Military Review

The main Indian battle tank Vijayanta (Vickers Mk.1)

In the early 1960s, the English company Vickers Defense Systems (nowadays BAE Systems) began the development of a new tank specially for a potential foreign customer. This tank has become one of the few representatives of military vehicles that were created on the initiative of the development company without prior financing, contract or order. The creation of a new tank was made possible thanks to the vast experience in the creation and production of such vehicles, the use of ready-made developments and the units and equipment available in the production, which are part of the manufactured models of military equipment.

The new tank was supposed to be a relatively light tracked vehicle, in order for the tank to be used in virtually any terrain conditions of a potential customer, its combat weight for the project did not exceed 24 tons. According to the project, the tank was equipped with a 83.8mm caliber gun (they were in service with Centurion tanks) and several anti-tank grenade launchers with a turret in a niche. Grenade launchers were used manually, one by one, the fire was made from the hatch of the tower. The next decision of the designers is the installation of an inexpensive 530 hp engine. Using in the project of a new tank units and assemblies from manufactured tanks, the developers reduced the design time, commercial risk and the final cost of the finished tank.

The main Indian battle tank Vijayanta (Vickers Mk.1)

The project turned out to be beautiful and inexpensive, but life has shown that the developers have done a little too much with the savings. Analysis of the use of tracked vehicles has shown that the new tank with a combat mass of 24 tons will not be able to perform the functions of the main tank, due to unreliable body armor, it will also not be able to perform the functions of a reconnaissance vehicle or auxiliary machine, again because of its combat mass, which for these machines is big enough. The use of 83.8mm caliber guns was also considered inexpedient and a proposal was made to replace it with a larger 105mm L7 caliber gun. As a result, the project of a battle tank for a foreign customer was completely revised and the developers started a new project of a battle tank weighing about 40 tons for a potential foreign customer.

The main focus of Vickers Defense Systems at that time was the development of a new tank for the needs of its own army (later “Chieftain”), and the developers of the new project decided to use some of its units in the design of the tank, the main ones being the engine and transmission.

Somewhere in the same period, Indian representatives began negotiations with the company's management on the possibility of creating a new main tank for the Indian army. In 1961, an agreement was concluded, as a result of which Vickers becomes the main developer of a new main Indian battle tank, and the company is helping to build a plant in India for their licensed production.

By 1963, Vickers manufactured the first model of the new tank, and by 1964, the second prototype. The first sample began to undergo factory tests at the company's own test site, the second prototype was sent to an Indian customer to conduct its own tests. In 1964, the Indian military who tested a prototype tank demanded that the developer reduce the combat weight of the vehicle to 38 tons, as the weight characteristics created certain difficulties when conducting tests at Indian test sites.

In 1965, Vickers began to supply the first mass-produced main Vickers Mk.1 tanks to India, and from 1966, they launched a factory in Avadi, where they began to produce a new tank under license. At first, the Indian plant only assembled a tank from units and assemblies supplied by Vickers from Europe, and the own production of licensed production tanks became possible after some time, which was necessary for Indian specialists to acquire the necessary experience in the production and manufacture of main tanks. According to reports, tanks "Vickers Mk.1" was released on the order of 1400 units (when needed around 2200). The tanks entered the Indian army under the name “vidjajanta”, which means “winner”. Some of the tanks are still in service, these tanks were at one time a different degree of modernization. The main part of the tanks is decommissioned.

Device and design "Vidjajanta"
The tank is built according to the classical scheme, where the control compartment is made in the front, and the logging system is in the rear of the tank hull. The fighting compartment is made in the central part of the body. The body itself is welded, made of homogeneous steel armor plates. The main difference is the tower part, which is made on the same principle as the hull (in contrast to the similar main tanks of the time). This determined the appearance of the tank tower. Only the mask of the gun was made by casting. Thus, the Vickers company made it possible for third-world countries, where the technology for casting dimensional forms of complex construction was not developed, to produce and manufacture military equipment by themselves.

