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Main battle tank

Arjun MBT

Development of the Arjun main battle tank was plagued with delays until it was finally cancelled

Country of origin India
Entered service 2004
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 58.5 t
Length (gun forward) 10.19 m
Hull length ~ 7.5 m
Width 3.85 m
Height 2.32 m
Main gun 120 mm rifled
Machine guns 1 x 7.62 mm, 1 x 12.7 mm
Elevation range - 9 to + 20 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 39 rounds
Machine guns 3 000 x 7.62, 1 000 x 12.7
Engine MTU MB 838 Ka-501 diesel
Engine power 1 400 hp
Maximum road speed 72 km/h
Range 450 km
Gradient 77%
Side slope 40%
Vertical step 0.9 m
Trench 2.43 m
Fording 1.4 m
Fording (with preparation) ~ 2.2 m


   The first prototype of the Arjun main battle tank was built in 1984. It was first publicly revealed in 1985. This main battle tank was intended to replace the ageing Vijayanta and the Soviet T-72M MBTs in service with the Indian Army. Development of an indigenous tank was plagued with delays and to date only 12 prototypes and 32 pre-production vehicles have been built. Other sources claim that a total of 124 Arjun Mk.1 tanks are operational. First pre-production MBTs were delivered in 2004. However in 2008 it was announced that there will be no further orders for Arjun tanks. Furthermore India acquired significant number of T-90 MBTs from Russia and plans to manufacture this main battle tank locally. Also later an improved version of this Indian tank, the Arjun Mk.2 appeared. So it is unlikely that the original Arjun Mk.1 will ever be produced in quantity.

   The Arjun Mk.1 MBT has some design similarities with German Leopard 2. It utilizes Kanchan heavy composite armor, which is broadly similar to British Chobham armor. If necessary explosive reactive armor blocks can be added for improved protection. Arjun MBT also incorporates significant crew protection measures, including ammunition compartment separated from the crew with a blow-off panels in the turret bustle.

   This combat vehicle is armed with a 120 mm rifled gun. It is worth mentioning that a rifled gun of such caliber is used only on the British Challenger 2 MBT. This gun is very accurate at long range and ensures high hit probability. The gun is loaded manually and has a rate of fire of 6 rounds per minute. It is compatible with Israeli LAHAT anti-tank guided missiles, that are launched in the same manner as ordinary munitions. It was claimed that Arjun's fire control system has a hit probability of 90%, when firing on the move. However later it appeared that accuracy of the Arjun was rather poor.

   Secondary armament consists of coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun and roof-mounted 12.7 mm machine gun.

   Vehicle has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver.

   The Arjun MBT is powered by German MTU MB 838 Ka-501 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 1 400 hp. Engine is mated with German Renk semi-automatic transmission. This MBT uses advanced hydropneumatic suspension. Vehicle is fitted with a self-entrenching blade. It can be also fitted with a deep wading kit.




   Tank Ex prototype MBT, which featured Arjun's turret, mounted on the T-72M1 MBT chassis;

   Bhim prototype 155 mm self-propelled howitzer;

   Arjun Catapult 130 mm self-propelled gun;

   armored engineering vehicle;

   Arjun BLT armored bridgelayer;

   Arjun Mk.2 improved version of the Arjun main battle tank. It is fitted with upgraded systems and has improved protection, firepower and mobility over its predecessor.



Video of the Arjun Mk.1 main battle tank

Arjun MBT

Arjun MBT

Arjun MBT

Arjun MBT

Arjun MBT

Arjun MBT

Arjun MBT

Arjun MBT

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