Indian army to procure 118 local-made Arjun Mk-1A main battle tanks


According to news published by the newspaper website "The Hindu" on December 26, 2020, India has launched the process for the procurement of 118 local-made Arjun Mk-1A main battle tanks.
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The latest generation of Indian-made Arjun main battle tank. (Picture source Army Recognition)


“The file is currently with the Deputy Chief of Army Staff and will be shortly sent to Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) to put up the case. The case is planned to be fielded before the Defence Procurement Board (DPB) and the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in January 2021,” the Indian military source said.

The Arjun is a third-generation main battle tank developed by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), for the Indian Army. The development of the tank began in 1972 by the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), a laboratory of DRDO. The first batch of 16 production version Arjun tanks was received in 2004 and they were provided as a squadron to the 43 Armoured Regiment. The regiment was later made up to 45 tanks on 25 May 2009 making it the first Arjun regiment of the Indian Army.

The Arjun has a crew of four and is armed with one 120 mm rifled gun able to fire APFSDS (kinetic energy penetrator) rounds, HE, HEAT, High Explosive Squash Head (HESH) rounds at a rate of 6–8 rounds per minute. the gun of the Arjun is also capable to fire Israeli developed semi-active laser-guided LAHAT missile. The Arjun can carry 39 rounds in special blast-proof canisters. The second armament of the tank includes on 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun mounted on the commander hatch turret and one 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun.

The turret and glacis are protected with "Kanchan" ("gold") modular composite armor, which derived its name from Kanchan Bagh, Hyderabad, where the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL) is located. Kanchan is made by sandwiching composite panels between Rolled Homogenous Armour (RHA) able to defeat APFDS (Armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot) and HEAT (High-explosive anti-tank) rounds.

The Arjun Mk-1A is an upgraded version of the Arjun Mark 1 offering more firepower, protection, and mobility. The hull and turret of Arjun Mk.1A have been modified to give a lower silhouette making detection more difficult, while it also supports the newly developed Thermo-Baric (TB) and Penetration-cum-Blast (PCB) ammunition.

The Arjun Mk-1A is fitted with an improved Gunner's Main Sight (GMS) integrated with Automatic Target Tracking (ATT) which are all connected to a computerized fire control system enhancing the first round kill capability that guarantees accurate engagement even under adverse conditions, panoramic sight (CPS Mark II) integrated uncooled thermal imager and night vision camera with binocular sights, laser rangefinder for an advanced hunter-killer capability, To improve mobility due to an additional increase in weight, an Advanced Running Gear System (ARGS) has been developed where the hydropneumatic suspension system is completely redesigned to enhance agility.


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