Saturday, October 6, 2007

Shiv Aroor's Arjun Ride

Here is the half hour Headlines Today special about the Arjun MBT, filed by Shiv Aroor (Blog) from the Heavy Vehicles Factory and CVRDE testing range in Avadi, Chennai. The lucky fellow got to spend two full days with the Tank, and was even given a chance to take it for a spin and get a few bumps and scratches on the paint.

There isn't much new information about the Tank thats said in the report, which is understandable given that the focus is on the layman who doesn't know a T-72 from a Mig. The camera-work is patchy, and wastes a lot of time showing repeats of the road-rage antics of Shiv the Driver. Still, considering that its a 20 minute long report, there are still some great bits of info, most notably a look into the impressive state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for the Arjuns. In addition, there are lots of small bits of info that can be gleaned by careful observers and enthusiastic analysts.

Shiv has a post on his impressions at his blog:

Take a look:

Part 1:

Part 2:

This latest piece echos Ajai Shukla's report about the Arjun in May, where he too did not have any criticisms of the Tank.

At that time, there was a palpable sense of both hope and anxiety. Hope because the DRDO was confident that it had a world-class product that would come out on top in the comparative trials; anxiety because the Army is notoriously obstinate about having exactly what it wants (even with best-of-Brochuritis). In addition, Arjun's long development and a strong Russian Arms Lobby make it all the more disliked by the Brass.

With the cancellation of the Comparative Trials, a travesty of monumental proportions, the DRDO's fears came true, but they quickly salvaged it by planning the Accelerated User Trials. Lets hope this isn't another hogwash. One thing is clear though- the Arjun has arrived.

Its a great achievement on part of the DRDO PR apparatus that they have converted two people, who till recently were hacking at the Arjun and DRDO. Lets hope they can convince the Generals as well.


jagannath said...

hi, how good is the tank really? we keep hearing conflicting reports. is it the same story of trishul SAM? is DRDO trying to push ir down army's throat? or is really a good thing...aka brahmos.

sniperz11 said...

Arjun is far better than the T-90, and definitely is at least as good as Leopard 2A4, if not better.

The problem is that Arjun has become less a tank and more an issue, a whipping post where everyone may come and pass judgement.

The Arjun had serious problems till 2005; but after that exercise, DRDO fixed them all on a war footing, but looks like the Army is too institutionally biased against such a doctrinally different tank.

We have to remember that the generals and colonels of today have all grown up with the T-series tanks, the T-55, T-72, and have fought with them. So its natural that they'd be loath to completely change their outlook. Plus, DRDO had repeatedly delayed the project, thanks to the Army's changing requirements as well as the DRDO's vanity in setting difficult deadlines and refusing to admit defeat on problems. however, that doesn't excuse the army from its disgusting politicking.

Overall, I'd say the Arjun is a pretty modern tank, about 3-4 years behind the latest service tanks, as seen in the Leo 2A6 and other tanks. But with better sensors and electronics, it can take them on any day.

There are still a few concerns like the size (dimensions) and reliability of some subsystems, but they will be surmounted, and the Army should accept at least 300 arjuns in order to develop the tactics and debug later versions, rather than wasting 4-5 years in creating tactics from scratch when the FMBT comes along.

sayareakd said...

Hi, SniperZ11

Check out pics of T 90 tank distroyed in present Russia Gorgian war.....

Arjun tank is best choise for Indian Army....