Ajai Shukla On His Alleged "Turnaround" on the Arjun MBT

Given that Ajai Shukla has taken the time out to write a full-on rejoinder in the comments section of the last-to-last post (refuting opinion from some quarters of a "turnaround" in his views of the Arjun MBT), I thought it could/would be suitably argued under a separate post altogether. A request -- let's have serious factual debate, not another vitiated comments section please! Here's the meat from Ajai's comment:

Just to clarify, my view of the Arjun tank remains unchanged. The cretins who believe something has changed, and that "Ajai Shukla has done a turnaround" are basing it solely on one fact alone: that I've done an on-ground report on the Arjun. The TV story that I did makes ONLY the following points... and that's pure journalism:

  1. These are the first video pictures of the Arjun.

  2. The problem with the hydro-gas suspension appears to have been fixed.

  3. The driver says it's a world class tank. (NOTE: the driver says it... that's a viewpoint. Nitwits who don't understand reportage perhaps have a problem understanding the difference between what a reporter says and a view expressed by someone else).

  4. The Arjun will be pitted against the T-72 and the T-90 in comparative trials in June.

  5. The officer in charge of the project says (NOTE: I don't say it... he does) that he thinks the Arjun is better and he hope for a level playing field in the trials.

  6. 14 tanks are ready for the trials and THE OFFICERS WHO MADE THE TANK are confident it will perform well.
My fundamental views of the Arjun's flaws (posted on Bharat-Rakshak years ago) remain unchanged. Especially my views that:

  1. The tank suffers from a hybrid design where several major components have been bought off-the-shelf and slapped together into a tank.

  2. The tank suffers from a high profile, high visibility, high vulnerability to helicopter, ATGM and tank attack from ranges beyond which it can pick up those enemies.

  3. The issue of translating a prototype into a production line remains beset with Quality Control problems.

  4. Strategic mobility remains a major problem for the Arjun.

  5. If the tank does not perform well in trials, it should be shelved and categorised a technology demonstrator, rather than shoved down the throats of the army.

I also believe that if, on the other hand, the Arjun performs well in trials and comes up with even acceptable performances, give it a chance in service. But for that it must perform to an acceptable degree.

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