COMING UP ON POPULAR DEMAND: Broadsword Analysis --- The Arjun, the T-90 or the T-72? - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Saturday 30 January 2010

COMING UP ON POPULAR DEMAND: Broadsword Analysis --- The Arjun, the T-90 or the T-72?

All the latest on The Great Tank Question! Updates, figures and analysis... stand by!


  1. GREAT!!! can't wait!!!

    - Go Ajai!!

  2. In end of analysis Please don't say both Arjun-T-90s is equal. There has been so many analysis on the issue and there is no clearcut answer from any of them. Expecting you to give clear verdict. Long awaited issue which needs to be answered.

  3. Sir you really rocks...hope you might may include the upcoming comparative trial between Arjun And T90.

  4. do u know when will LCH fly for its flight test?

  5. ajai sir
    also please tell about
    1.the upgrades that the arjun MK2 will get in respect to the arjun MK1 and when will mk2 prototype roll out
    2.the upgradation of the t-72(project rhino),when will the upgrade be complete at what number and the upgrades is the t-90s(of the first batch)different with the t-90m of the corresponding batch

  6. Bring it on Colonel!
    Let the best tank win!

  7. The one thing that the Arjun lacks that I've noticed is the automated remotely controlled gun station, that is present on the T-90.
    The crew can use this even if they are inside the tank.

    The other thing is about the finishing of the tank on the inside. The pictures posted by Sandeep Unnithan showed that the inside was raw and in one picture one could see that a lever was scraping the wall of the tank. The levers, the meters and dials seemed to be of poor quality. I wonder how long will they actually function. (Just like the temperature and battery meters on our Shaktiman trucks - they just did not function at all, but that did not stop the Ordinance factories from putting them in those trucks all the same!)

  8. Is it true that the driver on a Arjun has to bend forward or the rotating turret will hit him?

    If this is true, then this is a significant design flaw. IIRC CAD CAM was used to design the Arjun, and this should not be an issue.

    Does the tank having vertical walls instead of angled walls on the turret an issue at all? Do the anti tank weapons really get deflected off the tank if the walls are at an angle?

    Please address issues such as Silhouette, tank performance, transportability, crew comfort, serviceability, battle management systems (Night vision, electronic sights etc) and overall impression of the tanks.

    Please make this a very long and detailed article with as much info as is feasible. This should be one of the articles that is quoted by all when writing about the current fleet of tanks with the Indian Army.

  9. Is this analysis based on the results of the desert tests or just the paper specifications of all the 3 tanks??

  10. Way to go Ajai...Also please give us some details on the Arjun and T-90 comparative trials slated to be held in March. The Big question of what happens if Arjun is found very good?

  11. please include some of the electronics involved in all the three tanks.

  12. It's just a comparison... there's no "winner" or "loser". Just that one tank will be better for some of our purposes, not others.

  13. Time to dump T-72 and replace them with Arjun.

    What happened after comparative trials? Even in WW2, Rommel asked his troops to fire while on the move EVEN IF it reduced the accuracy. And here in this era we are HAVING TO PUT UP WITH tanks that have to be stationary while firing.

  14. The only question then is when:)

    Long awaited , will look forward for this article.



  15. The T series are metal coffins as far as top attack anti tank missiles.
    Supposedly, because the ammo is not segregated in blast proof compartments, the turret has a tendency to blow off the tank body when the ammo blows up.

    How protected is the Arjun esp from top attack? The screen grabs of the Arjun showed the ammo storage in separate compartments.

    The Kanchan armour is reputed to be able to withstand a point blank hit from the T-72 rounds. How true is this? Has the armor been further improved?

  16. Ajai,.. Wrong question leading to wrong answer I think.

    The question is not a T-72 vs an Arjun (sort of like an Amby vs a Maruti Ritz) but more like T-90 vs Arjun (ie Hyundai i20 vs Honda Jazz) kind of question.

    So rather than T-72 vs Arjun, do a more relevant comparison T-90 vs Arjun please. The current comparo you are making is a cop out. No one in his right mind will argue today that the T-72 is current. It is outdated and 2 generations old.

