Siege engines, mechanized infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) also known as mechanized infantry combat vehicle (MICV) & armored personnel carriers (APCs) like Panzerkampfwagen, Panzerspähwagen etc used for rapid, mobile, & flexible/adaptive Tactical Counter-Attack Manoeuvres deployed to overwhelm and break enemy lines or disrupt their resources while increase their own personal resources; sometimes through reversal of status of cavalry and infantry.
The very concept of "main battle tanks" was applied only to tanks beginning with T-64A, armed with 125-mm smooth-bore gun.
Engine's Horse-Power loses as much as 25% power due to lighter atmosphere in high-altitude.
Russia and India now train their T-90 crews more intensively because that makes more of a difference than any additional gadgets.
Saddled with a huge shortfall of critical ammunition, Indian Army has issued a request to 25 Indian companies to supply locally made ammunition (which is currently with imported) include 125 mm armour piercing (fin stabilizing discarding) Sabot; 122 MM grad rockets for Pinaka series; 40 MM grenades capable of being machine launched, 23mm High Explosive shells, 30 MM ammunition used by armoured infantry carrying vehicles; electronic fuses and bi-modular charge system. The companies are free to form their own joint ventures with the foreign vendors to source technology and know-how.
The Ottawa Treaty came about after many years of unexploded mines killing innocent civilians and stories of dead or maimed children, farmers and livestock as the result of munitions never cleared. Along with Russia, China and other countries, the U.S. is not a signatory to the treaty officially known as the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and on their Destruction, commonly known as the Ottawa Treaty. However, due to these international restrictions on the use of landmines and the aging of the U.S. stockpile, U.S. needs a better solution to replace the Gator Landmine system, which dates to the 1980s. The problem with the landmines comes when a conflict is over and victim-triggered AP mines litter the countryside.
India ordered 204 number of WZT-3M Armoured Recovery Vehicles (ARV) under a $275 million in 2012. Since 1999, the Army had received 556 number of WZT-3M ARVs from Poland.
One Armoured Brigade comprises 2 MBT Regiments & 1 BMP-2 ICV Regiment. One Mechanised Regiment comprises 2 BMP-2 Regiments & 1 MBT Regiment.
Tailed tank "Reno" was so successful that later produced under license in the United States, where Ford was called Two Man, and in Italy under the name Fiat 3000.
Russian engineers had "written off" the tank T-16 "Russian Renault" late 1920s, which later was licence-made with improvements and renamed T-18 (MS-1, a light support tank). Tracked vehicle weighing about 5.5 tons, was protected by a 16-mm armor and developed a speed of 16 km / h The tank was armed with 37-mm gun Hotchkiss and 2 6.5-mm machine guns.
WWII test clearly showed the high fighting properties of the T-34, which became the "grand daddy" of the modern Russian MBT.
Armies maintained large units of mechanized and armoured troops during the Cold War, beside its nuclear-deterrent aspect, as it was likely to have a prelude of huge-scale tank battles. Things changed however, mainly because of the Arab-Israeli wars. Arab armies, supplied with Soviet hardware and heavily influenced by their tactics, built up large stocks of armoured units, but failed to put them to battle, mainly because of the dominant Israeli air force superiority. Even in 1973, when Egyptian tanks moved forward out of AA missiles “umbrella” that protected them so effectively, tank superiority did nothing to prevent Sharon’s task force to infiltrate the Egyptian front, thus trapping their 3rd Army in Sinai. The 1991 Gulf War also proved that large tank units were quite ineffective against an enemy with absolute air superiority. Actually, this was already the case in WW2: during Bocage operations that followed the Normandy landings, and even though German tanks were far superior in quality and fire power to British and American tanks, the Panzers failed to complete their objectives because of the huge damages Allied ground-attack planes inflicted upon them.
After the Green March, General Ahmed Dlimi started moving in FAR units, and the first military clashes with Polisario guerilla occurred as early as February 1976 (meaning just after the Spanish authority over the Western Sahara was De Facto abolished). The FAR were not ready for that sort of warfare, because of many reasons. Their embryonic structure did not allow for large scale operations Indeed the putsch attempts of 1971-1972 led to a severe purge among high-ranking (and usually quite competent) officers that left the Army with virtually no General Staff, and could not, on its own, hold a virtual battlefield.
Even when concentrating on vital centres (coastal cities and the phosphate mines in Boukrâa or Guerguarat, the famous “Useful Triangle”), the FAR could not prevent the Polisario from undertaking successful raids, even in non-disputed Moroccan sectors: Tan Tan was reportedly occupied for several hours in January 1979. If anything, the Moroccan army suffered from a costly war (about $1million was daily spent on military operations), even though it was superior in manpower, equipment and training compared to the Polisario, or to the 55.000-strong Algerian Army. The war was fought on the tiny supply lines convoys followed to deliver the much needed hardware and supplies as well as on the bridgeheads both countries were seeking to defend.
However, and until 1983, desert warfare was highly mobile, though not entirely of Blitzkrieg nature. The first of 6 defensive walls was built, and successive walls brought the war to a static fashion until the ceasefire in 1991. Meanwhile, the Polisario also changed their tactics following the supplies they got: the raids were more like cavalry charges, with T-55 and T-62 tanks that increased further raid ranges, but increased also dependence on oil and fuel (especially with the Algerians and Libyans). Static war, with fixed and continuous fortified positions prevented further raids, and vast minefields left a no man’s land strip in which Polisario troops could no longer threaten FAR positions. In a static war, the side with the most numerous troops and the closest to supply lines and depots wins it all, which was the case for Morocco.
The impact of high speed warfare was demonstrated after September 11, 2001 when American forces used computerized data mining and analysis to speed up their OODA during counter-terrorism operations in Iraq. Thus the Sunni terrorists quickly learned that if an American raid was accompanied by intelligence specialists carrying biometric tools and comm links (to huge databases of information on known terrorists and their organizations) there would quickly be additional raids. A few new names found on one raid would spawn additional raids and within 24 hours large terrorist operations could be rolled up. Microsoft contributed by developing a thumb drive that could quickly extract useful data from a laptop while rough (but effective) machine translation of many Arabic documents could quickly provide more leads, locations and who or what to look for.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan produced even more adaptation of commercial tools and techniques and applied them to intelligence work and combat planning. Data mining and predictive analysis (computing what the enemy would do next using their past and current patterns) drives modern marketing and much else. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan showed how it could be used to hunt down Islamic terrorists and destroy their networks.
In the works are revolutionary new robotics concepts and tools. Autonomous combat robots have already been around since World War II (the wake homing torpedo, for example) and have become, without much fanfare, more common. Now these technologies are beginning to enter air and ground combat in a big way. Thus the flood of new ideas that has accompanied new weapons and tech in general continues.
Centurion Medium Tank introduced in 1945, was the primary British main battle tank of the post-World War II period. It was a successful tank design, with upgrades, for many decades. The chassis was also adapted for several other roles. It became one of the most widely used tank designs, equipping armies around the world, with some still in service until the 1990s.
It first entered combat with British Army in the Korean War in 1950, in support of the UN forces. The Centurion later served in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, where it fought against US-supplied M47 Patton and M48 Patton tanks.
Israel used Centurions in the 1967 Six Day War, 1973 Yom Kippur War, and during the 1975 and 1982 invasions of Lebanon. AMX-13/75 complemented the heavier Centurions. Centurions modified as APCs were used in Gaza, the West Bank and the Lebanese border. As recently as the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict the Israel Defense Forces employed heavily modified Centurions as armoured personnel carriers and combat engineering vehicles.
Singapore acquired second-hand AMX-13/75 and Centurion Mk 3 from India and also from Israel in the 1980s.
M48 Patton Medium-Heavy Tank which Pakistan had.
The M48 Patton was the third and final tank to be officially named after General George S. Patton. The M48 Patton served as an interim tank in U.S. service until replaced by the U.S. Army's first main battle tank (MBT), the M60.
Although largely resembling the M47, the M48 Patton was a completely new tank design.
A U.S. study of the battles in South Asia concluded that the Patton's armor could in fact be penetrated by the 20 pounder gun (84 mm) of the Centurion as well as the 75 mm gun of the AMX-13. They also were prone to fire when the turret was penetrated and the hydraulic lines ruptured spewing "cherry juice" (the nickname for the red colored hydraulic fluid) at high pressure into the crew compartment resulting in a fireball. The flashpoint was too low, less than 300 F, causing many burns and deaths to crew members.
The M48 was the last U.S. tank to mount the 90 mm tank gun, with the last model, the M48A5, being upgraded to carry the new standard weapon of the M60, the 105mm gun.
Chieftain or Challenger was the "most formidable main battle tank in the world" with, at the time of its introduction in 1966 the most powerful main gun and most effective armour of any tank ever made. Faster than Centurion, able to maintain its speed longer than the Leopard 1 and out-gunning its contemporaries Chieftain was also the first tank to enhance its (already superior) armour with Chobham composite armour add-ons. Its export sales were primarily with Middle East customers.
The Shir 1 was developed as the interim design preceeding the all-new "Shir 2" MBT combat system (which eventually became the Challenger 1 MBT). The Shir 1 had the hull of a late-model Chieftain and a new engine and powertrain used on the Challenger. The Khalid ("Sword") was essentially an intermediate hybrid of the FV4030/1 Chieftain and FV4030/3 Challenger 1.
The Khalid MBT was born out of the aborted "Shir 1" ("Leo") tank built by the British to an Iranian Army requirement.
The Shir II tanks being designed for Iran were fitted with Chobham armour. But the Islamic Revolution of 1979 in Iran killed the Shir 1/Shir 2 programs. The Royal Jordanian Army adopted the FV4030/2 as the Khalid MBT with deliveries beginning in 1981.
The Challenger tank, which entered service with the British Army in 1983, is a revised version of the Shir II tank. There is also the Rolls-Royce engine. The British Chieftain FV4030/4 or Challenger 1 design by the former Military Vehicles and Engineering Establishment (MVEE) near Chobham in Surrey originated in an Iranian order for an improved version of the Chieftain line of tanks in service around the world. These were the Chieftain Mk5(P)- FV4030/1, FV4030/2 Shir (Lion) 1 and 4030/3 Shir 2. For a short time the tank was named "Cheviot" before becoming "Challenger 1", a name reused from the Cruiser Mk VIII Challenger tank of the Second World War.
In action, the Global Positioning System (GPS) and Thermal Observation and Gunnery System (TOGS) fitted to the Challengers proved to be decisive, allowing attacks to be made at night, in poor visibility and through smoke screens. The Challenger, in comparison with the M1A1 Abrams tank deployed by the US Army, was more fuel efficient and achieved far greater serviceability. A Challenger achieved the longest range confirmed kill of the war, destroying an Iraqi tank with a DU round fired over a distance of 5,100 metres (over 3 miles)—the longest tank-on-tank kill shot recorded.
Compared to the South Korea’s new K2 Black Panther (on which its based), the Altay is reportedly longer, with an added road wheel and a slightly modified turret. Turkey’s existing American M-60 tanks were heavily modernized by Israeli firms, based on the same “Sabra” modification set external link that Israel used on its own M60s.
Altay is also similar to the U.S M1. Both have a 120mm gun, composite armor, and high-end electronics. The two tanks are so similar because in 2011 Turkey paid South Korea $400 million for rights to much of the technology in the new 55 ton South Korean K2 tank. This vehicle was in turn based on the 1980s K1, which deliberately emulated the M1 design in many ways and did so with the cooperation of the United States. The K1 and K2 proved to be successful designs, and the Turks already had decades of experience maintaining and upgrading American M-60 tanks (the predecessor of the M1). With the addition of the South Korean tech the Altay rapidly took shape. There are also numerous improvements to the K1 mechanical and electronic systems, as well as more armor (both composite and ERA). This made the K2 (and Altay) easier to use and maintain. The K2 design was attractive to the Turks because it used a number of new electronic defenses. The Turkish Army currently has about 700 old Leopard 1 and 2 tanks, 900 American M-60s (upgraded by Israel) and 1,300 American M-48s.
South Korea had locally developed K-1 tank by basing it on the U.S. M-1.
Zulfiqar type-2 was used as a test bed which has a new 1000 hp engine and turret (not taken from the T-72S)
Zulfiqar type-3 hull is shaped more commonly to the US M1 Abram’s series. It is equipped with the 2A46 125 mm smooth-bore cannon with an auto-loader, a laser rangefinder and a new fire navigation system. The vehicle is equipped with day and night vision sights, an NBC system, a coaxial 7.62mm MG and a further 12.7mm MG on the commanders cupola. The was said to have entered production in 1999.
