Monday, May 25, 2009

First Photos: Army gets its first MBT Arjun regiment!

DRDO/Army Statement: History of sorts was made today as the Indian Army proudly equipped itself with the first Armoured Regiment of indigenously built Main Battle Tank, Arjun. The development marks the fruition of 35 years of research in self-reliance by dedicated Indian scientists against all odds.

16 tanks (Cumulative 45 Arjun tanks) were handed over to Lt.Gen.D.Bhardwaj,  DGMF, towards formation of the 1st Arjun regiment by  Shri S.Chandrasekar,  Addl. DGOF (AV) and flagged-off by Dr.A.Sivathanu PIllai, Chief Controller, Research & Development & Distinguished Scientist, DRDO at a function in Avadi today.

MBT Arjun is the state-of-art main battle tank designed and developed by Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment(CVRDE), Avadi along with other DRDO and industrial partners. MBT Arjun is provided with excellent mobility, superior fire power and protection and the features are quite comparable to contemporary world tanks. The Kanchan Armour, Hydro-pneumatic suspension, Armament system, Integrated Fire Detection & Suppression System, system engineering and system integration of complex weapon platforms are some of the significant indigenous technologies of Arjun, developed by DRDO labs.

Initially 12 prototypes were developed during 1983 to 1990 and they were subjected to field trials of more than 20,000 kms and 1100 rounds. Based on user feedback 15 pre-production vehicles were developed during 1990 to 1995 and they were subjected to field trials of more than 70,000 kms and 8000 rounds. After the satisfactory trials, army placed an indent initially for 15 limited series production in Nov 1997 and cumulatively 124 in Mar 2000. The development of Arjun was carried out in a number of stages and evaluation through extensive field trials. After satisfactory performance, Army placed an indent for the full compliment of 124 nos. of MBT Arjun in Mar 2000.

As there was a long gap from the R&D phase to production phase from 1993 to 2000, problems related to re-establishing production lines and vendor sources and resolving overseas issues like technology denial in view of Pokhran testing, change over and mergers of OEMS for the critical items, delayed initial commencement of production.  In order to meet the production requirement, additional infrastructure facilities and machine tools were established at HVF, Avadi and Ordnance Factory, Medak. However, the first pilot batch of production tanks was handed over to Army on 7th August 2004 in the presence of the then  Defence Minister Shri. Pranab Mukherjee.

During subsequent production, Army insisted upon the demonstration of medium fording capabilities of MBT Arjun.  Both CVRDE and HVF, continuously worked on war footing, to meet the stringent requirement of medium fording to a height of 2.1m in water with preparation time of 30 minutes as retro-fitment solution and demonstrated successfully to Defence Minister Shri A.K.Antony and other dignitaries on 2nd July 2007. Subsequently, the production tanks were incorporated with all medium fording modifications and the next batch of nine tanks were handed over by Sep 2007.

Meanwhile, Army carried out the Accelerated Usage Cum Reliability Trials (AUCRT) in 5 phases on two tanks from Nov 2007 to Aug 2008 covering more than 8000 km and 800 rounds of firing in each tank. AUCRT is required for assessing the spares requirement for the entire life of the tank besides evaluation of reliability of tank. Each phase consists of 1000kms run and 100EFC (Approx. 160 rounds of APFSDS and HESH – Primary and secondary rounds) over a temperature range of -5 to 500C. One of the main issues during AUCRT trials was the failure of the bearings of Transmission of M/s RENK, Germany, due to rise in lub oil temperature. However, this was immediately solved by modifying the software during AUCRT itself and the efficacy of the software was proved for more than 4000kms. However a comprehensive solution of modifying the bearing assembly by providing a special coating was carried out to take care of the temperature problem and the retrofitment of bearing assembly being carried out in all the tanks.

The outcome of AUCRT trials raised the confidence levels of the users over the reliability and endurance of MBT Arjun and they confirmed that the overall performance of the MBT Arjun during the stringent AUCRT trials was satisfactory and cleared the production tanks with minor modifications suggested during AUCRT, for induction. Both CVRDE and HVF along with DGQA agencies worked out methodologies to introduce all AUCRT modifications within shortest time frame and the next batch of 17 tanks were handed over to Army by 3rd March 2009. As suggested by Army after AUCRT trials, Arjun tanks were subjected to rigorous trials and assessment by a third party audit (an internationally reputed tank manufacturer). After the extensive evaluation, the reputed tank manufacturer confirmed that the MBT Arjun is an excellent tank with very good mobility and fire power characteristics suitable for Indian desert. They also added inputs such as quality auditing, production procedures and refined calibration procedures for further enhancing the performance of MBT Arjun. DRDO, will be incorporating all these inputs in the next regiment of 62 tanks for handing over to Army before Mar 2010 as desired by the Army.

The regiment of 45 tanks will be subjected to a conversion training and field practice for a period of 3 months. Thereafter, the Army is planning to conduct a comparative trial with T 90 tanks in Oct/Nov 2009 to assess the operational deployment role of the tanks. The present batch of 124 tanks will be delivered by Mar 2010.

Photos Courtesy DPR Defence

16 comments:

AK said...

