Where Indian new Arjun MK1A tank stand

Few months back a new battle tank Arjun MK-1A was included in the Indian Army fleet. The Government of India has approved an amount of Rs 6000 crore for Arjun MK-1A (Alpha) production.

Arjun mk1a
India Arjun Battle Tank MK 1-A handed over to Indian Army by PM Modi in Chennai.

About: Arjun Main Battle Tank MK-1A

  1. The army would get 118 units of the Main Battle Tank.
  2. It has been indigenously designed, developed and manufactured by CVRDE and DRDO.
  3. Along with the above mentioned, 15 academic institutions, eight labs and various MSMEs were also involved.
  4. The project- Arjun Main Battle Tank was started by DRDO in 1972.
  5. It was initiated along with the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment as its lead laboratory

Arjun Battle Tank: Specifications


  1. Overall length {with gun forward) : 10.638 m
  2. Overall height {with gun rear) : 9.546 m
  3. Overall height {with AD gun mount) : 3.03 m(Turret roof: 2.32 m)
  4. Overall width : 3.864 m
  5. Combat weight : 58.5 tons
Arjun mk1A tank during Defexpo
Arjun mk1A tank during Defexpo

Technical Details:

  1. Max speed : 70 km/hr
  2. Max speed on cross country : 40 km/hr
  3. Ground pressure : 0.84 kg/sq. cm.
  4. Engine power : 1400 HP at 2400 rpm
  5. Engine characteristics: V 90° Turbo charged diesel, 10 cylinder water cooled
  6. Power-to-weight ratio :24:1 HP/ton
  7. Gear box : 4 forward +2 reverse gears Epicyclic gear train, Torque converter, Mechanical lockup clutch & hydrodynamic retARDEr

Arjun Main Battle Tank MK-1A: Objectives

  1. The objective was to create a state of the art tank with superior fire power, high mobility and create an excellence in protection.
  2. The mass production of the Arjun Battle Tank began in the year 1996 at Indian Ordnance Factory in Avadi facility.

Arjun Main Battle Tank MK-1A: Special Features

  1. Fin Stabilised Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (FSAPDS) ammunition and 120-mm calibre rifled gun are the major specialities of Arjun tanks.
  2. It is also specialised in computer controlled integrated fire control system with stabilised sighting capable to function in all lighting conditions.
  3. The secondary weapons are inclusive of a coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun for anti-personnel targets as well as a 12.7-mm machine gun for anti-aircraft and ground targets.
  4. The tank is also known as the Hunter Killer. This makes it the most potent tank in India.

Arjun Main Battle Tank MK-1A: Achievements

  1. The Arjun MBT has out performed the Russian T-90s in 2010. This exercise took place during a desert trial conducted by the Army.
  2. India is now one of the countries in the league of 10 nations worldwide to design and develop their own MBT.
  3. The other nations that are in this league are UK, Germany, USA, France, Israel, South Korea, Russia, China and Japan.

What is different in MK-1A?

Arjun tank during ATGM trial
Arjun tank during ATGM trial
  1. It has 14 major upgrades than the previous version.
  2. It would also be having a missile firing capability as per its design once the final tests are completed.
  3. There is 54.3% indigenous content which was only 41% in the previous model.

Indian army purchase 118 upgraded Arjun tanks in 2012, but the Army had demanded improvements on several sides, including its fire capacity. Meanwhile, in 2015, the Army bought 464 medium-weight T-90 tanks from Russia for Rs 14000 crore. India has mostly Russian-made T-72 and T-90 tanks. The Arjun Tank Mark-1A got the green signal in 2020 after it was upgraded on the basis of the Army’s demand.

Pakistani main battle tank

Military capability is often compared between India and Pakistan. The war has also been fought between the two three times. In the Indian media too, the Arjun-Mk 1A tank is being described as a challenge for Pakistan. In such a situation, we know how strong Pakistan is in terms of the capability of the war tanks. Pakistan has technology based tanks mostly from China and Ukraine. Some tanks Pakistan has developed in collaboration with China include Al-Khalid and Al-Zarra tanks. It has T80 UD of Ukraine and Type-85, 69, 59 tank of China.


