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The government’s Heavy Vehicles Factory in Chennai is a buzz with activities to commence production of the Arjun Mk-1A Main Battle Tank (MBT) after DRDO secured orders for 118 units worth Rs 7,523 crore last year. With the activation of the production line after a long pause, had been told Indian Army was approached by the DRDO to consider ordering more Arjun Mk-1A while it still works on the General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQRs) for the future main battle tank (FMBT).

This request comes against the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine where Russian Main Battle Tanks have not only underperformed but were proved to be quite vulnerable to the modern anti-armor weapons systems that were supplied by the western countries to Ukraine.

The Arjun Production line has been activated after a gap of 10 years after DRDO completed the production of 124 Arjun Mk1 that were ordered in 2010. DRDO has proposed Indian Army to acquire 250 more units of Arjun Mk1A aircraft as FMBT will take time to develop and will become reality only after 2032 which will mean there will be another gap of 10 years before DRDO can commence production of another indigenous main battle tank.

Arjun Mk1A has 72 new features and more indigenous features compared to the Mk-1 if the production line is active for more than 250 units it can be further upgraded with more advancements that are to be developed for the Light Tank program under Project Zoravar.

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