Monday, October 01, 2007

Ex-Tank to formally offered to Army soon

The CVRDE's Experimental Tank (Ex-Tank) is undergoing some final touch-ups and will be formally offered to the Army in the next two months. Featuring the automotive system of the Combat-improved T-72 mated with the MBT Arjun gun turret, the CVRDE will be hoping that the Army is convinced by a proposition that suggests matching the "typical advantages of small size, low weight and affordability with performance matching the leading MBTs of the world".

Ex-Tank, the brainchild of DRDO chief M Natarajan, is well-known to the Army, though the latter has stopped short of making any serious "take-note" noises or commitments to the programme. The CVRDE therefore wants to be absolutely sure about the product before it's offered to the Army. Officials at CVRDE told me that the Ex-Tank was likely to be an immediate success because DRDO had learnt what not to do from the Arjun programme, and how to move things along quicker. The stringence of the Army's armour GSQRs have apparently helped the lab immensely they say with the Ex-Tank. On the flip-side, there are those even within CVRDE who do not believe that the Ex-Tank is a viable proposition, and that DRDO leadership is being "stubborn" by pushing it through as a possible replacement to the T-72s. And then of course, there's the Army's GSQR 2020, which envisages an almost ethereally capable tank, though the CVRDE is sure of itself.

According to the brochure I was given at CVRDE, here's what the Ex-Tank's salient features are:
  • Improved light weight KANCHAN armour with optimised thickness to give better protection to the frontal arc
  • 120mm Arjun rifled gun firing FSAPDS and HESH ammo
  • Fixed type semi-combustible cartridge case ammo
  • Integrated FCS based on stabilised sighting system to engage moving targets from moving tank
  • Reduced reaction time and increasing first round hit probability
  • TI integrated GMS for NF capability
  • Fully stabilised independent Commander's Panoramic Sight for surveillance, acquisition and target engagement
  • Standby Gunner's articulated sight as backup for GMS
  • Ergonomically designed crew station for better fighting capability
  • Double pin steel track with detachable rubber pad for enhanced tractive effort
  • Ordnance design allows replacement of gun barrel without dismantling the turret
  • 18 ready rounds located in turret
  • Fully integrated collective NBC system to offer freedom of operation in contaminated environment
  • 4.5 kW auxiliary power unit fo silent watch mode and battery charging
  • Global Positioning System for accurate navigation


: 4 Combat weight: 47 tons Power to Weight ratio: 15.65 kW/ton Ground pressure: 0.09 N/sq mm Suspension type: Torsion bar with hydro-gas struts Length: 9.19m Width: 3.37m Height: 2.24m Ground clearance: 0.47m Max speed: On road: 60 km/h Cross country: 40 km/h Gradability: 30° Trench crossing: 2.6m Vertical Obstacle Climbing: 0.85m Shallow fording: 1.2m Gun: 120mm rifled Depression and Elevation: -10° to + 17.5° Ammunition: 32 rounds (FSAPDS & HESH) Rate of Fire: 6-8 rounds per minute Co-Axial Machine Gun: 7.62mm Anti-aircraft Machine Gun: 12.7mm FCS: Director type Gun Control System: Electro-Hydraulic Ballistic Computer: Digital

Photograph ©Bharat Rakshak


Anonymous said...

those specs tell me that it will be a very successful product. all the very best to cvdre in its efforts against an unwilling army whose every step is only to spike indeginous efforts.

sniperz11 said...

The P/W ratio is far from ideal. Most other tanks boast ratios of 24 and above. The rest of the stats are fair. Lethality will not be a problem, given how powerful the Arjun gun is. Protection too is quite good, given the Kanchan armor. Mobility though may be an issue.

Prashanth said...

From the specs:

Ballistic Computer: Digital

Heh. Is there any other type?

Anonymous said...


Believe it or not, several ballistic computers were analogue.

Anonymous said...

47 ton. This means Arjun chasis is around 11 ton heavier than T-72 tank. Interesting.

I wonder what engine are they gonna use. With a heavier turret you would require a higher power engine. Is this a upgrade for T-72 or a completely new tank along with T-72?

Can you provide us with more info on GSQR 2020? Is a requirement for future tank already placed by the IA?
Any info on the status of the project on the indigenous engine?