Prime Minister Narendra Modi today handed over the indigenously built Arjun Main Battle Tanks (Mark 1A). As per reports, PM Modi accepted a salute by the state-of-the-art tank, designed, developed, and manufactured by the Chennai-based Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

Arjun Tank
PM Modi at induction ceremony of Arjun Mark 1A tankCredit:Twitter (Narendra Modi)

Here are the specifications of Made in India tank 'Arjun'

In comparison to its earlier variant, Arjun Mk-1A has undergone 71 improvements, of which 14 were the major upgrades directly requested by the Indian Army. CVRDE Director V Balamurugan said that the basic parameter of the tank includes "firepower, protection, and mobility."

Under firepower, CVRDE has included four major upgrades with an improved Gunner's Main Sight (GMS), integrated with Automatic Target Tracking (ATT), that help the tank crew fire while the tank is in motion. Moreover, the Commander's Panoramic Sight (CPS Mk II) has been integrated with Thermal Imager.

The upgrade would mean that the tank commander will effectively conduct surveillance during daytime as well as in the dark. The tank is also now loaded with a Remote Controlled Weapon Station that will allow the loader to engage with the ground targets and aerial targets from the protective envelope of the tank armour.

Arjun TankTwitter

The order for 118 tanks is worth Rs. 8,500 crore, said G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary of Defense Research and Development and DRDO Chairman, and about 200 factories are working to produce the order. He further added that the project would generate employment for over 8000 people which will give a boost to the local industries.

Arjun Mk 1A
Arjun Mk 1A TankCredit: Indian Army

The Arjun MBT project has witnessed major delays with the entire plan started way back in the mid-1970s but the tanks were inducted by the Army only in 2004. Moreover, it was never used to its maximum capacity due to its excess weight, non-availability of spare parts, etc.