Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tank Comparisons

Here is a comparison chart of Modern Main Battles Tanks that I've been working on. You're free to use, modify and share it according to the license listed in the document.

The license is as below:

As the creator of this work, I own the copyright to this document. I allow redistribution, copy and use this work with or without modifications is allowed under the following conditions:

1. Redistributions must retain the above copyright notice, with my name (Sniperz11), and this list of conditions;

2. Redistributions in modified form must explicitly state the fact that the document has been modified.

Any other rights are released by the author.

Some points to note:
1. I have tried to make it as comprehensive as possible, but not being a subject expert, the parameters for comparison elude me.

2. I have also strictly adhered to taking data only from authentic sources, preferably only the user or manufacturer websites. The source of this data has been indicated in the comments on each cell, and in the sources worklist. If you are also modifying this, I request you to do the same.

3. The information for some parameters, for eg, Armor ratings are highly classified; while there is no information for other tanks, like the Chinese Type-99.

4. Please ensure that you give data relating to the most common version of the latest variant of the tank. For eg, for Merkava, provide data for the Merkava Mk.4, or M1A2 SEP for the Abrams, and Leopard 2A6 variant.

5. As you will see, there are huge blanks in the document. I look forward to your assistance in this regards. If you are creating a new version, or modifying any information, please ensure that this is mentioned in a disclaimer/license text at the back of the excel sheet.

6. I request you to also create a seperate worksheet in the file, and list the alterations to the original file. This will make it easier to create a common version from many.

You can upload your version (please make sure that the filename contains the date updated and your name) on any site in the net ( is a good one; rapidshare is the among the most popular), and give a link to the URL on a comment to this post.


Download links:

Please let me know if there are any problems with the download or viewing. Thanks.

1. - Tank Comparisons_July 24 2008_Sniperz11.xls

2. Rapidshare -

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sick and Tired

Aah, the Arjun fiasco continues. One lacks the patience or endurance to care any more about what happens next. Even if the Army does accept the tank, it will do so grudgingly, defeating the whole purpose of inducting a cutting edge tank. The Arjun has given the Army a perfect opportunity to usher in a Revolutionary in Military Affairs (RMA) , and create a new operational doctrine for their armored Corps who have till now been working with old, Soviet Era tactics.

But it appears that with the T-Series, the Army is following the "Familiarity breeds contentment" logic. Look at the most vehement and mindless opposition to any opinions or directives to conduct an impartial evaluation of the Arjun.

Things will not change till new minds inhabit Sena Bhavan. Till that day comes, I can only wait and watch and gnash my teeth at the destruction of our indigenous technology and a potent weapon. We can only hope that DRDO doesn't feel the same and comes back with a vengeance with a far better Mk.2 tank that the Army cannot ignore.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Masterful Butchery and Rapier wit

The whole blogosphere seems to be heaving a collective sigh of relief at the Left-UPA divorce after 4 years of matrimonial horror (make that 3, counting out the first Honeymoon year). Doubtless that most of them fine folks favour a centre-right viewpoint (my observation in general), but even the most objective student of our present situation will agree that this cut is a good thing.

First of all, it took a long time for the UPA to realize that the Left parties were taking a free ride on both the pro-govt and opposition backs. By cowardly giving only outside support, they ensured that they could take their own viewpoints on different agendas and gather votes. I'm sure that when he made that momentous decision in 2004, Surjeet Singh would have also salivated at the electoral prospects of acting as a peacemaker and mediator between both sides of the spectrum.

Unfortunately, the great Carrot seems to have got his head spun backwards; sticking to hopeless dogma and strict overseas instructions in not budging. If UPA-Left relations soured in 2005, don't blame the nuke deal for it, the tension had been building the moment Karat put his fingers into the Central Governance pie and found the pudding soft, malleable and tasty.

And given the amount of pliability the Congress has shown the Left in agreeing to all their demands just to keep the ruling Dynasty in power, its not hard to figure out the reason for Karat and Cos' smugness. Unfortunately for them, the beam snapped, as beams are wont to do when pushed too far.

It is here that I admire the masterstrokes that 10, Janpath has wrought to the political Picasso over the past month or two. Regular readers of this blog would probably know that I'm not a great fan of the Congress party. While do think their local leaders are among the best there are, the micromanagement from the Central Dynasty has ruined it all. I'm certainly skeptical about Sonia Gandhi's administrative capability. The next generation of princes too worry me.

But for all the criticisms, We've got to admit, Sonia-ben is a dab hand at political masterstrokes, and regularly shows glimpses of her mother-in-law's cold, calculating ruthlessness (who can forget the coup that kicked out Kesri and brought her in).

In appeasing the Commies over the past year by keeping the Nuke deal in the background while gaining leverage from their co-operation during local polls, the UPA probably made a calculated decision to cut off the relationship before it became a millstone in preparing for the polls, and pushing through the related policies.

In effect, by wooing the SP close to them, and making the announcement in Tokyo rather than back in Delhi, the Congress upset the Left's well-laid out plans, and in one sweep of the blade, cut their leverage to nothing. Seize the advantage, and you win. It was a move worthy of Don Corleone.

Not only has Sonia's strategy defanged the BJP's assertion that the government is weak, but, with the SP in its pocket, has removed the Left's chances of cobbling together a Third Front next year. And if the inflation situation does ease out, we may very well see the Congress coming back to power with a similar, if not slightly higher number of seats.

As I see more of Sonia Gandhi, one's respect for her grows. Not for her idealism or administrative prowess (for she has little aptitude for the latter, and even less of the former), but her tactics. She has proven to be an excellent player at the game of intrigue, and a clever operative. Its Godfather meets James Bond. I can't think of any other leader who plays this game better. Advani may be a good mass mover, and Arun Jaitley a great strategist in planning polls, Sonia is more than a match for both in silent killing.

Unfortunately, The problem arises when she puts the family position ahead of the Party, refusing to yield power to the local leaders, and creating a web of local, infighting satraps. Karnataka was the best example of this disastrous policy. Perhaps then, its time that Sonia starts looking out for her Party rather than family.

Till then, lets pop the champagne at the removal of the Red boulder in the country's path, and pray that it doesn't come crashing down on the UPA during the next Lok Sabha Session

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Good riddance, Go left!

Today is the second independence day. India just got independence from China. The resident Chinese commissar CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat has no where to go back except the land of Mir Jaffers. Left parties today withdrew support to the UPA government.

Left parties accuse Congress of betraying. They say don’t believe Congress. They are right, 3 decades of my life and I have learnt to distrust Congress. But I have learnt to believe Communist. I always believed that they are anti-India and expect them to sell India to their beloved Papaland China.

Left parties say don’t vote for Congress in a nationwide campaign because of the Indo-US nuclear deal. Let me inform them that I never voted Congress into power and I do not intend to vote back them back in power. One of the main reasons is that they brought the anti-national communist to center.

The commies cohorts with national tax collector P. Chidambaram and his Italian master have made the common mans life miserable. The so called anti-imperialist commies were very comfortable working with the citizen of imperialist’s Italy. The only person the commies could not get along with is the Indian sardarji.

The commies say that communal parties are biggest threat to India. I say, I prefer suffering communilasim than commuist.

Today is a red letter day, the reds are out.