Ever since the early sixties, the Indian Army has been relying on Russian Military equipment. This started when Mr. VK Krishna Menon was the defence minister. At that time India opted for the T-55 tank and the MIG- 21 aircraft. These machines came with the transfer of technology to manufacture the hardware in India. The Times of India has reported that during a recent exercise at Jaisalmer at the Pokhran range last Wednesday the barrel of a battle tank exploded.

There were no casualties

T-90 battle tank

The T-90 battle tank is the most advanced Russian tank. Hundreds of these war machines have been sold to India and many are manufactured under license at the Indian Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi. The Ordnance Factories manufacture the ammunition which is used by these tanks.

The Indian Army operates over 1000 T-90 tanks which are their main strike force. There has never been any incident of any tank's barrel exploding before.

The explosion of a barrel during an exercise is not something that can be ignored. The explosion led to the exercise being replanned. Defence news.in has reported that Army spokesperson Col Ghosh said a court of inquiry into the incident has been ordered.

Explosion

The explosion has worried the Army top brass and an inquiry has been ordered. There is a chance the cause of the accident could be faulty ammunition.

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Military

The ammunition used by the T90 is manufactured by Indian ordnance factories. Previously the Army has complained to the Ministry of Defence about the poor quality of ammunition manufactured the factories. The Court of Inquiry will hopefully be able to narrow down the reason as to why the barrel of the battle tank exploded.

Russian equipment

The Indian Army has been using Russian equipment for close to six decades.

The equipment is both hardy and versatile and has stood the test of combat during wars in 1971 and 1998. The Army is not only operating battle tanks but also rocket launchers and field guns. The Air Force has a preponderance of Russian aircraft with the Sukhoi's and MIG's dominating the field.

The army regularly conducts live exercises at Pokhran range in Rajasthan, The Air Force also uses this range which is in the Thar desert and ideal for practice firing and strafing.

War exercises are held frequently. It has been recorded that almost 2% of casualties take place as these are live exercises with ammunition. The Thar desert is conducive to exercises with battle tanks. One is reminded of World War II when Field Marshal Erwin Rommell launched panzer attacks in the North African desert and pushed the Allied Forces up to Alexandria.

Last word

The Indian Army would be worried about the latest mishap.

It is fighting an internal insurrection and some time back 40 soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber in Pulwama.

Previously field artillery guns had similarly exploded during an exercise and a few soldiers were killed. At that time the Army stated the use of faulty ammunition manufactured by the Indian ordnance factories was the cause.

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