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Old 20th March 2019, 10:28   #1
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Default Army's T-72 tank spotted on public roads in Chennai

Thanks to Arjun Bohtan for sending this video in. Heartfelt gratitude for sharing it with other enthusiasts via this Team-BHP page!

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Saw this massive T-72 on the public roads in Avadi, Chennai. I don't know where you can post this but it's pretty interesting, and a little funny seeing the cow run away!

Last edited by GTO : 20th March 2019 at 11:02. Reason: typo
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Old 20th March 2019, 10:44   #2
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Default Re: Army's T-72 tank spotted on public roads in Chennai

This is an upgraded T-72 because it has brick-like blocks on its body. It is called ERA or Explosive Reactive Armor.

Army's T-72 tank spotted on public roads in Chennai-reactivearmour25522587.jpg

If it is hit by an anti-tank shell or missile, the ERA block detonates thereby deflecting the shell

Meanwhile, that 50 tonne tank mounted on tracked wheels would have ripped the road apart. We know what happens when a 10 tonne tracked excavator drives over tarred roads.
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Old 20th March 2019, 10:46   #3
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Default Re: Army's T-72 tank spotted on public roads in Chennai

HVF is in Avadi where these beasts are manufactured. So perhaps it was out for a "road test"?!
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Old 20th March 2019, 11:14   #4
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Default Re: Army's T-72 tank spotted on public roads in Chennai

Aren't T72s too old? Do we still have them in active service now? I had an idea, our army operates T90s and few Arjuns.

I am curious, do these tanks come with any driving aid, such as front and rear parking sensors and cameras and bird eye view camera set up etc. I really wonder, how can someone drive this beast on a public road just with a peeping hole. That beast is doing some decent speed for its weight, though.

On a lighter note, one must be driven on public roads here in Pune during regular office hours to streamline the traffic.


High time, our in-house military experts should write a piece on tanks.

Last edited by GTO : 20th March 2019 at 14:34. Reason: Poor language & grammar
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Old 20th March 2019, 11:22   #5
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Default Re: Army's T-72 tank spotted on public roads in Chennai

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Originally Posted by himanshugoswami View Post
HVF is in Avadi where these beasts are manufactured. So perhaps it was out for a "road test"?!
Judging from the camouflage, yeah, I think it's undergoing a road test, probably for ARAI certification or homologation.

Cheers,
Vikram
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Old 20th March 2019, 12:53   #6
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Default Re: Army's T-72 tank spotted on public roads in Chennai

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Originally Posted by PetrolRider View Post
Aren't T72s too old? Do we still have them in active service now? I had an idea, our army operates T90s and few Arjuns.
A battle tank is only as old as its sensors, weapon control electronics, defensive measures (e.g. ERA) and cannon shells. The hull almost lasts forever. That 125 mm gun is still the most powerful on regular production battle tanks. I agree we need some on our roads to squish all those jumping signals and driving on the wrong side.

We have about 5000 main battle tanks of which roughly half are T-72s. While being gradually replaced by the T-90S they will be in the inventory for easily another 15 years.
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High time, our in-house military experts should write a piece on tanks.
I am under the impression most of our readers would be fairly clued into tanks.
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Old 20th March 2019, 12:58   #7
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Default Re: Army's T-72 tank spotted on public roads in Chennai

Won't it rip the tarmac and ruin the roads! Must have been a sight to behold!
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Old 20th March 2019, 13:00   #8
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Default Re: Army's T-72 tank spotted on public roads in Chennai

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Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
This is an upgraded T-72 because it has brick-like blocks on its body. It is called ERA or Explosive Reactive Armor.
You're right about the ERA blocks. The Tracks on an excavator are different from the tank. A tank has a 'flatter' track and excavators have a 'scoop' line on the tracks - it is an almost perpendicular strip to the track - allows it better grip. The reasons for these are many - most importantly speed. The ground pressure exerted by a flatter track will be lesser than a scoop type track. So an Arjun Mk1 - at 70 tons exerts a lower pressure per square inch than a T72/90 at 50 tons. It does affect when it is on bridges (where there could be weight limitations but on a road will actually disperse the weight over a larger surface making it 'less load per sq cm'.

