DRDO to develop army’s next-generation tank
With most of our armour unfit to fight at night, the project is crucial.
In March this year, during trials in the Rajasthan desert, the Defence R&D Organisation’s Arjun tank conclusively outperformed the Russian T-90, the army’s showpiece. Buoyed by that success and by the army’s consequent order for 124 additional Arjuns, the DRDO is now readying to develop India’s next-generation tank, currently termed the Future Main Battle Tank (FMBT).
While costs are still being evaluated, the projections are mind-boggling. The development cost alone could be Rs 5,000 crore. Then, the replacement cost of the Indian Army’s 4,000 tanks — at a conservative Rs 25 crore per FMBT — adds to Rs 1,00,000 crore. The bulk of this would flow, over years of production, to Tier-I and Tier-II suppliers from small and medium industries.
For the first time, the DRDO has outlined the FMBT project’s contours. Talking exclusively to Business Standard, DRDO chief and Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, V K Saraswat, revealed, “While the Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) has been handed over to private industry, the DRDO will develop the FMBT. We need about seven-eight years from the time the project is formally sanctioned. The army and the DRDO have already identified the major features of the FMBT, which are quite different from the Arjun. While the Arjun is a 60-tonne tank, the FMBT will be lighter… about 50 tonnes. It will be a highly mobile tank.”
The FMBT project, says the military, is crucial for India’s future battle readiness. As army chief, General Deepak Kapoor pronounced 80 per cent of India’s tank fleet unfit to fight at night, which is when most tank battles take place. The bulk of our fleet, some 2,400 obsolescent Russian T-72s, are being shoddily patched up (see Business Standard, Feb 3, ‘Army to spend billions on outdated T-72 tanks’). More modern T-90 tanks were procured from Russia in 2001, shorn of crucial systems to reduce prices, after parliamentary dissent threatened to derail the contract (Business Standard, Feb 4, ‘Piercing the army’s armour of deception’). Only now, after nine years of stonewalling, has Russia transferred the technology needed to build the T-90 in India.
FMBT. These have been formalised in a document called the Preliminary Specifications Qualitative Requirement (PSQR). The detailed specifications of the FMBT, once finalised, will be listed in General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQR).
FMBT已经在一份被称为“初步规格质量要求” (PSQR)的文件中被证实。 FMBT的详细规格一旦敲定，将在被列入“总参谋部质量要求”（GSQR）。
Amongst the capabilities being finalised for the GSQR are: active armour, which will shoot down enemy anti-tank projectiles before they strike the FMBT; extreme mobility, which makes the FMBT much harder to hit; the capability to operate in a nuclear-contaminated battlefield without exposing the crew to radiation; and the networked flow of information to the FMBT, providing full situational awareness to the crew, even when “buttoned down” inside the tank.
Also being finalised is the FMBT armament, a key attribute that determines a tank’s battlefield influence. The Arjun already has a heavy 120mm ‘main gun’, and two small-calibre machine guns; the recently ordered batch of 124 Arjuns will also fire anti-tank missiles through their main gun. The army wants all of those for the FMBT, with ranges enhanced through technological improvements.
However, the DRDO chief ruled out an electromagnetic gun, the next generation in high-velocity guns towards which armament technology aspires. “The Future MBT is not so far in the future,” Saraswat quipped
With the FMBT project squarely on its agenda, the DRDO also envisages a major role in developing the FICV. Says the DRDO chief, “The FICV is not just a conventional armoured vehicle for transporting soldiers. It involves advanced technologies and multidisciplinary integration, which private industry has never done. Only the DRDO and the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) have that experience. DRDO teams are already thinking about the technologies that should go into the FICV. But this is only to support private industry in making the FICV project a success.”
While private industry weighs its options about where to manufacture the FICV, the DRDO has already chosen the Heavy Vehicle Factory (HVF) in Avadi —- the OFB facility that builds the Arjun —- as the FMBT production line.
“It will definitely be produced in HVF. I see no way that we can go away from HVF,” says Saraswat. “The HVF will work with us from the preliminary design of the FMBT, so that we can go from prototype to mass production without any hiccups.”
True_Indian(印度) What about stealth ?
Its a tank and not the T-50 for their to be stealth.
What about the Armour and most importantly ENGINE
They must work to provide gas turbine engine 4 good power and agility. and we know a engine which might fit in
ardon my ignorance..
wont stealth come handy against awac and other radars ?
The Arjun-Mk II tank will have a number of upgrades compared with Arjun-Mk I. Missiles can be fired from the former to destroy long-range targets and bring down attack helicopters. The tank’s commander will have a panoramic sight with night vision.
“With this upgrade, the commander can carry out his hunting job at night with his thermal sight and engage targets more effectively,” Mr. Sundaresh explained.
so the turret problem will persist in mk2 version…..thats not good….
so arjun cannot fire on fast moves but can the t 90 ??
