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105 mm Light Tank

After the 2017 conflict with China on the Doklam Plateau, India found that a light tank was needed for use in the high mountains. The tanks in the arsenal of the army were too heavy for use in the border area with China and there were only limited possibilities. China had the Xinqintan light tank, which had already been tested in Tibet. The Indian Army wanted a light tank of about 22 tons of combat weight, which can be deployed at heights of over 3,000 meters. It was to be able to fight enemy tanks, armored vehicles and positions on a battle distance of two kilometers.

The Design and Development of Light Tank on BMP-I project approved in 1983 was intended to be complete in 1986. It never reached completion, but continued in production and trials until 1996 to a total cost of Rs 4.53 crore (Rs 2.91 through foreign exchange), well beyond its estimated Rs 2.54 crore. The Army, who had inspired the project with a 1976 GSQR, determined in July 1985 that a light tank on BMP was not needed, but did not withdraw its association from the project and even made suggestions that led in 1988 to 105mm turrets being implemented rather than the planned 90mm turrets.

In October 1999, the Indian Army put out a request for information (RFI) issued to prospective vendors for the requirement of about 200 wheeled light tanks (armoured cars) and about 100 tracked light tanks. The Modernisation (AC) Dte Gen Mech Forces, General Staff Branch, Integrated HQ of MoD (Army), issued a Request For Information [RFI] A/35854/Lt Tk/GS/Mod (AC) in May 2010 for Light Tank [Wheeled & Track].

Light TankBy 2009 DRDO had developed a light tank based on BMP-II chassis with 105 mm turret (GIAT industries, France). This vehicle is aimed to carry high caliber weapons without sacrificing the strategic or tactical mobility. Mechanical integration of turret with chassis, stability during firing, and compatibility of 105 mm Indian Armour Piercing Fin Stabilised Discarding Sabot (APFSDS) ammunition with turret have been established during the trials.

The DRDO light tank is a tracked amphibious light tank developed in India by DRDO. It is based on "Sarath" chassis, a license-produced variant of BMP, built by the Ordnance Factory Medak with French GIAT TS-90 turret having 105 mm gun. This vehicle is aimed to carry high caliber weapons without sacrificing the mobility.

  • 3 men crew for turret
  • 105 mm semiautomatic maingun with muzzle brake
  • Capable of firing APFSDS, APDS(Armour Piercing DiscardingSabot), HESH (High ExplosiveSquash Head) ammunition
  • COTAC semiautomatic FireControl System (FCS)
  • Accurate ranging by LRF
  • Low-light level TV forcommander and gunner
  • Panoramic sight forCommander
  • Al alloy turret with 12.7 APprotection level
  • Amphibian capabilities
  • Stowing capability: Main gun42 rounds; turret10 rounds; ammunition compartment32 round

By 2010 India was re-organizing its mechanised forces to achieve strategic mobility and high-volume firepower for rapid thrusts into enemy territory. By late 2008 reports of China's military build up at the Indian border had become a major concern, with India planning to deploy 15,000 troops in Arunachal Pradesh. It was said that concerns about security in Arunachal Pradesh intensified after the Manmohan-Jiabao meeting in October 2009. The Indian Army forwarded a Request For Information (RFI) for acquiring 300 lightweight tanks for deployment in the Northeastern states and in Jammu & Kashmir. The RFI also included a request for high intensity light tanks, anti-tank guided missiles, anti-aircraft machine guns which should be protection against nuclear, chemical and biological warfare. The Light Tank envisioned 300 tanks (200 tracked 100 wheeled) to be deployed on china border.

In May 2010 Modernisation (AC) Dte Gen Mech Forces, General Staff Branch, Integrated HQ of MoD (Army) issued a follow-up RFI, stating: "On studying and analyzing your response to our RFI Questionnaire for the light tank (tracked), it was observed that there are many voids of information in the response provided by you. We understand that certain inputs may not be divulged at this stage or require clarification/discussion with the customer, however we expect more information on certain technical and physical parameters. Information provided by you will not only help us to know more about your Equipment but also help us to formulate our requirements. 3. A additional questionnaire is enclosed as appendix, you are requested to reply by 20 Jun 2010."

Q.1 Mobility

  • (a) What is the power to wt Ratio of the light tank?
  • (d) Is the tank Air portable / dropped?
  • (e) What are the dimensions of the light tank?
  • (f) What is the bridge classification of the light tank?
  • (k) Is the Self recovery capability on land and for exiting from water obstacle provided?
  • (l) Is light tank Amphibious or not? If yes, specify capability.

