Armor: July 6, 2000


In another humiliating setback for Indian military technology, India has been forced to withdraw from service 770 faulty 125mm gun barrels built in Indian factories for use in T72 tanks. Improperly tempered, there have been 35 accidents since 1992, including 11 in which the barrels burst upon firing. The T72 equips 37 of the Indian Army's 58 tank battalions. Another parliamentary report severely criticized the Army and government for failing to acquire adequate support facilities for the BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle 22 years after it was put into service. Engines have to be sent back to Russia for overhaul, and many items have to be replaced by imported parts that India should be able to produce for itself.--Stephen V Cole


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