Wednesday, 4 January 2012

India's FMBT Plan In A Mess. Is It Tejas & Arjun All Over Again?

By Ajai Shukla
CVRDE, Avadi, Chennai
Business Standard, 2nd Jan 12

India’s Future Main Battle Tank (FMBT), the backbone of the army’s strike power into the mid-21st century, languishes while the army continues an extended debate over its specifications.

A year ago, on 6th Dec 2010, Defence Minister AK Antony told the Lok Sabha that the army had formulated the FMBT’s specifications and the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) was carrying out feasibility studies. Antony, it now emerges, misled parliament. MoD sources say the army remains undecided about the basic features of the FMBT, including whether it should have three crew members or four. Consequently the army has not finalised the FMBT’s Preliminary Staff Qualitative Requirements (PSQR), essential for sanctioning the project and allocating funding.