India Begins Testing DRDO-Built Main Battle Tank

  • 12:00 AM, June 25, 2012
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India has begun developmental trials of the main battle tank (MBT) known as Arjun Mark II. The testing will continue until next month at the Pokhran field firing range. If the trials are found successful, India will build 124 MBTs at a DRDO facility in South India. The trials will focus on improving on earlier features that drew criticism. “The Army has pressed 124 Arjun mark I into service but has said follow-on order will be conditional on 93 improvements, including 19 major modifications”, defence spokesperson Col S D Goswami was quoted as saying. The tanks missile firing capability will be tested in the coming weeks. The tank’s warning counter measure system has been designed to intercept incoming missiles, allowing 15 seconds reaction time. Among other upgrades are the tanks enhanced auxiliary power unit providing 8.5 KW (from 4.5 KW) and an improved gun barrel, changes in the commander's panoramic sight with eye safe LRF, night vision capability including for driver, digital control harness, new final drive, track and sprocket. Developed by the DRDO, the tank is operated by a four-member crew comprising commander-cum-navigator, gunner, loader and driver.
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