In News: Prime Minister Narendra Modi handed over the indigenously developed Arjun Main Battle Tank (MK-1A) to the Indian Army at a ceremony in Chennai last week.
About 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.
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 coaxial 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.
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.
- 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.