Major boost to Army's firepower will enhance surveillance along LoC: General Bipin Rawat

India's most lethal all-weather tank manufactured with cutting edge technology - Arjun 'Mk-1A' - main battle tank has cleared the final hurdle after successful completion of the final integration tests.

Earlier this year, the armoured corps of the Indian Army had cleared India's next-generation tank. It is one the most awaited attractions of the 11th biennial edition of DefExpo India 2020, which is scheduled to be held in Lucknow. The tank, a 68-tonne rugged bull, is being indigenously manufactured by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Notably, Arjun Mk-1A is an enhanced version of Arjun Mk-1 that is already in service with two regiments in the Army.

As reported by the New Indian Express, the tank has been designed by the scientists of Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), a laboratory of state-owned DRDO. Now, with the final go-ahead signal from the army, it is ready to be manufactured on a large scale at the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) in Avadi.

What Are The Major Improvements In Arjun?

The officials of DRDO have said that in comparison to its earlier variant, Arjun Mk-1A has undergone 72 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 would be able to 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.

In terms of protecting the tank crew, the vehicle has Track Width Mine Plough (TWMP) which means it can cross minefields without any hindrance as the minesweeper would easily create a mine-free path.

One of the most striking features of this tank would be the protection against chemical attacks. A special sensor has been loaded on the tank which detects the presence of harmful toxic chemicals in the atmosphere around the tank.

One of the CVRDE officials said, "The sensor detects the harmful chemicals, triggers an alarm and the Nuclear Chemical warfare system increases the pressure in the tank compartment to a little higher than in the atmosphere thus preventing toxic air from entering the tank. The tank crew get air through a particulate filter for their survival."