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:


: 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

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