Here are a few articles concerning AFVs that are circulating the internet today. These articles are a rather mixed bag in terms of quality. In particular, the Daily Mail piece on the Ajax comes off as a rather shoddy piece of journalism. That said, it’s bound to be read by a good many people so we figured it was worth pointing out. As always, click on the title to read the full article.
India Today – Army to have Russian T-90 tanks with ‘Make in India’ element as Pakistan threat looms large
The Indian Army plans to buy 464 advanced T-90 battle tanks from Russia for deployment on its western borders with Pakistan. The Rs 13,448-crore contract will include a Make-in-India element for integration at the Heavy Vehicles Factory in Avadi near Chennai. The 10 new regiments of T-90MS tanks, equipped with thermal imaging night sights to allow the tank commander to hit at enemy locations even during night battles, will strengthen army’s fire power along the land border stretch with Pakistan-from Jammu in north till the western flank in Gujarat.
The National Interest – America’s M60 Patton Tank: Can It Still Fight the World’s Best (At Over 50 Years Old)?
Just how far can you soup up a tank from the 1960s? The M60 Patton was the mainstay of the U.S tank fleet in the 1960s and 1970s, before being replaced by the M1 Abrams tank currently in service. However, more than five thousand Pattons remain in service in the armies of nineteen countries. Earlier this year, Raytheon unveiled its Service-Life Extension Package (SLEP) upgrade featuring a new engine, fire control system and 120-millimeter gun. This M60 SLEP is in competition with a pre-existing three-tier upgrade offered by Israel Military Industries for their M60 Sabra. Sabras in Turkish service, designated the M60T, are active on the battlefield of Northern Syria today, while older-model Pattons are fighting on both sides of the war in Yemen.
A huge contract to modernize the British Army’s main battle tanks could see much of the work go abroad. The Ministry of Defense is updating its 227 Challenger 2 tanks with the digital capabilities needed to be an effective part of Britain’s military might, as well as extend their service lives. The Daily Telegraph understands military chiefs have now whittled down the bids to just two, who will each be asked to build a prototype vehicle as part of a final assessment phase. One of the groups is a consortium headed by BAE Systems and General Dynamics UK. Also involved are QinetiQ, Leonardo, Moog and Safran. The other joint venture is led by Germany’s Rheinmetall, which is working with Supacat, Thales UK and BMT.
Daily Mail – Army’s new £3.5bn mini-tanks are ‘DEATH traps’ that are only useful against ‘incompetent enemies’ who cannot hit them with heavy artillery
The Army’s new £3.5billion mini-tanks are ‘death traps’ that are only useful against ‘incompetent enemies’ who cannot hit them with heavy artillery, it is claimed. Hundreds of Ajax mini-tanks are due to be supplied to the Army next year with the full order of 600 delivered to the Ministry of Defense by 2024. Sources have claimed the delivery could be delayed due to complications with a revolutionary weapons system fitted on board each tank, although the MoD has insisted the project will be completed on time and will provide the ‘best’ tanks. Critics claim the ‘lightly armored’ tanks cannot stand up to heavy artillery and say the weaponry on board is not sufficient – with the gun having already ‘stopped working’ during foreign trials.
China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) debuted its VT5 lightweight main battle tank (MBT) at Airshow China 2016 in Zhuhai. The VT5 has been developed specifically for the export market and has a combat weight of between 33 and 36 tonnes, depending on the armour package fitted and measures 9.20 m (gun forward) in length, by 3.30 m (with side skirts) in width, and 2.50 m (turret roof) in height. The baseline hull and turret is all-welded steel armour to which a modular protection package can be fitted depending on the end user’s operational requirements. This can include advanced composite armour, explosive reactive armour (ERA), or a mix of the two.