Iran is a country not often associated with tank production, as it relied on purchasing exported vehicles such as the British Chieftain and US M60 series prior to the Iranian Revolution of 1979.
There is a growing need for a larger tank gun, mainly because new armor protection designs (composite plus reactive armor) makes it increasingly possible for new tank designs to be protected against any existing tank gun shell, at least in the front of the vehicle. For years it was believed new anti-tank shell or missile designs would overcome this, but that is assured only by hitting the thinner side or top armor. There is still a big demand for the ability to succeed on the first shot with traditional attack at the frontal armor. Speed is an issue as well, so it’s up to a tank's high-velocity gun.
The 17.2 kg (37.8 pound) missile is 680mm (26.7 inches) long and has pop-out fins (with a 250mm/9 inch span) that aid in guidance (laser beam riding, controlled by the tank gunner). The missile has a max range of 5,000 meters at a speed of 350 meters a second (14 seconds max flight time).
In 2013 India obtained a manufacturing license to build 15,000 Russian Invar anti-tank missiles for their T-90s. India has earlier purchased 10,000 of these missiles from Russia (that were built in Russia) and with the manufacturing license the average cost will be about $2,000 per missile. Buying the missiles from Russia costs nearly $40,000 per missile, while manufacturing in India can cut that by nearly 30 percent, making the $2,000 per missile license a good deal. Invar has been around for two decades and India is buying the latest version.
The 25mm rod of tungsten (or depleted uranium) is surrounded by a “sabot” that falls away once the shell clears the barrel. This gives the penetrator higher velocity and penetrating power. This is the most expensive type of 120/125mm shell. The armour piercing element of discarding sabot rounds is less than half the diameter of the shell and made of very expensive, high density metal. Its smaller size enables it to hit the target at very high speeds, up to 1,900 meters (6,270 feet) a second.
"Analysis of T-72 and T-80 tanks destroyed in the first Chechen war showed existing Russian MBTs suffer their most glaring weakness --'catastrophic ammunition ignition'—a flawed internal arrangement that sacrifices crew safety in the interest of compactness.
This is not by accident; rather it is a deliberate design feature intended to keep the tank’s size and silhouette as small as possible. The problem with this design is that the carousel carries only half the total number of rounds onboard the tank. The remaining rounds are either clamped to the walls of the turret and hull, or placed under the crewmembers’ seats. These rounds are dangerously exposed to sparks and burning spall.
To make matters worse, the propellant is not encased in metal, but in thin, paper-like cellulose covers. Often one tiny spark, one red-hot splinter of metal is all it takes to ignite the propellant, which is why T-72s are seen burning furiously after just one hit. Once this ammunition brews up, the sparks and flame enter the carousel within seconds and detonate the rounds inside. The resulting explosion blows the turret clean off the hull."
The T-90AM/MS introduced the turret bustle with blow out panels to safely stow spare rounds to get back up to the 40 odd carried, although the crew have to expose themselves (or leave the battle) to get to them.
Immediately later, a delegation of ‘experts’ comprising members of the MBT’s design bureau-- Kartsev-Venediktov; the MBT’s manufacturer--Uralvagonzavod Factory located in Nizhny Tagil; and officials from the Soviet Defence Ministry’s Land Forces Armaments Directorate, all converged at the Indian Army HQ, where extensive deliberations on and analysis of the T-72M’s in-country firepower and mobility trials were conducted by both sides for at least a week. Following all this, it ultimately emerged that while the T-72M possessed excellent and hassle-free mobility characteristics, its firepower capabilities were clearly a full generation behind that of the AMX-40. The Army, which had all along wanted to acquire a MBT incorporating hit-survivability design features (something that the home-grown Arjun Mk1 MBT’s design strongly signifies), now found to its utter horror that basically, with the exception of the T-55, the overall Soviet approach to MBT design in the post-World War II era was found to be flawed on two major counts: namely, the gamble on not being hit rather than on surviving hits, and the refusal to perceive survivability of the tank crew as a quite distinct issue from survivability of the vehicle, with the former having priority over the latter. The combination of these two shortcomings produced design solutions such as the T-72M’s carousel autoloader and ammunition reserve being accommodated on the turret floor. This indeed allowed for a very compact configuration and ensured that the ammunition is less likely to take a direct hit—but it also entailed a very high risk of ignition or sympathetic detonation should the fighting compartment be penetrated, in which case there went the MBT and the crew with it. When confronted with such ‘hard facts’ along with the Army’s criticisms about the lack of even a ‘decent’ hunter-killer fire-control system (when compared to the likes on board the AMX-40), members of the Soviet delegation were clearly red-faced and a depressed lot, and it took several bottles of vodka during and after dinner-time to come out with the truth: according to the MBT’s designers, the performance characteristics of all weapons produced in the USSR were dictated purely by the warfighting doctrine of the country’s armed forces. Hence, weapons like the T-72M were meant for usage only by follow-on echelon formations of the Red Army, while the all-critical breakout forces then stationed throughout the East European member-states of the Warsaw Pact were equipped with state-of-the-art MBTs like members of the 38-tonne T-64 and 42.5-tonne/46-tonne T-80 MBT families—designed by the Ukraine-based Morozov Design Bureau and series-produced at Malyshev in Kharkiv, Ukraine, and in Russia by both the Leningrad Kirov Plant and Omsk Transmash. In other words, while members of the T-64 and T-80 MBT families were the vanguard elements of the Red Army’s armoured juggernaut, those of the T-72 MBT were meant to be used merely for encirclement and envelopment of the enemy’s armoured formations.
Yet, despite all this, India’s Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs of the day decreed that the T-72M and T-721982 (powered by a Model V-84MS four-stroke 12-cylinder multi-fuel engine developing 840hp and offering a power-to-weight ratio of 18.8 hp/tone) would be the Army’s future MBTs, and a procurement contract for 2,418 T-72s was subsequently inked. Interestingly, while the first off-the-shelf shipments of T-72Ms began arriving by ship in Mumbai in mid-1982, in Lebanon the 105mm APFSDS rounds fired by Israeli Merkava Mk1 MBTs with 105mm rifled-bore guns routinely pierced the Syrian T-72M’s front glacis, went straight through the MBT and exited through the engine compartment, leaving a turretless hulk behind. Five years later, The Indian Army’s worst fears were realised when got a first-hand demonstration of the T-72M’s acute vulnerability in October 1987, after LTTE guerrillas exploded improvised explosive devices underneath two T-72Ms deployed with the Army’s 65 Armoured Regiment for Operation Pawan during the battle for Jaffna, which resulted in armour penetration and the ensuing catastrophic detonation of the MBT’s ammunition reserve (this being stored alongside the carousel autoloader on the turret’s floor), resulting in the turrets being blown off. Subsequent events in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm would convincingly highlight the T-72’s totally flawed design features. Despite such developments, the Army—starting in 1988 began inducting the HVF-built T-72M-1982s into service.
A year earlier (1987), however, the Indian Army—being acutely aware of the T-72M’s vulnerabilities, had decided to undertake Project Bison—an ambitious upgrade project in cooperation with Yugoslavia’s state-owned Yugoimport SDPR, under which all its T-72Ms would be fitted with a new rolled homogenous armour (RHA) package developed by the Ravne-based Slovenske Železarne and comprising high-hardness steel, tungsten, and plastic fillers with ceramic components, plus the SUV-M-84 digital fire-control system that incorporated a Hughes-built gunner’s sight that was stabilised in two axes and included a thermal imager and laser rangefinder. The gunner’s ballistics computer—developed by Banja Luka-based Rudi Cajevec—was designed to automatically download crosswind data, vehicle cant, azimuth tracking rate and range, while the gunner manually inputted the data for air pressure, air temperature, barrel wear, barrel droop and ammunition type. Also planned for retrofit was the 12-cylinder water-cooled V-46TK 1,000hp diesel engine, that would have given the T-72M a power-to-weight ratio of 24.10hp/tonne. A procurement contract was signed with Yugoimport SDPR in early 1989 and an advance down-payment was made as well, but by 1991, Project Bison had to be scrapped in its entirety as by then civil war had broken out in Yugoslavia, and the country was subjected to an UN-mandated universal arms export/import embargo. Both the MoD and the Indian Army learnt valuable lessons from Project Bison.
However, things didn’t go according to the Army’s well-conceived plans, since, after coming back to power, the then Indian Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi took the political decision to acquire new-build MBTs from the USSR, following which the Soviet Union’s Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations (which after 1991 morphed into Oboronexport, then Rosoboronservice and ultimately Rosoboronexport State Corp) made a formal offer to India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) for supplying the 37-tonne T-72M Ob'yekt 172M-E4 MBT off-the-shelf, and according an approval for licenced-production of the 41.5-tonne T-72M-1982 Ob'yekt 172M-E6 to the MoD-owned Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) in Avadi."
"extensive deliberations on and analysis of the T-72M’s in-country firepower and mobility trials were conducted by both sides for at least a week. Following all this, it ultimately emerged that while the T-72M possessed excellent and hassle-free mobility characteristics, its firepower capabilities were clearly a full generation behind that of the AMX-40. The Army, which had all along wanted to acquire a MBT incorporating hit-survivability design features (something that the home-grown Arjun Mk1 MBT’s design strongly signifies), now found to its utter horror that basically, with the exception of the T-55, the overall Soviet approach to MBT design in the post-World War II era was found to be flawed on two major counts: namely, the gamble on not being hit rather than on surviving hits, and the refusal to perceive survivability of the tank crew as a quite distinct issue from survivability of the vehicle, with the former having priority over the latter. The combination of these two shortcomings produced design solutions such as the T-72M’s carousel autoloader and ammunition reserve being accommodated on the turret floor. This indeed allowed for a very compact configuration and ensured that the ammunition is less likely to take a direct hit—but it also entailed a very high risk of ignition or sympathetic detonation should the fighting compartment be penetrated"
"When confronted with such ‘hard facts’ along with the Army’s criticisms about the lack of even a ‘decent’ hunter-killer fire-control system (when compared to the likes on board the AMX-40), members of the Soviet delegation were clearly red-faced .... the performance characteristics of all weapons produced in the USSR were dictated purely by the warfighting doctrine of the country’s armed forces. Hence, weapons like the T-72M were meant for usage only by follow-on echelon formations of the Red Army, while the all-critical breakout forces then stationed throughout the East European member-states of the Warsaw Pact were equipped with state-of-the-art MBTs like members of the 38-tonne T-64 and 42.5-tonne/46-tonne T-80 MBT families—designed by the Ukraine-based Morozov Design Bureau and series-produced at Malyshev in Kharkiv, Ukraine, and in Russia by both the Leningrad Kirov Plant and Omsk Transmash. In other words, while members of the T-64 and T-80 MBT families were the vanguard elements of the Red Army’s armoured juggernaut, those of the T-72 MBT were meant to be used merely for encirclement and envelopment of the enemy’s armoured formations. "
"Yet, despite all this, India’s Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs of the day decreed that the T-72M and T-721982 (powered by a Model V-84MS four-stroke 12-cylinder multi-fuel engine developing 840hp and offering a power-to-weight ratio of 18.8 hp/tone) would be the Army’s future MBTs, and a procurement contract for 2,418 T-72s was subsequently inked. Interestingly, while the first off-the-shelf shipments of T-72Ms began arriving by ship in Mumbai in mid-1982, in Lebanon the 105mm APFSDS rounds fired by Israeli Merkava Mk1 MBTs with 105mm rifled-bore guns routinely pierced the Syrian T-72M’s front glacis, went straight through the MBT and exited through the engine compartment, leaving a turretless hulk behind.
In 1987, however, the Indian Army—being acutely aware of the T-72M’s vulnerabilities, had decided to undertake Project Bison—an ambitious upgrade project in cooperation with Yugoslavia’s state-owned Yugoimport SDPR, under which all its T-72Ms would be fitted with a new rolled homogenous armour (RHA) package developed by the Ravne-based Slovenske Železarne and comprising high-hardness steel, tungsten, and plastic fillers with ceramic components, plus the SUV-M-84 digital fire-control system that incorporated a Hughes-built gunner’s sight that was stabilised in two axes and included a thermal imager and laser rangefinder. The gunner’s ballistics computer—developed by Banja Luka-based Rudi Cajevec—was designed to automatically download crosswind data, vehicle cant, azimuth tracking rate and range, while the gunner manually inputted the data for air pressure, air temperature, barrel wear, barrel droop and ammunition type. Also planned for retrofit was the 12-cylinder water-cooled V-46TK 1,000hp diesel engine, that would have given the T-72M a power-to-weight ratio of 24.10hp/tonne. A procurement contract was signed with Yugoimport SDPR in early 1989 and an advance down-payment was made as well, but by 1991, Project Bison had to be scrapped in its entirety as by then civil war had broken out in Yugoslavia, and the country was subjected to an UN-mandated universal arms export/import embargo.