Typical Tank Track -
Name:  T72_tracks.jpg
Views: 10418
Size:  178.0 KB

Typical Excavator track -
Army's T-72 tank spotted on public roads in Chennai-caterpillar_track_shingle.jpg


Images taken from Wikimedia Commons
Quote:
Originally Posted by PetrolRider View Post
Aren't T72s too old? Do we still have them in active service now? I had an idea, our army operates T90s and few Arjuns.
The 72's while being old, are still very relevant in the battlefield. The 120 smooth bore gun has been upgraded to fire the latest sabot type ammo. IIRC there was an exercise done to upgrade the breech to handle higher pressure. While they do not form the tip of the spear anymore - they are more than capable to hold their own against what our neighbours have - as a second line (boots on the ground). They also bring numbers to the battlefield, the engine is considered to be amongst the best in terms of being rugged. The weight allows them to be airlifted by our heavy lifters thus bringing them up to forward bases for quick deployment.
There are no front/ rear parking sensors - the periscope-type peephole is all the driver has to see out of if he is not in hatch open type driving.
Yes, these things accelerate nicely, have good speed on a paved surface. They also brake really well - the friction forces of the track are seriously high and the sprocket drive just locks when they brake. The braking is violent (at good speeds) and I am sure can put some high end cars to shame.

An interesting tit-bit I will drop here - these beasts are not air conditioned (the Arjun has Airconditioning BTW) and in the deserts the inside temperatures can be above 50 degrees as well. Imagine that and tip your hats to the guys who are in these beasts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
A battle tank is only as old as its sensors, weapon control electronics, defensive measures (e.g. ERA) and cannon shells. The hull almost lasts forever. That 125 mm gun is still the most powerful on regular production battle tanks. I agree we need some on our roads to squish all those jumping signals and driving on the wrong side.
Well said sir. It holds true for most weapon systems. The USAF flies a bomber designed at the end of WW2.
I think Tanks, APC's and the like are something you must write about sir. Has been a pet project for me for a long time - but never had the chance.

Last edited by GTO : 20th March 2019 at 14:35. Reason: Trimming quotes
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Old 20th March 2019, 13:25   #9
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Default Re: Army's T-72 tank spotted on public roads in Chennai

I am not preaching ethics but we shouldnt share Defence vehicle scoops in the forum especially when there is tension brewing at the borders. I do not know the legalities of the same but something doesnt feel right about the discussion regarding upgraded tank tracks and all.

Peace !!
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Old 20th March 2019, 13:31   #10
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Default Re: Army's T-72 tank spotted on public roads in Chennai

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Originally Posted by Ry_der View Post
I am not preaching ethics but we shouldnt share Defence vehicle scoops in the forum especially when there is tension brewing at the borders. I do not know the legalities of the same but something doesnt feel right about the discussion regarding upgraded tank tracks and all.

Peace !!
Valid point - but this is open source knowledge. In fact, there are dedicated websites for this very purpose. The upgraded tank track, gun systems etc. are in DRDO publications that are accessible to all. So no - nothing wrong in this and no national security fears.
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Old 20th March 2019, 13:38   #11
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Default Re: Army's T-72 tank spotted on public roads in Chennai

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Originally Posted by Durango Dude View Post
Won't it rip the tarmac and ruin the roads! Must have been a sight to behold!
When my mamaji lived in the CRPF quarters in Avadi (he's a CPWD engineer) when I was a little boy in the 1990s, my favorite pastime when staying with him was to watch these tanks roll by. There is (or, was) a stretch beside the CRPF quarters with a tar road and a concrete road laid side by side. MTC buses and private vehicles alike would ply a few feet away from the tanks rattling by alongside on the concrete.

Fun fact about Avadi for those who don't know already: Like the place called "Mhow" in North India is actually an abbreviation for "Military Headquarters of War", "Avadi" is an abbreviation for "Armoured Vehicles and Ammunition Depot of India".

Last edited by Zappo : 20th March 2019 at 19:53. Reason: Typo fixed
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Old 20th March 2019, 14:05   #12
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Default Re: Army's T-72 tank spotted on public roads in Chennai

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
I am under the impression most of our readers would be fairly clued into tanks.

Not all of us are so fortunate, sir. I for one have to depend on our current gen news reporting, which would put some academy award winner crime thriller to shame.
I was sincerely hoping a reply from you, though could not gather the courage to put your name. Now, as you have already opened the topic, when can we expect a thread on Tanks.