Driver-mechanic located in the right front side of the case. On the left side was placed ammunition in 25 shells. Driver-mechanic equipment: wide-angle periscope to provide observation and review; passive night vision device for driving at night (installed instead of periscope). When making a forced march or a long movement, the driver-mechanic could block his seat in the most reversed position and control the tank, high leaning out.

The rest of the crew of the tank (3 man) is located in the tower part provided with a circular rotation. The regular places of the tank commander and the gunner are to the right of the gun loading the left respectively. The tank commander is provided with a commander's turret with 6 periscopes, which provides a full all-round visibility and observation device with an increase in 10-fold. On top of the tower are two hatches, one of which (loader) consists of two halves, which is inherent in the English tank building.

The power plant of the tank is a diesel engine “L60 MK 4В” with the power 720 hp, 6 cylinders, 12 pistons (it was also installed on the main English tank “Chieftain”). But since the Indian main tank has a lower combat mass, the engine experienced less different loads during operation. He provided the tank with a movement speed of up to 48 km / h, and the first prototypes at the test sites showed a maximum speed of up to 55 km / h, which was an unattainable result for British tanks, which, having priority in armor, had a large combat weight. The transmission is made in the same block as the engine. It consists of a main friction clutch, a planetary gearbox at eight speeds (6 forward, 2 back), a tilt mechanism with a triple differential. English tanks were equipped with such transmissions from the 1945 of the year. Individual torsion bar suspension with hydraulic shock absorbers 1,2,6 road wheels. The suspension had full-stroke stops made as small torsions connected with balancers and interacting with the supports. The Indian main tank was the only main tank with this type of suspension.

Suspension - six rubberized twin rollers of the support type, drive wheel mounted in the rear part, guide wheel mounted in the front part of the chassis, three supporting rollers and a track. On the outside of the tracked tracks, 3 rubber pads are installed. The tank is equipped with a special floating equipment, the speed of movement on the water to 6.5 km / h. The caterpillars become the motive force in the water. The standard equipment of the tank also includes a fire extinguishing system. It is possible to install equipment to protect the crew of the tank from the WMD.

Armament "Vidjajanta"
The main weapon of the Indian tank was a rifled 105mm caliber "L7A1". For this purpose, two types of projectiles were created - anti-tank anti-tank projectile and high-explosive projectile equipped with plastic explosive. The initial velocity of the projectile data was respectively 1470 and 730 m / s. The turret is mounted on the sighting 12.7mm machine gun which is used to determine the range. The auxiliary armament includes a machine gun of the caliber 7.62mm paired with the main gun and smoke grenade launchers in the number of 12 units, which are installed on the frontal part of the turret to the right / left of the gun on a block. It is possible to install an additional machine gun on the tower of the tank. The whole tank ammunition consists of:
- 44 shells for the main gun;
- 600 cartridges for sighting machine gun;
- 3000 ammunition for twin machine guns.

Vickers engineers applied the electric guidance system and the EC517 system for stabilizing the implement in the 2 planes. It was thanks to the stabilization system of the Indian "Vidjajanta" was one of the few tanks of its time, able to fire in motion, and the time required for the production of a shot was relatively small. The developers were proud of the machine that was created, noting that the tank was able to quickly hit several targets, which was practically proven in tests - 10 objects located no more than one kilometer from the tank, Vickers Mk.1 hit less than a minute.

Next development and modifications
The success of the tank "Vickers Mk.1" pushed the developers to continue work on the improvement of the tank. So, after about a year of mass production, it is decided to increase the firepower of the combat vehicle. Two tank launchers with Swingfire anti-tank missiles with a range of up to 4 kilometers are installed on the tank. This modification was called "Vickers Mk.2", but the modification did not enter the mass production - the work on it remained at the level of the prototype. The next modification is Vickers Mk.3, which was developed at the beginning of 1970. It, unlike the previous modification, becomes more tenacious and is launched into mass production. She ordered the Kenyan and Nigerian military, respectively, 76 and 72 main battle tank "Vickers Mk.3".

