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Advanced version of Arjun MBT getting ready for user trials

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The Arjun MK-I MBT. The advamced version of the MBT will have missile firing capability.

NEW DELHI (PTI): The advanced version of India's indigenously-developed Main Battle Tank (MBT) Arjun would be ready for user trials in June, which could set the stage for induction in the Indian Army of the weapon system which will have missile-firing capabilities and laser finders.

The tank would also be equipped with the indigenous explosive-reactive armour to protect it from enemy missiles and rockets.

The tank is likely to be equipped with the Laser Warning Suites and missile-firing capabilities, which are an advancement over the existing versions of the weapon system.

With a striking range of eight kms, the Arjun would be equipped with Laser Range Finders, which will help it to fire Laser Homing Anti Tank missiles to take on enemy tanks and low-level flying aircraft.

The two-phase project to develop the advanced version of the Arjun MK-II was cleared in 2010 and these will be handed over to the Army for trials after the completion of technical trials, DRDO officials said here.

The tank would be developed further under the phase II of the project and would be sent to the Army for trials by the end of 2012, they added.

The Defence Ministry had sanctioned the development of Arjun MK-II with enhanced features over the first lot of 124 tanks that have been delivered to the army over the last two years.

Two regiments of the Arjun MK-I are already deployed in the Rajasthan sector by the Army and a further order for 124 tanks has been placed with the DRDO.

The Army had earlier decided to procure only 124 pieces of the Arjun, which has been under development since late 70s, but changed its stance after the indigenous tank emerged clear winner in competitive trials with the Russian-origin T-90 in March last year.

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Indian Army  Arjun  MBT  DRDO  
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