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Russian-built T-90 tanks’ thermal imaging system flawed

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by BlueOval, Dec 14, 2010.

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  1. BlueOval

    BlueOval Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    The Indian Army has detected flaws with the thermal imaging system of the Russian-built T-90 main battle tanks (MBTs), inducted in its fleet three years ago, causing an estimated loss of Rs 620 crore.

    Rechristened as ‘Bhishma,’ T-90s’ flaw came to light during its comparative trials with the indigenous MBT Arjun during peak summers in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan.

    According to the report submitted by the Indian Army, the French Catherine thermal imaging (TI) camera giving T-90s its night vision capability and higher precision is not “adequately tropicalised.†It simply cannot function in the extreme condition for which it was supposed to function. Because of this the thermal imaging camera is prone to malfunction in extreme temperature conditions of Rajasthan, where it is deployed.

    “During the trials it was observed that the temperatures inside the tank goes up to 55-60 degree Celsius resulting in the blurring of images taken by the camera,†a senior Indian Army officer told Financial World on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to media.

    Following the repeated delay in the MBT Arjun project, the Indian Army had opted for Russian-made T-90 tanks to counter-balance Pakistan’s acquisition of Ukraine-built T-80 tanks. Majority of T-90s would be deployed in the western sector bordering Pakistan, where mercury soars to intolerable levels during summers.

    The report describes the thermal imaging cameras as the ‘eyes’ of the tank. While the tank costs around Rs 12 crore, each of these systems cost (including) Rs 2 crore. Prolonged use of the tank in extreme weather conditions has already rendered 80-90 of such systems “unserviceable.â€

    The Indian Army is deliberating to get a locally effective air conditioning system for the thermal imaging camera. However, nothing concrete has happened on this front.

    French defence major Thales Land and Joint Systems had signed a contract with Russian Rosoboronexport to supply Catherine thermal imaging cameras for T-90s in 2007. The camera operates in the 8-12 micrometre infrared frequency band and is designed to be retrofitted into existing main battle tank fire control system. Russia started licensed production of the cameras earlier this year.

    This is not the first time the T-90 project has run into problems. In 2001 India had contracted for 310 T-90 tanks for Rs 3,625 crore. Out these 310 tanks, 124 were purchased off the shelf, while the rest 184 were bought in semi-knocked down conditions and were to be assembled at Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) at Avadi in Tamil Nadu. There was a follow-on contract for 330 T-90s.

    Under the contract, Russia was to complete transfer of technology to India for indigenous manufacturing of 1,000 T-90s at HVF by 2006. However, following chronic delay in technology transfer the first indigenous T-90 tank rolled out of the factory only in 2010.

    Earlier, lack of cooling systems inside the tank led to uninhabitable temperatures of 60 degree Celsius. This made the Indian Army scout for an air conditioning system for the tank. The fire control systems of T-90s also suffered malfunctions on various occasion

    Tehelka - India's Independent Weekly News Magazine
     
  2. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    The flaws of systems in our Army is getting greater and greater. IMO all the top brass from Colonel rank must be put under probe. The Army is right now at its worst position with corruption, disloyalty, stress, inefficiency, bribery taking place more than other 2 branches of armed forces. Only if the guilty are awarded death sentence shall the remaining think a dozen times before committing any crimes.

    After ordering 1,000 T-90s they realize this blunder? Or was it a conspiracy by Army's Russian lobby to make sure that Arjun is not inducted en masse despite being better and superior to T-90s?

    It doesn't take an Einstein to guess.
     
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  3. Spartacus+

    Spartacus+ Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    I read somewhere India's Smerch MRLs also have defects and they failed to launch rockets on number of occasions.
     
  4. Coltsfan

    Coltsfan <b>SENIOR MEMBER</b> SENIOR MEMBER

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    Temperature in Rajasthan is 55-60 C at night? Can someone please explain
     
  5. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Look at this!

    1-Arjun better than T-90,

    2-Pinaka better than Smerch (number of successes);

    What the F are we playing at? Tejas has never crashed in test demonstrations and still IAF claims that it has flaws. IA and IAF has the most corrupt management and must be reviewed. Unless these traitors are executed and awarded death sentences, corruption for national defence will continue. I bet MOD officials are hand in hand with these lobbyists.

