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Old 26th October 2009, 23:16   #46
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None of these tanks are good enough. Bhisma is too high while Arjun was designed to be lower in height thus increases its width. Tanks need to be as low as possible so as to stay hidden and it makes it harder for them to get hit with long range shells. US+UK are still trying to get a single tank in development but are stuck between choosing wider chassis which comes to the issues of Arjun or limiting crew to 2 and move controls of turret to front driver’s seat and reduce the size of turret which has its own issues, for example. There is no backup driver. Reloading mechanism jamming means crew members will need to get out and go into the turret while normally a person is sitting there to monitor shell loading and targeting. Targeting will have to go 100% virtual.

Rather than praising DRDO for not getting stuck and boldly choosing a path to follow, we all shame them, just because we failed to improve logistics. Shipping tanks via railway isn`t a big issue, it can be accomplished easily. Also if land to air missiles can be moved then it can be done with the tanks too.

Also about Arjun`s engine reliability, well everyone praises Abraham, well not many know that the biggest issue with Abraham during gulf war was that it got stuck because of sand collecting inside idlers and rotors. Basically a shiny new Abraham will get stuck and get jammed within 20-30minutes of running. Solution was simple, put a rubber sleeve of the sides to stop the sand. But solution was ONLY and ONLY reached by actual use and not with blind testing. It was the similar issue with Arjun, there was a problem with the engine, which was found during actual use and not testing, fact is that it got corrected and not just left.

All the vehicles added to the thread so far are greatly disadvantaged and have not been designed to proper B7+ armour specifications. Or should I say, like always Asian manufacturers have saved money during manufacturing. For any vehicle that is meant to even remotely go over a mine. Under body protection is MUST and best way to provide is using a V shaped cover to cover undercarriage. V shape simply reflects a mine/IED`s power to sides of the vehicle and protects the crew inside. On average ¼” thick Steel plating in V shape is up-to 5times better than to simply bolt a 4” thick steel plating undercarriage. It represents both weight and money saving.

Similarity whole body shape can be kept at angles. It is almost double the cost to manufacture but it also increase armour strength by 10fold. Reason it is so expensive and time consuming is because of stainless steel welding, since to achieve these angles, simple bending and shaping is never enough.

Also a big advantage of Angled body structure is DUAL ARMOUR or TILED ARMOUR or Explosive Armour. These all work in a similar pattern but with different techniques and different materials. As far as I know, not a single military vehicle used by INDIAN Armed Forces utilizes these. Reason being these are double the cost. In actual use these armours provide up-to 50times more protection by a direct hit. Double armour works on a physics principle or surface area. Outer armour layer is kept fairly thick but is penetrate able by even a light shell. But shells break as soon as they hit the outer layer and instead of fast moving, high momentum single fragment, shells break into 1000 small fragments. These fragments hit more surface area, hence momentum and energy is divided. Also a fair chunk of momentum and energy is lost on penetrating the outer skin which simply means internal shell is not penetrated at all. At most it has a dent in it. On the other hand, if same spot is hit again, then internal skin will give away. In Tiled armour, tiles are used inside the layers to further slow down fragments. Usually these tiles are filled with gel which dries as soon as it comes in contact with air, as a result armour is still there if another shell hits same spot but it is weaker than previous hit. In explosive armour, small charges are inserted into the layers of the armour. If a shell hits the outer skin/layer, charge goes off and energy is diverted towards the shell which in turns literally throws back the shell away from the vehicle. Usually charge is placed in a round bell type structure so as to focus the energy away from the vehicle.

Also there is huge number of issues hindering development of weapons/vehicles in-house. Biggest reason being diplomatic contracts between Russia and India. We are capable of developing almost all of the required weapons in-house but when out idiot ministers make contracts with Russia and other countries to buy outdated weapons/vehicle/tanks/jets/carriers we end up putting money towards repairs.

Also there are 1000 different angles a weapon/vehicle needs to be tested and examined before launch and something’s are simply missed or they just don`t pop up during testing. For example, 1kg of thermite is better/cheaper/more effective than 1tonne of TNT, if sole purpose if to go through a 20” stainless steel door. Similarly 4-5 charges with 5kg of thermite each are more effective in order to sink an aircraft carrier than to use 1000 sticks of TNT. Only difference being, Thermite will not KILL any person onboard while a charge of TNT will KILL everyone abroad. Cost difference here is ridiculous, thermite should come around 1000 times cheaper to manufacture than TNT and the biggest fact, Thermite can be made from recycled materials like aluminium and iron, since all it needs is aluminium powder and iron oxide (rusted iron). Now why don`t we use Thermite during a war??

During a war, point is to KILL as many soldiers as possible so as to de-motivate the opposite side rather than destroy their capacity.