Its true that our T90s aren’t the best T90s out there. But T90s in general are pretty good. They are better than what Pakistan or China field. Arjun Mk II would be better than Mk I but still nowhere near the T90 overall.
So its T90S > Arjun Mk II> Arjun Mk I > T72
I expect some 200-300 Mk II Arjuns.
这是真的，我们的T90s不是该型号坦克中最好的。但T90s总的来说还不错。他们比什么巴基斯坦或中国方面的更好。阿琼MK II型将比MK I型更好，但整体上仍远不及T90。
因此，它T90S>阿琼MK II型>阿琼Mk I型> T72
Yeah i also read this article of ajay shukla. felt bad how indian army purchased downgraded version of T90.
Do arjun have any self defence system ? or will it have in mark II version. if it have how efficient it is .
What will the power to weight ratio for a tank powered by this engine?
Easy to calculate bro. All info is already given.
weight = 50 Tonne
Power = 1500 BHp
power = 1500 horsepower
weight = 50 ton metric
power to weight ratio = power / weight = 1500 / 50 = 30
So power to weight ratio will be 30 hp/tonne Arjun’s p to w ratio is 23.9 hp/tonne
sir i request u to put some gud informative articles about Indian t 90s……since there is alot of negativity regarding them.
i have a question that why army has been interested in lighter mbt ~~50tns ….always reluctant to induct the much heavier arjun……
even now they want the fmbt to weigh 50tns…..what is the reason behind this that army is so concerned about the weight of their mbts….
plzz rep…thanks in advance…
Weight was not the only issue (even though it did play a small role) as to why the army was reluctant to induct the Arjun in large numbers. The Arjun had problems with its engine and the FCS. But they all have now seem to be fixed.
At first, because of its weight and dimensions, the army had to setup a brand new logistics base just for the Arjun. Add to that, the army has been very used to using lighter soviet tanks and the T-90 fit in as it was almost the same weight and it had a lot of commonalities with the T-72.
As for as the reason why they are concerned about weight is afaik mostly based on a logistical point of view. As it is you, you cannot even take the lighter tanks to mountainous areas so I don’t know how much of a difference it can make.
Looks like Merkava and T-90 had a baby!
The barrel is really long, could make it the tank less agile. Man, I wish they would hurry up and make it 2020 is too long to wait!
hope it looks something like this
^^^^^great pics, i think that’s the T-95 tank that was canceled
more than 200-300 DRDO wanted the army to buy over 500 MK1 to cover the costs for development but they only got 224 but they also got a promise that the army will buy enouph MK2 to cover the development for both MK1 and MK2…so i am guessing about 400-500…plus we need to replace our older tanks!
超过200-300辆， DRDO希望军队购买超过500辆 MK1来平摊开发费用，但他们只拿到了224辆的订单，但他们也得到了一个承诺，军队想要买足够多的MK2，来共同发展MK1和MK2…所以我猜测有400-500辆……再加上我们需要替换老坦克！
I believe the army’s focus is on helicopter gunships at the moment. They are going for gradual value additions in the Arjun.
Seems logical too.
Is there a guarantee this will not happen again ? Point that is being made.. focus should acquisition of technology rather than acquisition of platforms or delegating design work Russian and Israelis. There is no evidence in efforts putting there getting there……… no evidence in improving manufacturing capabilities. At least for me situation far from satisfactory and unsustainable… Current situation is conducive build capabilities to produce better platforms and even export them. till no evidence comes forward.. i will be critical about the Defense establish management. If folks managing cannot innovate atleast they copy what China is doing…
And I abosolutely agree that we need to devise strategies and doctrines based on our global position (peninsula with Pakistan next to us and we having to secure the Arabian sea and Indian ocean to protect our OWN trade routes even against Somali Pirates.
China is copying American and Russian doctrine but then it is also modifying some to suit its position.
China having Aircraft carrier is primarily to protect its Extended claimed maritime course which leaves other countries with nothing. Maybe shall try to put a map or link
So positioning aircraft carrier against Malaysia, philippines does benefit china with its force projection theory, but at the same time it has to go with Carrier group (to protect its carrier)
BBC News – China accuses Vietnam in South China Sea row
BBC新闻 – 中国指责越南在中国南海的行为
I don’t believe it would be very practical. Even a low end RPG could quite potentially spell disaster for the machine.
Well your logic,,, is incorrect, for simple thought that RPG has to be aimed and if the target is stable then RPG is effective, but if the Target is in motion, the shooter of the RPG has to predict where exactly to aim the weapon to hit the target, He has to mentally aim at a point C where the Hovercraft has to arrive exactly at the time when the RPG arrives,
RPG is not exactly supersonic you know.
So. RPG is not what I worry abt.
Also if RPG hits the Tracks most tanks will be mobile except their guns
why we dont install black eagle like turret on Arjun and make it FMBT