MBT Arjun : The Main Battle Tank

Introduction : 

Main Battle Tank (MBT) Arjun is a programme of DRDO with CVRDE as the lead Laboratory. It is a state-of-the-art tank with superior fire power, high mobility, and excellent protection. The overall length (with gun forward) of Arjun is 10.638 m and overall height (with gun rear) is 9.546 m. Total width of Arjun is 3.864 m and combat weight is 58.5 tons. A 120 mm calibre rifled gun give MBT ARJUN an edge over contemporary world tanks. Its Fin Stabilized Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot ammunition is indigenously developed. Its electro-slag refined gun steel tube is autofrettaged. A warm coat forestalls sporadic temperature conveyance on to the cylinder.

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A computer controlled integrated fire control system incorporating day and night stabilized sighting system and reduced reaction time. It has coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun for anti-personnel and a 12.7 mm machine gun for anti-aircraft. Its Gunner’s Main Sight consists of a day-sight, thermal sight, a laser range finder and a stabilized head common to all the 3 channels. It has maximum speed of 70 km/hr and maximum speed on cross country is 40 km/hr. Engine power of Arjun is 1400 HP at 2400 rpm, with V 90° Turbo charged diesel, 10 cylinder water cooled.

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Its thermal imager provides night vision facility to the commander and the gunner to observe and engage targets in total darkness, in the presence of smoke, dust, haze and light camouflage. Integral with the main sight is the laser range finder by which targets can be ranged accurately. Its panoramic sight  facility enables the commander to effect an all round surveillance in the battlefield without being disturbed by the turret motion. The view is stabilized with the help of a two axis gyro-mounted axis on the platform of the head mirror, offering dual magnification. FSAPDS and HESH have been developed for this armament. FSAPDS is the main battle ammunition of Arjun.

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Its high power-to-weight ratio, high acceleration, rapid braking and low specific ground pressure, makes it extremely mobile to cross the most difficult terrain. It has adequate fuel storage capacity and low fuel consumption. Arjun has computerised design and simulation and fabricated turret housing lightweight compact “KANCHAN” for protection. Its Hydropneumatic suspension provides excellent ride comfort for crew eliminating fatigue even on extended runs.

Background :

MBT Arjun project was initiated by DRDO in 1972 with the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment  as its lead laboratory. The goal of the venture was to make a “cutting edge tank with unrivaled fire power, high versatility, and great assurance”. Its mass production began in 1996 at the Indian Ordnance Factory’s production facility in Avadi.

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