Monday, September 15, 2008

Photos: Sandeep Unnithan visits MBT Arjun

India Today associate editor Sandeep Unnithan recently visited the DRDO's Combat Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (CVRDE) and Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) at Avadi for a special report on MBT Arjun. These are the photos he took there, including a nice couple of shots of the inside of the tank driver's compartment.

All Photos ©Copyright and Courtesy Sandeep Unnithan

53 comments:

Atty said...

Can anyone answer why the Army does not like the Arjun?Is it because of the past baggage of mudslinging with the DRDO or it is because there is something really wrong with the new Arjun?

Anonymous said...

That is because, the current Army brass reponsible for acquisitions is in the poclets of Russians that are supplying the defective T-90s to Indian Army. DRDO cannot give bribes like the Russians give!!

Anonymous said...

There is a Russian instrument/gauge showing 58 in ARJUN! HVF will never leave their taste for russians! oh! Those Russians!

Kartik said...

Shiv, what is Sandeep's overall impression of the Arjun? you too drove an Arjun tank, so what did you think of it? Col Ajai Shukla has turned from a derisive critic to an ardent supporter of the Arjun and I think the transformation started after his TV report on the Arjun..any such change in heart in you folks?

Anonymous said...

Why can I see so many Arjun tanks stationed at Avadi? Is the army not even taking deliveries now?

Anonymous said...

The inside shot of arjun are miserably poor..BRAKES and what not..why no display panel and stuff..u know FCS screen or a shot of thermal imager or something interesting..the photos look like taken from squatting water toilets..

Prasun K Sengupta said...

All of you can rest assured that in terms of target acquisition and designation, first-round hit capability, crew comfort and structural/crew survivability, the Arjun Mk1 is undoubtedly superior to both the T-90S MBT and the Al Khalid MBT. As to why the Indian Army continues to insist on procuring additional T-90S MBTs, the reasons are the same as those that compelled the Indian Air Force (IAF) to buy the role-specific MiG-23MF, MiG-23BN, MiG-27M and MiG-29B in the 1980s, when the Mirage 2000H MRCA alone could have performed all the required missions. Such procurement decisions of the 1980s were the most baffling ones and for some reason have not been questioned till this day. Find the answers to such questions and you will also find plausible answers to the two most contradictory decisions taken by the Indian Army since the early 1980s and late 1990s: procuring the T-72M/M1 and T-90S MBTs that were designed to avoid, and not survive, direct hits by FSAPDS rounds; while at the same time evolving a GSQR for the Arjun Mk1 MBT that places a premium on one-shot one-kill and surviving a direct hit from FSAPDS rounds. Is there any other Army in the world that has frontline MBTs built according to diametrically opposed design philosophies? I very much doubt it. Also to be borne in mind is the impact the large-scale induction of the more expensive Arjun Mk1 MBT will have on the Army’s total sanctioned fleet of MBTs. Financial compulsions alone will ensure that each MBT regiment of the Army will not have 45 MBTs as is the present case, but 35 MBTs but with greatly enhanced destructive firepower. This alone will threaten to bring down the Army’s establishment costs, which of course no one in Army HQ will want to stomach unless there is a quid pro quo. This quid pro quo could reportedly involve the Army’s proposed Aviation Combat Brigades being equipped with heavy attack helicopters and the HAL-designed light combat helicopters (LCH), with the IAF relinquishing all its existing attack helicopter assets. In short, the IAF should surrender all its rotary-winged close air support assets to the Army and should instead concentrate solely on air dominance and deep interdiction. Only then will the Army’s armoured warfare capabilities become balanced with an optimum mix of contemporary MBTs and attack helicopters, instead of the present-day lop-sided status quo involving a preponderance of cheaper but vulnerable MBTs. Also to be taken into account is the tremendous destructive firepower now available with the Army’s field artillery formations thanks to the induction of weapons like the 290km-range BrahMos and 150km-range Prithvi, which enables massed precision-guided fire assaults to be effected for the deep battles. To all this if you add the readily available capability of attack helicopters becoming the airborne controllers of tactical UAVs charged with the acquisition and targeting of both static and mobile hostile targets, then you have a seamless network (connected by a battlespace management system already being fielded) of ground combat weapons ranging from the MBT to the LCH to the attack helicopter to the tactical UAV. This is what will constitute a balanced armoured warfighting force with enhanced situational awareness and rapid deployment that will deliver the expected results in a fluid battlespace scenario. Now, have the Russians already achieved such network connectivity with even their latest T-90M MBTs and Mi-28NE/Ka-50 attack helicopters? Does the T-90S/T-90M have enough internal volume for housing battlespace management systems and control consoles for an active protection system? (the Arjun Mk1 definitely does!) Has Russia already fielded UAVs fitted with synthetic aperture radars (the IAF’s getting them for its Su-30MKIs from ELTA, this being the EL/M-2060P that can also be housed within a Searcher II or Heron UAV) for battlespace surveillance? Has Russia even inducted the BrahMos PGM into service? What is the published, open-source Russian contribution to the concept of network-centric warfare? Some food for thought, eh?

