India Seeking To Reshape Its Armored Forces

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Ongoing military conflicts around the world demonstrate that a solid concentrated tank force still is a decisive factor in winning contemporary wars. India’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) clearly understands this, paying close attention to increasing its armed forces’ combat strength and its tank forces in particular.

Modern India’s armored forces include three divisions and 8 tank brigades, not accounting for 8 light armored brigades. The total number of battle tanks employed is approximately three thousand. But more than half of them — about two thousand machines — are Soviet-developed T-72M1 Ajeya main battle tanks (MBTs). The last batch of these tanks came out of the factories in March of 1994. Only 950 of the modern T-90S MBTs are employed by the Indian Army. There are also 120 Arjun tanks that had been developed and produced in India.

India Seeking To Reshape Its Armored Forces

T-72M1 Ajeya

The only way out the MoD sees is to retire the T-72M1 completely and replace them with foreign contemporary tanks that would have to be built in India.

India Seeking To Reshape Its Armored Forces

T-90S

India’s MoD attempted this in 2015 for the first time. In June of 2015, it published a five page document, in which they announced a Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV) program, aimed at joint production of a MBT, or licensing one but manufacturing it locally to a degree, in order to replace the T-72M1. The new tanks were planned to be employed in 2025-2027.

Besides that, the selected new tank should have served as the basis for 10 more armored vehicles, including a light crawler tank and a light wheeled tank, an armored bridge launcher, an armored recovery vehicle, an anti-air defense system, an artillery fire-control system, an armored engineer reconnaissance vehicle and an armored medical evacuation vehicle. However, there were no letters of interest received from military contractors, in no small part because of the vague tactical and technical requirements specified for the future tank.

The T-72M1 obsolescence problem wasn’t solved. On top of that the Syrian war exposed several problems with T-72s regarding mostly insufficient armor and lack of defense against high-precision weapons. On November 8, 2017, India’s MoD published the requirements for the new MBT once again, this time sufficiently describing what the military wanted the tank to be. The document states that the MoD would like to buy nearly 1770 armored combat vehicles in different configurations and that MoD would like to sign 10-year contract for their after sale support, and a 40-50-year agreement regarding the training of personnel (including training simulators), and tech support for the duration of the tanks’ lifecycle. The document separately stated that production technology should be transferred and that most tanks should be produced in India according to the transferred license and technical documentation.

What sort of a battle tank the Indians want?

Firstly, it should “rapidly assert dominance on the battlefield” and be highly mobile, have high accuracy and have several layers of defense. It should be able to take part in battle during any time of the day, on any terrain available in India (mountains, deserts, flatlands, river valleys and so on), and its weaponry should assure the destruction of any target, including moving and highly-defended stationary ones. The tank also should be able to use several types of ammo, including anti-tank guided missiles, and also it should be able to hit low flying helicopters and jets.

Secondly, the tank should weigh about 42,5-57,5 t, it should have a low profile and should be combat ready at temperatures ranging from -30°C to +50°C. It’s size should allow transporting it by road, railway, ships and airplanes.

Thirdly, the tank’s weapons should include:

  • 120 mm or 125 mm cannon, able to fire 6-8 shots off per minute. The anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) used by the tank should be able to pierce 1000 mm armor at a distance of 5 km (minimum capacity should account for 40 shots, including the ATGM);
  • a 7.62 mm machine gun paired with the cannon, with the range no less than 1000 m (with capacity of no less than 2000 shots);
  • a 12.7 mm or more anti-aircraft machine gun, able to hit the targets in the air at a distance of 1500 m and land targets at 2000 m (ammo capacity: no less than 800 shots). The fire-control system should be able to detect tank-type targets at a distance of 5 km during the day and 3.5 km during the night, and should achieve a 0.9 hit probability for the first shot. The tank’s movement range should be no less than 300 km on varying terrain, and no less than 500 km on road.

The manufacturers have until December 20, 2017 to respond.

Right away the American Abrams and the German Leopard heavyweights do not satisfy the weight requirements. Besides that, India’s MoD is interested in modern technologies, hence buying the tanks mentioned above as well as Russian T-90 tanks are out of the agenda. Russian T-90s are being manufactured in India with a varying degree of localization.

India Seeking To Reshape Its Armored Forces

Click to see the full-size image

The Indian media stir up interest for the contract by “citing anonymous sources in the military sphere,” which claimed that the command shows interest in Russian Armata T-14, French Leclerc and South Korean K2 Black Panther battle tanks.

India Seeking To Reshape Its Armored Forces

Click to see the full-size image

It stands to mention that the French Leclerc, while having good armor and modern enough fire-control, navigation and communication systems, was developed in the 1980s, is expensive to produce and maintain, and is currently out of production. The Korean K-2 is the most modern MBT, employed by a military, but at the same time, it is very technologically advanced and is the most expensive tank in the world. The preferable option for Indian Army would be buying the new Russian T-14 tank.

India Seeking To Reshape Its Armored Forces

Click to see the full-size image

But there’s a caveat: Russia only entered serial production of the tanks, and they are currently in the process of being employed by the army. Consequently, not all possible problems of the tank have been discovered yet.

