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Flaws in T 90 Main Battle Tanks troubles Indian Army

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posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 08:23 AM

Chandigarh: Inducted to serve as India's main battle tank just over three years ago, the Army's fleet of Russian-built T-90s have run into serious trouble.

The problems include critical flaws in its fire control system, availability of ammunition and, what military officers said, was avoidable overuse during training exercises, rendering many tanks in need of overhaul.

According to Jane's Defence Weekly, the tank's continuing technical flaws are "adversely impinging on the Indian Army's operational preparedness."

Confirming the Jane's report, senior Army officers told this newspaper that the French Catherine thermal imaging (TI) camera, which gives the T-90's Belarussian (Peling IG-46) night sight its 3 km range and higher accuracy, is not "adequately tropicalised" and hence prone to malfunctioning in the extreme heat of the Rajasthan desert region, where temperatures inside the MBT routinely average between 55ºC and 60ºC.

During repeated manoeuvres in the Thar Desert, where the T-90s will ultimately be deployed in the event of an outbreak in hostilities, prolonged use under high temperatures had already "knocked out" between 80 and 90 of the Catherine TI cameras, rendering the FCS "unserviceable." The officers said that repeated efforts to correct the problem had been without success.

The TI cameras are the crucial "eyes" of the tank's systems. At Rs 2 crores each, the Catherine TI system comprises almost one-sixth of each T-90's total cost of Rs 11.75 crores.

I know the template around here is America=Bad, everybody else=Good. But the fact remains that Russian military has been consistently outclassed by its American counterparts. This is just another example.

Maybe the "T" stands for target.

posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 10:09 AM
Actually if you look a little deeper into the article it sounds like the problems are more with the changes the Indian Army is trying to make to the T-90. Correct my if I'm wrong but Russia's T-90s probably don't use the 'French Catherine thermal imaging (TI) camera' as they probably have their own indigenous version. Another point that was brough up as a problem was the fact that these T-90s weren't built to accomadate the Indian shells which are of dubious benefit anyhow. Finnally these are also Indian liscence-built tanks (which is probably why they're using the French camera) and so you can expect that there would probably be some quality lost in that.

While I agree that the U.S. does indeed surpass Russia in some respects I don't think this is an example of it... more of an example of why one shouldn't fiddle with what they don't understand. ^^

posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 10:23 AM
I think that Amur has hit the point there dead on. I see no more point in persuing the discussion in this thread.

posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 10:50 AM
Well, I think we've seen examples before where it takes a few modifications to get tanks working in new environments.

Abrams in Kuwait/Iraq ring any bells? Same here, except maybe the level of product support is a bit lower.

posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 10:08 PM

But the fact remains that Russian military has been consistently outclassed by its American counterparts. This is just another example.

There was no example

The article had no mention of any flaws with the T-90 tank but the foriegn suppiled equipment and inidan made ammo

posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 10:40 PM
In some respects, the Russian army is better then the American army. In some respects the American army is better then the Russian army. But what you have here is a bad example. Russians know what they're doing when they make their weapons. If it was that bad, Russia wouldn't make it its main battle tank. India shouldn've not messed around with it
and then it would've stayed good. A quick reminder is that no tank is perfect, though in this case this is India's fault for adding stuff, etc. But anyway, soon Russia's budget will go even higher, and they might start replacing T-90 with the Black Eagle.


posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 01:12 AM
If Egyptians can license build M-1A1's since 1996 without any problems, certainly the Indian's should be able to build the T-90 without too much trouble. It sounds like the real target of the T-90 has become the Indian military industrial complex instead of foreign tanks.

posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 02:48 AM
crusader that has to be one of the most silly comments in this thread.