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Originally Posted by torquecurve View Post
There are no front/ rear parking sensors - the periscope-type peephole is all the driver has to see out of if he is not in hatch open type driving.
Yes, these things accelerate nicely, have good speed on a paved surface. They also brake really well - the friction forces of the track are seriously high and the sprocket drive just locks when they brake. The braking is violent (at good speeds) and I am sure can put some high end cars to shame.

End of story is, if I see one on road and do not get run over, I should be thanking my star.

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Originally Posted by torquecurve View Post
An interesting tit-bit I will drop here - these beasts are not air conditioned (the Arjun has Airconditioning BTW) and in the deserts the inside temperatures can be above 50 degrees as well. Imagine that and tip your hats to the guys who are in these beasts!
I bet, most of the western tanks must have been air conditioned. I read somewhere that, Russian machines are not built with creature comfort in mind. Anyway, if ERA and all can be added, why not an A/C unit?
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Old 20th March 2019, 16:50   #13
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Default Re: Army's T-72 tank spotted on public roads in Chennai

Is it prudent to have ERA on a public accessible road/ or arena?

Where have we progressed re: Kanchan?

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 20th March 2019, 17:04   #14
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Default Re: Army's T-72 tank spotted on public roads in Chennai

Well, only the cow seems taken aback! Watch the reaction of the bike rider and those sitting at the bus shelter. They are not even giving it a second glance! Perhaps a common sight around the HVF!

@locusjag

It is Armoured Vehicles and Ammunition Depot of India.

Last edited by Gansan : 20th March 2019 at 17:13. Reason: Add content.
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Old 20th March 2019, 17:08   #15
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Default Re: Army's T-72 tank spotted on public roads in Chennai

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Originally Posted by PetrolRider View Post

I bet, most of the western tanks must have been air conditioned. I read somewhere that, Russian machines are not built with creature comfort in mind. Anyway, if ERA and all can be added, why not an A/C unit?
Yes - the larger MBT's (M1A2 Abrams, Leclerc and Leopard) do have air conditioning units. But this was not for crew comfort as much as it was for ensuring the at the electronics are not affected. A thermal sight, for example, depends upon the 'heat differential' to identify and 'see' things. Cooled thermal sights work considerably better than 'uncooled' thermal sights. These new generations of old tanks do have some form of air conditioning and external filtration systems to also work in an NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) warfare environment.
The Arjun MK1 and subsequent marks come installed with Air conditioning. The Arjun also has an APU type setup (Auxilliary Power Unit) that can run the essential functions of the tank without the engine being operational. This allows it, when in 'hull down' position i.e. hidden from the enemy, to run 'cold' and not be visible on thermal sights in the desert as the tank externally will be as hot as the surroundings.
Interestingly, from what I remember, the T90S was offered with air conditioning but for reasons unknown :koff::koff: it wasn't taken by us. This led to premature failures in the tanks when parked in the heat of the desert. - interestingly this also affects our frontline aircraft which are parked in the open. It was only recently that the government approved a long-standing demand for HAS (Hardened Air Shelters) at forward air bases.

ERA is a 'bolt - on' system on the T72 tanks and so was easier to incorporate. An AC system is more complicated esp in systems which are tight on space.

An important aspect to note is that these tanks the T72/90 and Arjun are better than what our closest adversaries have. Also the Abrams is not the holy grail of tanks. There are multiple cases of the 'turbine' engine of the tank failing in the desert due to sand ingestion during the first gulf war.
The Russkies build systems to be robust and keep running with multiple system failures also. They are over engineered - the diesel engines can run on almost any fuel available. The Abrams not so much. So a classic case of 'it ain't better just because it is western'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Is it prudent to have ERA on a public accessible road/ or arena?

Where have we progressed re: Kanchan?

Regards
Sutripta
Not that the ERA tiles will explode by a stone or rock impacting it. It needs a lot more force with a direct impact hitting it. The ERA's can also be defeated by 'tandem war head' rockets. These rockets have two war heads one which punches through the ERA tile the second impacting the tank.
The Kanchan composite armour is being used on the Arjun. There was mention that they have developed Kanchan 2 in the DRDO publication (will have to find it). This will also be used on the WhAP (Kestrel).

Last edited by torquecurve : 20th March 2019 at 17:22.
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