The main differences from the basic modification:
- the tower part was made in a combined way - the whole front part of the tower was made by casting, the rest part was welded from rolled armor plates;
- the tank commander provided a combined aiming device "RE" with 10 multiple times and 4 multiple times at night. The commander gained complete arms control;
- The tank gunner also received a sight with a 10 multiple magnification, as well as a laser-type rangefinder. He could use the way and the commander of the machine;
- The gun received new ammunition: sub-caliber anti-tank with a separating pan and stabilizers; smoke; high-explosive; cumulative;
- the instrument is equipped with new stabilization and guidance systems, as well as with a fire control system;
- installed additional weapons - machine gun caliber 7.62mm, on the tower from the top. Machine gun remote control, vertical guidance angles from 90 to -10 degrees;
- The main ammunition consisted of: 50 shells to the main gun; 700 ammunition for sighting machine gun; 2600 ammunition caliber 7.62mm.
- a new engine is installed in the MTO - 12V-71Т turbo-charged diesel (General Motors) hp 720;
- transmission upgraded to TN12-V5.

The next modification to become "Vickers Mk.3 (I)". It appears in the middle of 1980. The main differences include the following solutions:
- The front part of the body (frontal), cast;
- devices in the control department are assembled into one panel, some have been replaced by more modern ones, several light and sound fault indicators have been added;
- the driver mechanic received two more periscopes, which increased the viewing angle;
- the gun barrel was covered with a cover for thermal insulation;
- the fire control system was expanded by the system of combining the axis of the instrument and the optical axis of the sighting device;
- clean one smoke grenade launcher from each unit;
- the new diesel engine “CV12 TCE” with power 850 hp is installed in the MTO;
- carry out a complete replacement of the transmission - set T1200;
- chassis gets new hydraulic shock absorbers, wide support-type rollers and tracks.

In general, the changes brought the combat mass of the tank to 41 tons, but also made it possible to achieve a higher speed of movement to 59 km / h over a distance of 550 kilometers. A prototype was made at 1986.

The next modification is "Vickers Mk.3M". It was specially developed for the requirements of the Malaysian army. The main differences are:
- availability of dynamic attachment protection;
- The gunner received a new sighting device (day / night channels);
- installation of a warning system for laser irradiation;
- installation of satellite navigation system receiving equipment;
- improvement of the cooling / air conditioning system;
- made fastening units in the bow of the tank for the installation of a dozer blade.

In 1996, the Vickers Mk.3M demonstrator participated in the tender for the main tank for the Malaysian army.

The main characteristics of the Indian main tank:
- combat weight - 38.6 tons;
- Tank crew - 4 man;
- length with a tool - 9.7 meter;
- width - 3.1 meters;
- height - 2.4 meters;
- ground clearance - 40 centimeters;
- body armor body front / side - 80 / 30-40 mm;
- body armor tower forehead / side / feed - 80 / 40-60 / 40 mm;
- armament: 105mm gun "L7А1"; machine gun M2 sighting caliber 12.7mm; twin machine gun "L8А2" caliber 7.62mm; smoke grenade launchers 2X6;
- ammunition: gun - 44 projectile; 7.62mm - 3 thousands of rounds; 12.7mm - 600 ammunition;
- Power - diesel "160 Mk 4В" power 720 hp;
- maximum speed up to 48 km / h;
- range to 480 kilometers;
- overcome obstacles: wall to 0.9 meter; moat to 2.5 meters; ford to 1.15 meter.