Then the Indian Army’s worst fears were realised when got a first-hand demonstration of the T-72M’s acute vulnerability in October 1987, after LTTE guerrillas exploded improvised explosive devices underneath two T-72Ms deployed with the Army’s 65 Armoured Regiment for Operation Pawan during the battle for Jaffna, which resulted in armour penetration and the ensuing catastrophic detonation of the MBT’s ammunition reserve (this being stored alongside the carousel autoloader on the turret’s floor), resulting in the turrets being blown off. Subsequent events in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm would convincingly highlight the T-72’s totally flawed design features. Despite such developments, the Army—starting in 1988 began inducting the HVF-built T-72M-1982s into service.
Both the MoD and the Indian Army learnt valuable lessons from Project Bison, and almost a decade later, when it came to the planned procurement of 1,657 T-90s (to replace the 1,781 T-55 and T-72M MBTs in a phased manner), it was decided to adopt a product block developmental approach similar to what by then was being planned for the Indian Air Force’s Su-30MKI procurement exercise."
The majority of T-72s await upgrades that will provide them with either full-solution thermal imaging fire control systems (TIFCS) or partial-solution thermal imaging standalone systems (TISAS) to enable them to operate at night. Till now, just 310 partial- solution TISAS had been acquired and installed on the T-72M1s, while an equal number were under acquisition.
Efforts to plug the gap by upgrading India's T-72 tanks in the interim also ran into trouble. Indian-made 125mm smooth bore barrels blew up during field use, forcing the Army to seek emergency imports which haven't materialised. Imports of equipment which would have given them critical night-fighting capabilities are running years behind schedule.
Some T-72s are being outfitted with all the bells and whistles - the 'gold standard' so as to speak, whereas the rest will be modernised in a more modest manner. Commencement has begun by bringing 250 tanks to the DRDO's 'Combat Improved' Ajeya standard. (The T-72M1 has been named the Ajeya in Indian service). It includes thermal imager integrated with the famous Drawa-T from PCO-Cenzin of Poland, Laser Warning System & advance fibre optic gyro-based land navigation system.
The Army's case for acquiring 700 TISAS (thermal imaging stand alone systems) and 418 TIFACS (thermal fire control systems) for its T-72 fleet at a cost of around $230 million is in various stages of the procurement process. 300 Israeli TISAS were imported, followed by 3,860 image intensifier-based night-vision devices. A huge requirement persists.
But the Indian Army has had trouble with the systems, particularly integration with the fire control systems.
Its 310 T-90S tanks bought from Russia for over Rs 3,625 crore (nearly $700 million) in 2001 too had problems with the French Catherine Thermal Imaging cameras.
Due to the tropical weather patterns in India, Catherine Thermal Imaging cameras often did not function adequately in Rajasthan deserts' extreme temperatures of 55 to 60 degree Celsius.
The Army's requirement for 1,780 MBTs to replace the older T-55 and T-72 tanks is going to be met through the progressive induction of 1,657 T-90S tanks and 124 of the indigenous Arjuns.
In November 2007, India signed another deal with Russia to import 347 T-90S tanks. The Avadi Heavy Vehicles Factory, in turn, is slated to manufacture an additional 1,000 T-90S tanks under licence.
The Army also requires hand held thermal imaging (HHTI) sights (with laser range finder) for infantry, armoured, air defence, artillery and engineer regiments. The infantry is also looking for TI sights for medium machine guns and sniper rifles for a contract worth $45 million.
Recently, Bharat Electronics Ltd supplied 30,600 passive night sights for rifles, rocket launchers and light machine guns, passive night vision binoculars and passive night vision goggles to the Army but the forces remain woefully short and are looking for the latest 3rd gen technology to reduce weight and extend the life of NVDs.
All air forces believe that modern war is round-the-clock effort. Operation Desert Storm clearly demonstrated the unique scope of the ability of the USAF to prosecute the war irrespective of the weather or the time of the day. The ability to operate in the hours of darkness and in bad weather provides the necessary flexibility and much higher utilization rate of available aircraft, besides keeping the enemy occupied all the time and preventing him from recuperating.
In India’s case, these are also required for navigating one’s way into difficult terrain as one finds in the North East and in Ladakh.
Both T-64 & T-72 tanks have different auto loaders, The T-64 has the hydrolick powered 'basket type' while the T-72 has the eletric powered 'cassette type'.
Both are reliable though there were issues with the auto loaders on the T-64A, the whole gunner's losing their arms stories. Due to the ammo storage arrangement on the T-64, the autoloader itself gives around 3in more head room than a T-72, very usefull in a tank as cramped as these. Also because of this the ammo is stored lower in the hull, and thus less exposed, the basket design also allows the carosell to traverse in two directions allowing for faster selection of ammunition loading and thus a faster fireing rate, 6-9 seconds, vs. 6-14 seconds for the cassette type.
The T-72 also has a falw reminiscent of the T-62 series; a small hatch at the back for the shell stubs are ejected, while this saves room it is not good in an NBC enviroment, unless however this system can be turned off.
The turret crew compartment is smaller in a T-72, which for long endurance is not a good thing, it's like been stuck in the back seat of a car, hunched over for a long road trip, also the T-64 was faster than the T-72 until it had the engine upgrade in the B model.
While the T-72 may have been faster on rough terrain, it was not used in Afghanistan as the suspension was prone to failure over that kind of ground. Both tanks have very cramped driver positions an can be hard to drive with the two stick steering.
On the T-64 , the gun is only stabilized on 2 planes and the FCS cannot allow the tank to fire on the move (at high speed similar to now-a-days). The T-72 can fire on the move because the Gunner has the 1V528 ballistic computer. However, T-64 variants have a much higher practical rate of fire than any T-72 variant until the T-90, and T-72BM, when the latter tanks adopted the "sequence mode" present in the former.
It was the T-64 which first introduced composite armour, using two layers of steel with a kind of fiberglass filler. It provided excellent protection at the time, enough to stave off 105mm L7/M68 rounds, the most common NATO tank gun at the time of their introduction. The newer upgraded "Nakidka ("Relikt" model which looks very similar to T-90) has two 1000-horsepower engines and armor Kontakt-5. The result of this creation was development of a T-72B 1 (with modern fire-control and additional armor). T-72B2 "Rogatka" upgrade has (1990) a new engine installed with 1000 horsepower (V-2) and a new fire control system.
Even the T-72M/M1s (monkey models) could hold their own against L7 armed Centurions in Lebanon in 1982. It was only with the introduction of the T-72B in 1985, that the base protection of the T-72s came close to that of the T-64s, by then both had Konkat-1 ERA, which went into wide spread use in 1983.
T-72B3 costs nearly twice as much as the B1, and has modern and expensive equipment like improved fire control system and 21st century communications equipment. T-72B3M is equipped with a panoramic commander sight, has increased engine power, an automatic transmission and a drive control system. Fitted with Kontakt-5 ERA, its quipped with a new fire control system, including a new Gunners thermal sight and new communication systems. The main gun has been modified to fire Refleks ATGM. Mobility has also been improved with a new 1130hp V-92S2F engine. Thus upgrade was implemented through a RESET process and is in Russian Army service.
T-72S "Shilden" (1987) is the output of the T-72BV with extra armour. T-72BU (1988) was the basis of the T-72BM which was to develop a tank T-90 (1993).
T-72BU was renamed as the T-90 tank.
The tank is planned to be powered by a 1,000 hp (750 kW) S-1000 engine made by the Polish firm PZL-Wola (also from Polish PT-91 Twardy ("hard","tough" or "resilient"). It is also upgraded with new fire detection and suppression systems and laser warning systems on either side of the turret. Also known as Combat Improved Ajeya. Already, 692 T-72Ms have been upgraded thus far into the T-72 ‘Combat-Improved Ajeya’ standards, while a follow-on tranche of 700 T-72M1s (whose per unit procurement cost is Rs90 million) is due to be upgraded at a cost of Rs50 million per unit
Licence production of the tank was undertaken at the Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi, Tamil Nadu. Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) is the biggest supplier of night vision equipment to the armed forces. In 2007 the company has signed a memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with Elbit Systems Electro Optics ELOP Ltd, for the local production and support of thermal imaging systems.
The Army’s objective is to equip over 1,600 T-72 tanks that form the backbone of the country’s armored forces, with advanced night fighting capabilities. The Army’s case for acquiring 700 TISAS (thermal imaging stand alone systems) and 418 TIFACS (thermal fire control systems) for its T-72 fleet at a cost of around $230 million is in various stages of the procurement process. 300 Israeli TISAS were installed as part of several T-72 upgrade phases, followed by 3,860 image intensifier-based night-vision devices. A huge requirement persists. 310 Russian produced T-90S Main Battle Tanks were also fitted with French Catherine TI cameras.
However, by the end of the 11th plan, all T-55 tanks will be replaced by T-72BU aka T-90 tanks.
German analysts had a chance to examine Soviet made T-72 tanks equipped with Kontakt-5 ERA, and they proved impenetrable to most modern US and German tank projectiles; this sparked the development of more modern Western tank ammunition, such as the M829A2 and M829A3. Russian tank designers responded with newer types of Heavy Reactive Armour, including Relikt and Kaktus.
This MBT uses low-profile chassis of the T-72M1 (Ajeya) and Arjun's firepower (turret and weapon fire control system).
This main battle tank uses Kanchan heavy composite armor. It is broadly similar to the British Chobham. Explosive reactive armor blocks can be added for improved protection. Vehicle is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems.
The Tank Ex MBT is armed with a 120-mm rifled gun. This gun is loaded manually. This gun is capable of launching Israeli LAHAT anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary projectiles. Ammunition is stored in the turret bustle, separated from the crew. Turret bustle is fitted with blow off panels.
It is worth mentioning that the Tank Ex is significantly lighter than the Arjun. it also has a lower silhouette. This tank is fitted with auxiliary power unit, which powers main systems, when the engine is turned off.
The first 175 tanks were produced with kits supplied by Russia. This was followed by progressive local manufacture. The eventual aim was to produce as much of the tank as possible in India with the target being 97%. It is understood that this target was not achieved.
Production of the T-72M1 in India was running at about 70 vehicles a year with final vehicles being delivered in March 1994. In Indian Army service the T-72M1 is known as the Ajeya and by 1995 the Indian Army had around 1,100 vehicles in service. Other sources have indicated that the total Indian T-72M1 MBT fleet could be as low as 800 or even as high as 1,980 vehicles. The original Russian engine in T-72 tanks had performed well in all climatic conditions. Operation Rhino plan aimed at re-equipping 1,500 T-72M1 tanks. Indian Army wants 34 Regiments of T-72CIA.
In 2002, India purchased 250 Polish SKO-1T DRAWA-T digital tank fire-control systems for 250 T-72M1s that were upgraded to T-72CIA standard. Subsequently, another 692 T-72M1s were upgraded to T-72CIA standards thus by being retrofitted with ELBIT Systems-supplied Thermal Imaging Stand Alone Systems (TISAS) and Thermal Imaging Fire Control Systems (TIFCS) at a cost of around Rs 1,150 crore (US$250 million). Another 300 T-72M1s will be upgraded next.
T-72B3M is equipped with a panoramic commander sight, has increased engine power, an automatic transmission and a drive control system. The upgraded tank will get a new 2A46M5 125-millimeter smoothbore gun along with a new sighting system called the Sosna-U, which will be paired with the new 1A40-4 fire-control system. The tank will also receive a new ballistics computer to help increase its accuracy. The main gun has been modified to fire Refleks ATGM. Perhaps more significantly, the T-72B3M will receive an independent PK PAN sight for the tank commander, which has its own thermal imaging system. It will also replaces the older Kontakt-5 ERA package with the new Relikt explosive reactive armor (ERA).