    If we can make GSLV, is it too difficult to extend Pinaka's range and instead of buying Smerch, induct them? If we can make IRBMs, is it so tough to make a bloody modern assault rifle that we have to go for SIG, HK and IMI guns? If we can manufacture Arjun, is it so difficult to make a smaller light tank category armoured vehicle? If we can design an aircraft carrier and a nuclear submarine, is it so difficult to make a diesel electric submarine?

    If we can make Tejas MK1 from nothing, does it take 3 years to simply clear the proposal for Tejas MK2 to be built from an existing platform?

    Do we not have sufficient defences right now to hold off foreign purchases and make indigenous modifications and upgradations to these? I think MOD is in some sort of agreement with Russian, Israeli and American firms for bribes and since Anthony is a simpleton all are by-passing him and getting crores worth of bribes for sub-standard expensive foreign junk.

    If Tejas MK2 had been ready and flying in IAF by now, I would have agreed with a famous line "scrap MRCA in favour of MCA". I think 100% foreign procurements should be BANNED. Only then there would be some impetus to allow progress in domestic industries. The only obstacles and threat to indigenous development are Indian Army and Indian Air Force top generals and marshals who are hand in hand with foreign agencies. Look at Navy; how well it has balanced domestic development with foreign purchases. What itch does IA and IAF have in doing the same?
     
  6. Spartacus+

    Spartacus+ Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Brother LCA is not what you think it is IAF have requirements for example IAF wants aircraft with 22 degree AoA and LCA is not capable of doing that so its not IAF fault.
     
  7. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    ^^ I know that quite well. I mean to speak of what took IAF management so long to come in support of Tejas programme when it started taking conscious interest only in 2000s which was very late considering the timeline of the project. The root cause is often in such delayed decisions. Had IAF pressed for Tejas earlier itself and took part itself in the project by now we would have had the thing flying in IAF colours.
     
  8. ASP007

    ASP007 FULL MEMBER

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    I agree with you..The T90 MBT outperformed by the so called Failed Arjun..Not only once on the total testing parameters T90 failed to cop up with the Arjun..Still the IA want an expensive refit for T-72 instead of picking the Arjun.The recent IA land scams are the proofs.
    But the MRCA deal should go as like it is.
     
  9. Dilemma

    Dilemma Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    I'm pretty sure the problems you are talking about are the one's plaguing the T-90S'. Isn't that the reason why the the T-90 was upgraded to the T-90M with French thermal imagers and other Israeli subsystems?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  10. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    ^^ I am totally against the re-fit of T-72s and I am surprised how the "I am an indigenous innovator" Anthony is even allowing the Army to go along with the refit clearance. I feel most of these are hand in glove and hence they are allowed to take foreign junk in any time. Any sane general or DM around this planet would have cleared their indigenous successful tank to be produced en masse and scrapped all the obsolete ones.

    But citing "new requirements for future battled and the need of a ""smart"" tank" IA has pushed Arjun to an early death. Now goodness only knows how long it will take to clear the "Arjun Mark 2". Or maybe the Army will put the excuse for Russian FMBT and buy that instead even if the MK2 outperforms the FMBT.

    I think the selection committee needs to be detained and have their comlinks tapped to see how many Russian, American and Israeli arms dealers they talk to and without trial must be put on death sentence. That will send a message to any future scamster having any ideas. This same GOI that once bombed Mizoram, smashed into the main city with a battle tank and razed down domestic terrorism once HAS the power; but these scumbags also have a share in the foreign "commission" so they won't do all this.

    Heard the latest hitch in MMRCA? The result won't be out until next year from today exact (4th quarter is anybody's guess) due to "problems of transfer of technology". You know what this means? This weakling government has almost caved in on American pressure to buy F/A-18 SH. No other country has any problems of transferring technology when Eurofighter and Rafale are even going to the limit of giving critical blueprints. Only Americans have the issue of umpteen agreements so that they maintain superiority even after extracting billions from us. The Con party is at it again: 80s was dominated by Bofors scam 2010-20 will be MRCA scam.

    GOI and IA/IAF top brass of today disgust me. Where is the government of Subhash Chandra Bose and the Indian Army of General Sam Manekshaw?
     
