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India’s indigenous main battle tank ‘Arjun’ receives praise from top Chinese military academy


Beijing: India’s indigenous main battle tank (MBT) Arjun, which was developed after years of delays and cost-overruns, came in for praise from a top Chinese military research academy here that concentrates on the engineering requirements of the armed forces.


Senior Colonel Liu Degang, deputy commander of the Beijing-based academy, said that the MBT is “very good” for Indian conditions.

Liu, who was receiving a group of Indian journalists at the academy that also doubles as a research institute for its tanks and heavy armour, said that India had done well to develop its own MBT. The Arjun tank took nearly two decades, from the time the first prototype was revealed, to be inducted into the Indian Army and an upgraded version, Arjun MK-II, is reportedly being developed.

A visit to such a military research centre in China is rare and even the locally based Indian journalists have never been invited there. Liu, as senior commander, is ranked equivalent to a brigadier in the Indian Army.

Asked if such a visit would point to a “new found confidence”, Liu said that China was “opening up, more and more, both politically and militarily”. He spoke through a translator.

The journalists were also shown the series of tanks and armoured personnel carriers which had been modernized by the research centre and inducted in to the Chinese army. Liu, however, was somewhat defensive when asked what percentage of the army comprised of armoured divisions. “It is for the white paper of the government to deal with such matters,” he said.

Talking of the modification of the Chinese main battle tank (MBT), Liu said that it had incorporated the latest changes in electronics and firepower technologies. For the kind of topography in which China had to fight, it was an advanced battle machine, he said.

He was asked to compare the Chinese MBT, with a US modern tank to which he said that both had different areas of operations and the Chinese one was superior in the role it would be called upon to play in the areas where it would have to fight.

He said the academy and research centre had exchanges and training programmes with several countries and that Indian military officials had also visited them in Beijing. He said they had received some 300 delegations from about 70 countries and had helped train 2,700 army personnel from about 40 countries.

About India, he said “good neighbours should have a good understanding among themselves”, and that exchanges between the two countries should be increased.

Liu said that almost all the heavy weaponry used by China is developed in-house, though they are willing to learn from others. He said that a country of China’s size could not always depend on other countries, but they are open-minded about collaborating with other countries.

The centre, affiliated to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is spread over 1,100 acres and has 720,000 square metres of buildings which also include residences for the senior staff. It fosters officers of the PLA and takes in 6,000 cadets annually. (IANS)


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Indian Army to Use New System of Digitised Records of Officers

Top Army officials attending the Commanders' Conference, which is underway here, were apprised on Wednesday about the rollout of the new project

Indian Army
Officers' Automated Structured Infosystem - has been developed on the in-house Indian Army intranet system for 'gentleman cadets' to digitize their service records. Pixabay

In order to ensure better workflow in movement and deployment of commissioned officers serving in various units of the Indian Army, a system has been launched to contain their digitised personal records. The data at present is stored in physical form.

Top Army officials attending the Commanders’ Conference, which is underway here, were apprised on Wednesday about the rollout of the new project.

The five-day conference began on Monday to deliberate upon various issues pertaining to the Indian Army including deadline of projects and the recent incidents of Pakistani drones dropping arms and weapons in Punjab.

A top Army official said a software – Officers’ Automated Structured Infosystem – has been developed on the in-house Army intranet system for ‘gentleman cadets’ to digitise their service records. The system was rolled out on September 29.

“It will contain complete digitised records of all serving officers including occurrences, claims, photos of dependents, pay slips, leaves and encashment of leaves apart from other details. Army officers serving in areas that have no Internet service can access the software through the Intranet. Till date, all records were stored physically,” said an officer.

Indian Army
The new system will contain complete digitized records of all serving officers of Indian Army including occurrences, claims, photos of dependents, pay slips, leaves and encashment of leaves apart from other details. Pixabay

Gentlemen cadets will henceforth be required to fill in their relevant details at the time of commissioning. The records can be accessed only by the Army. For users, the software provides a query system too that can be raised in boxes.

After retirement of officers, the data will be transferred to the Retired Officers Digital Records Archive that contains records of all Army veterans. Sources said over 400 officers have digitized their records on the Intranet system so far.

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The Army already has a system in place for maintaining digitised records of jawans which is known as HRMS Suite. (IANS)