or it is the german MTU?
Are the Arjun's rifled gun and armoured techniques adopted by ISREAL and US?
would appreciate ur reply...

Perennial choker said...

I daresay the article is full of anomalies and left out information (mistake or deliberate i don't know)
The last t-72 were given to indian army in 1994 so they still have 15 years of service left on them.

india is phasing out t-72's....maybe you forgot or left out that bit when india was giving nepal phased out t-72's hence earlier t-72'2 are very much being phased out.

the major question is : do you know a word called MATHEMATICS?

5 crore per tank , total money=5000 crore-->1000 tanks upgraded, total tanks=2400 .....
number of tanks to be phased out = 2400-1000=1400.

why the hue and cry???
just to sell Arjun's ??

while the arjun is a good tank it still have someway to go ....get an angular turret a new engine and and ERA and a ECM then come back.

Pretty biased article .......i respected you but this is just instigating ill informed readers.

Rahul Singh said...

To Mr.VKT

ROFL! Another excellent piece from you to laugh at.....Mr VKT, you got so blinded in criticizing DRDO, LCA, Akash etc that you never bothered to find out how much powerful present engine of Arjun is? One more reason why someone should never visit kuku.sawf.org

Anonymous said...

To Perennial choker,

It is beyond me why do we assume a particular design(angular turret) is better than (flat faced turret)?

We Indians(assuming u r a Indian) have this weird habit of being "awed" by anything used by western nations without understanding the fundamentals of it.

If angled turret was so revolutionary, why does M1A1/2, Chally have fully sloped frontal armour like Leo/ Merk? The fact is simple. They are made of different materials. Leo & Merk use high density steel which physics will tell you give better protection based on the thickness.
Angled hence increase thickness for sabot rounds.

Chally/ M1A2/ Arjun use composite armour which provided the best protection when provided with maximum surface, as they are able to dissipate the impact force through the surface.

Then there is the consideration of kinetic and chemical rounds.

But then as usual we Indians are a strong believer that Indians understand squat about physics and new tech.. Sad
-Nit

Anonymous said...

We already have an established and substantial strength in T-72s,its crews and set up.We cannot throw it down the drain immediately,can we.Good or Bad,we have the T-72 and no Tank,whether T-90 or Arjun can replace it in the immediate future.Its best that we DO invest to make it more effective and powerful.The T-72 is still a good tank,esp against the Pakis.Used well by trained crews,in the open plains of tank warfare of indo-pak, the T_72 is still quite a packet.Not every enemy brings in the kind of situational awareness or firepower the USA has.Like that against iraqi T72s.Also the urbanised combat of Chechenya and Gerogia(another nemesis of T series)may not necessarily hold out in an Indo-pak conflict.
ndo -china scenario does not hold much scope for tanks i think.

Nitish said...

Dear Mr. Shukla

Could you please shed some light on the IAF excercise Vayu Shakti taking place at the month end?

Anonymous said...

To VKT and Col. Ajai

While I did like the article, just trying to dowse off the comments from VKT and so that the dicussion goes on the right pace as it started out to be.

We need more inputs on comparing these machines now that T 72 won't be there on comparative trials.

And On my end I would be like a good lot of people favor limited upgrade of the T 72 ( No idea if it's also going to get a armor upgrade which would be very much desirable , which would mean more money time and adds to the weight of the tank) and the rest be replaced with Arjun.

Problem with serviceability and live with three types of tanks instead of two is also a question.

In which case if the top brass can plan this would only be a problem for some time as having arjun in good numbers would pave the way for a Mk2 upgrade and eventually phase out t72's.

On the cost factor we are overlooking the fact that 9 cores is already speant and served, the 16.5 will need to be newly spent and support system established.

Still having to spend that money one would be in favor of having a better tank till the so called futuristic tank comes to picture ( hopefully from our own stables and in time this time , no one has to say we did not have experience before, not acceptable), if properly planned atleast on the minimum 700 Arjuns serving with the Indian army should be a reality and rest depends on it's performance.

With regards to the engine the only debate VKT bought to the fore was the fact that Arjun being ~60 tone would be expected to have a higher power engine and for a T72 1000 HP would suffice. Valid I would say, even though in favor of Arjun and a limited number upgrade of T72 for the time being.

May be more inputs on this should help.

Wish to hear from both authors.

Raj said...

Hi Ajai,

COuld you clarify my doubt on the capacity of the Arjun production line at Avadi?

In July 2008, you had this to say about the Arjun: "These 70 tanks have taken less than two years to manufacture... the Arjun production line is already very close to producing its installed capacity of 50 tanks a year."

Your previous article reports that Avadhi is capable of producing only 20 Arjuns annually. Could you elaborate?

Thanks,
Raj

Anonymous said...

Look at the track history of T72 in battles and you will know how good is it....It will not win us wars...then y have it ???just for the numbers???

vipul said...

@Ajai: ''Rather than buying more Arjun tanks, Indian Army to spend billions on refurbishing outdated T-72s''.

