SP's LandForces - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

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.

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