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Indian MoD orders 118 indigenous Arjun Mk-1A Main Battle Tanks.

| 2021

The Defence Ministry on September 23 signed a contract with the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) located at Avadi, Chennai, to procure 118 Arjun Mk.1A Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) for the Indian Army. Five Mk-1A tanks will be delivered within 30 months, followed by 30 tanks every year.
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Arjun Mk.1A MBT (Picture source: DRDO)

According to The Hindustan Times, the order came seven months after the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) - India’s apex procurement body – accorded its acceptance of necessity (AoN) for the tanks. The Arjun Mk.1A has been designed and developed by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) by incorporating numerous upgrades on Arjun MBT, the in-service main battle tank with the Indian Army. The new tank will come with 72 upgrades over the existing variant including 14 major improvements: the improvements on the new tank include better firepower, auto-target tracker, remote-controlled weapon system, explosive reactive armour, advanced laser warning and countermeasure systems, containerised ammunition bin, advanced land navigation systems and improved night vision capabilities

The development activities started in June 2010 and the tank was fielded for user trial in June 2012. An extensive trial evaluation was conducted in various phases covering 7,000+ km, both in DRDO and user trials, of the automotive, and substantial firing of various ammunition during 2012-2015. The tank has been configured and designed for Indian conditions. However, some experts have flagged concerns about the bulky tank, saying its weight (68 tonnes) could limit the army’s deployment options.

The Indian army’s existing tank fleet consists of T-90MS, Ayeja Mk.1/Mk.2 (T-72M1) and the Arjun Mk-1 tanks. 

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Arjun Mk-II MBT (a Mk-I with little differences) demonstrated at DefExpo India 2018 in Chennai (Picture source: Army Recognition)


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