Civilians view Army's prowess at exhibition

People watch a demonstration of Indian army tanks on the last day of a three day 'Know Your Army' exhibition in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh on Sunday, April 23, 2006. The exhibition was organised with a view to attract more youths into the army.


Bhopal, April 23 The T-72 tank, which is the Indian Army's mainstay, BMP-IIK armoured personnel carrier (APC), P-19 radar.

From the erstwhile USSR, AM-50 truck-mounted bridgelayer and ZU twin-barrel anti-aircraft (AA) gun were among robust military hardware on display at a 'Know Your Army' exhibition underway here. 'The T-72 plays a key role in the majority of our armoured and mechanised formations.

It is the main punching power and success would heavily rely on its being able to achieve necessary missions in mechanised operations,' Brig (Retd) Prabir Goswami, Vishisht Seva Medal, who commanded 16 Independent Armoured Brigade during Operation Vijay -- the Kargil conflict -- said.

The originally-Soviet tank has a primary armament comprising a 125-mm calibre smoothbore gun utilising an electro-hydraulic autoloader. Secondary armament is a 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun. Power is supplied by a 582 KW (780 hp) diesel engine and the crew comprises a commander, driver and gunner. The weapon system is equipped with a laser range finder and thermal jackets on the main gun.

The T-55 trawl tank clears mines and is also equipped with a 105-mm main gun. The Schilka armoured vehicle, again originally Russian, can spit out 3,400 rounds per minute from its multiple guns. It could knock out an air target at 2,500 m and a ground target at 2,000 m.

Up to seven infantrymen may be carried into battle by the BMP-IIK APC that has a maximum speed of 65 kmph, can go through water at 7 kmph and fires Konkurs and Fagot missiles. The ZU twin-barrel AA gun, with a crew of five, has a maximum effective range of 2,500 m and can discharge 2,000 rounds in the space of a minute.

The P-19 radar boasts of a detection range of a whopping 300 km with the antenna rotating speed being six or 12 rounds per minute even at a wind speed of 25 metres per second.

The Armoured Recovery Vehicle WZT-3, based on a T-72 chassis, has a hydraulically-operated crane with main and auxiliary winches, a dozer blade for earth-moving and anchoring besides ancillary equipment comprising a drilling machine, electric arc and gas welding apparatus. Its country of origin is Poland.

The 7.62-mm Belgian-make medium machine gun, placed on a recce (reconnaissance) jeep, has a maximum range of 3,900 m with the cyclic rate of fire being 600-1,000 rounds per minute Anti-tank and anti-personnel mines were on display and the latter included the 'Bouncing Betty', a bounding mine usually buried with only a small part of the igniter protruding from the ground. These mines are pressure or tripwire activated. The igniter sets off a propelling charge, lifting the mine about 1 metre into the air. The mine then ignites a main charge.

'It has the power to wipe out an entire platoon,' a soldier told while explaining the device. A mine-detector was part of the show. The mobile surgical station is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including ventilators, for life-saving surgery on officers and men.

It boasts of a 'containerised mobile operation theatre (OT).' There is an air-conditioned pre-operation area, the AC main OT, AC post-operation area and a sterilisation-cum-store area. The areas are housed within four army trucks arranged in the shape of a cross with their rears opening onto a common tented platform that has ramps.

'At any given time, one surgeon, anaesthetist, operating room assistant staff and nursing staff are present,' an Army Medical Corps officer said.

The 5.56-mm INSAS (Indian National Small Arms System) rifle was among the small arms on display.

Von: 24.04.06

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