Anonymous said...

agree with prasun. highly lopsided armour design philosophy. prasun, tell us about the Future MBT (GSQR 2020). any idea what that incorporates? please enlighten!

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Well, you may be flabbergasted to know that as per Sandip Unnithan’s recent article in INDIA TODAY, Army HQ has not yet drafted GSQR 2020 despite the DRDO requesting the Army to do so for the past two years! But what is even more shocking is that during the two-day seminar last July on FMBT and FICV in New Delhi, the current DGMF Lt Gen Dalip Bharadwaj reportedly agreed with the current COAS Gen Deepak Kapoor’s observation at the seminar that “at times the user is not aware of the fast-changing technologies and hence, is unable to firm up the GSQR!” I myself am still having greatly difficulty in believing that the COAS of the Indian Army can make such a statement!!! Therefore, don’t be surprised at all if the DGMF’s eventual GSQR for the FMBT will be identical to the GSQR of the Russian Army’s T-95 GSQR. But factually speaking, here you go:
• Contrary to what has been emanating from the DFMF’s Office, the Army wants a functioning FMBT prototype within five years, and not within 20 years. This is why even though it readily admits that the Arjun Mk1 is a ‘contemporary design’, it does not want to spend its procurement funds on follow-on orders for the Arjun Mk1, but instead spend money on the FMBT, which I translate as pouring in money into the T-95 MBT proposed by Russia’s Uralvagonzavod JSC and the Ural Design Office of Transport Mechanical Engineering. In return, the DRDO, as per the Army’s ‘vision’, will have to remain satisfied (under extreme duress) by developing only the FMBT’s hydropneumatic suspensions and vectronics.
• Rosoboronexport State Corp as far back as 2006 had proposed to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Army HQ an ambitious plan to develop a family of futuristic armoured combat vehicles (all sharing a common hull, automotive package and open-architecture vectronics suite) that included the T-95 FMBT, the FICV (to be made available in three versions: one for the ground forces, one for airborne forces, and an amphibious variant for naval infantry), a tracked 155mm/52-cal field artillery howitzer and its ammunition resupply vehicle, a vehicle housing a turret-mounted rifled-bore 120mm breech-loading mortar, an armoured recovery vehicle, an armoured bridgelayer, and a vehicle that will be able to house a variety of turret-mounted air-defence weapons, ranging from high-velocity rapid-fire twin 30mm or 40mm cannons to E-SHORADS missiles and their related target acquisition/target engagement radars and optronic fire-control systems.
• As far as the DGMF is concerned, the acquisition of such a fleet of new-generation vehicles with unprecedented systems commonality augurs extremely well in terms of not only operational availability of combat capabilities, but also greatly simplified operational logistics.
• The T-95 will also be equipped with an active protection system (APS), and an open-architecture vectronics suite using the MIL-STD-1553B digital data bus.
• The FMBT’s first round hit capability while on the move will be more than 92%.
• The Indian variant of the T-95 will have an integrated hunter-killer fire-control system, BMS, HUMS and an integrated communications suite all to be co-developed by Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Israel’s Elbit Systems. The APS will be co-developed by BEL and Israel’s RAFAEL Armament Development Authority, while the all-electric turret drive and gun drive-cum-stabilisation system--integrating the turret drive and controls, sights, and weapons for fire-on-the-move capability—will be co-developed by Elbit Systems and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL). TATA Advanced Materials is reportedly the frontrunner for supplying the modular ceramics-based composite laminate armour packages as well as internal spall liners. Interestingly, in a significant departure from past practices, the Russians have expressed their preference for importing from India the manufacturing technologies for the hydropneumatic suspensions developed by Kirloskar Pneumatics (for the Arjun Mk1 MBT).
• Another item that Russia may buy from India is the DRDO-developed HUMS suite, which will enable the FMBT’s users to diagnose vehicle maintenance and supply procedures via satellite and data links from ‘factory to foxhole’. That information can lead to a number of operational benefits that include: higher vehicle and systems reliability and availability; reduced aborted or incomplete missions; improved systems performance consistency; predictable maintenance-free operational periods; improved crew and support safety; lower through-life maintenance costs; reduced logistics footprint; lower warranty costs; and improved and more competitive vehicle designs.

