Upgradation of T-72 tanks begins in Jaisalmer

TNN

The Army with the help of a team ofRussian scientists are performing summer trials for the modified version of Russian tank T-72 in Jaisalmer’s Lathi Field Firing Range. The summer trials will continue for one week. By the end of 12th Five Year plan, some armoured regiments will replace the T-72 with T-90 tanks. The rest of armoured regiments having T-72 tanks will undergo major modification such as introduction of an upgraded 1000 BHP engine and thermal imaging fire control system, said a defence laboratory official based at Jodhpur.

The Army recently commenced a project to upgrade its T-72M1 Main Battle Tanks. Over the past two decades, the T-72M1 has provided yeoman service to the Army. It is well liked by the Army for its ruggedness, low silhouette and weight (41.5 tons) as well as firepower. The T-72M1 is the backbone of the Indian armoured fleet with over 1700 tanks believed to be in service. Licence production of the tank was undertaken at the Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi, Tamil Nadu. To keep the tank fleet viable, an upgrade plan was drawn up by the Army. But during the early 1990s, the economy went through a tumultuous phase and the resulting fiscal problems forced these plans into abeyance.

Now the economy is on an upswing and the Army has hence been allocated funds to pursue this critical modernization. The tank upgrade will proceed in stages. The upgradation has begun by bringing 250 tanks to the DRDO’s (Defence Research & Development Organisation) ‘Combat Improved’ Ajeya standard. (The T-72M1 has been renamed ‘Ajeya’ in India).

Defence spokesman Col S D Goswami said: “At present the main stay in terms of the number of India’s armoured regiments is the T-72 tanks followed by T-55 tanks. The T-90 and Arjun provide the cutting edge. However, by the end of the 11th plan, all T-55 tanks will be replaced by T-90 tanks.

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Posted by pilotpaul on Jul 1 2011. Filed under All News, Army. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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