India has been cooperating with Moscow in the sphere of tank manufacturing for decades. During these years many company connections were established. One can say with a degree of certainty that India won’t betray its old proven partner. It’s possible that Moscow would provide Deli with a simplified Armata MBT version. Even in this case, the T-14 would be head and shoulders above the competition.

It’s too soon to speak of the amount of production technology meant for India, because the contract isn’t signed yet, but one thing is clear: the T-14 sell contract will allow Russia to sway the tide of military cooperation in its favor.

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  • Serious

    India is nothing else but a shithole. The largest shithole in the world.

    • Rodger

      Yeah, 20-30 years ago they actually thought they might win the economic race with China. Just shows you how a democracy does against a ‘non-democracy’.

      • Starlight

        Ah- but China was never a true colony of Britain, but India still is.

        • Rodger

          Yeah, they claimed them speaking ‘English’ would be one of the things that would win them the race.

          • Bolter10

            There are more englich speaking people in China than India.

          • ensense

            Your read that in the communist party periodical?

        • You can call me Al

          It is no longer a colony but of course we have links.

      • Solomon Krupacek

        no. china advanced only therefore, that western money chosed it. but if will be too dangereaus, will remove, china collapses and india will fleurishing.

        • Rodger

          Guess you’ve never been to India. India is its own worst enemy.

          • Solomon Krupacek

            i was

      • John Brown

        India’s problem is its racist caste system

      • ensense

        Its still the fourth largest economy, it will get there slowly.

        • Rodger

          In the per capita (PPP) rankings they score a 124th place. They just have many people, that’s it.

          • ensense

            Here is a link to ppp ranking its 3, i dont know what you are smoking.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)

          • Rodger

            Guess you don’t know what per capita means…

          • ensense

            If you go by that china is 79 on that list. and china’s per capita is a little bit more than double. so no big deal considering that china started early on the road. besides defense spend is calculated per total gdp not per capita.

    • ensense

      but its sitting right next to the pile of shit called Pakistan.

  • Rodger

    They need to pierce 1 metre of armor at 5 km? That seems a bit excessive. Anyway it think they might be better off training 100.000 Indians as tank killer/sabotage/skirmisher crews. Cheaper, more mobile and better for the economy as the money stays in India in the hands of the poorest. Just fly in a few members of the flip flop brigade to show them how.

    • Serious

      Just imagine More than 300 millions miserable Indians. The whole population of USA very very poor. And a catastrophic pollution. And, they trusted Americans with Mosanto, Syngenta and Coca-Cola. Now, farmers are killing themselfs.

      • Rodger

        Yup, it’s no wonder they’ve had a Marxist revolution going on in the interior for some 50 years now. But on the bright side there are now initiatives of non-Monsanto seeds that produce fertile seeds themselves to help the farmers get out from under Monsanto’s rule.
        http://www.navdanya.org/site/ for example but there are more sane ones out there too.

    • Starlight

      No, India ‘needs’ to give a sizable chunk of its wealth to the jewish owners of arms manufacturing/trading companies, so that ‘backhanders’ from such arms entities can enrich the Indian elites.

    • testera

      They want to pierce armor that is equivalent to 1m of rolled homogeneous steel. Modern tanks have even thicker armour from the front. Range does not affect penetration of HEAT warhead, diameter does.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9M119

  • Serious

    Drop population in India to 300000000 people to live good instead of making more and more babies in a land that can’t absorb that.

    • Starlight

      India has the land and natural resources and educated elite to support a population TEN TIMES larger in civilised conditions. The poverty there is by DESIGN.

      • Serious

        10 times bigger ?? XD. USA is 3 times bigger and have 1/4 or 1/5 of India population.

        Just look Sweden. They are only 6 millions.

        If you want to live well, you must have a population adapted to your country.

        • Bolter10

          Gas?

        • Vitex

          And now Sweden is hell-bent on becoming an Islamic republic. So they don’t have all the answers.

      • ajay prasad

        1000 AD – India’s economy had a 33% share of world income, the largest in the world.

        1500 AD – India’s economy had a 24.5% share of world income, the second largest in the world after China, which had a 25% share.

        1600 AD – India’s income of £17.5 million (population approx. 150 million people) was greater than the entire treasury of Great Britain in 1800, which totalled £16 million.

        1700 AD – India’s economy had a 24.4% share of world income, the largest in the world.

        The colonization is the one single answer, British came to India for trade made colonies and started taking away the wealth by shattering the Indian Economy. Mughal Empire was declining and the British had local support as they could make use of the conflicts between the local kingdoms. Every time they defeated a King and gained the control of the Kingdom, the designated Viceroy had to transfer the wealth to England. After being looted completely, they re constructed the economy such that they could generate more revenue which later transferred to Britain.

        During the 1750 when Industrial Revolution took off, British dismantled the commercial and agrarian sectors in India which were the back bone of Indian economy and replaced with Industrial sectors. People lost their jobs and pushed to poverty and the economy was shattered.

