The im­proved Ar­jun Mk.2 tank will be­gin cru­cial tri­als shortly. On May 10, the Ar­jun Mk.2 pro­to­type will arrive at the Pokhran field fir­ing range for a round of fir­ing tests. For­mal user tri­als by the Army will be­gin on June 1. The Army is count­ing on the Mk.2 to make for tech­no­log­i­cal re­quire­ments lack­ing in the Ar­jun Mk.1, 124 of which have been in­ducted into two ar­moured reg­i­ments. A stand­ing in­dent also ex­ists for 124 Ar­jun Mk.2, which may be am­pli­fied de­pend­ing on the out­come of the up­com­ing tri­als.

The Army is also hop­ing that un­like the Mk.1, tri­als on the Mk.2 are not pro­tracted. The Ar­jun Mk.2 in­cor­po­rates 93 im­prove­ments over and above the orig­i­nal Mk.1 tank plat­form. These in­clude a cru­cial ca­pa­bil­ity to fire mis­siles from the 120mm gun tube, a night-ca­pa­ble panoramic sight, con­tainer­ised and pro­tected am­mu­ni­tion, bet­ter pen­e­tra­tion by the pri­mary weapon, the abil­ity to de­ploy new am­mu­ni­tion types, ex­plo­sive re­ac­tive ar­mour, a tur­ret mounted air-de­fence gun to en­gage he­li­copters, mine plough, an ad­vanced land nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem and a laser coun­ter­mea­sure sys­tem.

The Ar­jun Mk.2 tri­als com­menced shortly af­ter Rosoboronex­port pub­licly dis­played the im­proved T-90S tank at the re­cently con­cluded De­f­expo 2012 in Delhi—an un­mis­tak­able sign that Moscow will look to sup­ply more T-90S to the In­dian Army. It will be a déjà vu of sorts for the Army, which has held ex­ten­sive com­par­a­tive tri­als in the past be­tween the T-90 Bhishma tanks and the Ar­jun Mk.1. While trial re­sults were mixed across pa­ram­e­ters, it is un­der­stood that the Ar­jun Mk.1 out­per­formed the T-90

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