Also there is no way China going to attack India, biggest reason being China fears to have a war with any country at this particular time. China wants Thailand back but hasn`t used power till now. Simple reason is China is going to be the next super power before INDIA and other countries will do whatever possible to stop it. If China attacks India, well it gives reason for everyone to go against China. And since whole economy is dependent on rest of the worlds manufacturing demands, China cannot even think of attacking India. Australia for that matter is going to be with India, since they are gaining over 6 billion AUD from Indian students. China cannot let that happen just because that means China will get no more uranium from Australia. It is a very complex issue than just adding more troops to the border line.

Sorry about the rant guys. If you think I am in wrong here please correct me.

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Old 26th October 2009, 23:49   #47
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Originally Posted by it_inspector View Post
None of these tanks are good enough. Bhisma is too high while Arjun was designed to be lower in height thus increases its width. Tanks need to be as low as possible so as to stay hidden and it makes it harder for them to get hit with long range shells. US+UK are still trying to get a single tank in development but are stuck between choosing wider chassis which comes to the issues of Arjun or limiting crew to 2 and move controls of turret to front driver’s seat and reduce the size of turret which has its own issues, for example. There is no backup driver. Reloading mechanism jamming means crew members will need to get out and go into the turret while normally a person is sitting there to monitor shell loading and targeting. Targeting will have to go 100% virtual........................................... ............Sorry about the rant guys. If you think I am in wrong here please correct me.

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+1∞ to that.

You said lot more than I could due to my fairly limited knowledge on this subject.

Let me add one other thing though. :-

Guys, with all the corruption in this country. And especially in Arms deals and why do we doubt our Scientists when their work is rejected by people most prone to corruption.

Our scientists have allowed India to reach the moon, then why do we doubt them when it comes to thing as simple as a Tank(Compared to space launch vehicle).

At least I will doubt Babus over Scientists any day, how else can Lockheed Martin's India head can get his hands over the confidential MOD files relating to $20 Billion MMRCA project ?
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Old 27th October 2009, 00:05   #48
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Freak you say my friend? Let us see....when the IAF wanted to float a global tender to replace the MiG 21 fleet in 1981, the DRDO said that they will provide the replacement-the LCA. That project is 11+ years late today and as a result of which the IAF is facing it's worst shortage of aircraft to date. Also, by the time the LCA is inducted (expected in 2011) the technology of the LCA will be outdated. As it is, the LCA today runs on an American engine and is stated to be fitted with a Israili radar.Reason- DRDO failed miserably in it's efforts to indigenously develop both (till date). So much for an "indigenous" aircraft.
The Army required a MBRL to augment it's firepower in 1983. The Smerch was its first choice both due to availability and costs as well as trials. DRDO piped in and said that they could do better!So the Pinaka idea was born. Against a project completion date of 1992, the Pinaka system was fielded for trials in 1999. It was finally inducted in the Army without all the QRs being met in 1999.
The list can go on...INSAS, EW systems , fuses for weapons, they have tried it all and succeeded in far too few.

And you blame DRDO for the feature creeps. And how do you suggest that DRDO develop capability if they aren't going to be trusted for their first try in most of the projects named ?


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It is simply a case of national priority! The Chinese have made a conscious decision to augment their military position w.r.t. India because of which, they have aggressively pushed for infrastructure development in TAR. The so called "edge" is debatable given the altitude of the region,but, nevertheless, if India was seriously contemplating the infrastructure issues, it could have done the same in Arunachal, Sikkim and Himachal. The very fact that China vetoed the loan in ADB is an indicator that China is trying to ensure that it has a strategic advantage in the region. But the point to note is that India needs to find money to ensure these projects go through, and, at the same time ensure that the armed forces do not loose their edge-which can only be ensured that they get the required hardware in time and of the required quality. Waiting for DRDO to someday deliver the promised goods is not helping at all in this respect! The falling aircraft numbers and submarine numbers are all a stark reminder of this fact!
And my point was that we won't have money if we will spend it all to buy from other Military Industrial complex. And if we would have relied on indigenous products we wouldn't have to beg from ADB and lateron humiliated in from of the world.


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Our Strike formations are not always sitting across the border. Their peacetime locations are far from their op-time deployment sites. In case of a contingency, the formations are supposed to move in the fastest possible time to the op-locations. And the fastest possible means to transport the MBTs in by rail. Because of the weight and size of the Arjun, it is not presently rail transportable-a serious limitation, which is why the Army is not too keen about it and the government has cleared the purchase and licensed production of the T-90.
Right, flush down decades of work and money spent and all the human hours rather than improving-upgrading-adding upon the rail/road and inventory system. Yeah that would motivate those 50 somethings to waste what is left of their careers to try again, hoping that Babus wont be smitten by the videshi-bribes.

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The gulf war is still on as is the war in Afghanistan.How big is the role of missiles? Wars are finally fought and won on the ground. Take a look-conventional forces will continue to take a major role in all perceivable future wars. And for the land forces, the MBT will continue to be their most prized and important possession.
Unlike Iraq and Afghanistan, India-Pakistan-China all are nuclear powers and have delivery systems in place.

