INDIAN ARMY ORDERS 118 ARJUN MK.II TANKS
An air of cautious relief will pervade the Combat Vehicles R&D Establishment (CVRDE), the DRDO’s tank development laboratory on Chennai’s outskirts. The Indian Army has been cleared to place an order for 118 Arjun Mk.II main battle tanks. With the already inducted fleet of 124 Arjun Mk.I tanks in two regiments in Rajasthan, the Army will be set to operate a total of four Arjun regiments.
At Defexpo this year, the Arjun Mk.II was on public display for the first time, following its participation in the Republic Day Parade. It underwent two more critical trial phases supervised by the Indian Army, pertaining to mobility in water (medium fording), mobility across obstacles, missile firing and fresh regular ammunition firing routines. These rounds were undertaken with during the summer months, with a handful of test points remaining. The Army has committed its resources to purchasing more T-90S Bhishma tanks from Russia for licence production at Avadi. What the DRDO has managed in the meanwhile is to meet the Army’s requirements with the Arjun Mk.II. The tank now incorporates enhanced firepower with automated target tracking and greater variety of ammunition including gun-fired antitank missile, thermobaric ammunition; enhanced protection that include explosive reactive armour, laser warning and countermeasure system, a mine plough, a remotely operable anti-aircraft weapon, a roof-mounted driving seat; advanced land navigation system and enhanced night vision capabilities.