Army to buy additional 124 Arjun tanks

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New Delhi, May 17 (ANI): To boost the strike capability of the armed forces, the Indian Army will buy 124 additional indigenous Arjun main battle tank (MBT), after the armoured platform proved its worthiness against the Russian-built T-90 MBT in a gruelling trial of strength in the Thar desert.

The army had already placed orders for 124 Arjun tanks, of which about 50 tanks were handed over to it in 2009.

The Army's decision to get additional Arjun tanks comes after the Defence Ministry asked it to objectively study reports of the trials of the Arjun tanks during the recent exercises.

Ministry of Defence spokesperson, Sitanshu Kar, said: "This is over and above the existing order of 124 tanks. The development follows the success of the indigenous MBT Arjun."

During six months of trials, the DRDO, along with tank crews from the Army's 43 Armoured Regiment, proved not just the Arjun's endurance, but also the ability of its computer-controlled gun to consistently blow away small-sized targets placed a kilometre away during the trials conducted at the Mahajan Ranges near Bikaner in Rajasthan.

"After many years of trial and tribulation, it has now proved its worth by its superb performance under various circumstances, such as driving cross-country over rugged sand dunes, detecting, observing and quickly engaging targets and accurately hitting targets - both stationary and moving -with pin-point accuracy," Kar said.

"Its superior fire power is based on accurate and quick target acquisition capability during day and night in all types of weather and shortest possible reaction time during combat engagements," he added.

The MBT Arjun today remains a contemporary battle tank and by far superior to T-54, T-55, and T-72 tanks that the Army has been using over the years.

The T-90S and the MBT Arjun have their own special features. The MBT Arjun has more power to weight ratio, hydro-pneumatic suspension for better ride comfort and a stable platform to fire on the move, better quality class of Gun Control System and Fire Control System etc.

The Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) in Avadi near Chennai is producing the 60-tonne tank. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)

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