Arjun Main Battle Tank:
Prime Minister Modi handed over the indigenously developed Arjun Main Battle Tank (MK-1A) to the Indian Army at a ceremony in Chennai. 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.
- 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.
- Mass production began in 1996 at the Indian Ordnance Factory’s production facility in Avadi, Tamil Nadu.
- 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.
- 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 a stabilised sighting that works in all lighting conditions. The secondary weapons include a co-axial 7.62-mm machine gun for anti-personnel and a 12.7-mm machine gun for anti-aircraft and ground targets.
- 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 indigenous content against the 41 per cent in the earlier model.