Bengaluru: Indian Army has begun the process to acquire 118 indigenous Main Battle Tank (MBT) Arjun MK-1A estimated to cost Rs 8,956.59 crore, as reported by The Hindu.

“The file is currently with the Deputy Chief of Army Staff and will be shortly sent to Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) to put up the case. The case is planned to be fielded before the Defence Procurement Board (DPB) and the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in January 2021,” it quoted a source. 

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has also built an Arjun hub in Jaisalmer for the spares and support required for the tanks.

Additionally, the missile firing capability will be inducted in the Arjun MK-1A takn upon the completion of the developments.

Limited user validation trials have been conducted for the 14 upgrades of Arjun MK-1A in comparison to its Mk1 variant. The Arjun MK-1A’s enhanced gunner’s main sight (GMS) has an inbuilt laser target designator. Its tank is tailor-made for missile firing and the missile is under development at the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune.

Furthermore, the DRDO had built an external laser target designator to integrate this capability of the existing Arjun Mk1 tanks. Now, that can be retrofitted on the Mk1s that are currently in service too.