Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Tale of a White Elephant and its Mother

Part I
India represents a country of billion people having lot of enthusiasm, expectations and grief(especially when you are not upto their expectations) from cricket to defence, publicity and appraisal of a defence project depends on the credibility like a cricketer`s ICC rating. If you are good in your work i.e. have some good records in your pocket then definitely Page 3 of every newspaper is reserved for you but if you can`t then "God can only save you!!!". Individual performance of a cricketer is always hyped with Team India`s performance as of DRDO(Defence Research & Development Organization), more over Indian Media thinks DRDO as DODO, these is the same media who did the same when ISRO was struggling to launch SLV’s in 1980’s. Today ISRO successes have put the media on the back foot, That`s why I promised to myself "Boy I will definitely write an article on it...", So the story is all about a White Elephant(Arjun MBT) struggling hard from past three decades for it`s existence and it`s Mother(DRDO) who is very much criticized about its credibillity - "India would certainly be better off without the DRDO, which has done nothing except consume ridiculous amounts of money with no positive output. At least this is what the Indian English-language media would have you believe"- Indian Express.

Technical details of Arjun MBT can be found on other web sites, and it is worthless to compare it`s credibillity against other tanks of the world without accounting following issues:

Role of Indian Bureaucrats/Army Officials in Some Defence Projects:

1. Indian Govt. and Army officials are reluctant in taking head-to-head "comparative trials" of the indigenous Arjun main battle tank (MBT), under development and the Russian built T-90 tanks, permission for trials are given in June-2009 after One and half years of original schedule, But now one of the army officials quote the possibility of delays in trial due to Elections-2009.

2. The same goes with LCA TEJAS.The FRENCH offer to co develop the aircraft was rejected and US was chosen, which is a mysterious decision.Since then the aircraft development has been hit by US sanctions.

3. Ministry of Defence(MoD) awarding Israel Aircraft Industries(IAI) a Rs. 10,000-crore contract to develop and produce an “Advanced New Generation Surface to Air Missile (SAM) System.” which offers a range of 120km interception. Joint production of Barak II of Rs 2,800 crore for Indian Navy is also on the agenda, despite of the DRDO`s sucess in demonstration of it`s Prithvi Air Defense(PAD) System.

Some Facts

1. T-90 tanks are designed for Russian conditions but not for hot regions of Thar deserts of India, moreover there is a structural flaw in T-72 and T-90 tanks e.g. In operation Desert storm against Iraqis and in Gregorian War T-72 was an easy target, because design concept of Western and Russian tanks are different, Russian tanks are designed according to traditional Soviet/Russian approach of keeping its MBTs small and low so as to profile the smallest possible target, putting more emphasis on not being hit rather than on survivable most hits...despite of the fact Indian Army inducted them in kilos.

2. Russian Tank T-72 imported by Indian Army could not penetrate the Kanchan Armor protected Arjun Tank , with APFDS at point blank range. Subsequently, the debate took place if the Russians had supplied us with training rounds rather than the actual ammunition. As a side note, in January 2000 at Proof & Experimental Establishment (PXE), Balasore, Arjun tank armor defeated all available HESH and FSAPDS rounds including Israeli FSAPDS rounds.

3. There is an interesting column posted by an Israelli Guy named Denil in Pakistan Defence Forum, But i wil give it`s link in "" because I think the original post was deleted by the Admin of Pak forum...Here`s the link posted under "dredger14" account of about that guy and it`s opinion -

I am not sure about it`s authenticity and credibility because it can be it`s personal opinion( as I can`t be biased...), the main point is, If that guy is true to it`s heart then it firmly quantifies the following truth:

Hidden Truth

1. There is a Central Bureau of Investigation enquiry in progress against the IAI(Israeli Aircraft Industries). It will therefore be a gross and serious violation of government rules and regulations to place fresh orders for any systems whatsoever with the IAI until the CBI enquiry is over and the IAI is cleared. But a recent news item (Indian Express, November 17, 2008) cited government sources as having told the newspaper that “the Defence Ministry has gone to the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for approval of this multi-million dollar procurement of a Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) project between Israeli defence contractors and the DRDO” — even before the CBI enquiry is complete.

2. Indian Army Officials/Politicians/Bureaucrats all of them know that Russian T-90 can not withstand Arjun MBT(Kanchan Armour and Highly stable 120 mm gun) and if these gonna happen then, How can they make extra bugs under their pocket in the disguise of Defence Procurements. Thus Arjun MBT is fighting battle before entering into services.

That`s why I told all of you guys that it`s worthless to compare Arjun MBT against Al-Khalid`s of Pakistan or other Tanks of the world because Dirty Poaching habits make the "White Elephant really as a Tale" leaving it`s mother DRDO as a whipping boy of media.

Part II Contd...