That is is not a fair statement. How can IA stop upgrading its existing tank fleet to buy new tanks? they cant throw away or keep existing fleet without upgrading it. They can't replace existing T-72 tank fleet in a short span of time. As you aware... Faultless Arjun come out in recent years.., before that Arjun not in a stage to become INDIA's MBT.

And last thing... T-72 is not a bad tank... In his era T-72 considered as best in its class. After 30+ years of service... T-72 need to be upgraded and will be replaced as new tanks comes.

Anonymous said...

The "perfect" tank is a pipe dream. This Arjun is pretty darn good, so use it and then keep on making improvements. Mk2, Mk3, Mk4...

indranil said...

What are the advantages of a rifled main gun over smoothbore ones?

Type99 said...

Dont forgot the newer version of Type 99 tank that is being tested. New Active Protected System (Like Arena) and improved laser dazzler. More advanced Thermal Imaging and ofcourse better armor and engine.

BTW the current Type 99 tanks have better features then T 90 tank, example 360 degree commaders viewer and more powerful engine. And ofcourse laser dazzler. Interestingly the IA is planning to fight yesterdays war.

KR said...

Will the T-72 or T-90 allow for a cakewalk against the Pakis or will it be a fair fight? I have to think it would be a fair fight because the army went and bought the T90 after the Pakistanis bought the T80. Why should there be a fair fight?

Given the Army's reluctance to conduct trials, I suspect that a decision to order the Arjun has been made at the political level and the trials are a facesaver for the Army to come around to supporting the decision.

AKS said...

nice article. all these days i was thinking that arjun was really inferior to T72

Anonymous said...

Show One Modern Respected Tank that is not in the HEAVY class. The entire light tank doctrine is misplaced.
There are transport aircrafts which can transport heavy tanks too. You just have to switch to a new plane and not refurbish old tanks.

Victor said...

anyone who is bashing out seemingly
incompetent engineers in PSU has attempt
first to buy individual parts to assemble a
moped engine. they will understand how
difficult it is to do that seemingly obsolete
technology

it is very hard to design something from
scratch, howmuch ever money you have.
I think it is a great thing to assemble
components from different companies world
wide to get a performing product.

All our technological products we use in
daily life are designed and still being
designed by foreign companies.
In India nothing original is being created.
Most of the cases it is because it is time
and cost intensive and we have to start
from scratch. for example, I know all the
focus lights used in the shows are
completely imported.

I worked in a major automobile company. I
found that except bolts, all other
component technology came from outside
India.

The lights and bulbs were Japanese and
German designs, brakes were British
(Lucas) design, Axles and drive shaft are of
American (Dana Spicer) design, Gear box
and transmission cases are from Germany,
engines are either from Japan or US
(Cummins, CAT), steering systems are from
British Luk, Fuel injection system from
Germany (bosch, Siemens etc)frame rail
material was imported from Germany (HSLA
steel was not made in India in 2000). A
simple item (not so simple actually)
antifriction bearings are still made by
Foreign companies like SKF and Timken.
I remember that TATA motors brought in a
slew of foreign automotive suppliers from
around the globe to get the automotive
industry going..

how many parts in NANO engine are truly
designed in India? If AVL (engine consulting
company in Austria) is not there, most of
the engines in India will not meet the
emission regulations. I know from Enfield
engine to Mahindra Scorpio engine
(eagle?!!) were designed by them ...

Victor said...

@Shailendra ...

No one in the world (0ther than russians) makes 1500 HP heavy duty engine other than MTU...even Merkava (Israeli) tanks use them...try googling it..
I currently work on a engine with similar specific power (power per litre) and I know how difficult it is to make an engine that specific power for that duty cycle. Even BHEL has never attempted engine design of that type.

Anonymous said...

More Natashas to support the aged T72. Its day came and went. Arjun offers an opportunity to improve on our local capabilities. MTU is a gold standard, and at best we can hope for local production. There is no shame in that. On the other hand, the entire T72 comes as an SKD. Do people realize none of the payments made will ever be locally employed or play a multiplier part in the local economy? If the Arjun proves to be a decent tank in the trials, MoD better forsake its cut and purchase more Arjuns. MK2, 3, 4, etc can only happen if we invest in Avadi and ensure more local content.

Force the IA to buy this product, and make DRDO more accountable for any gaps. My tax money can do more good in India or even Germany than Poland or Ukraine or Russia.

Perennial choker said...

To Dear Anonymous ,-Nit

It is beyond me why some of us have to criticise everything that doesn't conform to our standards before educating ourselves.

Some of us indians also have this weird habit of actually trying to know the fundamentals of things.

I never said an Angular Turret is better than sloped armour did I? it is very subjective and depends on the needs of the user.
As you already used sloped armour in your argument hence i don't see the the need to educate you on the metter as to why there is a need to present an angle to the incoming sabbot
(i am assuming you know that already. if you don't then you can read some basic physics.)
the angular turret is lighter than a turret with a sloped armour and provides protection from a hit from the upper hemispehere whereas leaving lighter armour on the turret from the lower hemisphere.
Whereas sloped armour covers the whole turret and provides protection from every angle . but in result it is a lot heavier as compared to angular turrets.

now the russians and as well the indians do not plan on invading cities(where an attack from lower hemispehere is more probable) like the americans or the british, hence an angular turret serves them well as compared to sloped armour.
now if you look at Leo2a6 then it combined the best of both worlds angular from the front and less so from the sides because an attack from lower hemispehere from the front is almost impossible(the tank would shoot you before you can shoot the tank).

