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Old 01-31-2012, 02:46 AM   #23

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Nov 2005
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Link Local innovation repairs T-90‚??s night blindness

Chandigarh, January 29
A small innovation will go a long way in giving the Army‚??s T-90 main battle tanks the ability to hunt and kill in the dark - and at a fraction of the cost of imported equipment. Army engineers have integrated locally made LCD monitors to replace malfunctioning imported gadgets.

A major problem with the T-90‚??s imported night sight was that its visual video display (VVD) unit was not ruggedised and, hence, defect prone. This resulted in the tank becoming night-blind. This was particularly the case in the hot and dusty environs of the desert.

LCD display units of the requisite size available off-the-shelf commercially have been used to replace the VVDs. According to available information, the TFT screens are available for just about Rs 3,500 as compared to a staggering Rs 25 lakh for the imported units.

The biggest challenge for Army engineers undertaking the project, according to armoured corps officers, was integrating the LCD screens with the sight‚??s sensors and electrical systems as well as physical dimensions.

The T-90 tanks are the Army‚??s latest acquisition and have been inducted into frontline formations. In today‚??s battlefield, the ability to fight at night is crucial and most of the earlier generation tanks with the Army, including the T-72, lacked this capability.

The Army had bought 310 T-90 tanks, some of which were assembled locally at the Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi. This was followed by two more contracts in 2006 and 2007 for assembly and licenced manufacture of 330 and 347 upgraded versions of the tank, respectively. The Army has planned to equip 21 regiments with the T-90.

While the T-90 tanks have been in service for about a decade, there have been some reports of malfunctioning or non-availability of certain electronic equipment, including those required for night or adverse weather operations. The non-availability of ammunition for its 125 mm main gun was also an issue some time ago.
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