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The defence of a nation is not a game. It is a serious proposition with devastating results for the looser. So can we really wait and take a chance? And secondly, even your costing "nothing" indigenous projects are expensive. For the LCA the sanctioned amount initially for Phase I was Rs.2188 crores, and for Phase II was Rs. 2,340 crores. These figures have been significantly overshot. To put it in perspective, a Mirage 2000 was bought for 200Cr each. and the LCA will not be as capable as the Mirage 2000.
I am sorry you are very wrong about that, as the money is spent in India and help develop precious IP and other technologies which can be reused,re-engineered and licensed. It also generates employment and pays workforces salary which circulates in the economy and thanks to multiplier effect have much bigger return than the money spent.

That is why America gives many countries money to buy arms from
themselves.

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Old 27th October 2009, 00:32   #49
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anmol24k, so essentially you are saying that a consumer should buy whatever the manufacturer produces just because of some misplaced jingoism about patriotism? Will you be willing to get on to a passenger aircraft that has dodgy credentials when it comes to reliability or any other quality aspects that have not been met? I guess no. How do you then expect the army, air force etc to put in their money in buying stuff which they know does not meet all their requirements? Particularly, when it is their men who are on the line?

Sorry, but I can not really agree with you here. In certain cases the stakes are too high to fall for some chest-thumping jingoism. DRDO is fighting it out in a space which is highly competitive and demands extreme accuracy. You can not expect them to make products which are not at par with the latest and still managing to sell them. An INSAS rifle getting stuck at the crucial moment, or a fuse blowing off when it should not can all lead to an instant death of the valiant guy who has put his life at stake to fight for our homeland. And you wish to put some substandard weaponry in his hand in the name of indigenous effort!

Even if armed forces were to accept such weapon systems you know what will happen in the real battle field? The tank column will get bogged down, the rifle will fail to fire, the aircraft will blow off mid air... and soon with that happening frequently in the battlefield our soldiers will revolt (but obviously) and if they decide to leave their posts and run away (you can not expect them to be the slaughter goats) as it happened in 1962. Soon your chinese and pakistanis will march in and then all your economic theory will also go for a toss my friend.

Some things in life are non-negotiable. And security of the homeland is one such, IMHO.
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Old 27th October 2009, 01:11   #50
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I am not sure whether it is just me, but I feel in INDIA we lack the fundamentals. Lets consider engines. Right from mopeds, to motorcycles to cars, planes and missiles none of the indian companies have matured in the art of producing world class engines.

Here are few projects I can think of where our engines are not good enough.

1) LCA - Kaveri Engine
2) GSLV - Cryogenic Engine
3) Re-entry vehicles - Ramjet/Scramjet engines
4) INS Arihant - Mini nuclear power plant

anything else? How hard it is to buy and integrate these technologies? I know it is very difficult to get technologies like cryogenic engines, etc. But none of indian car companies like TATA, mahindra, etc. posses capabilities to produce a good engine. TATA and Mahindra diesel engines are produced with Austrian help and now TATA vista cars have the Italian engine.

Can someone explain the various difficulties to mastering the engine technology right from cars to these complex vehicles?
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Old 27th October 2009, 01:57   #51
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Originally Posted by Zappo View Post
anmol24k, so essentially you are saying that a consumer should buy whatever the manufacturer produces just because of some misplaced jingoism about patriotism? Will you be willing to get on to a passenger aircraft that has dodgy credentials when it comes to reliability or any other quality aspects that have not been met? I guess no. How do you then expect the army, air force etc to put in their money in buying stuff which they know does not meet all their requirements? Particularly, when it is their men who are on the line?
I am sorry it is not misplaced jingoism, how do you expect DRDO to fix issues and improve the product when army is not ready to use it ? Army is consistently delaying its trial, if Arjun is such as bad tank then why are they so scared to let Bhishma compete against it ?

Forget Indian stuff,Army finds faults in German engine and Israeli fire control system while faults in obsolete Russian tank are ignored which had trouble in the heat of Thar desert where these tanks would be operated. Why such favoritism ?

Why is Army having uncompromisable attitude when it comes to Arjun while flaws of Bhishma are ignored ? As far as requirements are concerned, Army Chief have declared Arjun satisfactory. Would he say that if it didn't meet their requirements ?

Zappo, the Costumer is not going to give the order. The order is going to be given by a ring of babus who will never have to fight for this country and will most probably retire early and will lead comfortable life all thanks to gifts from Russia with love.