Quite specifically this has nothing to do with the T-90 tank, these systems would have the same problems on an Abrams. The Indians tried to fit a -French- thermal imaging unit that couldn't take the head and the tank's gun isn't set up for the -Indian- ammunition which isn't what the T-90 is designed for. So next time read the thread and pay attention.

posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 02:14 PM
Firstly, the Indians didn't 'mess' up the T-90 Fire ctrl system. They tried to enhance it by
fitting it with a thermal imaging system that would atleast double the gunner's night targetting range.
Note the above quoted article gives the French thermal imaging system a range of 3km while the default thermal imaging on the T-90S for night vision is half of that for the gunner and 1/4th of that for the commander.
I am unable to get the exact specs on the Catherine TI system from independant sources, but I will try for the same.

Compare this to the night vision ranging capabilities on the M1A2 Abrams and other major tanks like the Challenger and Merkava:

I think its about 2500 to 3500 meters for the gunner's target identification; correct me if I'm wrong.

Default T-90S FCS & Night Vision:

The T-90S has the 1A4GT integrated fire control system (IFCS) which is automatic but with manual override for the commander. The IFCS contains the gunner's 1A43 day fire control system, gunner's TO1-KO1 thermal imaging sight which has a target identification range of 1.2km to 1.5km and commander's PNK-S sight.

The gunner's 1A43 day FCS comprises: 1G46 day sight/rangefinder with missile guidance channel, 2E42-4 armament stabilizer, 1V528 ballistic computer and DVE-BS wind gauge.

The commander's PNK-4S sight includes a TKN-4S (Agat-S) day/night sight which has identification ranges of 800m (day) and 700m (night). The driver is equipped with a TVN-5 infrared night viewer.

So there's nothing wrong with the T-90S basic config and the Indians didn't 'mess' it up. Its a phase of trial and tweaking. The temperature problems with the catherine systems will not and cannot halt the IN Army T-90 program. I'll be the first to post links when a solution is found and incorporated.

As for the faulty ammunition, again there's nothing wrong with the Russian supply, and the Indian ammunition which is clearly an attempted improvement over the Russian supplied 125mm bore ammo also has climate issues.
IMHO this is all a part and parcel of trying to tweak a system for maximum yield and setbacks are probable. Nothing wrong with Russian equipment AND nothing wrong with trying to build on it. End of discussion.

posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 02:17 PM
P.S: My condolences to the English football team.. I felt the same pain yesterday with Argentina..
"Don't cry for me Argentina.." .. sniff.. sniff

Now off to see the Brazil France game..
Vive les bleues!!

posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 03:39 PM

This is what happens when you try to kill a hammer with another hammer.

Micromental 'see first and pray later' performance variables make all the difference on an engagement you either fight to a victory or lose completely because at the typical engagement distances, you can't break contact and run away in desultory form no matter what.

I'm reminded of Hamilton and Burr playing at 'matters of honor'.

WHY would ANYONE want to use line of sight, heavy-tubed, weapons fire to kill other weapons systems of like capabilities with overlapping fire control and lethality envelopes?

You either go artillery or CAS to remove the fight from the field of counterfire altogether. Or you up the ante to the point where the other guy is dying before any threat option to make an honest fight of it exists on the same plane-of-combat.

In the latter instance, the obvious key here is likely to go with a LIDAR or 'range gated TV' and back it up with MMW for night, if possible with scatterable UGS/mine combos like REMBASS and FASCAM to channelize threats into preconditioned killsacs and then snap-illuminate based on early warning cue.

Whether you do it on a single vehicle (probably airborne to increase the SO range) or all of them to deny jamming and illuminator kill, if you can combine a maximum rate hypervelocity rocket (Vikhr with a new motor) with an _automated_ fire control system (track what you see, handed over team-link); by the time the threat get's round to deploying CM or evasive maneuver a couple seconds later, they are EATING 2km/sec _sustained_ rounds. With as much MJ as 120mm DM-53 has leaving the muzzle.

All form 4-6kms or 'whatever the LOS will provide for' (in a desert I would assume it would be pretty long) right on in to 1.