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  11. Dilemma

    Dilemma Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    ^^Yes I do agree the armed forces have to cleanup the corruption, but it still has lot to do. Yes, the Arjun kicked the T-90s butt in the trials, but when the army just does not feel comfortable in operating heavy tanks, no point in shoving an unfinished overweight product down their throat. I still don't get the point of running two MBT projects in a parallel, namely the Arjun Mk2 and the FMBT. I really don't know what problem the IA has with operating heavy tanks. Instead of making a brand new FMBT, add stealth and other features to the Arjun mk2.

    About the MMRCA, yes I read it and it is quite disgusting. Except for the American fighters (and maybe even the Gripen), everyone was offering full ToT without asking the IAF to sign any binding agreements. If the IAF/MoD actually goes in and chooses the F-16IN, it would be the stupidest move ever. It will be the first ever time when someone will induct an aircraft that has been retired (considering 2014 as the delivery date) by its major operators. Looking at the current pace, I doubt if the deal will be signed by even the end of 2011. And the by the time the first batch arrives, all the western and European nations would have moved on to fifth gen fighters.

    Anthony is still very good for the Indian defence industry. His hands are tied by the armed forces whose requirements keep changing almost everyday. The Akash SAM is the only indigenous (unlike other "indigenous" products with major components being sourced from outside India) system that the IA and the IAF has bought in very big numbers.
     
  12. brain_dead

    brain_dead Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    corruption is rampant in every sphere of our country. when the leaders are corrupt the followers are bound to be corrupt.(exceptions are still there.)
    i would not blame our armed forces for this corruption.
    but i can say that corruption in India is in its last stage.
    revolution has already been started.
    in next 4 years, we would see our country transforming.
     
  13. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Are you serious!! LOL! Arjun has a far better traction and ground pressure rating than T-90 despite it being heavier by almost 6 tonnes! I would suggest you to check out Arjun's specs properly before saying that. Arjun is 100% complete and is far superior to the T-90 junk that IA opted for. Excuse of a lack of surplus Sarvatra bridges is pathetic as Avadi plant can manufacture them in short notice as many as IA would require. IA has simply agents working for firangi companies who provide downgraded, sub-standard products and arm our army.

    However after facing media flak, Army seems to have considered MK-2 as a future induction for the tank instead of FMBT. FMBT is just being studied which is actually a Russian project to join up or not. The clearance is not given to join the programme yet but MK-2 Arjun has already got clearance.

    Dude, honesty and cleanliness can take a hike if the man is not able to assert and pressure his government to make amendments the way his predecessor did. Pranab Mukerjee was not very good but was far more assertive than Anthony. He is the top boss of MOD and hence can put the final say. If he desires he can warn the service chiefs to stick to final requirements rather than changing all the time. Fernandes did that then what is stopping Anthony from doing the same? This is all a pathetic excuse to continue the under-the-carpet work since the ruling government has a share in the bribes that they get simple as that. India has the lowest autonomy for armed forces in all the world's powerful militaries; which means that all the chiefs are under the thumbs of babus and that means Anthony if he desires can assert his status and force the Armed forces to come up with a conclusive and comprehensive requirement that would cover the necessities for the next 20 years.

    He is not doing it because he is weak like his PM, his President and his Home minister.
     
  14. Dilemma

    Dilemma Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    The Arjun is not complete.
    -It's commander's panoramic sight lacks night vision capability, which is quite important.
    -It does not have an active protection system

    So basically, what you're saying is that the army should settle for standard quality equipment instead of top-notch equipment? Just because something is indigenous doesn't mean it is the best out there. When the armed forces are happy with any indigenous equipment, they place more orders for it, for example the Akash SAM, the ALH Dhruv, NAG ATGMS, etc.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  15. flanker143

    flanker143 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    ok mk1 didn't have commander night sight (as mk2 will have it).. but tell me whats the use of night sights on t 90s if they can't perform properly in harsh desert conditions (where our tanks are supposed to fight.....well most probably)

    if its very important then it ought to work rightly where our army wants it to work...(which it is not doing atleast till now)

    do "our" t 90s carry active protection system ?

    are "our" t90s the top notch equipment -- then why are they facing problems right from the start.....!!
    its time that we stop seeing t 90s as a "top notch" and arjun as "standard quality" equipment....

    we know that indigenous equipments are not always the best but its still better than importing the faulty equipment that too in huge no.s !!

    also indigenous equipments can be upgraded more easily, cost effectively and timely....as then they wud be free from endless interstate political meetings , cost negotiations etc etc.....
     
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