In the Russian environment, specializing in military topics, there has been a long debate about, can the self-propelled anti-tank gun 2S25 "Sprut-SD", intended for the airborne forces, considered as a light tank. Now is the perfect opportunity to check it out..
Order for hundreds of tanks
The Indian army has notified the arms market of its intention to acquire 350 light tanks weighing less 25 tonnes. Military observers believe, the desire of the military to get this type of equipment arose after clashes with Chinese troops in Tibet. They expect to acquire a light tank with a multipurpose, modular and upgradable weapon system, capable of fighting various threats.
The new vehicle should carry several types of weapon systems of various calibers for firing at ground and air targets with various calibers and with remote control [apparently, we are talking about the integration of an air defense machine gun and a weapon with different angles of fire into a single uninhabited combat module].
The tank gun must be capable of firing ATGMs and use modern and promising multipurpose "smart ammunition". The machine must have an auxiliary power unit, heating, environmental control unit, UAV protection equipment, network support.
Promising American light tank MPF
There is nothing to satisfy the order
There are several companies currently on the world market, developed the concept of light tanks. Products on tracked chassis have created, in particular, BAE Systems, General Dynamics и Elbit Systems. US Army launches MPF program to create a light tank for the Airborne Forces; two prototypes have already been delivered to the military for testing.
General Dynamics has developed a product, equipped with 120mm or 105mm cannon and armor, similar, allegedly, he, what the standard MBT has. However, it does not fit into the weight dimensions of the Indian tender: the weight of the machine is about 30 tonnes. For the same reasons, the ELT light tank weighing 18 tons from BAE Systems: the machine is built on the basis of the M8 platform, modernized with the use of mature technologies BMP CV90 and "Bradley".
There is no data on the mass of the Israeli light tank Sabrah, created on the basis of the Spanish tracked platform ASCOD. But it can be assumed, that his weight exceeds the threshold, designated by Indians, since the mass of ASCOD is 26.3 tons - and this is without taking into account the "weight" of the BMP in the process of its transformation into a tank. The situation is similar with the "medium tanks" K-21-105, developed in South Korea on the basis of the K-21 BMP weighing 26 t, and Turkish Kaplan MT (30-35 t).
In this way, there are currently no products on the world market, able to meet the demand of the Indian army. With one hypothetical exception - Russia has developed the Sprut-SD anti-tank platform weighing 18 tonnes. However, this vehicle has a manned fighting compartment., which will require its re-arrangement. Can the Russian "Sprut" become a light tank, will show the progress of tenders around the only order announced by India for the supply of hundreds of machines of a new type.
used photos:BAE Systems website