IN­DIAN ARMY SCOUTS ‘SMART’ AR­TILLERY SHELLS

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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.

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