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Originally Posted by Zappo View Post
Sorry, but I can not really agree with you here. In certain cases the stakes are too high to fall for some chest-thumping jingoism. DRDO is fighting it out in a space which is highly competitive and demands extreme accuracy. You can not expect them to make products which are not at par with the latest and still managing to sell them. An INSAS rifle getting stuck at the crucial moment, or a fuse blowing off when it should not can all lead to an instant death of the valiant guy who has put his life at stake to fight for our homeland. And you wish to put some substandard weaponry in his hand in the name of indigenous effort!
As far as that freak accident is concerned, that is very small sample to label DRDO as incompetent and kindly give me some details on INSAS rifle getting stuck. Last i checked INSAS is satisfactory product and most of its early issues have been sorted out. Right now the only problem is that OFB is unable to manufacture it in enough numbers.

And kindly read following recent articles :-

The Associated Press: Weapons failed US troops during Afghan firefight

Weapons: Jammed Rifles And Other Obsessions

Kindly tell me what is better alternative to INSAS when even M-16 is jamming in dusty environments.


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Even if armed forces were to accept such weapon systems you know what will happen in the real battle field? The tank column will get bogged down, the rifle will fail to fire, the aircraft will blow off mid air... and soon with that happening frequently in the battlefield our soldiers will revolt (but obviously) and if they decide to leave their posts and run away (you can not expect them to be the slaughter goats) as it happened in 1962. Soon your chinese and pakistanis will march in and then all your economic theory will also go for a toss my friend.

Some things in life are non-negotiable. And security of the homeland is one such, IMHO.
Bhishma wasn't able to operate in Indian heat (its fire control system failed), yet it is Army's favorite. If national security was non-negotiable then they shouldn't be so flexible. Hell, we shouldn't even have SU-30MKI. Then why do we still have it ?

To clear out any doubts, DRDO even roped in independent experts to review the tank. And the expert was none other than legendary Maj Gen Yossi Ben-Hanan who designed Israel’s successful Merkava tank, kindly read his views on Arjun.

I am posting an article by Ajai Shukla, a very well known and trusted defense journalist. It is slightly big but will help a lot to clear out some doubts about Arjun.

Broadsword: Nailing some more falsehoods about the Arjun tank... and some about the T-90!

Quote:
Nailing some more falsehoods about the Arjun tank... and some about the T-90!


False argument No 1: The Arjun tank, after decades of failure, can’t suddenly have turned the corner!

It hasn’t “suddenly turned the corner”. It turned the corner very gradually, from around mid-2004. A major landmark came in early 2005, when the problem of the hydro pneumatic suspension unit (HSU) was licked. And in June 2005, the Arjun was to prove its capability in comparative trials in the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges (MFFR); the army agreed to comparative trials involving 5 Arjuns, 5 T-72s and 5 T-90s.

That turned out to be a total fiasco! The Arjun’s electronics packed up in the heat and the trials were over even before they began. The generals who came, including the Western Army Commander, laughed all the way back to their helicopters. The chief, who was to fly in for the trials was rung up and told not to take the trouble.

THAT WAS THE TURNING POINT.

The CVRDE put in a huge effort to heat-harden its electronics, which is something that bears fruit today. While the T-90 is now looking for air-conditioners, the post-2005 electronics in the Arjun can function flawlessly through 60 degrees.

In summer 2006, stringent firing trials by 43 Armoured Regiment established --- in the words of the army’s own trial team --- that the "accuracy and consistency of the Arjun tank was proved beyond doubt".

Later that year, the MoD stated to Parliament’s Standing Committee on Defence that, "Arjun's firing accuracy is far superior to the other two tanks."

In summer 2007, when the army was being pressured to conduct comparative trials, the DGMF raised another objection: the Arjun should be able to drive for 20 minutes in six feet of water. By the end of 2007, the CVRDE managed that as well.

In the Accelerated Usage cum Reliability Trials (AUCRT), which was held in five phases over the first half of this year, the Arjun had problems in the transmission system (not the MTU engine as widely reported, but the Renk transmission) during the first three phases. Engineers from Renk GMbH, Germany came and fixed that and in the last two phases, which were the really tough, heavy desert, hot weather phases, the Arjun performed flawlessly.

The process of turning the corner has been a slow one, but it symbolises exactly why one should go for an Indian tank: each drawback was analysed by our engineers, fixed according to the users’ instructions, and then delivered back to the users without charging them a penny. Contrast that with the problems with the T-90’s electronics. Nobody is fixing that problem; instead, the Russians are trying to sell us air-conditioners. Added expense, and an inefficient solution compared to heat-hardening the electronics, the way the CVRDE did.

False argument No 2: The manufacturers of T-90 have 5 decades of experience under their belt. The T-90 is drawn from the bloodline of T-72 and T-55, both of which are battle proven.

Even the Russians are not buying into the myth of the T-90. That tank entered service with the Russian Army around 1996 and, till today, there are barely 250 T-90s defending Mother Russia! India has more T-90s in service than the Russian Army… and once we implement the full contract, we will have 6 times more T-90s than the Russian Army.

I wonder why the Russian Army isn’t accepting such a blue-blooded tank with such a fine pedigree??? The Russian Army prefers to use: 2144 numbers of T-72s, 3044 numbers of T-80s, 689 numbers of T-62s (plus 3000 more in storage), and even 1000 rickety old T-55s.