Mobility has also been improved with a new 1,130hp V-92S2F to replace its original 780hp diesel engine. The new engine is coupled with a new automatic transmission system and improved drivetrain, which should improve the T-72’s mobility. The driver will also receive a new rear-view camera display to improve his situational awareness. It will also be fitted with a new communication systems.
T-72B3 costs nearly twice as much as the T-72B1, and has modern and expensive equipment like improved fire control system and 21st century communications equipment. 150 Russian T-72B are being upgraded to T-72B3M (also called T-72B4) standard, which would offer performance comparable to the much more modern T-90, but for a fraction of the price (17 million rubles per tank). Thus upgrade was implemented through a RESET process.
T-72S "Shilden" (1987) is the output of the T-72BV with extra armour. It was the T-64 which first introduced composite armour, using two layers of steel with a kind of fiberglass filler. It provided excellent protection at the time, enough to stave off 105mm L7/M68 rounds, the most common NATO tank gun at the time of their introduction. The newer upgraded "Nakidka ("Relikt" model which looks very similar to T-90) has two 1000-horsepower engines and armor Kontakt-5. The result of this creation was development of a T-72B 1 (with modern fire-control and additional armor). T-72B2 "Rogatka" upgrade has (1990) a new engine installed with 1000 horsepower (V-2) and a new fire control system. T-72BU (1988) was the basis of the T-72BM which was to develop a tank T-90 (1993).
In February 1980, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Federal Republic of Germany involving the joint development of a MBT, called the Napoléon I in France and Kampfpanzer III in Germany. Fundamental disagreements about its desired configuration led to a failure of this cooperation in December 1982. In 1986, the project was started under the name of "Leclerc", six prototypes being built swiftly.
It is fitted with FINDERS (fast information, navigation, decision and reporting system) digital coloured battlefield management system. It automatically reports to command post tank's location, quantity of ammunition and fuel left. Broadly similar system is used on the M1A2 Abrams. The engine exhaust, exiting at the rear left, is cooled to reduce the thermal signature of the tank. The new upgrades also have added hybrid climate control system and improved electronics. The visor with a SAGEM Iris system with thermal imaging, which allows acquisition of targets at a greater range. The commander’s sight is the SOIM HL70, which has optic filters and image intensifier for night vision and has the priority control over the gunner’s sight for aiming and firing, giving the tank the ‘hunter killer’ capability.
It is protected with advanced modular armor system, which can be tailored to the threat. Its Euro Powerpack engine can be replaced in field conditions within 30 minutes. It's armor is a combination of steel, ceramics and Kevlar. Damaged modules are easily replaceable. Furthermore they can be easily upgraded with more advanced armor modules. Turret and hull roof was designed to withstand top-attack munitions. On top of the turret there is a 7.62 mm anti-aircraft MG in an armoured casing.
The original armour system was spaced perforated steel plates inserted into the modules. On batch 10, the Leclerc retained its modules but instead inserted titanium/tungsten tiles (a basic composite armour to shatter APFSDS). It’s also believed that NERA (Non-Explosive Reactive Armour) is then placed either behind or in front of those tiles in the modules to defeat HEAT. The Leclerc is equipped with the Nexter and Lacroix Tous Artifices developed Galix combat vehicle protection system. Nexter has also developed the KBCM defensive aids suite. Evaluated by the French Army, the system warns of a laser (used by guidance systems of ATM) being pointed at the vehicle, as well as incoming missiles and is also able to jam Infra-Red.
The Leclerc has an auto loader situated in the turrets bustle, which allows for a smaller crew space in the turret and a lower profile, making it a harder to hit. The commander has eight periscopes and the gunner’s sight is an HL-70 stabilised panoramic sight unit from Safran (formerly SAGEM), which has a laser rangefinder, day channel, thermal imaging and a second-generation image intensifier. The digital fire control system allows the gunner or commander to select a total of 6 targets in 30s. With all these features, it can boast a fire rate of 12 rounds per minute from its main cannon.
In June 2006, Nexter unveiled the Leclerc optimised for urban operations. It is fitted with the AZUR kit, which consists of additional protection in the form of side skirts of composite material, bar armour on the rear of hull and turret to protect against rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and extra protection for the engine against petrol bombs.
M1A2 (baseline) production began in 1986 and entered service in 1992 (77 built for the US and more than 600 M1s upgraded to M1A2, 315 for Saudi Arabia, 218 for Kuwait). The M1A2 offers the tank commander an independent thermal sight and ability to, in rapid sequence, shoot at two targets without the need to acquire each one sequentially. SEP v1 upgrades added 3rd-gen depleted uranium armor components with graphite coating.
The heavy M-1 (A1 or A2) Abram MBT has serious problems. In spite of its alleged prowess, it is dangerous to its crew;is overly expensive; has horrible logistics; breaks too much; has bad mobility. These contribute to the M-1 having poor operational momentum. The first M1 tank was produced in 1978, the M1A1 in 1985 and the M1A2 in 1986. Its ammunition include: C785 SABOT, CA31 HEAT, and AA38 SLAP-T rounds.
The US lost 80 Abrams in Iraq during the 2003 invasion, out of a total of 1,135 machines deployed and had to ship 530 tanks –i.e. almost half of those deployed, off for repair in the US. According to various sources, between 30 and 47 Abrams have been lost while fighting Daesh.
- For as many times as it has ended up-side down or on fire, you would think a floor hatch would be useful. The M-1 does not have one.
- The allegedly safe ammo storage? It was designed on the assumptions of 105mm ammo cooking off; not 120mm ammo.
- Safe evacuation of hot gas and debris after firing the 120mm gun.
- Mobility. It is outrageously heavy. This means many bridges, roads, and ground can't take it. The King Tiger effect.
- Survivability. The top is flat and of a wide area. Top or near top shots offer more risk and a bigger target area.
- The bottom shaping also makes the M-1 more at-risk to anti-tank mine damage. The armor, in spite of claims, is nothing special (more hype than substance). Because of the M-1 tanks weight, it is very limited on the kind of ground one may consider "tank country" and ends up on roads (the ones it doesn't ruin) a high percentage of time making it more vulnerable to large IEDs.
- Frontal turret armour and "special armour" configuration
- LRS-2000 rate sensor assembly units for the stabilised commander's weapon station which enables soldiers to fire the tank's machine gun from inside the armoured vehicle,
- FLIR thermal site and a driver's vision-enhancing thermal viewer,
- Block I 2nd generation forward-looking infrared technology,
- Tank Urban Survivability Kit (TUSK) for special protection against large IEDs,
- Blue force tracking system,
- Ground and Airborne Radio Systems,
- Wiring replaced by fiber-optic lines which will also reduce weight
- Refurbished tanks will incur lower operational and support costs and higher operational readiness.
SEP v4 upgrades: The Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) is centered around the integration of a high-def 3rd generation FLIR – Forward Looking Infrared imaging sensor that has an increased ability to detect enemy signatures at farther ranges through various obstructions such as rain, dust or fog. Rear view sensors and laser detection systems are part of these upgrades as well.
Among other things, this upgrade adds a stronger auxiliary power unit for fuel efficiency and on-board electrical systems, improved armor materials, upgraded engines and transmission and a 28-volt upgraded drive system. New electronics such as, Line Replaceable Modules including a commander’s display unit, driver’s control panel, gunner’s control panel, turret control unit and a common high-resolution display, will be upgraded.
This ECP 1 effort also initiates the integration of upgraded ammunition data links and electronic warfare devices such as the Counter Remote Controlled Improvised Explosive Device – Electronic Warfare – CREW. An increased AMPs alternator is also part of this upgrade, along with Ethernet cables designed to better network vehicle sensors together.
U.S. Army is looking at a range of domestically produced and allied international solutions from companies participating in the Army's Modular Active Protection Systems (MAPS) program. Along with Rafael's Trophy system, the Army is also looking at Artis Corporation's Iron Curtain, Israeli Military Industry's Iron Fist, and UBT/Rheinmetall's ADS system, among others.
SEP v3 upgrades:
- Improves Abrams’ Size Weight and Power-Cooling (SWaP-C) capacity as the tank was running out of room to grow.
- Has new advanced abilities to defeat improvised explosive devices and has an upgraded armor package.
- New Vehicle Health Management System (VHMS) supports off vehicle reporting of maintenance status.
- New Line Replaceable Modules (LRMs) help to improve on-vehicle diagnostics and repair, which should greatly improve vehicle availability due to decreased downtime.
- New relocated under-armor Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) under armor to run electronics while stationary instead of the engine, helps to reduce fuel consumption and should lessen the wear and tear on the tank’s Honeywell AGT1500C 1500shp gas turbine engine.
- Ammunition DataLink (ADL) to use airburst rounds,
- Improved FLIR using long- and mid-wave infrared on 1080 screens
- And a low-profile CROWS RWS
Leopard-2-AV (Austere Version): Currently, Germany only has 225 number of Leopard-2 in service. The 55 ton Leopard 2A6 was introduced in 2006, is still the most commonly used model. In 2009 Germany began upgrading its few active duty Leopard tanks from the 2A6 to the A7+ standard. Additionally, 104 Leopard 2A4 tanks (that were retired in the 1990s) have been reactivated and refurbishing to Leopard 2A7V standard.
In many respects the Germans were just trying to stay competitive with the M1 upgrades. That would include more armor on the sides and rear, more external cameras, more effective ammunition for the 120mm gun, a remote control machine-gun station on top of the turret, better fire control and combat control computers and displays, more powerful auxiliary power unit and better air conditioning, and numerous other minor improvements to mobility (engine, track laying system, wheels and related gear), sound proofing and the thermal sights. This would increase the weight of the tank to nearly 70 tons.
In 2016 the Leopard got its latest upgrade; the A7V. This added a few features to the A7+ including a 20 KW auxiliary power supply so the stationary tank could continue to operate all its electronics when the main engine was shut down. The other addition was the ability to easily add additional armor modules.
The 44 ton Leopard I entered service in the late 1960s, it was the first post-World War II German tank design. Although a contemporary of the American M-60A3, the German tank was considered superior. The German Leopard 2 appeared in 1979 and was an immediate export hit, especially to replace the aging 1960s U.S. designed M-60 tanks.
China's 3rd gen Type 96B MBT (also called Type 88C) is the backbone of China’s tank force. It entered service in 1997 and replaces the Type 59. Iran has about 200 Type 69 from China.
Type 96B has Ukrainian air-cooled 1,200 HP powerful engine instead of Type 96A 1,000 HP as well as improved armor and electronics. The 50 ton Type 96 has three man crews and modern sensors and electronics.
Only 400 Type 96B MBTs (rumored 6,000) have been built as they cannot operate at high altitudes like Tibet. China doesn't have MBTs that work in higher Tibetan areas (especially in eastern Ladakh and Aksai Chin), as China has not been able to develop water-cooled diesel engines that can generate more than 780 HP for armoured vehicles.
China's main battle heavy tracked armoured vehicle. The Type 96 was based on the Type 85-III design with minor modifications. It has a Chinese version of the Russian Shtora-1 infra-red/laser jamming system fitted to it. The modified variant ZTZ-96G was first revealed in 2006. The Type 96G can also be considered as a third generation tank. The engine, ventilation system and new rear-mounted exhaust system appear to have benefited from those developed for Norinco's VT-4 export MBT.
The original Type 96 (entered service in 1997) & the latest Type 99 medium tank design and is based on Russian T-72. In the 1980s China obtained this tank from Romania (downgraded and not interchangeable between the Russian models) and cloned it. Less than 700 of Type 96A MBTs have been built. The Type 99 is a Chinese variant of the T-72 as it incorporates the hull, 125mm main gun, automatic loader, advanced Russian armour and active protection systems. Type 99 has a 2.5 generation thermal imaging observation and targeting system along with a 5.5km gun tube launched anti-tank guided system.
Israel and the surrounding area are either desert or rolling hills, which form ideal tank country. During and after the 1967 War, Britain and France refused to supply certain categories of modern weapons to Israel.
Alarmed, the Israeli government established a native defence industry so that state security would not be compromised by the political whims of outsiders. High priority was given to the development of a Main Battle Tank (MBT).
The general design borrows the tracks from the British Centurion tank, which had seen extensive use during the Yom Kippur war. Following the model of contemporary self-propelled howitzers, the turret assembly is located nearer the rear than in most main battle tanks. With the engine in front, this layout gives additional protection against a frontal attack, especially for the personnel in the main hull, like the driver. It also creates more space in the rear of the tank that allows increased storage capacity, as well as a rear entrance to the main crew compartment allowing easy access under enemy fire.
