They would ensure effortless mobility in all terrains, besides precise target engagement during day and night
The Defence Ministry on Thursday placed an order with the Heavy Vehicle Factory (HVF), Avadi, for the supply of 118 indigenous Arjun Mk-1A Main Battle Tanks 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 Defence Ministry said.
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).
Employment opportunities for 8,000 people
In February, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had formally handed over Arjun Mk-1A to Army Chief Gen. Manoj Naravane in Chennai. The Army has two regiments of Arjun Mk1 tanks in service inducted between 2005 to 2010. “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,” the Ministry said.
As reported by The Hindu earlier, 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 official said. An Arjun hub has been set up in Jaisalmer where 248 rotables have been deposited to ensure quick support and maintenance for the fleet.
The DRDO has also taken up indigenisation of various assemblies and sub-assemblies including the Commander’s Panaromic Sight (CPS) and Gunner’s Main Sight (GMS). The CPS has already undergone various rounds of trials while the GMS is in the process of being integrated. Once the indigenous CPS and advanced GMS are incorporated, the indigenous content of the MBT Arjun Mk-1A will go up from 41% to 54.3% during production, officials said earlier.
The Mk-1A has been customised for missile firing and the advanced GMS has a built-in laser target designator. The missile is under development by the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune.
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