Savunma ve Stratejik Analizler

18 Mayıs 2010 Salı

Indian Army to Order Additional 124 Arjun MBTs

Decision for second batch underlines late success of Arjun programme

While, in the face of increasingly problematic defence budgets and a lack of immediate legitimacy, Western armed force constantly reduce the numbers of conventional war assets and new orders are often being clipped in terms of numbers and capabilities, the Indian Army is not subject to such worries. This is underlined by the Army’s recent decision to order additional 124 Arjun main battle tanks (MBTs), India’s indigenous tank which already has a 36-year development history due to a score of technological problems and delays.

However, as the Indian Ministry of Defence stated, the additional tanks will be ordered in light of the success of the Arjun in the recent “gruelling” desert trials. This order complements an earlier, initial order of 124 Arjun tanks which, at the time, could be considered as a serious setback for the national programme. In fact, since 2000 more than 600 Russian-built T-90S have been purchased by the Army and a great number is expected to be license-built by India as of 2020 in order to compensate for the delayed delivery of the Arjuns which originally appeared not to meet the Army’s expectations.

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