CVRDE and DRDO great work guys. Now get the Arjun MK2 with improved systems and we can kick some Paki Ass. Jai Ho

sachin_sathe said...

gr8 news indeed!
thx shiv.

Is this the reason y the IA delayed the tests and now wants a regimental level trials?

Anonymous said...

Who is the internationally reputed tank manufacturer mentioned here?

Anonymous said...

Bravo!

Who needs a Mk2 to kick ass. This is already an excellent tank!

Moral of the story: You incrementally build a better and better fighting platform, and you incrementally build an industry to support it and you incrementally build confidence in your final product. You incrementally build a stronger nation.

And now you incrementally build improvements to the Arjun MBT to keep it competitive, as long as you can do so without going for a full re-design.

Tejaswy said...

Mehh!!
Too controversial.
And only 128 to be inducted...
I mean the army had to bow down to the pressure of the media/drdo/goi

Anonymous said...

That general Bharadwaj has a very sad and resigned look on his face. So does that Sikh officer. Its only the scientists who are beaming.
Perhaps the Arjun's fate has already been sealed by men like this Bharadwaj. I'm sure 43 Armour will be designated as a strategic reserve and all regiments with arjun will not see any deployment in the initial mobilization for war. The Arjuns themselves will be made to rot in some base and the Army will continue its exercises and planning with T-90.
I hear Bharadwaj and his cronies in olive green are salivating over the possible Ruski offer for joint devpt. of T-95 for our FMBT.

Ankur said...

Comparative trials AFTER induction? What the heck are they waiting for?

Anonymous said...

I hear Bharadwaj and his cronies in olive green are salivating over the possible Ruski offer for joint devpt. of T-95 for our FMBT
-------------------------------
so whats wrong in this

t95 with 152mm calibre gun and low profile compared to arjun and western styled arrangement of ammo and crew compartmant and still weigh less than arjun

the terminator said...

It is very strange the MOD is keeping the traitor,Lt.Gen. Bharadwaj who is the main opponent of anything made indigenously by Indians.

This sicko is so enamoured by the natashas and other kickbacks from the Ruski defence industry that he would do anything in his power to sabotaj Indian efforts.

What a farce the IA is! They only conduct stringent trials after trials and other cooked up defects on Indian made products but are more than willing to straightaway induct defective defence products (T-90) from Russia without any trials or quality checks.

That traitor and his cronies in the IA should be strung up asap. So long as these vermins are left to fester in the IA, it would be the most compromised and inferior of the three services.

High time A K Anthony and the MOD put their foot down or better still stuff in more than 500 Arjun MBTs down Bharadwaj throat to show him who is the actual boss.

Ingrates like Bharadwaj and his ilk would have been shot long, long ago in China or even in Pakiland.

Anonymous said...

Translation: We will have the T-90, one way or the other.

Ramu said...

According to Mr Ajai Shukla's post in july last year http://ajaishukla.blogspot.com/2008/07/first-ever-pictures-of-new-arjun.html, 64 Arjuns were already produced and waiting to be inducted. i guess it must have been produced well before last year. it seems only 45 out of them have been inducted. It will be interesting to know who is causing delay and why?

p mukherjee said...

Way I see it is that Arjun was inducted into the IA when it was good and ready to be inducted and not when the quasi-patriotic 'Jai ho' crowd wanted to push an inferior product down IA's throat simply because it was "desi". That is,"desi" with more than 70% imported components. I really dont have any problems with Gen Bhardwaj's expressions. Any one would look disgusted in the compamy of men who take 35 years to make a tank despite a practically unlimited budget.

Anonymous said...

china has a policy of paying 100's of internet zombies 50cents for every positive messages that they write on China on internet forums.
i think even russian weapons mafia has taken to it too.

Anyways Mr. Mukherjee how do u know that Arjun is inferior, and if inferior is the only reason why Arjun was not accepted then why is it that army is fitting AC's to T-90's (hint: they were not properly tested before induction as it was a foreign maal and as per IA procurement division anything foreign is superior to desi maal, but at the same time when DRDO proposed Ac's for Arjun tanks, they were discarded beacuse they would make the soldiers lazy and that Ac is a luxury).

People more qualified than me and you have told(hint: Merkava designer from Israeli army) that development of a Tank is evolutionary. What he meant was that it cannot be 100% up to mark at the first GO and it has to be configured and fine tuned to fit the requirements along with the procurement.

-Raj

Kannan said...

@ p mukerjee
Ok! So u too appreciate IA's stupid blurt about looking 20 years ahead in Tank technology..Israelis might be lying down laughing....
We fight with Enfield 0.303 in Mumbai & NSG with toy 9mm HK MP5 and I saw many security guards in Naval Depo Kerala with world war II Sterling carbine..

and we are still proclaiming to seek technology 20 years ahead..wat a joke...
May be Indian Army caught some Aliens and used some Chinese ppl from West Bengal to reverse engineer their stuff....
STF UP !

Ankur said...

Shiv: Any word on a Mk2 platform in the works? Also, any news on the LCA and LCH programs?

anthony said...

Too much favoritism for imported Russian hardware, i.e. T-90Ses over indigenous Indian ones, i.e. Arjuns. That's the problem.