Anonymous said...

TO PRASUN K SENGUPTA

1. NAVY got no submarine during this decade,we lost this decade.

2.MRCA is being dragged,since IAF
knows what each aircraft price
and capability so what was the reason for so many contenders.

3. RAFALE AND MIRAGE2000
were available in 2001.

4.HOWITZER contract scrapped and
reissued.

5. 197 HELICOPTER contract
scrapped and reissued.

6.GOVT. doing nothing for the induction of arjun tank.

DO NOT HOPE FROM SHAMELESS GOVT.
SINCE THEY ARE BUSY FOR THEIR NEXT
ELECTIONS AND THEY HAVE NO TIME

FOR THESE USELESS THINGS.

AND ALSO HOW USA SUCKS IT'S ALLIES
WHEN YOU SEE THE ARMS DEALINGS BETWEEN USA AND IT'S ALLIES YOU WILL FIND THE SAME PROBLEMS WHICH WE HAVE WITH RUSSIA AND AFTER THAT YOU WILL NOT CRITICIZE RUSSIA

Anonymous said...

Earlier all these defence correspondents like Shiv Aroor, Sandeep Unnithan and Ajai Shukla used to criticise the Arjun big time and now after having been invited to Avadi in the MBT factory, they suddenly start singing praises, which is possible only after being loaded with gifts and/or cash also. They talk of integrity and indegenisation etc, and as if they understand it.

As it is no one among them is a technical expert or an engineer to understand the functioning of a complex machine like a tank. All they do is get photos clicked and come back and put it for self-advertisement, without knowing what exactly is the problem. Shame on you and the likes of you. Have some ethics.

Anonymous said...

Shiv Aroorji, there is one suggestion for you, whether you take it or leave.

Like you keep posting unnithan, Sengupta, Sandeep Dikshit and others here and keep giving them credit, likewise you should also look up the agencies machine which is there in your office, daily, and take some daily routine stories and also give byline and credit to PTI and IANS correspondents also and promote them here.

What if they are agency people, dont they and their work deserve to be recognised. As it is you just put up daily routine stuff from the press releases sent, and do nothing original, then let this space become an online newspaper for all the defence correspondents, whose work published can be put up here for everyone to read.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 6:16,
sandeep never criticised arjun.