Information sources:

Subscribe to our Telegram channel, regularly additional information about the special operation in Ukraine, a large amount of information, videos, something that does not fall on the site:

Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. Tan4ik
    Tan4ik 13 December 2012 09: 52
    Several tanks recalls, one of them is Cromwell. And on Leopard 1 bit.
  2. Akim
    Akim 13 December 2012 10: 30
    The third photo is "Arjun", but nothing happens. You don't hand over tea for a diploma. But the rest of the photos are correct.
  3. Kars
    Kars 13 December 2012 11: 30
    A decent tank for its time, nothing particularly outstanding. A working machine, the roots of Centurion are clearly visible, but lightened. The next step of the BTT of India will already be the T-72. Unfortunately, in Russian-language literature, combat use is not particularly highlighted.
    1. cth; fyn
      cth; fyn 13 December 2012 20: 32
      in my opinion his characteristics are worse than even the Tiger-1
      At least the tiger calmly squeezed fifty dollars per hour.
      1. Kars
        Kars 14 December 2012 01: 42
        Quote: cth; fyn
        At least the tiger calmly squeezed fifty dollars per hour.

        Probably topov in the World of Tanks.
        The armor is approximately equivalent, the tiger is 100 mm vertical, here 80 with a slope.
        A 105 mm cannon for a tiger leaves no particular chance.
        The power reserve is simply incomparable.
  4. Mikhado
    Mikhado 13 December 2012 12: 50
    How poor Hindus suffered, exploiting this legacy of the colonial past laughing until the Red Northern Neighbor has fitted the Real Combat Iron Elephant - T-72 good
    And they understood the whole twist of the unmeasured new Elephant, and danced and sang for three days, and filled him with garlands up to the "Cliff" on the tower fellow
  5. cth; fyn
    cth; fyn 14 December 2012 20: 11
    then let's compare with tiger-2
    Forehead housing-120
    Tower forehead for 200
    Speed ​​50
    The armor is inclined with rational angles, withstood hit from the ISU-152, however, a high-explosive blank with the fuse turned off, kept the hit from the IS-2 up to 500 meters. 88mm gun with armor penetration of about 250mm.
    If you do not take into account the lack of molybdenum in the armor, then the entot relic of the second world divided Vijayantu.
    1. Kars
      Kars 14 December 2012 21: 05
      Quote: cth; fyn
      Forehead housing-120
      Tower forehead for 200

      Quote: cth; fyn
      lack of molybdenum in the armor then entot relic of the second world divided Vijayantu

      Well, if you take it like this, then remember that the CT is a HEAVY 70-ton tank, then they basically did the T-55/62 (with a stretch and without taking into account the lack of league materials_
      Quote: cth; fyn
      Speed ​​50

      Probably instead of the usual wiki, do you use the World Tank?
      Tut a good site for the Germans?
      Weight: 68000kg
      Crew: 5 people
      Engine: Maybach HL 230 P30
      12 Cylinders
      Speed: Road: 35-38km / h
      Off-road: 17km / h
      Power reserve: Road: 120-170km
      Off-road: 80km
      Quote: cth; fyn
      withstood hit from ISU-152

      by armor penetration, it grows and grows up to L7.
      Quote: cth; fyn
      88mm gun with armor penetration of about 250mm

      88mm gun KwK 43 L / 71

      Armor-piercing projectile: 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
      Panzergranate 39 203mm 185mm 165mm 148mm 132mm
      Panzergranate 40/43 237mm 217mm 193mm 171mm 153mm

      And this is according to the German method of counting, and yes I had to break through, if I get there, given the small power reserve, I won’t get stuck anywhere - given the parasitically poor cross-country ability, and if it with its large and immaculate silhouette will not be beaten before.
  6. cth; fyn
    cth; fyn 15 December 2012 11: 25
    took according to Boryatinsky from memory. 200mm is the area of ​​the gun (forehead and mask), and 180.
    A turn of 17-77 seconds, but there was a case when thirty-four forced the Germans to leave their cars and leave on a pawn. The forehead is generally 150 top sheet, 120 bottom. I took the armor penetration table from the wiki because I did not remember it.
    1. Kars
      Kars 15 December 2012 12: 01
      Quote: cth; fyn
      took according to Boryatinsky from memory

