Upgraded Arjun Mark-1A tank meets Indian army needs
Live fire tests of the modernized Arjun Mk. I tank – designated Arjun Mark-1A - have been carried out at the Pokhran test site. The upgraded tank received an improved gunner's main sight, integrated with the automatic target tracking system enabling firing on the move.
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Arjun Mark 1A (Picture source: Army Recognition)
According to an Indian general, the tank demonstrated a high level of controllability, as well as high performance when firing in a desert area. The specific parameters of firing (distance to the target, the speed of the tank and targets at the time of firing) are not reported. Hence, the Indian general said: "The modernized Arjun Mark-1A tank meets the needs of the Indian army".
By order of the Indian Ministry of Defense, the manufacturer has modernized 14 elements, blocks and units of the tank. A few days ago, the Indian military announced the need to purchase light tanks that could be used in the high-mountainous region of Ladakh on the border with China. It was stated that the T-72 and T-90 tanks are too heavy for such conditions. Although earlier the Indian side itself noted that the T-72 and T-90 are superior to the Chinese "mountain" Type 15 tank in many respects, including the firing range and armor penetration.
The Arjun features a 120 mm main rifled gun with indigenously developed armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding-sabot ammunition, one PKT 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, and an NSVT 12.7 mm machine gun. It is powered by a single MTU multi-fuel diesel engine rated at 1,400 hp and can achieve a maximum speed of 67 km/h (42 mph) and a cross-country speed of 40 km/h (25 mph). It has a four-man crew: commander, gunner, loader and driver. Automatic fire detection and suppression and NBC protection systems are included.
The latest regiment to be completely equipped by the Arjun tank is the 75th Armoured Regiment which was the last regiment in the Indian Army to use the old T-55 tank. The Ministry of Defence concluded the negotiations with Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) for 118 unit of Arjun Mk.1A for the Indian Army Armoured Corps at an estimated amount of US$888.7 million with order of intent likely to be place at any moment that will also include two-year engineering and support package with maintenance, spares and simulator training for the crew members. Delivery of first Arjun Mk.1A is to start 30 months after signing the contract, with all 118 units to be delivered within four to five years.