If every vehicle in a ten tank platoon equivalent (might as well be APC with these kind of lethalities) carries only eight such weapons in ready to use mode and can fire half of them on _independently trackfiled_ threats in an interval of say 20 seconds, there is not an American or Russian nor certainly Chinese or Pakistani armor team on the planet that can stand against you with an average 7-10 rounds per minute out of a manual or 10-15 rounds per minute from the /latest/ autoloadeders.

Not only that but you can afford to spend FOUR TIMES as much on vehicle integration (bigger bloody ECS) because you only have HALF the total fires vehicles vs. sensor systems requirements on your cost issues while still DOUBLING the number of instantaneous kills going out simultaneously to the threat.

But there y'all sit, happy as armored clams, just /swwwwingin'/ those those damn hammers together.


Having now read the full article, I can well imagine the cartoon in Armor Magazine: Indian tank gunner, standing in a slit trench holds one hand in front of his face, vee'd open over one eye, with a REALLY LONG string vanishing back through the TC's hatch. One ridgeline over, the TC 'monitors down range' with an astronomy telescope and a stopwatch. Off into the distance stretchs a line of similar vehicles with banana peel muzzles and herniated gas evacuators.

Caption header reads 'Fire Control integration now completed, India's T-90 AMK-340 reliability testing continues: "No Singh-In-Rain we //triple// packed each shell with propellant just to be sure they work!"'

Snicker, who does an Indian call for technical support anyway?

[edit on 1-7-2006 by ch1466]

posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 09:26 PM
Here is something i came across

Artist impression of a T-95 tank

posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 09:42 PM
Pretty much all weapon programs have teething problems its just a fact of life.

I know even if I was in a Chally2 or M1A2 I wouldnt be keen to got up against a T-90 with a well trained crew.

BTW cool concept pic of the a T-95 tank Chinawhite
Most concepts I see of future MB tanks in the west seem to share a much lower profile like that and be much lighter then the 60 ton plus juggernauts fielded now.

posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 09:53 PM
People are heading towards mobility rather than a slow moving army. Even china is giving up its large field armies and heading towards a smaller mobile army.

Another interesting tank turrnet is the Falcon II, not very low but man-less

posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 09:57 PM
WOW unmanned MBT

I knew that technology wise goverments could make a remote unmanned MBT and was really trying to figure out why not many countries had attempted it yet. You get rid of the crew it can be smaller and faster with the same level of protection. No need for NBC systems and any space for humans.

Who ever made that prototype my hats off to them great concept IMO

posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 10:03 PM
someone said something about the russians using a french thermal sight. I don't know if this is true or not but i heard it when i was in the Army. A senior cavalry NCO once told me that the French traded the Russians a tank/apc thermal sight for a tank autoloader back in the late nineties. So there may be a strong similarity between the Russian thermal sight anyway.

Oh yeah great pic.

[edit on 1-7-2006 by jefwane]

posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 11:21 PM

Originally posted by ShadowXIX
WOW unmanned MBT

Pardon my mistake, i meant a un-manned turret. I was refering to the turret the jordains placed on the tank not the tank itself

[edit on 1-7-2006 by chinawhite]

posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 11:45 PM
All I gotta say is this: what would you rather drive an American car or a Russian car??

posted on Jul, 2 2006 @ 02:41 AM

Originally posted by chinawhite

Pardon my mistake, i meant a un-manned turret. I was refering to the turret the jordains placed on the tank not the tank itself

Oh... Man I want someone to design a umanned tank prototype already then
I dont see any technological reasons why you couldnt make one and they would have some clear advantages.

Ive personally wanted to see something remote operated in say 20 ton range, good armour, super low profile, 20-30 chain gun and 2-4 anti-tank missiles (something like javelin missiles).

That wouldnt really be a MBT but it would be a nasty bugger to meet on the battlefield IMO.

posted on Jul, 2 2006 @ 05:11 AM
I think if they spent enough money on it its very possible. I forgot what show but it was about remote controlled machines, robot wars(?)

One good option would be the bradley tank. Change the hull and you have one good platform

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