        Establishment of British or English Company rule in India by occupying Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Assam regions (the prosperous regions) in 1764 (Battle of Buxar) is the turning point.
        Eventually British Company gained monopoly over Trade by eliminating or greatly reducing french and other european trade companies.

        English Company (officially British from 1857) directly and indirectly controlled whole of the india.
        Without caring for the people, primarily to get more income, Company introduced New revenue systems like Permanent Land Settlement system, Ryotwari etc. Their shortcomings devastated the agriculture and many farmers left cultivation.
        No support for the survival and development of local industry.
        In 1813, trade monopoly was abolished and one way free trade policy was imposed on India. By this policy the British machine products were imported to India freely and the export of Indian goods to England was discouraged by imposition of heavy duties on those products.

        Britain carefully de-industrialised the India and used India as the market for it’s finished goods and cheap supplier of raw goods for it’s industries.
        No capital formation in India. so it is very hard for the local businessmen to establish new industries.
        Income from India is utilised for the strengthening of Britain Imperialism inside and outside of the India. like Indian army paid out of Indian Income used to conduct operations in other countries behalf of Britain ex: WWI, WWII, Opium Wars.

        Recurrent famines of 19th and 20th centuries and lack of will by British administration to contain and plan them resulted in millions of death and huge malnutrition in entire generations which effected in production in short term and long term.

        When western countries were prospering through Industrialisation. India was in the hands of exploitative/colonial foreign rule, which destroyed even the existing traditional industries and resources.

        Still haven’t been recovered completely from the damage caused during foreign rule.

        • BMWA1

          Probably doing relatively well in time of Guptas, Chalukyas et al. too!

          • ajay prasad

            Golden Age.

    • ajay prasad

      Shows how Much you know, The reason Why India and china are densely populated is something else.
      https://curiousindians.blogspot.com/2017/05/india-china-overpopulation-reasons.html

    • Orcbuu

      Where is that guy who screams ABORTION RIGHTS when you need him?!

      • Politolog Externista

        you dont have the right to murder

    • ensense

      Of course you Pakistanis want that dont you, so that you can out breed the Hindus out of the subcontinent.

    • SG

      300,000,000 (it’s useful to separate zeros with commas)

    • MH370

      never be. india cant control their people as good as china

  • Starlight

    The same India that recently particiapated in Blue Flag, the racist warmongering jewish state of Israel’s biggest war games ever- in readiness for genocidal strikes on innocent Lebanon. And India was joined in Israel by the Vatican’s catholic power bloc.

    The ONLY thing you need to know about India- the obscene poverty affecting such a large percentage of the population is BY DESIGN. India could be another China. But the mega evil racism of organised religion, especially the ‘caste’ system, allows the monsters that rule India to maintain the most depraved conditions on the planet.

    • Solomon Krupacek

      barkbarkbarkbark…

      • slayern2

        Bad dog! Down!

  • Bolter10

    Just like their local aircraft production, making planes too heavy to fly! Or their local made guns – not working or their helicopters, again too heavy to fly…it goes on….Bureaucracy wins.

    • ensense

      Hmm dhruv the helo built by HAL flies to LEH constantly, which is one of the highest airfields in the world. The ATAGS artillery guns built by local companies have recently set a world record for range. Its good that you know how to comment, but if you dont know much about the subject its best to keeps ones mouth shut or fingers still.

  • Politolog Externista

    so, southfront knows armata=best.
    T-72M1 is actually still a pretty good tank. I understand SF doesnt know much about T-72. There are 2 T-72M1 types. India probably uses the later variant. It has problems with long range accuracy due to gun construction, its barrel isnt up to date. And the autoloader too needs changing if you get a new barrel/ammo. After all, if serious action happens, at long range M1 version+ERA can survive quite something. M1 version has significantly improved armor compared to predecessors. Today it doesnt mean much. because ammo progressed to surpass level of protection so a T-72M1 with old ERA and no passive armor improvements by adding weight and new engine, electronics, all these could make it rather interesting and not as expensive.
    T-72M1 was a rather up to date vehicle in about 1982. But alas, soviet downgrading and postponing meant a 5 years delay when selling export and licenses. In Czechoslovakia, T-72M1 started production of T-72M1 in 1987 (1010 made), compared to T-72M from 1985 and T-72, production started in 1981.

  • India rules the barbarian Pakistanis. In one war they took Kashmir. Then in another they took Bengal (Bangladesh). Next war India will take Baluchistan and break the barbarian nation of Pakistan into a grouping of terrorist emirates. Good riddance to Pakistan!

  • Igor Dano

    India is not able to feed its growing population, but needs to spend money on war fare.
    Superb!
    Bankers in Tel Aviv will be happy.

    • ensense

      Feed its population? India exports wheat regularly, being sandwiched between a hostile islamic hell hole like pakistan on one side and encroching dragon on the other. security is as important as feeding, and with regards to feeding India imports 3.4 mil tonnes of grains but exports 11 mil tonnes so its a net exporter.

      • Gregory Louis

        I wonder whos fault it still is though look at China they have no problems…..of the latter

  • MH370

    India will never be a superpower like china or US