The Indian defense ministry has awarded state-owned Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) a contract for the delivery of 118 Arjun Mk-1A main battle ranks (MBTs) to the Indian Army.
Awarded on September 23, the contract is worth Rs 7,523 crore (a little over US$1B) and will provide further boost to the ‘Make in India’ initiative in the country’s defense sector.
MBT Mk-1A is a new variant of Arjun tank designed to enhance fire power, mobility and survivability.
“Infused with 72 new features and more indigenous content from the Mk-1 variant, the tank would ensure effortless mobility in all terrains, besides precise target engagement during day and night,” the Indian defense ministry said announcing the contract.
It has been designed and developed by Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) by incorporating upgrades on Arjun MBT, the in-service main battle tank with the Indian Army.
Mk-1A will supplement the older T-90, T-72 and Arjun Mk-1 tanks currently in service.
The first five of the new MBTs will be delivered within 30 months, followed by 30 additional units every year. It should be noted that a prototype Mk-1A was delivered to the army in a ceremony in Chennai on February 14, 11 years after work on the tank’s development officially began.