Ukraine and Pakistan Move Forward With Armor Deal – The Diplomat

Pakistan’s T-80 UD tank is a very safe and advanced war tank. It has been developed by Ukraine. It has about 324 units in the Pakistani Army. It has 1 A45 fire control system. Its armor protection is better than the Indian Army’s T-72 but the T-90 is weaker than the Bhishma tank. It has a 125 mm smoother gun. Its maximum range is five km. And it can also target helicopters flying at low altitude. It also has a 7.62 mm machine gun and a remotely controlled 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun. It has a engine of 1000 horsepower.



Al-Zarrar is a second-generation battle tank, designed in collaboration between Pakistan and China. It has a 125 mm Smoothbore gun and a 12.7 mm machine gun. It can run at a speed of 65 km/h , Its engine power is low but its weight is close to 40 tons.


Pakistan's domestically built 'Al-Khalid' Tank : pakistan

The Al Khalid Tank is also made by the joint efforts between Pakistan and China. Al Khalid has a 125 mm Smudbor gun. It weighs is 46 to 48 tons and uses a 1200 horsepower supercharged diesel engine. It can travel at a speed of 72km/h

Not easy to compare

Defense expert Rahul Bedi says, “The salient features of tanks are in two things. One is the dynamics of how fast it can move and the other is the power of its firepower. The Arjun tank is superior to the tanks of Pakistan in many respects because its German engine is very powerful while Pakistan has most of the Ukrainian tanks. But, Pakistani tanks have more mobility, they can run faster. ” He says that comparisons between tanks cannot be so clear and straightforward. Tanks have their own characteristics and according to the circumstances of the war, those characteristics get an advantage. This is a situation of equality.

Need Light Tanks

Arjun MK-1A is said to be useful for India by the experts but also emphasizes the need for light tanks. Rahul Bedi says, “This tank is 68 tons. Due to this heavy weight, the mobility of the tank decreases. As there are bridges in Punjab, there are roads and it cannot be used there. They can be used only on the desert areas on the border of Rajasthan. Due to its weight and large size, it cannot be reached by rail. For this, the government is calling for tank carriers. ” “Its firepower and mobility is quite good in some areas. But, the need for light tanks is now being felt in India.” Rahul Bedi said, “In India, battle tanks are mostly used in Rajasthan and Punjab. But, China has deployed light tanks in Ladakh at the border between the deadlock, which are 30-34 tonnes. At the same time, our T-72 and T-90 tanks are heavier than that. This reduces the speed of the tank. ” “A tank of at least 40 tonnes is needed here. Light tanks were also considered about 15 years ago, but then work did not go ahead considering it not necessary. Now the Indian government is working fast in this direction. ” But, in the meantime, the Indian Army will get the Arjun-Mk 1A tank 30 months after the contract is signed. After this, 30 tanks will be delivered every year.

Arjun MK1A against US Abrams

M1 Abrams tank
M1 Abrams tank
  • They have same cross-country speed.
  • Arjun may have better acceleration when the 1500hp engine is available.
  • Arjun can negotiate better gradient.
  • Abrams has quieter engines.
  • Abrams definitely has better FSAPDS.
  • Arjun has ATGM & more variety of rounds.
  • Abrams has a huge ready-rack allowing quick reload for long time, Arjun only 10.
  • FCS, hunter-killer should be comparable.
  • Abrams definitely has much better armour layout, but less effective against one that is accurate enough to hit its infamous turret-ring gap.
  • Arjun has better post penetration survivability.
  • Latrst Abrams will shortly have Trophy APS, Arjun already has a soft-kill but good enough to render it ambush proof.
  • Arjun has mobile camouflage system, while Abrams engines generate greater heat signature.

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