      Well, why so much strain.
      An excellent site for the Germans, I did not notice any obvious errors, and the reviews are good.
  7. cth; fyn
    cth; fyn 15 December 2012 12: 19
    Yes, just an essay wrote on the Katan’s readings (at the local spill scientist), this encyclopedia fell into the RTC, I apologize for not being able to write in the answers I’m sitting on the phone, but for a year look 44 against 60
    1. Kars
      Kars 15 December 2012 18: 53
      Quote: cth; fyn
      , but then look 44 against 60-

      Why should I watch? You wanted to compare Vijayant with the Tigers. And to be honest, we see progress and significant. You are comparing medium and heavy tanks.
  8. homosum20
    homosum20 15 December 2012 17: 11
    Funny rattle.
  9. cth; fyn
    cth; fyn 15 December 2012 21: 46
    Well, yes, the last argument was not very good, but if we compare it with the panther, it refers more to the average ones, and our tankers respected it more than the tiger.
    1. Kars
      Kars 15 December 2012 21: 53
      Quote: cth; fyn
      more middle

      I classify it as an under-armed heavy tank.
      Try to develop the idea in comparison with the Panther. It is 8 tons heavier (rough), the specific power is less, the art system is probably inferior by an order of magnitude. But in a successful situation, even the T-34-85 knocked out the T-72.
  10. cth; fyn
    cth; fyn 15 December 2012 23: 29
    take ausf modification. F (just as she does the Vijayant on armor) forehead-120 side-60. Tower forehead-120 mask-150 board-60. The gun is not kazisty (and so it can be seen), but on the Panther -2 it was planned to install 88mm 70 caliber with armor penetration of 202 in the first hundred and 148 at 1500m.
    Dvigatl 750 horses, 23 liters.
    It is not known at the expense of the masses, when it increases in armor growth, it increased by 1.5 or 1.25 times from 35 to 45 tons, the specific power is really low, only about 15 horses per ton.
    A small amount and incomplete assembly is certainly not nice (8 buildings and 2 towers, as I understand it separately), but the last peep of a dying Germany was quite formidable and it took the British 20 years to overtake Germany in tank building, by the way this wunderwafer had an infrared night vision device ( they say correctly: their energy and peace) is another plus in favor of the panther.
    1. Kars
      Kars 16 December 2012 00: 02
      Quote: cth; fyn
      take ausf modification. F

      To begin with, we can say that it was not.
      Quote: cth; fyn
      88mm 70caliber with 202 armor penetration

      Same as on CT.
      Quote: cth; fyn
      1.5 or 1.25 times from 35 to 45

      Well, where did 35? If the standard Panther weighed 46 tons, most likely about 50 tons.
      Quote: cth; fyn
      forehead-120 board-60. Tower forehead-120 mask-150 board-60

      For guns such as 88 and 105 mm, this is not a serious difference.
      Quote: cth; fyn
      It took the British 20 years to overtake Germany in tank building

      They did this on Comet and Centurion, do not forget that Vijayanta is a purely export tank.
      Quote: cth; fyn
      By the way, this prodigy had an IR night vision device

      Optionally could have, but it would be better to have a gun stabilizer like Sherman
      1. cth; fyn
        cth; fyn 16 December 2012 13: 58
        Work on the 20-ton tank was discontinued; instead, on November 25, 1941, Daimler-Benz and MAN were given an order for a prototype 35-ton tank using all these design solutions. The promising tank received the code name "Panther"

