Indian Army Arjun Mk-1A Main Battle Tank: In a big boost to Indian Army’s firepower, the ministry of defence Thursday placed a formal order with the government owned Ordnance Factory for procurement of 118 Arjun Mk-1A battle tanks, which have superior firepower, all-terrain mobility and night-fighting capabilities, among other features. The order is worth over $1.02 billion dollar (INR 75 billion).
The order is a big boost for the indigenously developed tanks which did not find much favor with the Indian army earlier but has been upgraded over the years to suit the army’s requirements.
The new tanks, developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation, will be manufactured at the government’s Heavy Vehicles Factory in Chennai.
The government said the new variant of the Arjun Main Battle Tank (MBT) has 72 new features and is equipped with more locally developed features compared to the Mk-1.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had handed over the MBT Arjun Mk-1A to Army Chief General MM Naravane in Chennai in February this year.
Make in India in Defence
“The state–of-the-art MBT Mk-1A is a new variant of Arjun Tank designed to enhance fire power, mobility and survivability. Infused with 72 new features and more indigenous content from the Mk-1 variant, the tank would ensure effortless mobility in all terrains, besides precise target engagement during day and night,” said the MoD.
The ministry said the DRDO designed the tank by incorporating several upgrades on Arjun MBT, the in-service main battle tank with the Indian Army.
The MoD said new Arjun tank was capable of taking on the enemy during day and night conditions and in both static and dynamic modes.
“By virtue of these capabilities, this indigenous MBT proves to be at par with any contemporary in its class across the globe. This tank is particularly configured and designed for Indian conditions and hence it is suitable for deployment to protect the frontiers in an effective manner,” the MoD said.
The production of these tanks will give a big boost to indigenous defence manufacturing for over 200 Indian vendors and result in creation of employment opportunities for around 8,000 people.
This will be a flagship project showcasing the indigenous capability in cutting edge defence technologies.
The MBT Arjun Mk-1A has been designed and developed by Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), along with other laboratories of DRDO within two years (2010-12).
Extensive trial evaluation was conducted in various phases covering over 7,000 km (both in DRDO and user trials) of automotive and substantial firing of various ammunitions during 2012-2015.
*1 USD = 73.7294 INR