Arjun Mk-1A Main Battle Tanks (MBT):
The Defence Ministry placed an order with the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF), Avadi, for the supply of 118 indigenous Arjun Mk-1A main battle tanks (MBT) for the Army at a cost of ₹7,523 crore.
- The state-of-the-art MBT Mk-1A is a new variant of Arjun tank designed to enhance fire power, 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 MBT Arjun Mk-1A was designed and developed by the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), along with the other laboratories of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
- In February, Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally handed over Arjun Mk-1A to Army chief General Manoj Naravane in Chennai. The Army has two regiments of Arjun Mk1 tanks in service inducted between 2005 and 2010.
- This production order to Avadi factory opens up a large avenue in defence manufacturing for over 200 Indian vendors including MSMEs, with employment opportunities to around 8,000 people.
- The Arjun Mk-1A has 14 major upgrades over the Mk1 variant, which were formulated and approved in October 2018 and subsequently limited user validation trials were carried out of all the upgrades. The Mk1A will be without missile firing capability and will be incorporated as and when the development is complete.
- An Arjun hub has been set up in Jaisalmer where 248 rotables have been deposited to ensure quick support and maintenance for the fleet.