New Delhi: Arjun Tank problems are due to OEM supplies as per the Standing Committee On Defence 2005-06. The report states “Five production tanks (Nos 001 to 005) were subjected to comparative trials during June 2005 wherein some defects were reported by the User with regard to (a) fire control system and (b) gun control system.
In view of these defects the tanks were withdrawn by DRDO to carry out extensive re-examinations, system defect analysis, carry out rectification work and re offer at a later
date as and when these tanks are fully prepared for its readiness by conducting in – House (DRDO) revalidation trials to fully satisfy the user requirements. Accordingly, a plan of action was charted out to resolve all issues.
Broadly, the problems are comprising to OEM supplies only, viz. (a) OIP Sagem Belgium – France (for GMS/LRF), and (b) Rexrath, Germany (for Gun control system).
Rest are all minor issues pertaining to quality and workmanship/assembly integration which has already been resolved. As regards current factual status of Arjun Tank the Ministry in their written note further stated as under:
“All tanks 001 to 005 at MFFR are updated with complete improvements duly in house validated in respect of (a) GCS (b) Automotive systems (c) FCS systems (except for the LRF meeting 60 C temp spec) Tank No. 002 to 005 are expected to be fitted with LRF meeting 60 temp Spec by 25th May, soon thereafter Army’s evaluation will start off.”
While Indian Army has been critical of the Arjun project, Hindustan Times in October 26, 2006, reported “army officers complained that the existing T-90S tanks faced “recurring” technical problems which were adversely impinging on the force’s operational preparedness.”
Incidently T-90S has too been facing similar problems due to foreign vendors.
There are contradictions in what Army claims with respect to Arjun tank and T-90S. The newspaper reports cite “unnamed” Army sources mentioning that Arjun has high imported content, where as the T-90S is completely imported tank. While Army claims that T-90S will be gradually indegenised. Similar arguments do do cut ice with army with respect to Arjun.
Delayed production of Arjun Tank is cited as the reason for Army to procure T-90S from Russia, but the truth is reverse. Arjun Production is delayed as the Avadi factory is busy assembling T90S Tanks. Terming it as a serious blow to indigenisation process, India’s Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee has pulled up the Defence Ministry for “inordinate delay” in production of main battle tank, Arjun. Now T-90S is also hampered by delays in arrival of critical production line machines, Lack of adequate spare parts and poor co-ordination with the Russian manufacturers.
Another claim of Army is the weight of Arjun. Arjun is not a T-72 or T-90S class light tank. The aim of Arjun tank was to build a class of tank that matches M1 Abrams of US, Challnger of UK and Leclerc which are of same weight class.
April 05, 2007 Frontier India Defence News Service (FIDNS) reported that, while answering questions by the media, Army Chief Gen JJ Singh during the Reunion of the Maratha Light Infantry stated that, the Army will soon be receiving 14 tanks which will be put through a training exercise. The minor problems of these tanks have been communicated to DRDO, which he hoped will be rectified soon.