Ajai:Just to clarify, my view of the Arjun tank remains unchanged. The cretins who believe something has changed, and that “Ajai Shukla has done a turnaround” are basing it solely on one fact alone: that I’ve done an on-ground report on the Arjun. The TV story that I did makes ONLY the following points… and that’s pure journalism:
- These are the first video pictures of the Arjun.
- The problem with the hydro-gas suspension appears to have been fixed.
- The driver says it’s a world class tank. (NOTE: the driver says it… that’s a viewpoint. Nitwits who don’t understand reportage perhaps have a problem understanding the difference between what a reporter says and a view expressed by someone else).
- The Arjun will be pitted against the T-72 and the T-90 in comparative trials in June.
- The officer in charge of the project says (NOTE: I don’t say it… he does) that he thinks the Arjun is better and he hope for a level playing field in the trials.
- 14 tanks are ready for the trials and THE OFFICERS WHO MADE THE TANK are confident it will perform well.
- The tank suffers from a hybrid design where several major components have been bought off-the-shelf and slapped together into a tank.
- The tank suffers from a high profile, high visibility, high vulnerability to helicopter, ATGM and tank attack from ranges beyond which it can pick up those enemies.
- The issue of translating a prototype into a production line remains beset with Quality Control problems.
- Strategic mobility remains a major problem for the Arjun.
- If the tank does not perform well in trials, it should be shelved and categorised a technology demonstrator, rather than shoved down the throats of the army.
I also believe that if, on the other hand, the Arjun performs well in trials and comes up with even acceptable performances, give it a chance in service. But for that it must perform to an acceptable degree.