The third set of 16 Arjun Main Battle Tanks equipped with advanced technology, including enhanced firing range, was handed over to the Indian Army on Monday, marking the distribution of the first Arjun Regiment.
Built by DRDO's Avadi-based Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment, which will manufacture a total of 124 Arjun MBTs at a cost of Rs 1,760 crore, the Regiment was flagged off by DRDO's Chief Controller, R&D, A Sivathanu Pillai at the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) near Chennai.
Of the total 124, CVRDE had already delivered 29 MBTs in two instalments till March this year. Rest of the Arjun tanks would be delivered by March 2010, Pillai said.
Director, CVRDE, S Sundaresh said Arjun MBT was a 'complex weapons project and an excellent battle-worthy product'. Arjun tanks can fire at a range of 3-4 km and have great mobility and are equipped with high protection facility.
Fitted with 1,400 HP engine, the six-speed armoured vehicle can notch up to 70 km/h of speed and climb on a 30 degree radiant surface.
Director General Mechanised Force (DGMF), Lt Gen D Bhardwaj, who received the consignment, said the tanks were the result of lot of Research and Development (R&D).
Extensive usage cum reliability tests of the tanks were carried out between November 2007 and June 2008, he added.