DRDO designing advanced version of Arjun MBTs for Indian Army

NEW DELHI (PTI): After receiving
orders for 124 more Arjun main battle tanks, the DRDO has decided to
supply an advanced version of the weapon system to meet the
requirements of the Army.

“We will have the modifications (on
Arjuns) that the Army is looking for,” Defence Research and Development
Organisation chief V K Saraswat said here Thursday.

He was asked
if the DRDO had any plans of delivering a more advanced version of
Arjun to the Army as part of the next order. The DRDO chief was talking
to reporters on the sidelines of a function to mark the golden jubilee
of the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS).

Saraswat
said that the DRDO had already started working on the mark II version
of the tank, which will incorporate a number of modifications that have
been sought by the Army.

“We have to make certain modifications
in the tank, which we call the Arjun mark II version. Development
process on mark II is already in progress and our scientists and the
Army are working together,” Saraswat said.

The DRDO chief said
the decision by the Army to place orders for 124 more Arjuns will
ensure that the assembly line of the tanks is “engaged”.

Army
has till date placed orders for 248 Arjun tanks of which 124 have
already been delivered to it. The order for additional 124 tanks was
placed after the comparative trials in March and April 2010.

The
comparative trials between the Arjun and the Russian T-90 were carried
out to decide the future of the tank in the Army, during which the
indigenous tanks reportedly performed satisfactorily.

The DRDO
wants the Army to place orders for at least 500 Arjuns to recover its
investments before starting work on the futuristic main battle tank for
the service.