Now one thing that i would like to point out is this ARJUN NEITHER HAS AN ANGULAR TURRET NOR SLOPED ARMOUR in short it needs a new turret.and you convieniently left out the bits where i mentioned the need for an ERA and Engine and ECM systems.

But as usual if we indians have a little knowledge then we are quick to assume that everyone else is a fool.

One advice : don't let your patriotism blind you.

-Perennial choker

Kartik said...

excellent article Ajai saab..I'm really amazed that the IA is so intent on keeping its aging and outdated T-72s in service when the far superior Arjun is available. Its extremely disappointing to see this attitude from the IA. Thank you for exposing this shocking state of affairs in the IA.

as for Vijainder Thakur, he's a known indigenous product basher. Have read his uniformed blog and he shows it here by claiming that the Arjun has a 1000 hp engine. No research done, but bold statements made.

Anonymous said...

To Perennial Choker....
Dude, we know what you wrote and what we read. No amount of word-dumping and obfuscating is going to hide the fact that you crapped all over flat-face turret design (Arjun) and complained about it not having an angular turret. Want me to supply the exact quote? So don't go misrepresenting other peoples objections to your words. Besides, your pompous comments reveal a disdain for the intelligence of basically everyone - Ajai & commenters. Suggest you get off your high horse, take a stiff dose of humility & a deep breath before you start commenting again.

Perennial choker said...

Yes i did Crap all over the flat turret of Arjun because that is what it is good for...it is outdated and thats what it is.care to prove otherwise?

Anonymous said...

hi nice one.
do comment on the website for this piece jai hind
http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/nation/india-s-ragtag-army
cheers

DJ said...

WHY DON'T WE GET ACTIVE PROTECTION SYSTEMS LIKE 'TROPHY' FOR ARJUN AND T90?

Ravi said...

We may or may not agree on this tank or that; we can agree Mr. Shukla is providing a valuable service by telling us details/info regarding IA's tanks. For decades this type of material has been hidden even from the Army's civilian masters, and IA, MOD, research establishments and particularly the AFV factories have not been held accountable in any way. General Sundarji came out with a plan for 4 tank, 8 mech, and 7 RAPIDs over 25 years ago and we are nowhere near that.

What I'd like to know - if anyone knows - what are the potential and actual production of our BMP/tank factories? Mr. Shukla notes 120/year T-72 rebuild, and 50 Arjun's a year. I'm guessing the capacity for T-90 is 100/year.

In 1970, Avadi had a capacity for 250 Vijayantas a year, thought out put was more.

True_Indian said...

Here is the facts:
- Arjun is a shit tank. Fullstop.

Before rubbishing your own Armed Forces, have you ever thought why the DRDO, Hal and like are unable to EXPORT anything at all? Here is a challenge. If indeed Arjun is the Marvel you think it is, find me just one buyer. I will humbly eat my words.

Btw, your’s best export to date is not doing so well 
http://news.rediff.com/report/2009/oct/28/made-in-india-chopper-crashes-at-ecuador-parade.htm

gururaj said...

ajai sir, can you clear up the air on the status of 1500 HP engine for the Arjun Tank? is it being procured from outside or being produced locally? either way what is the status? when is the possible date for it to be operational?

btw, i appreciate your wonderful articles on T-72, Arjun and T-90. you brought us up to speed on this.

based on your insider info, is it realistic to expect ARJUN replacing T-72's atleast, going by army's attitude in the past?

hope you clear it up for me.

thanks ahead..

raj.

Anonymous said...

Sir,your information has major holes in it.Firstly,Arjun Tanks with their present Weight(60Tonnes+)cannot be employed in Punjab Sector as the Bridges in Punjab will not be able to bear this Weight.Secondly,we have no Army Bridge today which can support this Weight.Sarvatra Bridge being developed by DRDO has similar problems in developement as Arjun Tank has had for many years.Thirdly,the railway too is far behind to have sufficient rakes and sidings required in an operational situation.Fourthly,the lesser said about the deficiency in heavy weight bearing tank transporters the better.Thus,where is the strategic mobility for switching our mechanised operations from the desert sector to plains in Punjab and vise versa with Arjun Tanks?Moreover,having paid thousands of crores of our foreign exchange to the Russians for transfer of technology to manufacture T-90 Tanks in India,it(T-90tank)is more of an Indian Tank today with more than 80percent Indian content vis-a-vis less than 40percent Indian content in Arjun Tanks.The govt policy itself is not clear on major issues and we are discussing only irrelevent sementics.Till the national policy is truly oriented towards security of our nation,nothing shall come out in a planned and cohesive manner!

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