Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday handed over the indigenously developed Arjun Main Battle Tank (MK-1A) to the Indian Army at a ceremony in Chennai. The army will get 118 units of the Main Battle Tank, indigenously designed, developed and manufactured by CVRDE and DRDO along with 15 academic institutions, eight labs and several MSMEs.
What is the Arjun Main Battle Tank?
The Arjun Main Battle Tank project was initiated by DRDO in 1972 with the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) as its lead laboratory. The objective was to create a “state-of-the-art tank with superior fire power, high mobility, and excellent protection”. During the development, the CVRDE achieved breakthroughs in the engine, transmission, hydropneumatic suspension, hull and turret as well as the gun control system. Mass production began in 1996 at the Indian Ordnance Factory’s production facility in Avadi, Tamil Nadu.
What are the features of the Arjun tank?
The Arjun tanks stand out for their ‘Fin Stabilised Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (FSAPDS)’ ammunition and 120-mm calibre rifled gun. It also has a computer-controlled integrated fire control system with stabilised sighting that works in all lighting conditions. The secondary weapons include a co-axial 7.62-mm machine gun for anti-personnel and a 12.7-mm machine gun for anti-aircraft and ground targets.
How many Arjun tanks have been inducted so far?
The Indian Army received the first batch of 16 tanks in 2004 and they were inducted as a squadron of the 43 Armoured Regiment. In 2009, the first Arjun regiment of the Indian Army had 45 tanks. By 2011, over 100 tanks had been delivered. In 2010, the Indian army ordered another 124 Arjuns. The Ministry of Defence ordered another 118 units of the Arjun Mk-1A. These are the units being inducted now at a revised cost of over Rs 8,400 crore.
How is the Mk-1A different?
The Mk-1A version has 14 major upgrades on the earlier version. It is also supposed to have missile firing capability as per the design, but this feature will be added later as final testing of the capability is still on. However, the biggest achievement with the latest version is 54.3 per cent indeginous content against the 41 per cent in the earlier model.