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Indian Army orders 118 new Arjun Mk-1A tanks

Arjun Mk1A during Defence Expo 2020. (Photo courtesy of Saurav Chordia)
September 26, 2021

On Thursday, the Indian Government took a leap in adding modern Main Battle Tanks to its arsenal. The Indian Army placed an order for 118 new Arjun Mk-1A battle tanks, according to The Times of India.

Arjun Mk1A has superior firepower, all-terrain mobility, and multi-layered protection compared to predecessor variant. Since the first day of commission, the Arjun Tank has been a centerpiece of the Army’s ambition in self-reliance in tank development for the last 15 years.

Designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Arjun Mk-1A MBT will be manufactured at the government-owned Heavy Vehicles Factory in Chennai, Avadhi. The order is estimated to be worth Rs 7,523 crore ($1 Billion).

The government said in a statement that the new variant of the Main Battle Tank (MBT) has 72 new features and more indigenous features compared to the Mk-1.

During the final clearance of the latest variant, Prime Minister Narendra Modi handed over the MBT Arjun Mk-1A to Army Chief General MM Naravane in Chennai on Feb. 14.

“The state-of-the-art MBT Mk-1A is a new variant of Arjun Tank designed to enhance firepower, mobility, and survivability. Infused with 72 new features and more indigenous content from the Mk-1 variant, the tank would ensure effortless mobility in all terrains, besides precise target engagement during day and night,” the Indian Army said in a statement.

DRDO redesigned the tank by incorporating numerous upgrades on Arjun MBT, according to Indian Army’s operative parameters. Arjun Mk-1A is capable of rigorous combat operations in extreme conditions while providing the crew with the utmost safety and comfort. It can take on an enemy flank both day and night and in both static and dynamic modes of operability.

Through its extensive features and capabilities, India’s indigenous Arjun MBT packs a punch to tackle armor warfare at its full potential. This MBT is specially engineered and designed for Indian terrains and battle frontiers, resulting in it a suitable platform for deployment to protect the Indian sectors.

Started as a third-generation platform, MBT Arjun Mk-1A has been well designed and developed by DRDOs Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), along with other laboratories of DRDO. Arjun has undergone various subjective field tests and extensive engineering phases, covering over 7,000 km (both in DRDO and user trials), as well as substantial firing of various ammunitions from 2012-2015, according to an Army statement.

Arjun Mk-1A will boost India’s armor and tank warfare ability, especially in the western front against Pakistan, and will help the Indian defense sector to grow independently, thus bringing great prospects.