Sorry, but there are no more orders from Russia for T-90s.

False argument No 3: The soldiers who operate the Arjun doubt its capabilities as a frontline tank.

The Arjun tank has been operated by 43 Armoured Regiment since over a decade; 43 is delighted with the tank. I have a very close friend who commanded that regiment and he always argued that a regiment of Arjun tanks was worth two regiments of T-72s. And this was even before the Arjun turned the corner!

After the firing trials in June 2006, 43 Armoured Regiment pronounced itself delighted with the Arjun’s firing performance. As I said above, 43 Armoured Regiment endorsed in its trial report, “The accuracy and consistency of the Arjun has been proved beyond doubt.” The brigade commander, Brigadier Chandra Mukesh, himself from 43 Armoured Regiment, endorsed that report whole-heartedly.

But the DGMF was quick to strike back. Barely three months after that report, the commanding officer of 43 Armoured Regiment, Colonel D Thakur, was confronted by then DGMF, Lt Gen DS Shekhawat. Several eyewitnesses have described to me how Colonel Thakur was upbraided by Lt Gen Shekhawat for “not conducting the trials properly”. Fortunately for Colonel Thakur, his brigade commander, Brigadier Chandra Mukesh, intervened and argued strongly that the trials had been conducted in accordance with procedure.

Talk to the crewmen, the drivers, gunners, operators… and you’ll get an even clearer endorsement. They all love the modular construction of the Arjun, which makes maintenance so easy. Changing a T-72 engine takes a full day; changing an Arjun engine takes a couple of hours.

Minister of State for Defence Production, Rao Inderjeet Singh recounts, “I’ve spoken, off the record, to officers who have gone through the trials. Even the crews (from 43 Armoured Regiment)… who have been testing the tank… I forced them to choose between the Russian tanks and the Arjun. I said, you’ve driven this tank and you’ve driven that tank (the T-90). Now mark them out of ten, which tank is better? And I’ve found that the Arjun tank was given more numbers than the T-90 tank.”

False argument No 4: The army has several objections to accepting the Arjun. Somebody writes, “After all, this is NOT pakistan where the generals are not accountable to anyone.”

The most astonishing part of the Arjun story is that the army (read DGMF) really doesn’t have a clear list of objections to the Arjun. Their objections vary from day to day, and with who they are talking to. Some of their objections --- such as that of the Arjun’s 60-ton weight --- run counter to the army’s own GSQR.

What is clear is that the MoD is happy with the Arjun. According to the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Defence’s last annual report for 2007-08, the MoD testified before the Committee that the Arjun tank was:

• “A product unique in its class”, and “an improved system over the T-72.”
• “Rs 6-8 crores cheaper than its contemporary system in the West”.
• “Far superior (in firing accuracy) to the other two tanks (T-72 and T-90)”.
• “Driven for over 60,000 kms and fired more than 8,000 rounds. There was no problem.”

So you judge: if that's what the MoD is saying... aren't the generals conveying an entirely false impression?

False argument No 5: The Arjun failed the AUCRT this summer

As I mentioned above, the Arjun performed creditably during the AUCRT, once Renk solved the transmission system problem.

But what is far more important is the fact that AUCRT is not a “performance trials”. It is not possible for a tank to “pass” or “fail” the AUCRT. The purpose of the AUCRT is to run a small number of tanks for thousands of kilometres and make them fire hundreds of rounds, basically putting them through their entire service lifespan in a few months. The aim of doing this is to evaluate what spares get consumed during the life-span of the tank; what maintenance and overhaul tasks should be scheduled at what stage of a tank’s life; an AUCRT evaluates a tank’s logistical needs, not its operational performance.

But when the transmission gave some problems in the first three phases of AUCRT, the DGMF was quick to seize the chance to bad-mouth the tank, and to convey the false impression that the Arjun had “failed its trials”.

THE ONLY TRIALS THAT WILL EFFECTIVELY EVALUATE THE ARJUN’S OPERATIONAL CAPABILITY --- AND THAT TOO IN COMPARISON TO ITS RUSSIAN RIVALS --- ARE COMPARATIVE TRIALS, ORGANISED BY A THIRD PARTY WITHOUT VESTED INTERESTS IN THE OUTCOME. THAT MUST BE DEMANDED BY THE MoD.

BTW following picture is of T-90, do you find it to be flawless ?
Destroyed+T-90S+MBT+in+Georgia.jpg (image)

On the other hand when Arjun's Kanchan armor was tested by firing APFDS at point blank range from a T-72, it was found to be impenetrable.

I rest my case.

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Old 27th October 2009, 02:19   #52
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Originally Posted by gshanky View Post
I am not sure whether it is just me, but I feel in INDIA we lack the fundamentals. Lets consider engines. Right from mopeds, to motorcycles to cars, planes and missiles none of the indian companies have matured in the art of producing world class engines.

