Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the Main Battle Tank Arjun Mark1A to the nation, the Defence Ministry on Tuesday is all set to clear the acquisition of these tanks worth over Rs 6,000 crore by the Army.
The Defence Ministry had recently cleared the induction of 118 Arjun Mark1A tanks into the Indian Army.
“The Defence Ministry will consider the proposal in the Defence Acquisition Council meeting to be held in presence of the Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane,” defence sources told ANI.
The tank has been fully designed and developed by the DRDO in close coordination with the Indian Army. 118 tanks would be joining the fleet of the first batch of 124 Arjun tanks which have already been inducted into the Army and are deployed in the western desert along the Pakistan front.
The 118 Arjun tanks would also form two regiments in the Armoured Corps of the Indian Army like the first 124 tanks.
Officials said the Army has reduced the number of tanks required for the formation of a tank regiment and that is why the present order has six lesser tanks than the previous order for two regiments.
The DRDO has been developing the Arjun Mark 1A for quite some time now and the project was hastened by both Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and DRDO chief Dr G Satheesh Reddy to increase the level of indigenous weapon systems in the armed forces.
The Arjun has been designed by the DRDO’s Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) based out of Chennai.