Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Can DRDO’s FMBT Project survive Russia’s Next Gen Tank Project ?

While Arjun MK-II Has been going through fresh Army trials for last few months as per improvements and upgrades required by Indian army, there is also a possibility that they will be no fresh orders for Arjun MK-II, Army has been asking DRDO to focus on Futuristic Main Battle Tank (FMBT) project.

But Army is still undecided on the specifications for its next generation battle tank. According to sources close to Indian army was not much interested in DRDO’s FMBT Project in the first place and even pulled in Israelis tank consultants for advice on development of next gen Tanks. Israelis left India with a puzzled look, since Indian army was advised by them to invest in future variants based on Arjun tank and not to go for building a new tank from scratch like they want for FMBT.

Arjun MBT was tested by Israeli tank experts in India to validate DRDO’s claim that Tank is fighting fit and has overcome all the technical issues earlier reported by Indian army , it was termed “Desert Ferrari “ by Israeli’s for its brute fire power and impressive armour . According to sources Indian Army only considered working with DRDO when Russians confirmed cancellation of “T-95” Tank Project they were working on.

But according to recent media reports Russian Leadership were shown several prototypes of the Russia’s next generation Armata main battle tank which will go for testing this year , The Armata’s design incorporates aspects of other projects, including Object 195 and Black Eagle which were cancelled by Russia , Armata tank will reportedly feature a remotely controlled gun and fully automated loading, as well as a separate crew compartment made from composite materials and protected by multilayered armour.

Russian Army will start taking delivery of these new tanks by 2015 and it is likely that Russian army will be ordering more than 2000 tanks to replace older T-tanks in its arsenal and will also be available for exports. DRDO’s FMBT is yet to take off from Paper since Army is yet to work out on the specification of the tank, it will be interested to see if DRDO Project survives, Indian Armies love for Russian T-tanks, since they always will be pushed from Russians for possible sale of new Tank.

Russians recently tried to tempt India with new T-90 variant termed T-90MS, but Indian army was not much impressed by the tank, but it is highly likely that Russians will again try to tempt India with this new tank in future, and it will be interesting to see if Indian army ditches local effort for foreign imports?.Army wants a Lighter 50 tonne FMBT from DRDO, Interestingly Armata will be of same weight, so are our generals waiting for detail specification of Armata to be out before they put out FMBT Specification based on Armata? , will FMBT be another local effort with limited orders just like how Arjun MBT will turn out?

Armata tank will be equipped with new generation 125mm smoothbore gun with an automatic loader and 32 rounds ready to use. Armata shown has a secondary weapon that could be a 57mm grenade launcher mounted on the left of the turret, and a machine gun 12.7 mm mounted on the right side.

Russian Armata will be equipped with a multifuel Diesel engine developing 1,400 to 1,600 hp. There is information that the Armata would also have electric transmission to reduce weight of the vehicle and increase the use of add-on armour. Suspension consists on each side of seven dual rubber-tyre road wheels.

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