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Arjun, Russian T-90 comparative trials delayed

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Arjun and T-90 tanks. A File photo.

NEW DELHI (PTI): The comparative summer trials between the Arjun and Russian T-90 tanks will now be held during Monsoon after the Army insisted on holding comparison of regimental level performance of the two tanks.

"The earlier plan was to hold trials using a small number of tanks of both types during summers around May or June. But with the Army now insisting on fielding a regiment (40 tanks) of both the tanks against each other, it will take another three months before the trials begin," Defence Ministry sources told PTI here.

DRDO is expected to deliver around 16 tanks to the Army during a ceremony in Avadi in Tamil Nadu, where the tanks are built.

"After the induction of the tank, it will take the Army another six weeks to train its men to operate the Arjun. So, we can hope for the trials to begin only in August," they said.

The postponement of the summer trials will cause delays in determining the future of the Arjuns in the Army, which has till now ordered only 124 of these indigenously developed tanks.

In 2007, 16 Arjuns were handed over to the Armoured Corps by DRDO but they were sent back to the Central Vehicle Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), Avadi with a list of defects in the tank by the Army.

Later on, there were allegations of Arjun's engines being sabotaged during winter trials of the tank by the Army.

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