Archive for July 18, 2012
Keeping Cool in the Indian Desert
DETROIT — An air conditioning company based in India wants to add climate controls to Russian-made tanks sold to Middle East and African militaries.
Officials at Fedders Lloyd Corporation Ltd. say they have already supplied over two thousand military grade ruggedized air conditioning and heating systems for mine-protected vehicles and main battle tanks for the Indian Army, like the T-72M1 Ajeya, T-90S Bishman and the Arjun. The company is also in the process of supplying air conditioning and heating units for 150 armored ambulance vehicles – both tracked and wheeled versions — and mobile radar stations.
The Fedders Lloyd units can cool a tank or armored vehicle to 23 degrees Celsius (73.4 degrees Fahrenheit) when it is 55 degrees C (131 degrees F) outside, Nagarajan Sridharan, CEO and director of marketing for the New Delhi-headquartered company, told a military vehicles conference in Detroit recently.
“Our focus is improving crew efficiency, which is a battlefield factor and therefore a force multiplier,” he said, adding. “Where the mind can work peacefully, and action can be taken swiftly.”
The company, started in 1957, making consumer air conditioning units and later supplying air conditioning to passenger train carriages. Fedders Lloyd branched out to telecommunications and then military HVAC.
In the past, said Fedders Lloyd Senior Vice President Vivek Mehta, a retired brigadier general in the Indian Army tank corps, the comfort of tank crews was “expendable.” But with the introduction of climate sensitive computer technology for tracking, targeting and communications, climate control became essential, he added.
The challenges include the extremely hot and dusty conditions of the Indian deserts. One requirement of the power units for HVAC systems on tanks like the Russian T-90 or T-72 is that there still be power for the air conditioning as well as moving the gun and turret when the main engine is shut down, Sridharan said.
Mehta told your 4GWAR editor that most Russian equipment sold to India or African nations had only heating units. “The Russians never picked up expertise in air conditioning,” he added. Mehta said Fedders Lloyd has retrofit Russian equipment with air conditioning units for Bangladesh, and countries in the Middle East and southern Africa.
Fedders Lloyd also makes radiators and oil coolers for ground vehicles.
The four-day Military Vehicles Exhibition & Conference at Detroit’s Cobo Center was sponsored by an industry group, Institute for Defense and Government Advancement (IDGA).