Here are few projects I can think of where our engines are not good enough.

1) LCA - Kaveri Engine
2) GSLV - Cryogenic Engine
3) Re-entry vehicles - Ramjet/Scramjet engines
4) INS Arihant - Mini nuclear power plant

anything else? How hard it is to buy and integrate these technologies? I know it is very difficult to get technologies like cryogenic engines, etc. But none of indian car companies like TATA, mahindra, etc. posses capabilities to produce a good engine. TATA and Mahindra diesel engines are produced with Austrian help and now TATA vista cars have the Italian engine.

Can someone explain the various difficulties to mastering the engine technology right from cars to these complex vehicles?
As far as cryogenic engine is concerned, ISRO have developed our own and will be powering GSLV MK2 for its launch this December.
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Old 27th October 2009, 02:25   #53
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anmol2k4, I can only say that for every such write-up you can also find 2 more write-ups which will run counter to it. The problem is that someone sitting outside the field will never know where lies the truth. In such circumstances you have to go with what the real users have to say. In this case if our military is not very confident of an ammunition system then we have to go with them. Just to prove the point we can not thrust something which they feel will definitely fail them in the battlefield.

Also, remember that Arjun is now slowly getting accepted after all these years. Maybe it has started weighing in more on the right side now. However the point still remains that the debate is not about one Arjun per se. It is about the way DRDO functions. In todays dynamic theater of a warfield the armed forces can not keep sitting on their haunches forever waiting for the DRDO to deliver. Arjun was conceived when I was a kid. That it took so long to fructify (I now have a kid ), if it at all has, probably says something about it's prowess.

And just to balance the facts, ALH was inducted with comparatively much more ease even though it is also an Indian product. Going by the logic that anything Indian is an anathema to our armed forces it should have also suffered the same fate. However it succeeded. In fact there is another thought provoking side to it. Not only the armed forces inducted this helicopter (in suitable avatars) but it has also evinced lot of interest amongst other friendly forces which want to place orders for it. Is ALH a 100% problem free product? No, it also had some problems (like while landing on inclines) but they were quickly sorted out and it has succeded in general not only here in this country but has also clicked with the foreign forces.

Remember, when another country is paying the hard cash to buy from you they will only do so if the product is competitive in all ways (not just in cost). And ALH has succeeded that test to a good extent. Why does the DRDO then not participate in similar marketing exercises abroad (there are huge defence expos held across the world every year) and prove it's worth? Say, if the Arjun is so unique and has so many advantages over its contemporary weapon systems then it should find a market abroad easily. Right? So then what stops DRDO from trying that route?
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Old 27th October 2009, 02:51   #54
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anmol24k, so essentially you are saying that a consumer should buy whatever the manufacturer produces just because of some misplaced jingoism about patriotism? Will you be willing to get on to a passenger aircraft that has dodgy credentials when it comes to reliability or any other quality aspects that have not been met? I guess no. How do you then expect the army, air force etc to put in their money in buying stuff which they know does not meet all their requirements? Particularly, when it is their men who are on the line?
Sorry buddy but sometimes that is exactly what is needed, Russia/Germany/China/US are at this level in arms race just because of that. One famous example is of M-16 vs Ak47.

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Originally Posted by anmol2k4 View Post
Zappo, the Costumer is not going to give the order. The order is going to be given by a ring of babus who will never have to fight for this country and will most probably retire early and will lead comfortable life all thanks to gifts from Russia with love.
DITTO!!!, That is the main issue in India, ministers and advisors do all the bidding while it should be handled by Army. Once the responsibility is handed over to the army, then certain individuals can be held responsible, right now ministers change every year before the order starts to arrive and then no one is left to held responsible.

There is a tiny winy problem with developing engines, doesn`t matter how you develop, you end up using someone else`s patents and then with research & development cost and manufacturing cost you end you end up stuck with both logistics and patent fees nightmare and even after selling 1Lakh cars you are still in huge debt. Answer is simple buy an engine from someone who has done everything from start.

For example GM, they had so many branches and so many roots and so many R&D departments. Now they developed Alloytec for basic sedans and used it in US+Canda+UK(vaxhaull)+UAE+China+Germany+Australia all different names with different chassis and shell developed for local consumer and markets. Now since that engine has been so popular and as been sold in many versions and in millions, R&D and other patent costs are no there anymore. Now Tata can choose to spend 1billion to make a similar engine or buy fair bit of stock for forseable future with that 1 billion.

Similar is the mobile phone market. The reason why NOKIA is still here is R&D and patent fees. If NOKIA shuts its doors tonight and shuts all the factories, it will immidietely go into profit within 3months from only and only previously agreed contracts with other cell phone manufacturers and recieving patent fees from them PER CELL PHONE basis. Apple is the only company not paying the patents and NOKIA is now suing them for 10+ patents and its going to be one ugly battle.