        Actually, D1 weighed 35 tons, but G 45,5 tons, so here you are right, especially since I still melted cast iron on F, perhaps 50 tons, and even weighed more (it’s a pity that the hulls with the towers did not get married), and they had hinged tanks did not have? although the use of hinged tanks with gasoline is a rather dangerous undertaking, and there is no fountain with diesel fuel either (I met an article where the T-80 was fired, for experimental purposes, it blazed, but it seemed to be intact).
        By the way: 60 tanks with night vision devices, in my opinion, are no longer jokes no matter how 3 companies. You can equip a battalion, say one company with conventional tanks and the remaining 3 for night use, the enemy can be exhausted to a zombie state by night and day attacks. On Vijayant it was not until the 3rd modification (70s). and the Panther’s engine is 30 horses more powerful, but overall it loses. although Vidzhayanta’s board is only 40mm and it will take a 45mm cannon as a nefig to do with 500m, but I am silent about RPG-7.
        It seems to me that even Vigayanta defeats the Panther and the Tigers as a whole, but nevertheless it is obviously outdated at the time of release and its only big plus was the gun stabilizers. Armor to hell, it is useless at night due to the lack of night vision devices, low power density (only 18 horses per ton), lack of loading mechanism, vertical armor of the tower, lack of rangefinder.
        By the way, the site that you recommended is gorgeous, thanks hi
        1. Kars
          Kars 16 December 2012 14: 13
          Quote: cth; fyn
          Vijayanta, though, beats Panther and the Tigers as a whole, but she is obviously outdated at the time of release

          Almost one on one with German Leopard 1 and French AMX 30
          Quote: cth; fyn
          By the way, on Vijayant it was not until the 3rd modification (70s).

          So did the opponents of India too

          Quote: cth; fyn
          and they had no hinged tanks? although using a hinged tank of gas is a rather dangerous undertaking,

          not a panther of course.
          1. cth; fyn
            cth; fyn 16 December 2012 14: 34
            as I saw a photo of the Tiger in the desert with jerry cans, where it was said a lot where they were with gasoline, but in fact they were with water, it’s just an awesome water consumption Actually Boryatinsky wrote about this, maybe here they are with water or this tank still on the March before the front zone, I hope that they didn’t go to battle like this, although on the other hand it would be better if they went to attack like this am but still losing the tank at a distance of 1500 thousand meters from the enemy generally sucks, especially since China had T-34-85s that could do this, and the thirty-four had a stabilizer, I just don’t remember in which plane.
            Ha, yes they are generally plywood! Yes, in the 60s, in my opinion, there was a crisis in tank building, cardboard armor and they could shoot each other from 1500m.
            1. Kars
              Kars 16 December 2012 14: 50
              Quote: cth; fyn
              here they are with water or this tank is still on the March

              Barrels are definitely with fuel, and this is not a desert anyway. Soviet tanks with additional barrels should not go into battle according to the charter.

              A T-34-85 from 1500 meters hit Vijayant on board, it is very problematic, the angle of meeting and approach is very unsuccessful. For the Soviet 85 mm effective distance is considered 800 m armor-piercing projectile.
              1. cth; fyn
                cth; fyn 16 December 2012 17: 02
                S-53 gun projectile BR-365P
                meeting angle 60 ° 124mm at 100m and 60mm at 1500m. In my opinion, there is still a margin on board, but everything on the forehead is not fate, only with 800m, as you say. especially since she has a vertical board
                1. Kars
                  Kars 16 December 2012 23: 24
                  Quote: cth; fyn
                  60mm to 1500m

                  There will be no angle of 60 degrees, and it will fall into the box on the fenestrated shelf. The sub-caliber will be a direct shot at a height of 800 meters, if the height is 2 m 1100
                  The tables give experimental data obtained with the given speeds. That is, everything is shot from the same distance, and the speed is changed by changing the weight of the gunpowder.
                  1. cth; fyn
                    cth; fyn 17 December 2012 04: 31
                    it turns out that even though the tank was frankly hack but was the best in the region? Here are those times.
                    1. Kars
                      Kars 17 December 2012 13: 50
                      Quote: cth; fyn
                      that even though the tank was frankly hack, it was the best in the region?

                      Well, then there was such a region --- and Pakistan, too, was modified m48.
  11. cth; fyn
    cth; fyn 16 December 2012 14: 42
    Whether the case of the T-54 is thick-skinned compared to these cans.