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17 Feb 11. India’s indigenous main battle tank (MBT), Arjun Mk.II, will undergo serial production in 2014, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) officials said.
“The user, the Indian Army, would be involved in the trial from phase one itself. The second phase would take place sometime early next year,” officials confirmed. Arjun mkII will be equipped with an indigenous engine to replace its German power plant and will undergo the first phase of user trails in June. The advanced variant will also be equipped with explosive reactive armour, missile-firing capability from its main gun and better night-vision capabilities. The tank’s gear box will be upgraded to improve its performance, which has already undergone more than 90 upgrades to date. The Indian Army has already inducted 124 Arjun Mk.I tanks, according to the Press Trust of India. (Source: armytechnology.com)
25 Feb 11. General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) has completed underbelly blast testing of the ‘double-V hulls’ for the Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV) variant as well as the first phase of reliability testing.
Speaking to Land Warfare International at the US Army Winter Symposium, Mike Cannon, senior vice president of ground combat systems for GDLS, said the reliability, availability, and maintainability (RAM) tests encompassed 3,000 miles on one of the ICVs.
‘We had very good results on all of that and we are in the middle of an operational test with four of the production vehicles out at the NTC [National Training Center], where soldiers in the 1 – 25 are driving those around,’ Cannon said.
‘So that is all going very, very well and leading to the decision by the army – either late this month [February] or early next month [March] – to actually deploy the vehicles for the next rotation in Afghanistan.’
He continued: ‘We’re in the middle of the production of the first 150 that could be deployed. And we will deliver those by the middle of May, so that they can be deployed by June. So, if the army decides, we will have double-Vs in Afghanistan as theatre provided equipment. And there is a requirement for that first set of theatre provided equipment of 450 vehicles. And we will complete building those by about February of next year.’
Vehicle variant sequence for production begins with the ICV Heavy, then the Command Vehicle, the Engineer Vehicle, the Mortar Carrier, and the Medical Evacuation Vehicle.
‘They have foregone the Reconnaissance Vehicle this time,’ Cannon said. ‘So we kitted a place in the additional ICVs for them to put their long range sight in there – the LRAS3. ‘The most complex one is the last one – that’s the ATGM [Anti Tank Guided Missile variant],’ he added. ‘The two variants that are not double-V this time are the two variants that are still not in full rate production: the NBCRV [NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle] and the MGS [Mobile Gun System].’
Asked about a ‘long lead’ timeframe in the event that the army decides to equip a second brigade with the double-V hulls, Cannon acknowledged: ‘They are actually in discussions right now to go for a second theatre provided equipment set. And since 450 [in the first set] inc