New Delhi: The Indian Army will get 118 new indigenously-built Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) Arjun MK-1A which have 72 additional features including enhanced fire power, mobility and survivability.
The order for purchase of these DRDO-developed MBTs was placed today by the Defence Ministry with the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF), Avadi in Chennai, at a cost of Rs 7,523 crore as part of efforts to boost the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ programme.
“This tank is particularly configured and designed for Indian conditions and hence it is suitable for deployment to protect the frontiers in an effective manner,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
“The state–of-the-art MBT Mk-1A is a new variant of Arjun Tank designed to enhance fire power, mobility and survivability,” it said.
“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,” it said.
The tank has been designed and developed by Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) by incorporating numerous upgrades on Arjun MBT, the in-service main battle tank with the Indian Army.
“The MK-1A is equipped with accurate & superior firepower, all-terrain mobility and an invincible multi-layered protection provided by an array of advanced technology systems. It can take on the enemy during day & night conditions and in both static & dynamic modes,” the statement said.
“By virtue of these capabilities, this indigenous MBT proves to be at par with any contemporary in its class across the globe,” the ministry said.
This production order to HVF, Avadi opens up a large avenue in defence manufacturing for over 200 Indian vendors including MSMEs, with employment opportunities to around 8,000 people, it said.
This will be a flagship project showcasing the indigenous capability in cutting edge defence technologies.
The MBT Arjun Mk-1A has been designed & developed by Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), along with other laboratories of DRDO within two years (2010-12).
The development activities commenced from June 2010 and the tank was fielded for user trials in June 2012. It took only two years to develop and field the MBT Arjun Mk-1A for user trials from the user requirement. Extensive trial evaluation was conducted in various phases covering 7000+ kms (both in DRDO and user trials) of automotive and substantial firing of various ammunition during 2012-2015.