Finally, Army to procure Arjun Mk-1A tanks
According to an Indian Army source, the land arm of the Indian Armed Forces is ready to procure Arjun Mk-1A tanks which were indigenously developed to enhance the armored power of the Army. The process of procurement of 118 Main Battle Tanks would eventually cost 8956.59 crores.
“The procurement file is along with the top officials and will be shortly provided to the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) to put up the case. In January 2021, the case will be produced in front of Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by the Defence Minister and to the Defence Procurement Board (DPB),” the source explained.
Before this, the Army was reserved to indict the tank as the Arjun MBT was facing problems related to ammunition, spares, repairs, etc. The Defence Research & Development Organization has set up an Arjun hub in Jaisalmer.
The Arjun Mk-1A is developed from the Mk-1 variant of the tank. 14 major upgrades over the mk1 variant are noted, which were formulated and approved back 2 years in October 2018.
Two regiments of the tank are inducted back in 2005 & 2010. According to a defence official, the electronics mounted on any device get obsolete in 10-15 years. To overcome this, the DRDO is working on obsolescence management and indigenization of various assemblies and sub-assemblies of the tank. The main objects in consideration are Commander’s Panoramic Sight (CPS) and Gunner’s Main Sight (GMS) that are under indigenous development.
After the induction of aforesaid parts, the indigenous part will be increased to 54%, this could also go progressively to 70% with more the tanks in line to produce. After the approval from the DAC, Heavy Vehicles Factory will be allowed to create five tanks under the “First of Production Model”. These tanks will be scanned under General Service Quality Requirements (GSQR) evaluation by the Indian Army officials. If found suitable, the Army will provide “Bulk Production Clearance (BPC)”.
The tank is yet to be incorporated with a missile. The missile is being developed by the Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune, and to incorporate it, the DRDO had developed an external laser target designator. The trials are underway at ARDE.
Indian Army Chief on Korean Plateau
Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane is on a four-day visit to South Korea. He becomes the first Army Chief from India to conduct such a trip. “The visit of Gen MM Naravane signifies the enhancement in the strategic and defence cooperation of India with a Korean plateau.”
The Four-Star General will meet the South Korean Defence Minister, the Chairman of Joint Chief’s of Staff, Chief of Defence Acquisition Program Administration, and Korean Army Chief to have discussions on areas of mutual interest.
Now PASSEX Exercise with Vietnamese Navy
To boost the maritime cooperation between India and Vietnam, an Indian Navy warship undertook a “Passage exercise” in the South China Sea with the Vietnamese Navy.
INS Kiltan was sent to provide relief material to the flood-affected areas of Vietnam. While returning to India, the ship performed the exercise on Saturday. Various countries are showing their distress as China is increasing its military assertiveness in the region. Indian Navy tweeter handle displays, ‘Passage Exercise carried out between Navy’s of India and Vietnam to reinforce maritime interoperability and jointness’.
The 15 tonnes of relief material was unloaded for the flood-affected people at the Nha Rang port of Ho Chi Minh City in central Vietnam, last Thursday.