Missile-firing capable Arjun Tank to go for user trials

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New Delhi, Jan 17 (PTI) The advanced version of theindigenously-developed Main Battle Tank (MBT) Arjun would beready for user trials in June, which could set the stage forinduction in the Army of the weapon system which will havemissile-firing capabilities and laser finders.

The tank would also be equipped with the indigenousexplosive-reactive armour to protect it from enemy missilesand rockets.

The tank is likely to be equipped with the Laser WarningSuites and missile-firing capabilities, which are anadvancement over the existing versions of the weapon system.

With a striking range of eight kms, the Arjun would beequipped with Laser Range Finders, which will help it to fireLaser Homing Anti Tank missiles to take on enemy tanks andlow-level flying aircraft.

The two-phase project to develop the advanced version ofthe Arjun MK-II was cleared last year and these will be handedover to the Army for trials after the completion of technicaltrials, DRDO officials said here.

The tank would be developed further under the phase IIof the project and would be sent to the Army for trials by theend of 2012, they added.

The Defence Ministry had sanctioned the development ofArjun MK-II with enhanced features over the first lot of 124tanks that have been delivered to the army over the last twoyears.

Two regiments of the Arjun MK-I are already deployed inthe Rajasthan sector by the Army and a further order for 124tanks has been placed with the DRDO.

The Army had earlier decided to procure only 124pieces of the Arjun, which has been under development sincelate 70s, but changed its stance after the indigenous tankemerged clear winner in competitive trials with theRussian-origin T-90 in March last year.

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