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Arjun Mk.2

Main battle tank

Arjun Mk.2

The Arjun Mk.2 has improved protection, firepower and mobility over its predecessor

Entered service ?
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 68 t
Length (gun forward) 10.64 m
Hull length ~ 8 m
Width 3.95 m
Height ~ 2.8 m
Height (with RCWS) 3.18 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
Machine guns ?
Engine MTU MB 838 Ka-501 diesel
Engine power 1 400 hp
Maximum road speed 58 km/h
Range ~ 400 km
Gradient 70%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.9 m
Trench 2.4 m
Fording 1.4 m
Fording (with preparation) 2.15 m


   The Arjun Mk.2 is an improved version of the original Arjun main battle tank. It was developed in cooperation with Israeli defense companies. A total of 13 major improvements were made. After prolonged development the original Arjun Mk.1 entered service with the Indian Army in 2004. However the original MBT failed to impress the Army and improvements were required in order to make it combat-worthy. The new Arjun Mk.2 has improved protection, firepower and mobility over its predecessor. Trials of the Arjun Mk.2 began in 2012. It was first publicly revealed in 2014. Series production is expected to begin a couple of years later. It should replace the ageing Cold War era T-55 and T-72M tanks in service with the Indian Army. It is worth noting that it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a fleet of ageing tanks.

   The Arjun Mk.2 has some design similarities with the German Leopard 2A5 main battle tank. It is claimed that this new Indian tank weights a whooping 68 t. Which makes it the heaviest tank in the world. It is even heavier than the American M1A2 Abrams or British Challenger 2. The Arjun Mk.2 is criticized as being too heavy. There are many problems with its excessive weight, such as limited cross-country mobility, limiting areas where it can be deployed. Also it is difficult to transport this tank to the front line.

   Hull and turret of the Arjun Mk.2 were redesigned. Protection was improved by improved Kanchan armor. Also locally-developed explosive reactive armor modules were added. It seems that the new ERA is based on the Russian Kontakt-5 technology, developed in the 1980s and used on the T-90 and some other Soviet/Russian tanks. Armor modules counter APFSDS and HEAT rounds, as well as RPG rounds. Ready to use ammunition is stored in the turret bustle with blow-out panels. Other rounds are also containerized. The Arjun Mk.2 is also fitted with advanced laser warning and countermeasures system which confuse enemy sensors. As usually this tank is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems.

   This new main battle tank is armed with a fully-stabilized 120-mm rifled gun, which is loaded manually. A rifled gun of such caliber is only used on the British Challenger 2 MBT. This gun is more accurate at long range comparing with smoothbore guns. It is claimed that during trials this new Indian tank outgunned both the T-72M and T-90. The Arjun Mk.2 is also compatible with Israeli LAHAT anti-tank guided missiles. Missiles are launched in the same manner as ordinary projectiles. This tank carries a total of 39 rounds, including missiles.

   This new main battle tank is fitted with advanced thermal imaging and panoramic sights, and now has a hunter-killer capability. Fire control system of the new tank should have a hit probability over 90%, when firing on the move. The new tank also has improved communication systems and new navigation system.

   Secondary armament consists of coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun and a roof-mounted remotely controlled weapon station, armed with a 12.7-mm heavy machine gun.

   This new Indian tank has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver.

   Prototype of the Arjun Mk.2 is fitted with a German MTU MB 838 Ka-501 diesel unit, developing 1 400 hp. The same engine is used on Arjun Mk.1. However it seems that production tanks will be fitted with a more powerful engine. It is speculated that the new engine will be the Cummins QSK-38 turbocharged diesel unit, developing about 1 500 hp. It should be coupled with a French transmission. Also Ukrainian manufacturer proposes for this tank a new 6TD-5 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 1 800 hp. The Arjun Mk.2 has an advanced hydropneumatic suspension system. This tank is also fitted with auxiliary power unit which powers all systems when the main engine is turned off. This MBT can be also fitted with a mine plough.

   Due to its weight the Arjun Mk.2 can not be airlifted by the Indian Il-76 heavy transport aircraft. It can be carried only by Boeing C-17 Globemaster III. Indian Air Force ordered 10 of these aircraft. Deliveries should be completed in 2014.


Video of the Arjun Mk.2 main battle tank

Arjun Mk.2

Arjun Mk.2

Arjun Mk.2

Arjun Mk.2



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