Anonymous said...

he Indian variant of the T-95 will have an integrated hunter-killer fire-control system, BMS, HUMS and an integrated communications suite all to be co-developed by Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Israel’s Elbit Systems. The APS will be co-developed by BEL and Israel’s RAFAEL Armament Development Authority, while the all-electric turret drive and gun drive-cum-stabilisation system--integrating the turret drive and controls, sights, and weapons for fire-on-the-move capability—will be co-developed by Elbit Systems and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL). TATA Advanced Materials is reportedly the frontrunner for supplying the modular ceramics-based composite laminate armour packages as well as internal spall liners. Interestingly, in a significant departure from past practices, the Russians have expressed their preference for importing from India the manufacturing technologies for the hydropneumatic suspensions developed by Kirloskar Pneumatics (for the Arjun Mk1 MBT).

Evidence?

Where is the proof Prasun?

You write so much, but you never never even admit you are bloody guessing yaar.

Anonymous said...

@anon above:
you can bet none of prasun's news will be EVER confirmed by another source.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To anon@9.30PM & anon@10.07OM: If you really require the proof then kindly contact ALL the companies I've named in my reports/replies and ask them yourselves whatever queries you may have and ask them to provide you any proof that disproves my statements. I'm sure you folks are smart enough to figure out that the reason I mentioned the companies was for you folks to contact them directly and seek any further clarifications that you may require. So please don't cast any aspertions on my report unless you have proof that I'm guessing. Do you have any such proof? Prove yourselves right for once. Here's your chance.

Anonymous said...

prasun, will believe you when at least one of your data points is confirmed by somebody else.

also, these companies don't give out info to interested lay persons like me.

Anonymous said...

prasun has called upon people to discredit what he writes. now is your chance to put your money where your mouth is. unless all the stuff you say against him is just your egos talking! come on yaar. if there's an argument, let us argue. let us not randomly attack people. if what he writes is bullshit, let us muster forces and prove him wrong right here where he has cast the gauntlet and thrown open the challenge. seems a fair and honourable thing to do. anyone can resort to expletives and open-ended broad criticisms that prove nothing. so i second what prasun has said. here's your chance. take advantage of it. find people who can confirm his facts, or find others who can disprove them and make them fly in his face. either way, argue. there's nothing more heady than a good, well-fought argument, eh!?

Anonymous said...

anon, what prasun has said is "prove I'm wrong" when he knows we don't have access to BEL etc, nor will they publicly talk about a hypothetical project like the indorussian t-95.
he has done nothing like throwing down the gauntlet or any such thing !

to find out if prasun is saying the truth, save this comments page on your HDD and wait for 6months to see if even one of his comments is confirmed by others.

if he is indeed speaking the truth, it will come out one day isn't it ?

Anonymous said...

Russian tanks are
simpler,CHeaper,rugged,lighter,menouverable have 125mm guns,they eat less fuel,easy to transport ,

all western tanks have their
weight close to or exceeding 60tons to 70tons

and T90,T80 can be equipped with western electronics

AND who waNTS 5-8 million dollar western tank being destroyed when the same goal can be acheived by
2.7-3 million dollar russian tank

Anonymous said...

Russian tanks are
simpler,CHeaper,rugged,lighter,menouverable have 125mm guns,they eat less fuel,easy to transport ,
...............................

and also much more easier to destroy !


AND who waNTS 5-8 million dollar western tank being destroyed when the same goal can be acheived by
2.7-3 million dollar russian tank
...............................

russian tanks or tin cans are made in such a way that the crew dies if the tank is hit, unlike a tank designed to western philosophy.


IDIOT, why compare western tanks to russian tanks here when Indian Army has never shown any intention in the last two decades to buy western tanks ?
dumb fanboy !

Anonymous said...

Hello Shiv, Can you do a favour. The India today report has got video in it.
http://www.itgo.in/index.php?option=com_registration&exist=yes&task=homevideo&videoid=804
Can you upload this four sections of the video into Youtube so that it can be watched by all. The site requires Media player 11 to watch it.

Anonymous said...

he can't. that violates copyright.

