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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

68-tonne ” Dessert Ferrari “, Arjun Mk-1A main battle tank which cleared final integration tests conducted earlier last year in the western sector of Rajasthan and has also passed the rigorous army evaluation is set to join Indian Army soon with fresh orders coming from the Indian Army likely in Defeexpo 2020 to be held in Lucknow next month.

While order size is still to be revealed but it is expected that orders again will be for 118 units but this could be bigger this time said sources close to idrw.org. DRDO and Chennai-based CVRDE who have designed the improved avatar of Arjun Mk-1A MBT are pushing for orders twice the number then the originally Army had committed.

Officials said 72 improvements were made to Arjun MBT Mk-1A over the existing version, of which 14 were major upgrades that were specifically requested by the army. Mk-1A build after taking into extensive user feedback from the Army which operates two regiments (124 tanks) of Arjun Mk-1 also has fixed many minor niggles and teething issues which Army complaint about for the Arjun MBT fleet which is currently in service.

Arjun MBT Mk-2 Prototypes

Arjun MBT Mk-2 which will come with improved and redesigned hull and turret developed by Reliance Infra will be three tonnes lighter then Mk-1A and will have an overall weight of 65 tonnes with all Mk-1A improvements and with more features. Mk-2 prototypes are being manufactured at the company’s facility in Silvassa. Mk-2 will have over 90 improvements over the previous version more push will be to largely rely on indigenous components.

New Powerplant for Mk-2

German-made MTU 1,400 horsepower engine will be replaced by CVRDE which is developing an 1800 Horse Power engine locally in collaboration with private players in India.

T-90 Vs Arjun

In 2010, in comparative trials between the Arjun and the T-90, not only did the Arjun hold its own, it was better in some respects than the Russian tank. In exercises lasting 96 hours, the Arjun and the T-90 faced off on 20 key operational parameters. Key among them were mobility, loading the tank with ammunition, tactical maneuvers and the most significant of all, firing at the Army’s Mahajan ranges in Rajasthan.

Israeli team which designed and developed Merkava Mark IV tank were third party evaluators used by DRDO to prove Arjun MBT is the Best Tank in the segment and thus the name ” Dessert Ferrari ” was given by the Israeli team to the Arjun tank. Senior Colonel Liu Degang, deputy commander of the Beijing-based Chinese military research academy had also high praise for Arjun MBT.

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