This allows the tank to be used as a platform for medical disembarkation, a forward command and control station, and an armoured personnel carrier. The rear entrance's clamshell-style doors provide overhead protection when off- and on-loading cargo and personnel.
The model has a new fire-control system, the El-Op Knight Mark 4. Removable modular armour, from the Merkava Mark IIID, is used on all sides, including the top and a V-shaped belly armour pack for the underside. This modular system is designed to allow for damaged tanks to be rapidly repaired and returned to the field.
Tank rounds are stored in individual fire-proof canisters, which reduce the chance of cook-offs in a fire inside the tank. The turret is "dry"; no active rounds are stored in it. The Merkava was designed with fully armoured, self-sealing fuel tanks; fireproof containers that provide one hour minimum protection for all ammunition; and a heavily armoured crew compartment. All crewmembers are required to wear protective asbestos clothing, and the tanks are equipped with an extremely fast-reacting fire suppression system.
Some features, such as hull shaping, exterior non-reflective paints, and shielding for engine heat plumes mixing with air particles to confuse enemy thermal imagers, were carried over from the IAI Lavi program of the Israeli Air Force to make the tank harder to spot by heat sensors and radar.
The Merkava 4 has a new all-electric turret, a much larger 12.7 mm machine gun for anti-vehicle operations . The Mark IV includes the larger 120mm main gun of the previous versions but can fire a wider variety of ammunition, including HEAT and sabot rounds like the APFSDS kinetic energy penetrator, using an electrical semi-automatic revolving magazine for 10 rounds.
The Trophy defensive system is believed to be the first of a series of so-called “active defense” systems to become operational. Such systems aim to neutralize threats before they strike the tank. In the past, tanks have relied on increasingly thick layers of armor or “reactive” technology that weakens an incoming rocket upon impact by setting off a small explosion. Trophy provides 360° coverage against anti-tank rockets, anti-tank missiles and tank HEAT (high-explosive anti-tank) rounds. Once Trophy has detected a threat, it is tracked and classified and the optimal intercept point is computed, prior to launching a countermeasure. The tiny Trophy system, lodged behind small rectangular plates on both sides of the tank, uses radar to detect the incoming projectiles and fires a small charge to intercept them. The entire process is automated, holds fire if the rocket is going to miss the tank, and causes such a small explosion that the chances of unintentionally hurting friendly soldiers through collateral damage is only 1%.
A new feature of the tank is that the fitted modular special armour covers the turret.
Automatic fire detection and suppression has been installed. Sensors include radar with four antennas placed around the vehicle. The system development was completed in April 2007 and the IDF has approved production for fitting on new Merkava tanks. The underside of the hull has been fitted with additional armour protection against mines.
The redesign of the hull around the installation of the new power pack has provided improved frontal armour protection and improvement to the driver's field of view. For improved reverse driving the driver uses a camera.
Merkava IV tank crewman was killed when a tank ran over an improvised explosive device (IED). This tank had additional V-shaped underside armour, limiting casualties to just one of the seven personnel (four crewmen and three infantrymen) on-board. The latest version Merkava Mark IV, most tank crews agree that, in spite of the losses sustained and some major flaws in tactical conduct, the tank proved its mettle in its first high-saturation combat. High tech missile have penetrated the tank's armour, but caused no injuries among its crew.
Tactics had also been modified to focus on asymmetric or guerrilla war threats, in addition to the conventional war scenarios that the Merkava had primarily been designed to combat. By October 2010, the IDF had begun to equip the first Merkava IVs with the Trophy active protection system, to improve the tanks' protection against advanced anti-tank missiles which use tandem-charge HEAT warheads. Added protection systems included an Elbit laser-warning system and IMI in-built smoke-screen grenades.
This lead to the development of Arjun Mk 1 tank, with a 120-millimeter gun, advanced composite armour, a 1,400-horsepower German MTU MB 838 Ka-501 turbocharged water-cooled diesel engine (impressive 35:1 horsepower-to-weight ratio), and advanced fire control and thermal sights. The actual product had lots of shortcomings, revealed in testing, the Indian Army was forced to buy 124 Arjuns—enough to equip 2 armored regiments—to keep state tank production facilities open. The tank has 90 technical issues, with its laser-warning receiver, targeting & thermal sights, power-pack, transmission system & auxiliary power unit; which is why, 75% of the 124 tanks have become non-operational. One of the significant issues was that the slat-armour package on the tank's rear section was found inadequate against rocket-propelled (RPG) attacks.
India’s military industrial base was such that any new tank development would have faced a long time. The tank took so long to develop that technologies not even invented when Arjun was first proposed had to be added to the tank. GPS navigation, laser warning receivers, non-explosive-reactive armor and other innovations were merely research papers in 1974, but by the early 2000s were must-have inventions that added to the tank’s complexity, weight and cost. The tank was trapped for decades in a development death spiral.
Indian Army demanded the latest satandard feature, Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) on the front and the turret, for more protection. The Kanchan armour similar to British Chobham armour was developed. This added protection came at the cost of HP-to-weight ratio — ballooning the weight of the tank from 40-ton to 62-ton; thus decreasing tactical and operational mobility. DRDO finally settled on a German-made MTU 1,400-horsepower water-cooled diesel engine, complemented with an Indian supercharger. The tank's weight also means it cannot be used in Punjab and the northern deserts of India in India’s “Cold Start” offensive strategy against Pakistan. Today, the Indian Army has no more appetite for more armour.
Originally, more than 50% of components of the tank were imported, but this percentage has gradually diminished as various parts have been replaced by indigenous designed systems. Yet the tracked vehicle still requires foreign hardware to function and those supplied have dried up.
The Arjun’s development period was so long that major design decisions became completely obsolete. The 105mm gun, perfectly adequate in the 1970s when stacked up against the NATO-standard 105mm L7 gun (the M68 in U.S. Army service), and the 115-millimeter gun of the Soviet T-62 tank, were obsolete by the early 1990s. The German MTU MB 838 Ka-501 engine is heavy and extremely fuel inefficient by current standars.
The final Arjun MBT ended up with a 120mm rifled barrel gun, capable of firing High Explosive, Armor-Piercing Discarding Sabot rounds, High Explosive Anti-Tank rounds and High Explosive, Squash Head rounds. The fire control system has been developed by Elbit Systems in Israel. The Indian Army for its part is adamant it wants no part of the Arjun Mk-2 until prototypes perform successfully during field trials, and would much rather buy latest Russian tank. India currently is totally depended on only Russian-supplied T-90s MBTs.
124 Arjun Mk.1s and 118 Arjun Mk.1As have been ordered.
It understandable why the Army now felt the earlier 67 ton Arjun-2 tank design did not meet its requirements for the future. Its basic features were conceived for a different era. A lighter tank still retains its character when adding extra armour and more powerful engine but a heavy tank design will go wary if its remade into a lighter tank. The Rajasthan canal was conceived in 1947 but work on it could start only in 1957 after the Indus waters treaty was signed. In 1983 an year before the first prototype of the Arjun was made, Stage I of the canal reached North of Bikaner. The deserts where tanks could have unrestrained mobility started becoming restricted. A latticework of canals snaked all over especially parallel to the border and are planned to go upto Gadra Road in Barmer district. An area which was classic tank country has gradually changed into a populated area with restricted employability especially for heavy tanks. Given its excessive weight and width, the Arjun can't be used in Punjab and northern deserts for armoured thrusts under the "Pro-Active" or "Cold Start" war strategy.
The DRDO rebuts this logic, as do the tank units that actually operate the Arjun. “The Arjun’s heavier weight is distributed over a larger area because of its larger tracks. Its “nominal ground pressure” is lower than the Russian tanks. So the Arjun can actually move more easily in Punjab,” says S Sundaresh, the DRDO’s Chief Controller of R&D for armoured vehicles. This is validated by history, says Lieutenant General (Retired) RM Vohra, who won a Mahavir Chakra in the 1971 war while commanding 4 HORSE, a tank regiment equipped with Centurion tanks. He says the 42-tonne Pakistani Patton M-48 tanks got mired in the soft soil of Asal Uttar, in Punjab, while the 51-tonne Centurion moved around that battlefield easily.
For years the army criticised the original Arjun Mk.1 tank was criticized as being too heavy as too heavy for India’s road and rail infrastructure; but wanted modifications that will make the Arjun heavier. Indian Army which frequently complains that Arjun MK-2 which weight close to 65 tonnes is Heavy and creates problems moving around in riverine terrain of Punjab and J&K has demanded 50 tonnes Future Main Battle Tank (FMBT) from DRDO which is 15 tonnes lighter than Arjun MK-2 and 5 tonnes Lighter than Armata which has put DRDO in a spot.
India's Future Main Battle Tank (FMBT) project has been merged into the Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV) which is to replace the T-72 battle tank, Arjun Main Battle Tank (MBT) Mk2 (also reducing the priority for tracked combat vehicles & personnel carriers).
Chennai-based Combat Vehicle Research and Development Establishment has designed the Mark II version of MBT at its facility here. CVRDE co-ordinated with Armament Research and Development Establishment, Pune, High Energy Materials Research Laboratory, Pune, Instruments Research & Development Establishment, Dehradun, Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety, Delhi and Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory, Hyderabad for designing Mark-II.
It sports more than 93 improvements over the older version and with around 60% locally manufactured components so as to be less depended on foreign imports. Another crucial improvement in the Mark II is the tank commander’s French-made manual thermal imaging (TI) night sight, which replaces the day-only sight of the earlier Arjun. Now the Arjun can operate at night in “hunter-killer” mode --- the commander as hunter; and the gunner as killer. The commander scans the battlefield through his new TI sight; targets that he spots are electronically allocated to the gunner to destroy, while he returns to hunting for more targets. The tank's navigator must constantly view a monitor or view-finder to locate targets. The new tank also has improved communication systems and new navigation system. It will feature indigenous high accuracy fibre optic gyros developed by DRDO's RCI and feature fire control systems developed for the Arjun Mk-2 (also will be used on Indian T-90s).
The biggest issue with the previous 65.5 ton Arjun MK-2 MBT design was that it was 4 to 5 tonnes heavier than the Arjun MK-1; hence there was too little horsepower due to the upgrades such as - too much heavy Explosive Reactive Armour Mk-II, added improved night vision capability based on un-cooled thermal imaging, added advanced air-defence guns - that had made the tank overweight. There are many problems with its excessive weight, such as limited cross country mobility, limiting areas where it can be deployed. Also it is difficult to transport this tank to the front line. Locally developed Fitting Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) Mark II plates on the tank has boosted crew protection, but also had increases the weight by one and a half tonnes. An equivalent increase comes from added mine ploughs, which churn up the ground ahead of the tank, uprooting explosive mines that would otherwise blow up the tank. The trade-off, though, is in maximum speed.
The Arjun Mk.2 is fitted with a new unspecified turbocharged diesel engine, which replaces the previous German MTU MB 838 Ka-501 diesel unit, developing 1 400 hp. It is speculated that the new engine is the Cummins QSK-38 turbocharged diesel unit, developing about 1 500 hp. It should be coupled with a French transmission. The Arjun Mark II does just 60 kmph, compared with the 70 kmph top speed of the Arjun Mark I. But the army has accepted this trade-off. “Tanks need agility and acceleration in battle, not sustained high speed. And the advantages of ERA and a mine plough are enormous,” says a tank officer. CVRDE chief, Dr P Sivakumar, an award-winning transmission specialist, is jubilant. “Earlier the army was criticising my Arjun [for weighing too much]. But, after seeing its cross-country performance, even compared with a lighter 40-tonne tank like the T-90, they realise that the Arjun moves like a Ferrari. Even at 65-66 tonnes, it will beat any MBT in the desert”.
A weight-reduction of 8 tonnes of the Arjun Mk.1A MBTs have been successfully achieved by DRDO’s CVRDE with the help of the MoD’s DGQA and the IA’s Corps of Electronics & Mechanical Engineers (EME). For starters, the baseline hull of the Arjun Mk.2 will no longer be built with imported low-carbon, Ni-Cr-Mo rolled homogeneous armor (RHA) steel, but with lighter high-nitrogen steel (HNS) whose production technology has been mastered by the DRDO’s DMRL and has been transferred to Jindal Stainless Steel Ltd (in Hisar).