Q.2 Fire Power

  • (a) Is the main gun of caliber >105mm?
  • (b) Are twin launchers for ATGM provided?
  • (c) Can launchers fire In service missiles?
  • (d) What is Caliber of ATGM launcher?
  • (e) What is the main gun amn storage capacity of the light tank for 105mm gun and secy armt? Is light tank capable of firing non lethal weapons? specify.
  • (f) Is gun control system an all electric drive?
  • (g) Does Gun control system encompass firing all weapon system of the light tank including missile system?
  • (h) Is traversing speed for a 3600 traverse 14 seconds or less
  • (j) Is override facility provided for the tank commander for traverse and elevation when operating on power control?
  • (k) Is real error of stabilization of weapon system at vehicle speed of 25 to 35 kmph less than 0.4 mil in elevation and 0.6 mil in azimuth
  • (l) Is fire control system computerized and does it allow the gunner and commander to lay and fire the weapon systems while the light tank is stationary or moving under day and night conditions
  • (m) Is fire control system have all relevant integrated sensors? What sensors are available with FCS?
  • (n) Is driver passive ni sight with min 350mm range provided
  • (o) Is driver day periscope have 100 degree field of view
  • (p) Is gunner sight integrated with fire control system and capable of firing all weapons during day and night?
  • (q) What are ranges for gunners night sight:- Detection Recognition Identification
  • (r) Does commander have a day and night (TI) stabilize panoramic sight?
  • (s) Does third gen stabilized panoramic day cum night sight be provided to the commander
  • (t) Is override facility for tracking and firing provided?
  • (u) Is facility to view gunner sight picture by the commander will be provided?
  • (v) Is the LRF integrated in the Cdrs day cum ni panoramic sight? What is its range?

Q.3 Protection

  • (a) What is the Ballistic protection level in the frontal 60 degree arc?From where is the 60 degree frontal arc measured ?
  • (b) What is the Ballistic protection levels other then frontal 60 degree arc?
  • (c) Does Hull bottom be provide protection against anti-personnel mines including Fragmentation type?
  • (d) Has mine counter measures be incorporated to initiate influence mines electronically.
  • (e) Does the Armour plate have the capability of mounting strap on ERA panels?
  • (f) Is ERA provided?
  • (g) Does the Armour plate have the capability of strap on /bolt on appliqu armour to increase protection in selected area?
  • (h) What will be the total weight of the tank with strap on ERA panels?
  • (j) Is spall liners and roof fragmentation protectors be provided for the light tank?
  • (k) Is top attack protection provided against bomblet and shrapnels?
  • (l) Is passive protection to avoid detection from visual and electronic surveillance devices provided?
  • (m) Is the light tank painted with anti thermal and anti laser paint?
  • (n) Is state of the art new generation NBC protection provided to the light tanks?
  • (o) Is modern Instant Fire Detection and Suppression system (IFDSS) with automatic activation and suppression of fire provided?
  • (p) Is the activation time to extinguish fire in crew compartment less than 150 ms.
  • (q) Is the time to extinguish fire in Engine compartment is less than 10 seconds.
  • (r) Is the ammunition stored in containerized compartments with blow out panels to ensure protection to crew from accidental fire / explosion

Q.4 Misc

  • (a) Does the light tank have the compatibility for installing in service Radio sets
  • (b) Is Inertial Navigation system (INS) based navigation system provided?
  • (c) Is satellite based navigation be provided
  • (d) Is pre heater provided?
  • (e) Is APU provided?

Indias Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Indian armored vehicle manufacturers displayed at Defexpo 2016 for the first time a number of combat vehicles developed in India for the Indian armed forces, in March 2016. WhAP, an 88 armored infantry carrier developed by Tata (based on Tatas Kestrel design) wasdisplayed by the DRDO. The vehicle uses a modular design that adapts the platform to differentconfigurations, including infantry carrier, various specialist and support vehicles. The variant ondisplay included a manned turret mounting a 30mm cannon and 7,62 coaxial machine-gun. APC,CBRN, command post, ambulance, 105 light tank etc.

The 25-ton vehicle is powered by a 600 hp diesel engine, that accelerates the vehicle to a maximumspeed of 100 km/h, (10 km/h in water). The vehicle has two propellers for amphibious operation.The vehicle uses hydropneumatic suspension and runflat tires to soften in rough terrain and retainmobility even after tires are damaged. Among the four axles two are steerable, improving thevehicles maneuverability in urban and rough terrain.

To counter Chinese Xinqingtan light tank, in July 2017 Indias Ministry of Defence (MoD) approved the INR24 billion (USD371 million) upgrade of 693 Indian Army (IA) BMP-2/2K Sarath infantry combat vehicles (ICVs) to BMP-2M standard. Under the proposed upgrade, the BMP-2s current power pack will be upgraded from 285 horsepower to 380. The upgrade also will provide better observation and surveillance, night-fighting capability, fire control system and anti-tank guided missile system. The vehicle will gain a capability of having two missiles loaded in ready-to-fire mode, allowing the gunner to fire missiles of his choice.

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Page last modified: 08-11-2017 17:48:35 ZULU