Indian Army Tanks vs Pakistan Army Tanks : Who would win?
The Indian subcontinent is home to two of the largest armies on Earth. Not only are the armies of India and Pakistan both larger in personnel than the U.S. Army, but they have stood at alert facing one another since the dissolution of the British Indian Army in 1947. The two armies have clashed four times in the past seventy years, and may yet do so again in the future.
Indian MBT force at present is complied mostly of Russian-made T-72M1 “Ajeyas” and T-90 “Bhisma” which have been produced at Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi. Indian MBT forces also comprises of a small number of indigenously made Arjun Mk.1 Main Battle Tanks while Arjun Mk.2 is still awaiting orders from Army after it has run into various technical problems with Army.
Pakistan MBT force on other hand is heavily dependent on Pakistan and Ukrainian machines which include Al-Khalid , T-80UD , Al-Zarrar and a host of 2nd Generation Chinese-made Main Battle Tanks which form the bulk of Pakistan MBT force.
Before we start comparing the two MBT forces we would like to say that this is a pure head-to-head comparison since in a tank battle many things like ATGM Teams , Support Troopers , Armored Vehicles and tactics are considered which will make the whole article nothing short of a a military thesis. So as a fact they will not be considered here for sake of maintaining the readability and interest of the reader.
Indian Tank Force : Strengths and Weaknesses
Indian Army is equipped with Weapons from a number of sources, primarily Russia and a growing domestic arms industry, with increasing amounts of Israeli and American weaponry. More than 4,000 tanks equip the country’s ninety-seven armored regiments (the equivalent of American battalions), including 2,400 older T-72 tanks, 1,600 T-90 tanks, and approximately 360 Arjun Mk.1 and Mk.2 tanks. Complementing the T-72/90 tanks in armored and mechanized infantry formations are BMP-2 mechanized infantry combat vehicles.
Most of the Indian Army’s 4,000 artillery pieces are from Russia, including newer 300-millimeter Smerch multiple launch rocket systems, but the country appears to be turning away from Russian field artillery towards American towed M777 and South Korean K-9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers. A new howitzer, the Dhanush, appears close to widespread adoption. Air defense artillery, on the other hand, is dominated by Russian equipment, from battlefield Tunguska self-propelled anti-aircraft guns to S-400 “Triumf” high-altitude air-defense missiles.
India uses almost 1200+ T-90 “Bhisma” tanks currently which are assembled at HVF , Avadi from knockdown kits from Russia. These tanks features a number of Indian flicks which makes it in a way ‘superior’ to the Russian version. This includes THALES Catherine-FC gen-3 thermal imager , Kanchan Armor , Matis-STD thermal imager , DVE-BS meteorological sensor , 1V528-1 ballistics computer and KONTAKT-5 ERA which gives it a decisive edge in the combat. It features a 2A46M 125mm Cannon which is capable to fire HEAT , HESH , HE , Frag rounds which includes INVAR ATGM.
The strength of Indian tank force also lies with Arjun tank which feature protection far exceeding any tank in Indian subcontinent. You will be surprised to know that its armor withstood 3BM-42 Mango APFSDS round fired from a T-72 cannon. In case of a battle it can tank multiple hits from enemies and directly attack them while Indian T-90 and T-72 can flank the enemies around. Arjun reportedly had some availability problems due to lack of spares which were fixed later
However some serious problems plague the Indian tank force. This includes grounding of Arjun tank fleet (rectified now) , tank breakdowns (as happened with Indian T-90 in Tank Biathlon) , night fighting problems and problems with the sights it uses. Thankfully all have been rectified now to the best but these problems have shown how Indian tank force have been deficient . It also needs to rapidly replace its ageing platforms like T-72 with modern day-MBTs if it wants to keep its decisive edge on its adversaries.
India has place orders for 464 T-90SM main battle tanks to arguments its current fleet of T-90s MBT which will now take total orders over the 1300s. While India continues to rely on Russian-supplied Main Battle tanks which form a large chunk of its Tank fleet while it continuously keeps ignoring Indigenous homegrown Arjun Main Battle tanks
Arjun Mark 2
The Arjun Mk-2 is a new generation of main battle tank (MBT) designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) of India.
