INDIAN ARMY SCOUTS ‘SMART’ ARTILLERY SHELLS
The Indian Army is looking to procure 155mm Trajectory Correctable Munitions (Course Correctable Fuze) for its 155mm artillery guns, and to include 39/45/52 calibre equipment. Interested vendors have been sent a 34-point questionaire to identify all parameters of prospective systems, including dimensions and weight of Course Correctable Fuze, whether it has any limitations in operating in different types of terrain prevalent in India, the extreme atmospheric conditions in which Course Correctable Fuze can effectively operate, whether it is compatible with 39/45/52 calibre of 155mm artillery in service with the Indian Army, the maximum and minimum range achieved by firing Course Correctable Fuze with 39/45/52 calibre of 155mm Gun Systems, whether this fuze affects the minimum or maximum range of the standard HE projectile of 155mm gun system, type of guidance being used, accuracy (in terms of Line and Range), different modes of Course Correctable Fuze, efficacy in firing in High Altitude Area etc. The procurement has been accorded high priority by the Army, which will be looking to wrap up an order within 18 months.
NEW AMMUNITION FOR MBT ARJUN TESTED
Trials of new 120mm penetration-cumblast ordnance for the Arjun main battle tank have been successfully conducted at the DRDO’s Proof and Experimental Establishment in Odisha. According to DRDO, “The neutralisation capabilities of MBT Arjun against hard and soft targets have been improved by designing new ammunitions, viz, PCB for hard concrete
NIRBHAY CRUISE MISSILE TEST BEFORE DIWALI
After a partially failed debut, India’s Nirbhay subsonic 1,000-km range cruise missile is all set for its crucial second test that will look to kill the ghosts of the debut. In March last year, the Nirbhay cruise missile’s launch, booster separation and wing deployment were the only successful aspects in what was a disappointing day for the DRDO. The missile flew to an altitude of 4.5 km and was 17 minutes out when it began to deviate from its predicted flight path, compelling the programme team to abort and remotely destroy the missile in mid-air, splashing its debris into the Bay of Bengal. After a year of investigations and corrections, the DRDO identified certain electro-mechanical snags that doomed the missile, veering it dangerously off course and threatening coastal safety. Top sources say the missile is ready for its second test, with two prototypes lined up. Internally, the DRDO has committed itself to the success, since a cruise missile milestone sends out a far more formidable message than proven ballistic missile and hybrid missile technology that the Indian establishment has proven effectively over the years.
DRDO’S NEW EMBANKMENT BLASTING DEVICE SUCCESSFULLY TESTED
The DRDO has conducted user-assisted technical trials of the Bund Blasting Device Mk.II, the new improved version of the indigenous man-portable embankment blasting device, designed and developed by the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory in Chandigarh. The successful tests were carried out at the Ramgarh range by the Army’s 120 Engineering Regiment. The new version of the BBD is said to be double as effective as the Mk.I version, requiring half the devices for the same effect. The system consists of a hollow charge initiation device and the main HE-filled projectile attached to a rocket motor. The hollow charge on initiation creates a deep pilot hole. The HE projectile on entering this hole detonates, creating a big crater, fulfilling the requirement. To remove/lower the height of bunds, an array of such devices is fired to get the desired result within the shortest possible time, according to DRDO literature on the technology. A few more tests are lined up before the Mk.II is declared operational and handed over to the armed forces and production agencies.
NEW DEFENSIVE AIDS FOR MBT ARJUN PROVEN IN TRIALS
An advanced laser warning countermeasure system and a mobile camouflage system have recently been tested and proven on the Arjun MBT Mk.II in the Mahajan Field Firing Range in Rajasthan. Both capabilities will be strong survivability factors on the new improved tanks as it heads into a crucial phase of user trials. The new camouflage system has been developed to provide multi-spectral signature management for Arjun Mk.II, in order to protect the vehicle against all enemy sensors and smart munitions. According to the CVRDE, “The performance evaluation trials have been conducted at MFFR and system has been integrated in the Arjun MBT.” The advanced laser warning countermeasure system has been developed to increase survivability of Arjun Mk.II against anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) with semi automatic command to line-of-sight (SACLOS) system, ATGMs with a laser target designator, beam rider ATGMs, and tanks fitted with a laser range finder. During recent trials, the ALWCS was integrated with the Arjun’s integrated fire control system. target, so that it can be effectively used in not only against field fortification and LOC bunkers but also in future urban warfare. The PCB projectile causes damage to the target by penetrating the protective layer of the target followed by internal blast. The proposed projectile has the capability to defeat light or moderately protected targets like LOC bunkers, administrative buildings, field fortifications”. The new ammunition has the ability to penetrate a 500mm thick RCC wall at a range of more than 1.5 km. The projectile contains 2.6 kg high explosive and can engage a 1 m x 1 m target at a range of 1 km. The DRDO hopes to operationalise the ammunition by next year and hand over consignments to the two Arjun MBT tank regiments already in service wit the Army in Rajasthan.