Additionally, the Nexter Systems autoloader option (also used on the LeClerc MBT) has also been dropped in order to minimise weight. Under another weight-reduction exercise, the Sundaram Industries built steel-wheels for Arjun MBT, will be made of aluminium-wheels and ventilators for the Arjun Mk.2 (also for the upgraded T-72CIA tanks) and be built by the Alicon Group. Also 2D paper blueprints tend to leave tiny gaps between the different components of an assembly that were filled with shims, leading to increased weight. But by 3D CAM blueprints, those tiny gaps can be entirely eliminated during the manufacturing process.
It seems to have more secure ammo storage in blow-out panel containers on the rear of the turret bustle but it also seems the primary gunner sight did not previously have adequate armor. Hence, to be placed in strategic locations in both the hull and turret will be the DRDO-developed ‘Kanchan’ ceramics-based composite laminate armour tiles as well as DRDO’s High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) developed and indigenously-built explosive reactive armour (ERA) Mk-II tiles, for enhanced protection against large caliber kinetic energy ammunition on the front and sides of the hull and turret sections. It seems that the new ERA is based on the Russian Kontakt-5 technology, developed in the 1980s and used on the T-90 and some other Soviet/Russian tanks. The new Explosive Reactive Armour panels have been developed using advanced Armour materials and new designs do not increase weight compared to older Kanchan Armour.
Armour is made of composite panels sandwiched between rolled homogeneous Armour (RHA), which can defeat APFDS or HEAT rounds. Armour modules counter APFSDS and HEAT rounds, as well as RPG rounds. DMRL first started working on Kanchan Armour in the late 80’s and over years due to advancement of metallurgy and technology many improvements have been made leading to major composition and construction changes from original design. Sub-systems developed by DRDO for the Arjun Mk-2 program are also expected to be featured in the T-90S including CVRDE's ERA Mk-II.
A tank is cost effective with economies of scale. "the Army keeps on changing its technical requirements. If it ordered around 500 Arjuns, it would stabilize production lines. This, in turn, will allow regular upgrades and set the stage for developing the FMBT," said a scientist. The Indian-made T-90s cost about $3 million each. India has already bought 700 Russian made T-90 tanks, at a cost of $3.5 million each. The Arjun 2 is expected to cost over $5 million each. The high price is due to a lot of high tech. This includes an active defense system to defeat anti-tank missiles, a much more powerful engine, lots of electronics and a hermetically sealed crew department to provide protection against chemical weapons and radiation. All this stuff is tricky to develop.
In 2010, in comparative trials between the Arjun and the T-90, not only did the Arjun hold its own, it was actually better in some respects than the Russian tank. In exercises lasting 96 hours, the Arjun and the T-90 faced off on 20 key operational parameters. Key among them were mobility, loading the tank with ammunition, tactical manoeuvres and the most significant of all, firing at the Army's Mahajan ranges in Rajasthan. T-90S and MBT Arjun tanks are of different class. Both the tanks have their own special features. In MBT Arjun, we have more power to weight ratio, hydro-pneumatic suspension for better ride comfort and a stable platform to fire on the move, better quality class of Gun Control System and Fire Control System etc. The T-90MS, a new, upgraded version of the T-90S that India bought in 2001, is regarded as well suited for the extreme cold of Ladakh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, where the two new armoured brigades will operate. The Arjun, in contrast, is designed to withstand the heat of the Indian plains, where the T-90S has repeatedly malfunctioned in high temperatures. Missile firing capability of Arjun was demonstrated. T-90S tank has missile firing capability and lower silhouette.
Fire control system of the new tank should have a hit probability over 90%, when firing on the move. This new main battle tank is armed with a fully stabilized 120-mm rifled gun, which is loaded manually. A rifled gun of such calibre is used only on the British Challenger 2 MBT. This gun is more accurate at long range comparing with smooth-bore guns. It is claimed that during trials this new Indian tank out-gunned both the T-72M and T-90. It will have a better anti-aircraft gun barrel (to shoot down helicopters) with an Equivalent Firing Charge (strength of the barrel to sustain firing) of 500 rounds against the T 72's 250 rounds. Secondary armament consists of coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun and a roof-mounted remotely controlled weapon station, armed with a 12.7-mm heavy machine gun.
It is claimed that Arjun Mk.2 is fitted with advanced laser warning and countermeasures system which confuse enemy sensors and active protection system. Arjun, will be fitted with an Indian-made automatic video tracker for locking onto targets until they are destroyed. The current trials of the Mark II will include firing of the Israeli LAHAT missile, which has a range of 4-5 miles. Israeli LAHAT missiles were proof-fired from the Arjun in 2004, but the sighting and control systems are now being integrated into the gunner’s sight by its vendors, OIP Sensor Systems (Belgium) and SAGEM (France). The Arjun's 120mm rifled main turret gun can fire the Israeli-made laser-homing anti-tank guided missile LAHAT, first in service in Israel in 1992 and was designed primarily for the Merkava tanks.
The Arjun Mk.2 has some design similarities with the German Leopard 2A5 main battle tank. Some sources claim that weight of this main battle tank was reduced from 59 to about 55 tones comparing with it's predecessor in order to improve operational and logistic mobility. However, a decision to indigenously develop a new anti-tank missile to be fitted onto the MK-II will, in all likelihood, delay the induction of the upgraded platform. It still needs to clear 2 more phases of user trials.
Major improvements on Arjun MBT Mk II
- Advanced running gear system
- New track system with increased horn height
- New final drive with increased reduction ratio
- Containerised ammunition bin with individual shutters
- Roof mounted driver’s seat
- Incorporation of explosive reactive armour panels
- Track width mine plough with magnetic signature duplicator
- Commander’s panoramic sight Mk-II
- Automatic target tracker through gunner’s main sight
- Driver’s night sight/un-cooled thermal imager
- Advanced land navigation system
- Power-driven air defence gun system
- Laser warning and countermeasure system
- Missile firing through main gun
- Effective alternate to muzzle reference system
The decision was taken to stick to the existing 1,400hp powerpack since its industrial eco-system already exists in India. Arjun Mark II has missile-firing capability against long-range targets, has an enhanced Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) with a capacity of 8.5 KW (against Mark I's 4.5 KW), mine plough to weed out mines, Automatic Target Tracking, Advanced Land Navigation System, digital control harness, advanced commander panoramic sight with night vision, higher penetration ammunition, ammunition containerisation, Laser Warning and Countermeasure System (ALWCS) i.e. sensors suite to detect and warn lasers fired by an enemy tank, infra-red jammer and an aerosol smoke grenade system among other features. Laser beam that incoming missiles ride, will giving the tank 10-15 seconds of reaction time. Within milliseconds, the system automatically launches smoke grenades, creating a smokescreen around one’s own tank that leaves the missile operator without a target to aim at. The purpose of ALWCS is to enhance survivability of armoured vehicles against anti-tank guided missiles.
118 Arjun Mk.2 have been ordered.
“We also now have an ammunition containerisation system. At the beginning of this year, US forces in Iraq reported a new version of the passive infrared trigger, nicknamed the Black Cat. It looked exactly like a regular passive infrared sensor, but the motion detector was altered to be triggered instead by radio frequencies. Shielded to prevent it from being set off by household radios and with reduced reception range, the new device is one of the most devious yet. Designed to detect the passing bubble of a coalition jamming system’s powerful radio field, the Black Cat has brought Jieddo full circle: It is an IED that will detonate only when it detects an IED countermeasure.
After their radio-control bombs were smothered by jammers, the Taliban turned not only to “command wire” — physical connections between trigger and bomb — but also 20 to US military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the beginning of this year, US forces in Iraq reported a new version of the passive infrared trigger, nicknamed the Black Cat. It looked exactly like a regular passive infrared sensor, but the motion detector was altered to be triggered instead by radio frequencies. Shielded to prevent it from being set off by household radios and with reduced reception range, the new device is one of the most devious yet. Designed to detect the passing bubble of a coalition jamming system’s powerful radio field, the Black Cat has brought Jieddo full circle: It is an IED that will detonate only when it detects an IED countermeasure.
After their radio-control bombs were smothered by jammers, the Taliban turned not only to “command wire” — physical connections between trigger and bomb — but also to the even more reliable “command pull,” a simple switch attached to mono-filament fishing line or even a piece of string. With these, at least, the trigger-man must remain nearby for the attack and is therefore relatively easy to catch or kill. But almost all of the devices encountered during 2009 by Jieddo’s Afghan operation, Task Force Paladin, were simpler still and harder to locate: large bombs triggered by pressure plates buried in the middle of dirt roads.
These rudimentary mines can sit for days or even months waiting for a victim. They’re often made from whatever is at hand in a rural environment, like the bicycle seat springs or two carpentry saw blades tensioned into a bow — anything that lets two contact surfaces meet to complete a circuit. More recently, the pressure plates have been built with less and less metal. One type of device uses only two strips of aluminum tape; another, single strands of wire and contacts made from fragments of the graphite core from a C-cell battery. As a result, the metal detectors used by US route-clearance teams are becoming ineffective.
And since the stocks of military ordnance left over from the Soviet war have been depleted, three-quarters of Afghan IEDs have been made not with pilfered artillery rounds but with more common agricultural ingredients like ammonium nitrate fertilizer. Packed into 5-gallon plastic containers and buried in a dirt road, these charges are utterly invisible to metal detectors. Task Force Paladin is using ground-penetrating radar to find them, but that works only from right on top of a bomb, increasing the risk of setting it off. And many chemical sniffers deployed in Iraq detect only the molecules produced by decaying TNT — not ammonium nitrate. Scientists have been working for four years on a means of detecting home-made explosives at a distance; a solution has so far eluded them.
Perhaps inevitably, some of the best means of beating the Afghan bombers have proved to be the simplest: Many vehicles are now protected by front-mounted rollers that trigger mines ahead of a convoy. If in doubt, troops are trained to simply get out and look for clues like disturbed ground or a pile of trash that wasn't there the day before. “Even today, with all the technology,” says Jarkowsky, “the best detector of an IED is the human eye.”
Crafting an armour philosophy is not an intellectual feat. Three bright armoured corps colonels could do it in a week, given inputs on India’s border geography; war termination objectives; likely adversaries; the army’s manpower profile and India’s industrial capabilities. Instead the T-90 tank, designed and built for freezing Russia, is now being air-conditioned so that its electronics can survive the Indian summers.
As per some sources: the Kanchan armored Arjun Mk. II managed to defeat a 125 mm APFSDS from the T-72 point blank in the 1980 s (however, a point to note is that no range is mentioned in any of the sources). In comparison, most modern APFSDS rounds can penetrate between 700 and 900 mm of armor at 2 km.
T-80 (improved "Elite" T-64 and in appearance looks similar to the T-72 and is the same size as the T-72 and T-90) but this tank easily distinguishable features compared with the standard T-72 are the attachment of side skirts and 12 turret-mounted grenade launchers with 7 on the left side and 5 on the right side.
The T-80 was supposed to be the successor to the T-72. The T-80 was the first production tank in the world to be equipped with a gas turbine engine. This gave the tank a high power-to-weight ratio and made it one of the most mobile main battle tanks in the world, and consequently it was referred to as the "flying tank". In subsequent variants of the T-80, the gas turbine has been replaced with a diesel engine, to lower maintenance costs. Between 1976 and the present the T-80 has undergone a number of modifications that included the T-80, T-80B, T-80U ("U" corresponds to "Y" in the cyrillic alphabet, meaning improved), and the T-80UD ("D" meaning diesel engine).T-80UM2 "Chiorny Oriol" (Black Eagle) is the most advanced version of Ukraine's T-80U MBT.
It is believed that China had ordered 200 T-80Us in late 1993. A total of only 35 T-80UDs had been delivered to Pakistan in two separate batches in March and May 1997.
The T-84 MBT is now in service with Ukraine and Pakistan (including a new all-welded turret and other improvements to give them enhanced T-84 configuration).
The T-84 is based on Ukraine's T-80UD, but it has a number of additional advanced features which distinguish it from the T-80UD.
The Sosna-U and Relikt ERA gives the T-80 a second life by turning it into a 21st century combat vehicle. It also had high-end composite armour. The addition of ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor) is about the same as the T-90AM. The T-80UD is fitted with an advanced fire control system, and either the gunner or commander can lay and fire the main armament at stationary and moving targets while the tank is stationary or moving with a high first round hit probability.
The T-80U already has some advanced features, like a reduced heat design, to help hide it from heat seeking sensors. To reduce the thermal signature of the tank on the battlefield, the T-80UD power pack compartment top deck is fitted with special heat insulation.