The main armament of the Arjun Mk II main battle tank consists of one 120mm rifled gun fitted with a thermal sleeve, fume extractor, and a muzzle reference system. The gun is able to fire a full range of ammunitions including FSAPDS (Fin Stabilized Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot), HESH (High-Explosive Squash Head), PCB, TB and the Israeli LAser Homing Anti-Tank (LAHAT) missile. LAser Homing Attack Missile, or LAHAT, is an advanced missile developed and manufactured by the MBT Division of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
The front part of the chassis and the turret are fitted with an integrated explosive reactive armor (ERA) system. The all-round protection has been enhanced with improved KANCHAN armour, a modular composite armour developed by India. It has been described as being made by sandwiching composite panels between Rolled homogeneous armour (RHA). This armour is able to defeat APDS and HEAT rounds and is believed to withstand APFSDS.
Pakistan Tank Force : Strength and Weakness
The one tank which Pakistan tank fleet can pride upon is : T-80UD. It is unarguably the most protected and most advanced battle tank in Pakistani MBT fleet. In 1996 , PA bought some 320 T-80UD from Ukraine. It features a 1A45 fire control system same as T-90 and also features 1V528 ballistic computer , meteorological sensors and more. Its armor protection is quite better than the T-72 but is a bit inferior to T-90 “Bhisma”. It uses passive steel armor zand composite armor for protection and features safe maneuvering angles which adds to its protection means. PA bought these as a means to counter Indian acquisition of T-90 tanks. According to many sources these tanks are quite better to comparable Soviet Platforms and may give a tough fight to Indian tank fleet in case of a conflict.
The main battle tank of the Pakistani Army is the Al-Khalid, a 48 ton derivative of the Chinese T-96, which in turn is based on Soviet tank designs. It also has the usual Russian 125mm smoothbore gun that can fire the AT-11 anti-tank missile as well as shells. With a 1,200hp supercharged diesel engine, it is capable of up to 76kph. The tank has modular composite armor, can be fitted with reactive plates, and has a standard suite of safety features and sensors.
Pakistan fields two secondary main battle tanks in support of their Al-Khalids. The first and most capable is the 42.5 ton Ukrainian T-80UD. It is powered by a 1,000-hp turbo diesel engine, with a top speed of 70kph. It
IT has a crew of 3, is armed with a 125mm smoothbore gun that can fire AT-8 anti-tank missiles as well as shells, an autoloader, and composite armor. It has a standard complement of modern safety features and sensors, as well as the compact, low-profile design that Soviet/Russian armor specializes in.
The other Pakistani supporting design is the Al-Zarrar, which is a Chinese refit of the venerable Soviet T-55. The five decade old design has been up-gunned to feature a 125mm gun, been fitted with reactive armor to improve survivability, and has better fire control features.
This shows the importance of tactics in any battle. Tactics were also used many time by Indian Tankers during Battle of Asal-Uttar where Indian tanks crushed the Pakistani Pattons and lead to a decisive Indian victory.
There has been a long term used for Indian Tank thrust into Pakistan territory called “Col Start” which involves limited-war strategy to capture Pakistani territory in a short time without risking a nuclear war. Such an offensive would involved Pakistani conventional defeat and also risk a highly probable nuclear war.
Pakistan is also negotiating with Chinese to procure VT4 main battle tank which comes powered by 1,300 hp engine armed with 125mm smoothbore cannon . weighing 52 tonnes , Once inducted VT4 will be the heaviest tank to be operated by Pakistan Army’s Armoured Corps.
The adversarial relationship between India and Pakistan makes the Indian subcontinent one of the most dangerous places on Earth. The disparity in forces, war plans on both sides, and the presence of tactical nuclear weapons makes a regional nuclear war—even a limited one—a real possibility.
Source:- Defence Lover