Anonymous said...

all tanks including western tanks can be destroyed.

Anonymous said...

still russian tanks are hottest selling tanks

no one bought ABRAM,LECLERC,CHALLENGER2,ARIETE,
AND ONLY NATO COUNTRIES BOUGHT LEO2 TANK

RUSSIA DOESN'T IMPOSE ARMS EMBARGO

AND FOR SOME WESTERN TANK LOVERS WATCH THIS VIDEO


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDZW8N9VE4s&feature=related

Anonymous said...

abbey idiot, we don't want western tanks, we don't want russi tanks.

WE WANT INDIAN TANKS !

GET THAT INTO YOUR STUPID HEAD

Anonymous said...

who will convince army to buy arjun

even government failing in this

Anonymous said...

u fucking bastard do u also speak with ur father and mother like this

Anonymous said...

anon at 1149 who r u talking to ?

Anonymous said...

that person knows whom i am talking to
first he behave himself

Anonymous said...

sab pagal hain inha !

Anonymous said...

>>>>> To anon@9.30PM & anon@10.07OM: If you really require the proof then kindly contact ALL the companies I've named in my reports/replies and ask them yourselves whatever queries you may have and ask them to provide you any proof that disproves my statements. I'm sure you folks are smart enough to figure out that the reason I mentioned the companies was for you folks to contact them directly and seek any further clarifications that you may require. So please don't cast any aspertions on my report unless you have proof that I'm guessing. Do you have any such proof? Prove yourselves right for once. Here's your chance.
-----

prasun u mentioned those companies names because they sound impressive in the report. that is all.
while you are at it, can you tell all why you plagiarised arun sharmas ALH pictures in your article?

why you claimed that drdo was working with taiwan on a ramjet missile? and then used a pic of old south african ramjet instead?

why you plagiarised rupak chattopadyays article on indian air force and reproduced it word to word in tempur?

have some shame.

i am not even going to go into all the other lies you have peddled about drdo and the indian army.

any fool can take pictures, text and pretend 2 and 2 are 5, but it is still wrong.

prasun, there is no need to cast aspersions. you have reduced your credibility to a laughing stock among serious professionals who can make out you copy paste items and write utter nonsense.

dont think we are fools.

if you give challenge i will pull out a dozen articles of urs and expose u for the fraud you are.

your last idiotic claim was that drdo wlr was aesa and this was exposed by a LRDE guy in this site only and also u said that indian t-90 would get merkava turret with all sorts of stupid items. none of that happened and now you are bsing about type-95. idiot, there is no official information about it, let alone hidden stuff.

stop lying.

Anonymous said...

anon, I had forgotten about arun sharma's pictures. thanks for reminding.

if you have the said articles please post them.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To anon@3.57AM: I fully agree with anon@4.50AM. Kindly post as many weblinks of my previous articles as you can, for I too am eagerly awaiting to find out of all your allegations are true, or if are just compulsively delusional. But mind you, do post the weblinks, and don't just type any shit and claim that I've written them. Because of the way you have been rambling along I have strong reasons to believe that all you are doing is spreading slander the consequences of which are beyond your comprehension at the moment.

Anonymous said...

prasun, shut up.

people already have seen your handiwork.
you know quite well that people are unlikely to save your 4th rate trash for three years, which is why you are suddenly acting so bold after all these years.

Anonymous said...

STOP using words like IDIOT for anyone

Anonymous said...

IDIOT.

Anonymous said...

prasun, everyone here with a brain appreciates the fact that you've offered yourself up here for argument. so we request you to ignore ignoramuses here who resort only to invective and shallow abuse (obviously since they don't know HOW to argue sensibly). stick to responding to those who have a meaningful bone to pick with you. the rest can shout themselves hoarse. ignore them.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.33PM: Point taken, mate. I guess it's no use responding to folks that can only bark but have no bite.

Anonymous said...

