The Indian Army's arsenal is set for a boost with the upcoming arrival of the Arjun Mk 1A main battle tank (MBT). The first batch of these domestically-built tanks is expected to roll off the production line at the Chennai-based Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) in September 2024.
A total of 118 Arjun Mk 1A tanks have been ordered by the Indian Army, with the initial batch of 18 slated for delivery before the end of the current fiscal year (FY2024-25). Subsequently, HVF will deliver 30 tanks annually until the entire order is completed by 2027.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which developed the Arjun Mk 1A, is hopeful that the tank's impressive capabilities will lead to further orders from the Indian Army. Successful deployment and positive feedback could pave the way for larger-scale production and potentially even exports.
Enhanced Firepower and Performance:
The Arjun Mk 1A represents a significant upgrade over its predecessor, the Arjun Mk 1. It boasts 72 new features aimed at enhancing firepower, mobility, and survivability. These include:
- Computer-controlled fire-control system (FCS) with day and night sighting: This system allows for precise target engagement in any lighting conditions.
- Commander's panoramic sight MK II: Provides the commander with a 360-degree view of the battlefield.
- Automatic target tracker: Automatically tracks targets, reducing crew workload and improving firing accuracy.
- Remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS): Enhances the tank's ability to engage close-range targets without exposing crew members.
- Effective muzzle reference system: Improves targeting accuracy by compensating for barrel movement.