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Current Affairs

Arjun Mark-1A tank

Date: 28 September 2021 Tags: Military

Issue

The Defence Ministry has placed orders for Main Battle Tank Arjun’s Mark-1A variant for the Army, which is manufactured by Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF), Chennai.

 

Background

Few months back, PM Modi had handed over the prototype Arjun Mk-1A to Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane at a ceremony in Chennai.

 

Details

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) started developing the Arjun to replace the Russian-made tanks.

  • After the start and conclusion of trials of the tank, it was inducted into the Indian Army in 2004. The work on Mark 1-A variant started in 2010.

  • Extensive trial, including field trials was started by the army in 2012. The DRDO and army were both involved in the trial process.

  • About 14 major upgradation and 58 minor changes have been made in the Mark-1A variant of the tank from the existing Mark-1 version.

  • The indigenous manufacturing will boost ‘Make in India’ initiative in the defence sector and is a big step towards ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.

 

New features

  • Maneuverability in different modes of operation

  • Better all-terrain mobility

  • Precision firing during both day and night with a 360° view

  • Better target acquisition

  • Better transmission system

  • Multi-layered robust protective armour named ‘Kanchan’

  • It has better comfort features for the four-member crew

  • Makes better use of network-centric warfare through IT

 

Other characteristics

The Mark-1A variant has more parts sourced from indigenous vendors. It has helped India reduce dependence on foreign vendors.

 

Significance

  • The acquisitions will increase the number of tanks in armoured regiment. Pakistani army has also recently acquired some Chinese origin tanks.

  • The tanks are aptly suited for desert terrain. It is more effective and lethal in comparison to existing tanks.

  • In some aspects these tanks have matched the capacity of Russian-made T-90 and in some they have outperformed them when pitted against each other.

 

Drawbacks

The tanks are said to be on the heavier side, putting restrictions on their operation in high altitude regions. The new modifications further increase the weight.