Prasun's LRTR image
http://forceindia.net/images/Ared_Antenna_Commanders.jpg

Actual image from rhinemetall sitehttp://www.rheinmetall-defence.de/index.php?fid=4745&qid=&qpage=0&lang=3&query=ared
The more you seek the more you will get.

Anonymous said...

here prasun i have taken a bite, lets see now what you respond by. By the way the article which puts that image mentions it as LRTR and not rhinemetall's radar. http://forceindia.net/july/cover2.asp

plus your BS about polish radars has been busted right here.

Anonymous said...

sorry the article is about BEL's BFSR and not a single word is mentioned about rhinemetall.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

TO Anon@10.12PM: As I expected, you have not done your homework, you naughty, ignorant kid. A simple check on the FORCE webpage highlighted by you clearly shows that my byline is not there and I did not write that article. You can of course e-mail the publishers of FORCE and ask them if I had written that article or supplied the photos, just in case you conveniently choose not to believe me. Neither did I supply the photo of the radar that you've highlighted. Whenever I write any article for FORCE it is accompanied by my byline without fail as I'm not a staff-member of the publication and therefore my name also does not appear in the magazine's masthead. Therefore, it looks like you've pushed yourself into a corner by your sheer stupidity and ignorance. For God's sake Do your homework before maligning others. or brace yourself to get boomeranged!

Anonymous said...

dear prasun, do you know that dhruvs are made to federal transport aircraft standard ?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Indeed, the Dhruv ALH was designed by HAL to comply with the US Federal Aviation Administration's FAR-29 specifications. But that does not mean much unless & until the FAA (which now has an office within the US Embassy in Delhi) issues a certification of airworthiness (CoA) validating HAL's FAR-29 compliance claims. For that to happen, HAL must officially submit a few Dhruv ALHs (the civilian variant) to a FAA-led design/flight certification programme lasting no more than 6 months. The entire exercise won't cost more than US$2 million. The baffling and mysterious part, therefore, is why has HAL not yet obtained the FAA's CoA even when it states in its website that the Dhruv has been built to FAR-29 specifications.

Anonymous said...

prasun, you know what, I think you are being a dishonest ass because you know u are a plagiarist and BS bingo artist.

so i will create a website dedicated to u and keep updating with ur latest articles.

then we'll see. nice huh????????

Anonymous said...

The interior of Arjun does speak of poor modularity and finish

anthony said...

Not even to the standards of a contemporary Western tank, i.e. Abrams, Merkava, Challenger, Leopard 2, Leclerc etc.

But the Arjun is also simplistic.

Anonymous said...

I would appreciate more visual materials, to make your blog more attractive, but your writing style really compensates it. But there is always place for improvement

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to getting more information about this topic, don't worry about negative opinions.

Anonymous said...

i'm new... hope to brief round more time after time!

Anonymous said...

i'm new... expectancy to brief nearly more time after time!

Anonymous said...

Many criticized in India Russian tanks T-90 and do nothing, because the T-90 blamed the troubles Aruna ... T-90 is not to blame for the fact that India can not make a world-class tank. Vice-versa, the T-90 contributes to the fact that India has the ability to spend, and so not a huge military budget to develop their own tank and still buy into a world-class Russian tank T-90, which is 2-3 times cheaper than Western counterparts: Abrams, Merkava, Challenger, Leopard 2, Leclerc, etc.But the T-90 is not inferior to them in combat capabilities. Here is the difference in price is just enables India to spend money on Arjun and still be combat-ready armored units ready to attack perfectly reflect your enemies (Pakistan and China) who are in service like T-90 tanks: Chinese clones of Soviet tanks and Ukrainian T -84, t-90 is perfectly capable to deal with them,there is no need to spend money on expensive Western tanks, which are advertised as the best, it is not. Best tank at the moment does not exist, everyone has flaws, and some do not have combat experience. In the world there are a few tanks and a higher level of T-90 is included in this elite company of tanks that cadeal with them as equals.n