Tank-Ex is a significant development and is the
second attempt (after the successful Combat Improved Ajeya /upgraded T-72M1)by the Arjun
MBT developers to harness its technology spin-offs. The Tank Ex appears to be an ideal
solution for upgrading the Indian Army's vast and aging
T-72M1 fleet. Having undergone six months of trials in Rajasthan till now, it will
presumably need many more to be fine tuned per Army requirements. However, it must be
noted that the two crucial "parts" of the Tank Ex - namely the Arjun turret with
its weapon system and the T-72M1 (Ajeya) platform/chassis are well tested and already
certified by the Army.
Crew: 4 - commander,
gunner, loader and driver.
Combat weight: The
Tank -Ex at 47 tons is heavier than the T-72M1 (41 tons) and much lighter than the Arjun MBT,
which tips the scales at 58.5 tons.
Tank-Ex has a 1000 hp power plant (as on the Combat Improved Ajeya) giving a power to weight
ratio of 21 hp/ton for a weight of 47 tons. This represents an improvement over the T-72M1's
20 hp/ton with a weight of 41 tons and an 780 hp power plant.
Ground pressure: 0.94
Kgf/cm Square, marginally higher than the T-72M1's 0.90 Kgf/cm square.
bar with hydrostruts; also an improvement over the T-72M1 torsion bar system.
Dimensions: The usage
of the T-72M1 chassis gives the Tank Ex a lower silhouette than the Arjun MBT, which stands
tall at 3.03 meters (over AD gun mount).
Length (gun forward): 9.19metres
Width(over tracks): 3.37metres
Height(over AD gun mount): 2.93metres
Ground clearance: 0.47metres
Tank Ex utilizes the Arjun MBT's 120mm rifled gun firing unitary APFSDS and HESH semi
combustible cartridge case ammunition. A total of 32 rounds are carried as compared to 39
in the Arjun and 45 two piece ones in the T-72.The Arjun's armament system is the most
powerful one available to Indian developers today. The choice of calibre, weapon design
and ammunition make it superior to the in-service 125mm 2A46 guns on the T-72M1. The Tank
Ex retains the Arjun's third generation director type integrated FCS (Fire Control System)
including a sophisticated digital ballistic computer. It may be noted that the Arjun FCS
is an updated one(with digital components replacing the original analogue ones) as
compared to the original, which faced numerous technical problems. Firepower trials
validated the efficacy of the updated Arjun FCS and led to its recent acceptance by the
Army. Capable of firing on the move, the Tank Ex also is fully "night ready"
with the gunner having a thermal imager integrated with his main sight. A standby
articulated sight is provided as backup for the main sight. The tank commander (as in the
Arjun MBT) has his own fully stabilized sight with relevant controls for surveillance,
target acquisition and engagement, giving excellent hunter-killer ability. The gun control
system is electro-hydraulic. Gun elevation/depression is +16.5 deg/-10 deg , better than
the T-72M1's + 14 deg/-6 deg. As in the Arjun MBT and the T-72M1, a co-axial 7.62mm PKT
machine gun and a 12.7mm NVST Heavy Machine gun(air defense) are standard. The tank also
incorporates an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) to operate the weapons systems in silent watch
Navigational aids: A
global positioning system is provided for accurate navigation. This is a feature common to
both the Arjun MBT as well as the Combat Improved Ajeya .
Tank Ex utilizes the state of the Art composite armor-"kanchan"-especially over
its frontal arc(Turret as well as glacis) giving excellent protection against both Kinetic
and Chemical rounds. The usage of the Arjun turret design indicates that the Tank-Ex may
also have its "ready" ammunition stored in the bustle (as in the
Arjun),separated from the crew and provided with blow off panels. This would be a
significant protective feature in line with "western" design practices. Kanchan
is an extensively tested and successful armor, which is available for retrofit to other
IFV programs. The Tank Ex also has fully
integrated Nuclear Biological and Chemical (NBC) protection The usual turret mounted 81mm
antithermal smoke grenade launchers are also standard on the Tank-Ex.
Obstacle Negotiation: The Tank Ex retains
the T-72 attributes of speed and agility with a maximum speed of 60 km/hr (on road) and 40 km/hr (cross
country).While the gradient climbing at 30 degrees it remains in line with all variants of
the T-72 like the B(M). The Tank Ex is better at trench crossing.(2.6 metres as compared
to the T-72M1's 2.28 meters).Vertical Obstacles 0.85
metres tall can be surmounted, same as the T-72M1.Shallow fording is quoted as 1.2 metres.