Chennai: Already a success story, the DRDO-developed Arjun Main Battle Tank Mark-II will head for crucial field trials sometime over the next three months. The new model will incorporate a substantial number of improvements recommended in the Mark-I version.
The Mark-II version is being developed at the Combat Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (CVRDE).
"We have incorporated 56 of the total 89 improvements recommended in Arjun Mark-II after the last test in Pokhran in Rajasthan. We are hopeful of the next test which is scheduled in December this year or January next year," they said.
Critically, for the Indian Army, the tests will include testing of the anti-tank LAHAT missile, which can take on targets at a range of over six kms.
The Israeli Laser Homing Attack (LAHAT) missile is a multi-mission missile fired from wide variety of land vehicles, helicopters and tanks. It has a length of just one meter and weight of less than 13kg.
In its tank version LAHAT is handled by the 105mm or 120mm gunner, as a standard gun round. The missile performs precision homing on a laser-designated target, ensuring first shot, tank-kill at ranges over 6km.