    JMT etc. Thanks

  17. Only 20% of our tanks have night vision ...pakistan has more tanks than we do...What we need and what we have may be different ..Merkava Mark 1 is perhaps a very good example of how to sacrifice a bit of ur QRs for a greater cause of indeginization.Hope IA has the will to do it...we have the resources now to do a mid life course correction if it went terribly wrong...but I dont think we would need that...

  18. Ha!Legend!
    But I request you to post it some day near the trials,When the heat in ON!

  19. Sir,

    Regarding Arjun, there is one BIG question that has been bothering me for ages now and I haven't been able to CONFIRM this from any source as of now.

    I know it's quite basic but I still haven't clearly ascertained visually or from any other source if Arjun indeed has a gyro stabilized turret like modern western MBTs.

    In most videos of western MBTs and even IFVs, this is clearly demonstrated as the tank drives by whilst aiming it's gun at the camera stabilized perfectly. The dark barrel hole of the gun remains constantly aligned to your line of sight even as the whole MBT platform is moving on rugged surface.

    I have not yet seen this capability demonstrated in the Arjun.

    Would be glad if you could clarify.

  20. Did the comparative trials take place after all?

  21. Ajai ji my first ever post here!!!! We all are dying to read this article!!! Can you please let us know at least the tentative dates as to when we all can enjoy reading this article? Or this wait will simply kill us!!!

    Ajai ji could you please throw some more light on
    1)What is the status of the 1500 hp indigenious engine being developed by DRDO for Arjun? Is this turning out to be a 'kaveri' type affair?

    2) There are some reports that an Israeli tank company has certified Arjun as 'world class' tank. Could you please include information about this as to if this certification is true and how this certification was done etc?

    After your article is published i am sure there will be a war (of words!)with lots of fireworks in the comments section! I am sure all commentors (hopefully including you!) will prove to IA that Arjun is mighty beast or perhaps even better than T-90??? Naaah better than even Merkavas, Leopards and Abrams!!!!!!!! Long Live Ajai ji and Broadsword!!!!

  22. Gagan,
    Whetever a turret will be angled or straight depends on the armour material and the interior volume required for a tank.
    Composites do not provide their best when they are slopped. Ex British Chally . Notice they are completely angled as in Leo's.
    Leo's use perforated steel within their armour. Hence they are angled to give best protection, as the thickness increase with angle.

    Second consideration internal volume. A boxed/slightly angled gives you more room for bells and whistles.
    Even the leo's have a boxed turret design, other than the front of the turret, which is angled.


  23. OT

    "China threatens US arms companies" over arm sales to Taiwan.

    Could this set a precedent for MRCA contenders supplying arms to Pakistan?

  24. We have long awaited for the article from you. Please also let us know are there plans by IA to induct more Arjuns in current configuration??

  25. ajai sir

    U once said u worked in tank regiment. so u r the best judge. Having said that there r somethings I need answers on

    Q1.The upgrades that the Arjun MK2 will get in respect to the arjun MK1 and when will mk2 prototype roll out
    Q2.The upgrades of the T-72, when will the upgrade be complete at what number and the upgrades
    Q3.How r the T-90s being made in India better than T-72s.
    Q4. Once I heard the electrical systems in Arjun r hardened 2 bear high temp. is that availalble with T-90s
    Q5. I heard 50% of Indian tanks r night blind, does the Arjun have night fighting capability.

  26. Also can you please tell where exactly Arjun stands when comparing with tanks in Pakistan and China ?

  27. Ahhhhhhhhh, at last

    Do comment on the status of the indigenous tank engine too.

    Thanks in advance.

  28. Hopefully, they shall test the point blank capabilities as well.

    i.e. a T-72 / T-90 hitting an Arjun at point blank range and vice-versa.

    @Gagan: There is no design fault in the Arjun and the turret does not hit the driver at any time. There has been a discussion on the BR forum on this, complete with diagram. (

  29. Great for once we will have a person with knowledge commenting on the issue.

    I hope the article is detailed and gives answers to lot of things troubling us jingos!!!!!!!!!!


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