The T-80UD can disguise itself on the battlefield by laying a smoke/aerosol screen. Mounted on either side of the turret is a bank of four electrically operated smoke grenade launchers. The T-80UD can lay its own smoke screen by injecting diesel fuel in the engine exhaust (i.e. by using so-called engine smoke emitter).
There is also an auxiliary power unit for running the combat systems when the tank is stopped, and modular design that makes maintenance easier. The engine is a 1250 horsepower gas turbine and internal fuel will carry the vehicle 335 kilometers at 40 kilometers an hour cross country. Top road speed is 70 kilometers an hour. The gunner has a thermal night sight. Like older Russian tanks, the interior is cramped. Upgrading a T-80U to the performance level of the T-90AM costs less than a million dollars per tank.
The MBT’s gunner and commander are provided with second-generation cooled thermal imagers, while the driver uses an un-cooled thermal imager. The 1,300hp power-pack uses a water-cooled turbocharged electronically-controlled diesel engine. In 2014 it added a Remote Weapons Station on the roof fitted with a 12.7 mm MG, replacing the 12.7 mm MG mounted on the commanders cupola. The vehicle also has a 7.62mm coaxial MG.
The frontal turret armour appears to match (wedge shape, inspection hatch on the top of each) that of the module armour used on the upgraded Type 96 and Type 99 MBTs. It contains a modern composite armour (as used on the hull front) with Explosive reactive Armour built into it. ERA bricks are also mounted across the front of the hull. It also has an internal fire suppression system and electrical gun stabilization system.
It also has an active protection system that links laser threat warning sensors in to the smoke grenade launchers designated the GL5. The crew have full NBC protection. In the years to come, once can safely expect Pakistan's Haider MBT to be an exact replica of the MBT-3000.
China's Type 96 MBT is based on the previous Type 85-III series design, itself evolved from the Type 80 MBT.
Pakistan is also developing Al-Khalid II MBT which will incorporate newly redesigned turret and will be powered by a 1,500 hp 6TD-4 engine. Turkey's Aselsan is offering its onboard electronics suite comprising of fire control, electro-optical, and communications systems for use on the al-Khalid II MBT.
Pakistan Haider MBT appears to had been envisaged to work in parallel with the al-Khalid 2. It is possible that the Pakistan Army intends to use the Haider as an operational and industry cooperation bridge, for the al-Khalid 2.
Russian Ministry Of Defence found that it could no longer afford to manufacture two war tanks in parallel. The one being T-80U which was of better quality and another being T-72B which was cheaper. Therefore they started giving small orders along with improvised features in hope for improving exportation to other countries. T-90S = T-90M "Bishma" (it was originally called T-72BU, improvement from T-72B tank with features from the T-80U). The sole purpose of purchasing T-90S was that it had features almost similar to the T-72 which were then used by Indian Army. These Tanks can be used for more than 3 decades with little or no mid-life improvement.
The Indian Army is planning to upgrade the T-90 tanks with third-generation laser-guided missile capability of hitting targets at a range of 8,000 metres as against the existing range of 5,500 metres as well as more depth of penetration.
In February 2001, India bought the first batch of 310 47.5-tonne T-90S worth $795 million (Rs 3,625 crore), of which 124 were delivered off-the-shelf, 86 came in semi-knocked down kits for licenced-assembly. This was followed by a follow-on contract worth $800 million being inked on October 26, 2006 for another 330 T-90S MBTs that were to be built with locally-sourced raw materials. Their deliveries began on August 24, 2009, with each costing Rs 17.5 crore. The third contract, worth $1.23 billion was inked in December 2007 for 347 T-90S coming in fully knocked-down condition from Russia worth Rs.4,900 crore. While the cost of an imported T-90 tank works out to Rs 14 crore apiece, the average cost of production and supply of a T-90 within India is at least Rs 21 crore.
Out of the 850-945 T-90S tanks to be built in India, only 200-227 pieces were produced in 7-13 years — less than 25% of the target. (The TOT documents from Russian to English language took almost six years.) Hence, even as the domestic production of the T-90S stabilizes there may be a move underway to procure additional 354 T-90MS tanks from Russia. India has decided to procure 464 T-90 tanks from Russia at cost of approximately $2.1 billion. India's state-owned Heavy Vehicle & Ordnance Factories in Avadi have failed to indigenise it and even now 70% of the material (by value) is being imported. Production of T-90S tanks has been slow — the consequence, the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment says, of piecemeal orders from the Army and delayed technology transfers. (TOT documents of T-90 gun system were not transferred by Russia even after a lapse of 12 years.)
The T-90S weighs about 15% more than the 41 ton T-72. The T-90 has a better fire control system, night vision that is good out to about 1,500 meters . The autoloader, which often failed in the T-72, is more reliable and that makes the three man crew more effective. The T-90 is not as lively as the T-72 and is actually slower on the battlefield than the U.S. M-1 (which has a horsepower to weight ratio of 24:1, compared to only 18:1 for the T-90).
India bought the T-90S after the delay in production of the domestically developed Arjun main battle tank, and to counter Pakistani deployment of the Ukrainian T-80UD in 1995–97. "In February 2001, India bought its first batch of 310 47.5-tonne 47.5-tonne T-90S MBTs worth US$795 million, of which 124 were delivered off-the-shelf, 86 in semi-knocked down kits (for licenced-assembly by the MoD-owned HVF in Avadi), and 100 in completely-knocked down kits (all these MBTs were retrofitted with Saab’s IDAS radar/laser warning system and LEDS-150 active protection system, or APS, worth Rs25 billion between 2009 and 2011). This was followed by a follow-on contract, worth $800 million (or Rs175 million per unit), being inked on October 26, 2006, for another 330 T-90M MBTs that were to be built with locally-sourced raw materials and also come fitted with LEDS-150 APS. The third contract, worth $1.23 billion (which was inclusive of the R & D funds required for designing a customised version of the T-90—the 50-tonne T-90AM), was inked in December 2007 for 347 upgraded T-90Ms, which are now being licence-built by HVF. These T-90Ms each come with a THALES-built Catherine-FC thermal imager (operating in the 8-12 micron bandwidth and housed within the Peleng-built 1G-46 gunner’s sight), the commander’s panoramic sight, an automatic gearbox, an electro-hydraulic turret-drive-cum stabilisation system, and most importantly, has a 2A46M-5 Rapira smoothbore main gun barrel that also comes fitted with a muzzle reference system." : trishul-trident.blogspot
Currently, India has about 13 regiments of T-90 that could go up to 21 regiments by 2020. One regiment consists of 62 tanks. In all, India plans to have 310 T-90S and 1,330 T-90M tanks in service by 2020 (total of 1,657 tanks by 2020). This will lead India to have the largest force of modernized tanks in South-Asia. The T-90S tank, designed and built for freezing Russia, is now being air-conditioned so that its electronics can survive the Indian summers. Hence, the main reason for air conditioning in the tanks is not the crew, but the electronics. T-90S features a new generation of Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armour on its hull and turret but Indian Army’s first 310 imported T-90S has been upgraded with Saab’s LEDS-150 systems (using Mongoose KE rounds). SAAB and Wipro, an Indian IT services company, have signed a teaming agreement to manufacture, deliver and market the Saab LEDS system in India.
Currently, the T-90 tanks are equipped with a laser guided INVAR missile system and the Army has decided to replace them with a third generation gun-launched missile should achieve a DoP of 800-850 mm and will be capable of hitting targets up to a range of 8 KM in day as well as night.
The upgrade package for T-90S battle tank includes improved fire power, command and control capability, mobility and protection. Its redesigned turret features an upgraded 120mm gun, an advanced fire control system, new communication, positioning and interoperation facilities, as well as a remotely controlled 7.62mm light-machine gun. The turret provides protection against all existing munitions thanks to the layout, differentiated armour and new explosive reactive armored plates.
The upgraded tank features a steering wheel type turn drive and an automatic gearbox which allow improving its controllability. The tank engine is also seriously modified and has its power uprated to 1130 hp. The T-90 fleet will be equipped with 1,200-1,500 HP modular engines (costing 5 crore each) “to cater for high battle field agility.” The army has a requirement for 2,011 such engines with each likely to cost Rs 5 crore. The government had empowered the Army to directly procure critical ammunition and spares of major military platforms to maintain combat readiness for short duration “intense wars”.
The T-90S's domestic production at HVF after all has been a difficult process with the Russian OEM refusing to transfer technology for vital assemblies such as the gun system (including the barrel) and turret armour plates. For the first 175 T-90s produced at Avadi, the gun system had to be imported off the shelf from Russia. However starting 2012, an indigenous 125 mm smooth bore gun developed by DRDO with a 'modified chemistry barrel' of the existing T-72 gun has gone into production having completed trials in 2010.This modified chemistry barrel has also successfully completed a life cycle test conducted at Armoured Corps Centre & School Ahmednagar. The last two years have also seen the indigenization of the T-90S's commander hatch control unit, indigenous production of 50 types of critical optical components of the T-90S and indigenously developed cable harnesses for the same. Overall the latest batches of T-90Ss will be between 80-90 percent indigenous by value.
The T-90A features the ‘Kaktus K-6’ bolted explosive reactive armored plates (ERA) package on its frontal hull and turret-top (the T-90S is fitted with a "three-tiered" protection system: the first tier is the composite armour in the turret, second tier is third generation Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armored plates and third tier is a Shtora-1 countermeasures suite against anti-tank missiles), is fitted with an enhanced environmental control system supplied by Israel’s Kinetics Ltd for providing cooled air to the fighting compartment, has additional internal volume for housing the cryogenic cooling systems for new-generation thermal imagers like the THALES-built Catherine-FC thermal imager (operating in the 8–12 micrometre bandwidth). Saab LEDS-150 APS suite has been installation on board T-90AM MBTs too.
Saab Land Electronic Defence System (LEDS) combines active signature management, soft-kill and hard-kill mechanisms to provide full spectrum active protection to armoured vehicles. Full hemispherical coverage is provided to detect incoming threats and alert the crew.
When installed in full configuration, the LEDS-150 offers MBT-comparable protection to light and medium combat vehicles against engagement by weapons like RPG-7s, anti-tank guided-missiles, KE ammunition, mortars and field artillery shells. The LEDS-150 typically comprises laser warning sensors, ADC-150 active defence controller AD, a number of munition confirmation and tracking sensors, and high-speed directed launchers, which allow the combination of soft- and hard-kill countermeasure deployment capability to the platform, optional displays, and interconnecting harnesses. The hard kill feature of the LEDS-150 is characterised by its capability to physically destroy the efficiency of the terminal ballistic capability of attacking munitions without residual penetration of the protected vehicle. The hard kill system detects and tracks a single or simultaneous threats and calculates if the attacking munition will hit the platform or not. The system determines the best inertial intercept position and provides the slew and firing commands to the launchers. The Mongoose-1 countermeasure missile is launched at a predetermined time to intercept and neutralise the detected munition off-board at a distance of between 5 metres and 15 metres from the vehicle to minimise the collateral damage to own forces.
It was first unveiled in 2011. The upgrade package for T-90S battle tank includes improved Kalina fire power, command and control capability, improved crew survivability and a more powerful modified diesel engine V-92S2F with power uprated to 1130 hp. It has new Relikt explosive reactive armored plates (ERA) which improves protection against even the most modern versions of SABOT ammo based depleted uranium than the older Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armored plates (ERA).
Its redesigned turret features an upgraded 120mm high-accuracy smooth bore gun, an advanced fire control system, new communication, positioning and interoperation facilities, as well as a remotely controlled 7.62mm light machine gun. It will be able to tackle low flying anti-armour helicopter. The turret provides protection against all existing munitions thanks to the layout, differentiated armour.
The upgraded tank features a steering wheel type turn drive and an automatic gearbox which allow improving its controllability. It will also get improved suspension. The hydraulic actuator will replaced by a new electromechanical arms stabilization system which consumes less tank battery.
T-90, it has a lower profile, a higher top speed, a longer operational range, and at 46.5 tons, weighs a full 16.5 tons less than the 63 ton US M1 Abram. Since 2014, the Syrian Army has lost only one T-90 to an American TOW missile. The loss occurred not due to the tank's weakness, but due to poor crew training.
One of the tank's designers has stated that the T-99A has not reached desired reliability levels.
China's Type 99G is powered by the powerful engine, developing 1,500 hp and is based on a German design. Engine is mated to an automatic gearbox. This MBT has a deep fording capability. Auxiliary fuel tanks can be fitted for extended range.