INS Arihant is a Submarine and engine is just not a simple nuclear reactor. It becomes very very complex, using the wrong valve release lever can cause a major problem for everyone. Same theory applies here, develop a new system from scratch or just buy plans/actual system from Russia and then develop upon it. Its better to buy plans and then go from there. Also there is a tiny issue with 40% enriched uranium, its not that readily available and since france has put the biggest dent in it, seconded by US, its harder to develop a PWR system and the fact that it needs upto 3 stage of heat transfer makes things way harder, its like throwing a spanner into engine block and making sure it goes directly to the sump without hitting anything else.

Re-entry vehicles - Ramjet/Scramjet engines are gone, not powerful enough, not flexible enough, not worth it in simple terms. There are only 2 successful ramjets in my openion, Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593 used in Concorde and its from 1976, had quite few issues and is not used anymore and no developments were made on the platform anymore. Pratt & Whitney J58-P4 used on blackbird sr71, again retired even when there is an actual need for the system, since only other drone available to fly at similar altitudes is Predator series, actually even they cannot go so high and are obviously snails compared to blackbird.

Ramjets/Scramjets are obsolete. They are definately still used but only as SECOND STAGE units when there is enough heat and pressure is available from first turbine/rocket motor. For re-entry actual rocket engine is way way better, preferably Liquid feul based.

GSLV - Cryogenic Engines are not easy to operate and successful launch is not easy again, major reason being load on the pumps itself. They need to work in a harsh environment and expansion needs to be minimum. Problem is when you introduce rubber seals in Cryogenic engines, things start to go bye bye and another issue, you are making such and expensive engine with parts so complex and precise, yet it will be used only once when it should be used again and again. Biggest reason why NASA and everyone else wants to solely rely on a mix of Liquid and Solid systems. Liquid systems for re-entry and control while Solid systems for running against earth`s gravity.

LCA - Kaveri Engine, well this is what i am talking about, developing in house, you set targets and sometimes you miss them. Its wiser to simply buy plans from others and develop upon them. Just to develop one engine, we need inhouse turbine development systems, advanced 3D systems (i have seen one in Australia, its quite basic but used 6000 Ibm blade servers running 24hrs to provide processing power to 1 terminal). Simply put its VERY EXPENSIVE and yet out ministers want to develop inhouse. Yes we can, sure it WILL cost a lot to do so.

I gotta run now, very very late for work. Please point and correct me if i am wrong anywhere.

Cheers
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Old 27th October 2009, 03:18   #55
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Sorry to say this but these vehicles look ugly compare to American Humvee.
Isnt Hummer also ugly? Except, we are bombarded with the images of Hummers 24 hours and its style has grown on us.

Infact, when it comes to defense 4x4, isn't uglier the better? or they supposed to represent an exotic beauty?

The first image on Page 1 is acceptably modern and looks good to me for a light weight armored vehicle.

30 year old H1 Hummer designs are past their age and are outdated. (now sold to Chinese company, for whatever reason)

Last edited by aerohit : 27th October 2009 at 03:29.
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Old 27th October 2009, 10:38   #56
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I am not sure whether it is just me, but I feel in INDIA we lack the fundamentals. Lets consider engines. Right from mopeds, to motorcycles to cars, planes and missiles none of the indian companies have matured in the art of producing world class engines.

Here are few projects I can think of where our engines are not good enough.

2) GSLV - Cryogenic Engine
This particular engine, any reason why you included in the NOT so good enough list?
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Old 27th October 2009, 11:13   #57
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This particular engine, any reason why you included in the NOT so good enough list?

Too hard to manufacture. Need to be very precise not only with valves and tubing but considering right conditions to launch so as to minimis thermal expansion. Too many resources used to manufacture and oo many variables on the loose end. All this for one purpose over solid state boosters. So one can sht off the engine if needed which isn't the best feature considering all the resources will be used to get he rocket off the ground only and only once. It's not reusable, technically it's the best engine for recycling but the way it has been implemented it's one off use and it's wasteful this way. Other than that too many risks involved since rubber seals(technically it's silicon and aerogels) give up very easily. Just a small amount of snow can knock out all the external seals under 20minutes. Compared to solid state boosters which are consider very very reliable since the shape of the external nozzles contr the flow of hot gases rather than computer based fly-by-wire used in liquid propelled rockets.

Also all th major disasters with rockets happened with liquid based rockets. Who can forget inital tubes dveloped by Nazis running on liquid rubber extracts and alcohol.

I can write an essay on advantages and disadvantages. Problem is the actual use here rather than the engine itself. It makes no sense to use a liquid propellant based engine in once off rocket propulsion compared to solid state boosters.

Hope what I wrote made sense. Again point and correct me if i am Wrong.

