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In an exclusive interview with “Uday India,” Dr Samir V Kamat, Chairman of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), shed light on the remarkable performance of India’s indigenous Arjun Main Battle Tank (MBT) in comparison to the Russian-developed T-90 MBTs. Dr Kamat’s insights underscore the untapped potential of the Arjun MBT and the challenges it faces due to limited orders.

The Arjun MBT has consistently demonstrated its superiority over the T-90 MBTs across various parameters. However, despite its impressive performance, the Arjun has encountered hurdles primarily stemming from the lack of substantial orders from the Indian Army. This has led to a high import content for the tank, resulting in supply chain constraints that have posed sustenance challenges.

Dr Kamat emphasized that the key obstacle to achieving greater indigenization of the Arjun MBT lies in the limited number of units ordered by the Indian Army. With a higher number of orders, it would have been feasible to carry out comprehensive indigenization efforts, including the localization of critical components such as the transmission and engine.

DRDO has consistently advocated for a substantial order of 500 units of the Arjun MBT to facilitate robust indigenization and bolster domestic production capabilities. Regrettably, the Indian Army has thus far placed orders for only 124 units of the Arjun Mk-1 and an additional 118 units of the new Arjun Mk-1A. These orders fall significantly below the minimum benchmark quantity requested by DRDO.

The Arjun MBT represents a commendable feat of indigenous defence manufacturing, showcasing India’s capability to design and develop advanced military hardware. Its superior performance attributes make it a formidable asset in the country’s arsenal. However, the journey towards self-reliance and indigenization has been impeded by limited orders, hindering efforts to localize critical components and reduce import dependency.

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