NEW DELHI: The Defence Ministry placed an order to procure 118 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) Arjun Mk-1A with the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) in Chennai for the Indian Army on Thursday.
The order, worth Rs 7,523 crore, will provide further boost to the ‘Make in India’ initiative in the defence sector and is a big step towards achieving the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) goal, the ministry said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had handed over an MBT Arjun Mk-1A to Army Chief General M.M. Naravane in Chennai on February 14, 2021.
The state-of-the-art MBT Mk-1A is a new variant of Arjun tank designed to enhance fire power, mobility and survivability. Infused with 72 new features and more indigenous content from the Mk-1 variant, the tank would ensure effortless mobility in all terrains, besides precise target engagement during day and night.
It has been designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) by incorporating numerous upgrades on Arjun MBT, the in-service main battle tank with the Indian Army.
The MK-1A is equipped with accurate and superior firepower, all-terrain mobility and an invincible multi-layered protection provided by an array of advanced technology systems. It can take on the enemy in both day and night conditions as well as in static and dynamic modes.
By virtue of these capabilities, this indigenous MBT proves to be at par with any contemporary in its class across the globe.
This tank is particularly configured and designed for Indian conditions and hence it is suitable for deployment to protect the frontiers in an effective manner.
This production order to HVF opens up a large avenue in defence manufacturing for over 200 Indian vendors, including MSMEs, with employment opportunities for around 8,000 people.
This will be a flagship project showcasing the indigenous capability in cutting edge defence technologies. The MBT Arjun Mk-1A has been designed and developed by the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), along with other laboratories of DRDO within two years (2010-12).
The development activities commenced from June 2010 and the tank was fielded for user trial in June 2012.
Extensive trial evaluation was conducted in various phases covering 7000+ km — both in DRDO and user trials — of automotive and substantial firing of various ammunition during 2012-2015.