Thanks
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Old 27th October 2009, 11:15   #58
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GSLV is actually quite good. Compared to DRDO, ISRO has actually done what it was supposed to do.
However the less said about DRDO, the better.
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Old 27th October 2009, 11:24   #59
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I recommend Tom Clancy's non fiction work
Armored Cav: A Guided Tour of an Armored Cavalry Regiment (1994)

Its a must read for anyone even remotely interested in this subject.

Its not a very big book. Just under 400 e-pages(I read pdf's on my mobile).
It takes your thru the development of tanks, guns, howitzers and so on.
Also thru the life of a Officer.

Read it.
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Old 27th October 2009, 17:05   #60
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anmol2k4, I can only say that for every such write-up you can also find 2 more write-ups which will run counter to it. The problem is that someone sitting outside the field will never know where lies the truth. In such circumstances you have to go with what the real users have to say. In this case if our military is not very confident of an ammunition system then we have to go with them. Just to prove the point we can not thrust something which they feel will definitely fail them in the battlefield.
As far as my write-up is concerned, then you are right. But as far as Ajai Shulka's article is concerned, he happens to be to most senior defense journalist in India and does reporting for almost all media houses. In fact you may have seen him on NDTV.

And as he is a journalist, he(unlike me) is not penning down his opinion rather he is reporting on facts. And facts can be proven wrong, but i haven't seen anyone (even Army) refuting those facts.

And can you please tell me why is that unlike Russian-Chinese-Pakistani-American-French our Indian Army is always short of confidence when it comes to Made in India product ?

Don't you think corruption plays any role ?


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Also, remember that Arjun is now slowly getting accepted after all these years. Maybe it has started weighing in more on the right side now.
It is not, army is refusing to purchase enough of Arjun that would allow DRDO to not make loss on the project. Like they always did, they have only given a token order.

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However the point still remains that the debate is not about one Arjun per se. It is about the way DRDO functions. In todays dynamic theater of a warfield the armed forces can not keep sitting on their haunches forever waiting for the DRDO to deliver. Arjun was conceived when I was a kid. That it took so long to fructify (I now have a kid ), if it at all has, probably says something about it's prowess.
The point of contention is not whether DRDO have delivered or not, which they have. The issue is that even when Arjun is ready they are going for Russian tank. And as far as its prowess is concerned the please read the following quoted text.

Quote:
Experts at the seminar — including Israeli tank legend, Maj Gen Yossi Ben-Hanan, who designed that country’s successful Merkava tank — pointed out that tank design is evolutionary, each design building upon the previous one.
Quote:
India has rejected this well-tested path. The Combat Vehicles R&D Establishment (CVRDE) in Chennai, which has designed the Arjun, is now offering an improved Arjun-2 with more modern electronics. But last month, the Army’s top tank-man, Lt Gen D Bhardwaj(Babu), trashed two decades of indigenous design work on the Arjun; he declared that the Army would buy just 124 Arjuns for its 4,000-tank fleet. On July 23, Maj Gen Yossi Ben-Hanan warned the audience, “A decision taken today to build an Indian tank will yield an MBT only 15 years hence.”
While the maker of the best tank in the world approved Indian effort our Army Babus trash it.

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And just to balance the facts, ALH was inducted with comparatively much more ease even though it is also an Indian product. Going by the logic that anything Indian is an anathema to our armed forces it should have also suffered the same fate. However it succeeded. In fact there is another thought provoking side to it. Not only the armed forces inducted this helicopter (in suitable avatars) but it has also evinced lot of interest amongst other friendly forces which want to place orders for it. Is ALH a 100% problem free product? No, it also had some problems (like while landing on inclines) but they were quickly sorted out and it has succeded in general not only here in this country but has also clicked with the foreign forces.

Remember, when another country is paying the hard cash to buy from you they will only do so if the product is competitive in all ways (not just in cost). And ALH has succeeded that test to a good extent. Why does the DRDO then not participate in similar marketing exercises abroad (there are huge defence expos held across the world every year) and prove it's worth? Say, if the Arjun is so unique and has so many advantages over its contemporary weapon systems then it should find a market abroad easily. Right? So then what stops DRDO from trying that route?
I am sorry but you should know that Army is not at all happy with even ALH.

Please read the scan of the latest issue of Vayu, of Army's latest excuses for trashing Indigenous effort.

http://img203.imageshack.us/img203/2825/xcag7.jpg

In fact our Navy also made similar excuses so that they can buy stuff which can get them nice gifts from Foreigners, and that ended up debated in Parliament where Defense minister overruled the Babus.

BTW Correct me if I am wrong, HAL have sold ~75 of Dhruvs. That is a humiliating figure for the what is considered most successful product.

Also, the other countries don't pay cash for our Dhruvs. We give them 100% subsidy which buys a supporter and contributes to the Indian Military-Industrial complex. In fact recently we failed to transfer funds to some nation which was to buy ALH, you can google it.

And if our Defense forces like and support ALH then why are they planning to buy ACH from outside when one based on Dhruv is ready ?
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