Saturday, May 2, 2015

Problem in Arjun Tank, T 14 in Sight

Problem in Arjun Tank, T 14 in Sight

The Russian T 14 Armanta Tank

        Startling reports have emerged in a leading newspaper stating the already inducted Arjun battle tanks have been suspended from action owing to problems in their systems. An undated article published in “Economic times” has claimed that of the 124 deployed Arjun MK1 tanks only 12 to 15 tanks are currently in service and the remaining tanks have been pulled off service and have credited the source to an anonymous Army official. Which would mean not even a single regiment is operational at the present, each regiment contains at least 48 tanks.

      The report has further claimed that these tanks are developed with only 40% indigenous materials and the rest of the technologies are imported. With persistent problems in the ToT clauses the Army has failed to maintain these main battle tanks and also states “ The Army has identified more than 96 problems of which 18 have been classified as major issues and these issues have been credited for making the tanks go off the duty. Furthermore the report has indicted the current MoD and has stated that the minister is very keen to fund projects to procure new system for the tanks.

       But report seems to baseless and botched up theory, earlier Indian defense watchers and some strategic experts raised their voice, when the Russian T 14 Armanta MBT made debut, and predicted that Army would say something about existing Arjun fleet and would try to buy the new Russian T 14 system, and that's the truth too.

       A strong Russian lobby is still believed to be in the business to make sure India invest in T 14 R&D. Russia had earlier persuaded India to buy their BMP 3 IFV, India steered clear of the deal and went against the Russian pitched BMP 3’s.

     The Arjun is one of the best tank for Indian conditions which was developed by CVRDE and DRDO with the support of Israeli's, once the Israeli's called the
Arjun Tank as Desert Ferrari.

       The then Indian Army Chief Gen Deepak had appreciated the Arjun's performance and had approved it to be inducted into the Army in early 2009. There were rumoured reports in which the Arjun winter trials performance reports were sabotaged and was noticed that false data’s were fed to the system.

      It's the Chinese who learned last 2009, when India Tested Advanced Laser Warning and Countermeasure System (ALWCS), the suite comprises a laser warning system, infra-red jammer and an aerosol smoke grenade system. The sensors of these systems are mounted on the front sides of the turret, which are the Major Defensive systems in Arjun Tank.

     After the T 14 lobby emerged there seems to be a lobby with the army working to look at the induction of T 14 and is trying to downplay the home grown Arjun project.

   Also the news was first published by Manu Pubby in Economic times, who is a reliable defence journalist but it's hard to digest that such a loosely based report has been put forward by such an imminent person. It has to be seen what course this issue will take in the coming days.

The Pre production Testing Models of T 14 Armanta

The Desert Ferrari Arjun Tank

Arjun Tank

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