It is fitted with a 125mm 50 caliber smooth-bore gun with autoloader. Ammunitions include armour piercing fin stabilised discarding sabot rounds (APFSDS), high explosive anti-tank rounds (HEAT), and high explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG) projectiles.
China has also reportedly manufactured Russian A-11 laser guided anti-tank missile (ATGM) to be fired by the 125 mm gun. In addition, the Chinese experimental depleted uranium (DU) rounds which it may be available to the Type 98.
Fire accuracy is attained by the laser range-finder, wind sensor, ballistic computer, and thermal barrel sleeve. Dual axis stabilisation ensures effective firing on the move. The commander is has six periscopes and a stabilised panoramic sight.
Both the commander and gunner have roof-mounted stabilised sights fitted with day/thermal channels, a laser range-finder and an auto tracker facility. The commander has a display showing the gunner's thermal sight, enabling the commander to fire the main gun.
The Type 99 is also fitted with a computerised onboard information processing system, which can collect information from vehicle GPS navigation, observation systems and sensors, process it in the computer and display it on the commander's display, giving the ability of real-time command and beyond-vision-range target engaging.
Secondary weapons include a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun and a 12.7 mm air defence machine gun mounted on the commander's cupola. Each side of the turret has a 76 mm Type 84 five-barrel smoke grenade launchers.
The turret and hull are of all-welded steel armour construction. A layer of composite armour has been added to the front arc. The armour package is of modular design, enabling damaged sections to be replaced or upgrades installed throughout service life. Explosive reactive armour (ERA) can be fitted if required.
The Type 99 features an JD-3 integrated laser range-finder/warning/self-defence device. Unlike contemporary Russian active tank self-defence systems, the Chinese system uses an experimental high-powered laser to attack the enemy weapon's optics and gunner. It can also engage attack helicopters and the laser device could also be used for communications between tanks. The system includes what appears to be a laser warning receiver.
In 2001, the Japan approved research projects for the development of a new battle tank with advanced command and control capabilities. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is the main contractor of the TK-X. Development of components began in 1990s, and as of 2008 production was expected to start in 2010-2011. A prototype of the '3.5-generation' tank was revealed in 2008. The Type 10 TK-X (MBT-X) project aims to build a new main battle tank to replace the existing Type 74 MBTS.
This new lightweight MBT weighs significantly less than other modern battle tanks. It is 10 tons lighter than the current Japanese Type 90 main battle tank. The 40-ton tank was designed to be lightweight in order to comply with Japanese road laws. This tank will be deployed to the narrower and more mountainous regions of the country. The Type 10 has sloped turret armor similar to the Leopard 2A5, as well as a side profile similar to the Leclerc. Without additional armor plating, the vehicle weighs about 40 tons, while weighing about 48 tons with all of the add-on armor. Laws banning heavy vehicles meant that the Type 90 could not operate outside Hokkaido, except at certain training facilities.
The most remarkable characteristic of the Type 10 tank lies in its C4I function (command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence). This can be incorporated into the GSDF network to enable sharing of information among tanks, as well as connected to the infantry’s outdoor computer network “Regiment Command Control System” to facilitate integrated military operations with the infantry troops.
A day & night 360° sight is also mounted on the turret, which can be integrated with the "new Basic Regimental Command & Control System". Compared to the Type 90, the Commander's Panoramic Sight has been moved to the right and is located at a higher position, giving the commander a wide field of view. The use of modular components, thereby significantly improving the side armor in comparison to the Type 90. The vehicle's armor can be reconfigured depending on the needs.
The vehicle is armed with the 120-mm L44 smoothbore cannon, built by Japan Steel Works, Ltd. This company also license-produces the Rheinmetall 120-mm / L44 gun for the Type 90 MBT. There is an option for L55 or a new barrel 50 caliber in length. The TK-X main battle tank fires a newly developed armor-piercing ammunition. It is compatible with all standard 120-mm NATO ammunition. Secondary armament consists of coaxially mounted 7.62-mm machine gun and a roof mounted remotely controlled 12.7-mm machine gun. It uses an autoloader, with a crew of three (Commander and gunner in the turret, driver in the hull). It uses Continuously Variable Transmission, and is equipped with active hydropneumatic suspension, which allows it to adjust its stance. The tank can "sit", "stand", "kneel" or to "lean" in any direction. This feature gives a number of advantages.
The new tank designated T-99 will be less radical and somewhat smaller, lighter, simpler and cheaper than the ambitious ‘Object 195’ or T-95 which was a failure, it will weigh less, therefore, become more agile and will be more affordable, compared to its more ambitious predecessors. It is believed that the tank will be armed with 125 mm smooth-bore gun of high power. It's a tool and put a new version of the T-90AM.
"A number of platforms" capable: its a tank, an armoured recovery vehicle, an heavy infantry fighting vehicles and heavy armored assault . It can also be developed and tank support combat vehicle (BMPT).
The Russian industry is also developing the Boomerang family of 8×8 wheeled armored vehicles which will gradually replace the current BTR-90. Additionally, the Kurganets-25 tracked armoured vehicle provides high degree of commonality with the new Armata tank. The Kurganets-25 will evolve into various models, gradually replacing BMP and BMD and MT-LB and other types of tracked armoured platforms.
The first prototypes of this vehicle began testing in 2013 and the Armata platform is currently being used for the T-14 tank prototypes. Compared to Western tanks modern Russian tanks have an automatic loader (instead of a fourth crewmember), which makes the tanks lighter and more mobile. A true fire-and-forget missile with a built-in seeker would go a long way towards correcting that deficiency, and allow the tank to destroy targets at extreme range.
"With the T-14, they have at last adopted a layout that emphasises crew protection over size. According to a report in the Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the tank’s crew members are no longer distributed between the turret and the hull, but have all been placed in an armoured ‘capsule’ in the hull. The ammunition is stored in its own separate compartment, away from the crew. This compartment is armoured as well, and located to minimise the probability of a hit. It may also be equipped with blow-off panels to vent the explosion away from the crew and powertrain, thus preventing an ammunition deflagration from immobilising the vehicle. The turret—historically housing the gunner and commander’s stations—is now unmanned and remotely operated from within the hull.
There are two advantages to this arrangement. Firstly, a tank hull, by virtue of its location, is always less exposed to enemy fire than the turret, especially when fighting from defilade. This reduces the probability of a hit to the crew compartment. The upshot is that the crew is well-placed to survive the destruction of the turret or the ammunition—known as a ‘mission kill’—and make it back to base in one piece.
Secondly, in older tanks, the designers had to armour the hull (to protect the driver) as well as the turret (to protect the commander and gunner). So the quantity of armour that could be applied had to be carefully rationed between the turret and the hull. Any designed increase in armour at one location in one often came at the expense of the other. The T-14, with the entire crew placed in one dedicated compartment, eliminates this dilemma rather nicely. The bulk of the armour is now concentrated in around the crew, in the hull. On the whole, this results in protection levels far greater than those possible on rival tanks. The Afghanit APS on Armata is supposed to be able to intercept incoming projectiles with velocities of up to 1700 m/s, so the designers obviously had defense against sabot in mind. In addition there are several sensor systems (thermal, vidcams and AESA radar) and an automatic defense system for protection against missiles and weapons like RPGs (shaped charge rockets).
Firepower is another area where the current generation of Russian tanks is lacking. This, too, is a direct outcome of the decision to use an automatic gun-loading mechanism in place of a manual loader. The constraints imposed by the lack of space and the configuration of the autoloader make it impossible for the tanks to use heavy, one-piece ammunition rounds. Instead, a different type of round consisting of two separate pieces, the propellant charge and projectile, is employed. The 3MB42 round that Russian tanks currently field is quickly becoming obsolete against newer composite armour technologies. It was reported in 2007 that it failed to penetrate the Arjun tank's Kanchan armour in tests carried out by the Indian Army.
An automated 125mm gun (and 32 shells and missiles) in a turret. 125-millimetre main tank gun was the most powerful in the world when it made its debut on the T-64 tank, and the basic design remains competitive. Therefore, it is not surprising that the T-14’s designers decided equip it with a heavily modernised version of the same gun, with a higher muzzle velocity and reportedly greater accuracy. Some version may have the 152 mm gun as a heavy assault vehicle.
There is also a RWS (remote weapons station) for a 30mm autocannon and another for a 12.7mm machine-gun. The heavy machine gun operated remotely from within the crew compartment. The weapon fixes a critical vulnerability that MBTs face on the modern battlefield, a vulnerability the Russians discovered at great cost in Chechnya. During the First Chechen War, Russian tank columns routinely came under fire from rebels sited on building rooftops and armed with handheld anti-tank rockets. The tanks’ inability to shoot back at the attackers resulted in heavy losses on the Russian side.
All machines of the "Armata" family are equipped with a communication system without the use of radio — information is transmitted via IR-channel. They are also coated with reflective GALS-technology. Newer equipment also makes Armata more expensive and due to limited production capability and ongoing technology development it is likely to stay like that for next few years till Russia can mass produce them or find few export customers for the new tank.
If the Indian experience is anything to go by, Russian corporations, hungry for exports, are often known to make tall claims, but they aren't always backed up by field performance. The engineering is pretty good though." In 2015, mass production of ceramic armour, communication engines and electronic systems for the heavy platform started. For now, a pilot test-batch of 20 tanks is being produced. Troops operating these would be able to identify shortcomings, which can be eliminated before bulk purchases begin.
This under 50 ton tracked fighting vehicle needs to be developed on a modular concept as part of a family of combat vehicles (such as a light tank variant), with a high degree of flexibility in a manner that, it can operate across the varying requirements of different terrain configurations such as developed / semi desert/desert terrain and in high altitude areas across the entire spectrum of conflict.
While the estimated development cost of Rs 5,000 crore might seem large, the investment would pay itself back many times over. An order for 1000 FMBT’s would be worth Rs 50,000 crore (Rs 50 crore per piece) over 2 to 3 decades.
(One of the chief disadvantages of the gas-guzzling Abrams is its heavy dependence on vulnerable supply lines.)
RFI also stresses on the development of a family of following variants are planned to be developed on the FRCV platform:
- Main Battle Tank
- Light Tank
- A Wheeled Version
- Bridge Layer Tank (BLT)
- Trawl Tank and Mine Ploughs
- Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV)
- Self-Propelled Artillery Gun/Howitzer
- Engineer Reconnaissance Vehicle
- Air Defence Gun or Msl System
- Artillery Observation Post Vehicle
- Armoured Ambulance
2012: Army has not finalised FMBT specifications. The Army also has asked CVRDE to refrain from talking about the programme
“India has never designed engines; engine technology has always been imported. But we will develop the FMBT engine as a national project. Our approach is not engine-specific; we are looking at developing the complete range of technologies needed for building engines. Not only design… but also manufacturing, testing, evaluation,”. Sivakumar says that German companies MTU and Renk, which supply engines and transmissions for the Arjun tank, refused to provide consultancy, realising that building Indian capability would end their market here. DRDO is now evaluating consultancy proposals from Ricardo of Britain and AVL of Austria.
Sivakumar says that a tank remains static for at least 40 per cent of the time in battle, during which time its engine idles. “This means that 40 per cent of the time, you wastefully run a 1,500 Hp engine, guzzling diesel and giving away the tank’s position, while you need very little power for running electricals like the radios and gun control equipment or for moving the tank slowly. So, we are evolving a hybrid technology concept in which the tank will have two engines: a 500 Hp engine for low power mode and another 1,000 Hp engine that kicks in when high power is required, e.g. for manoeuvring in battle,”
The development of the 120 mm smooth bore main gun will also provide its own challenges, in terms of design and weight. Keeping in mind the Israeli involvement in the Arjun programme, it is very likely that Israeli companies will play a vital role in the development of the FMBT.
CVRDE has gained considerable experience in tank design and development with the Arjun and Arjun MK-2 upgrade. Designing a 50 tonne tank with the features demanded by the Army, will be an extremely difficult task.
The RPG-29's PG-29V HEAT tandem-charge warhead is one of the few anti-tank weapons that can penetrate the frontal hulls of Western composite-armored main battle tanks, as well as Russian T90 & T80U MBTs equipped with Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armour. It has recently seen intermittent use by irregular forces in the Middle East theater, including in combat against U.S./U.K. forces during the Iraq War, and the 2006 Lebanon War, when it was used against Israeli forces.