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Parting shot: Arjun Mk 1A main battle tank

According to the Indian Ministry of Defence, the Arjun Mk 1A main battle tank integrates 72 new features – some of which are highlighted above – over the Arjun Mk 1 model. (Indian MoD/Janes)

The Arjun Mk 1A main battle tank (MBT) was designed and developed by India's state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The project was centred on upgrading the Arjun Mk 1 MBT, which has been in service with the Indian Army since 2009.

Manufacturing of the Arjun Mk 1A MBT is undertaken by the Chennai-based Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF), which emerged out of the state-run Ordnance Factory Board when it was disbanded and restructured in 2021. HVF was awarded an INR75.23 billion (USD916 million) contract in September 2021 to produce 118 Arjun Mk1A units, with deliveries scheduled for 30 months after the contract signature. An additional 30 MBTs will be delivered each year to the Indian Army until the contract is completed by around 2027.

On awarding HVF the production contract, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the Arjun Mk 1A MBT was designed to enhance firepower, mobility, and survivability, and will incorporate 72 new features over the Arjun Mk 1 model to ensure “effortless mobility in all terrains [and] precise target engagement during day and night”.

Enhancements to firepower capability in the Arjun Mk 1A include a computer-controlled fire-control system (FCS) with a day and night sighting system; a commander's panoramic sight MK II; an automatic target tracker; a remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS); and an effective muzzle reference system.

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