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June 17, 2008

A career-threatening display of professional integrity

The Arjun battle tank acquires a growing fan club.

In a series of interviews with the army, including the present Director General of Mechanised Forces, Lt Gen D Bhardwaj, and with the MoD top brass, Business Standard has learned that opposition to the Arjun remains deeply entrenched. This despite the soldiers of 43 Armoured Regiment declaring that if it came to war, they would like to be in an Arjun.

Minister of State for Defence Production, Rao Inderjeet Singh recounts: "I've spoken, off the record, to officers who have gone through the trials. Even the crews (from 43 Armoured Regiment)… who have been testing the tank… I forced them to choose between the Russian tanks and the Arjun.

I said, you've driven this tank and you've driven that tank (the T-90). Now mark them out of ten, which tank is better? And I've found that the Arjun tank was given more numbers than the T-90 tank."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at June 17, 2008 07:03 AM


Oh dear, the Arjun is the latest variation of the original Leopard2 (c.1979) design, but with a locally modified version of the 120mm gun originally used on the first Chieftain (c.1965). It was supposedly accepted into service in 1998, basically as a parade tank. As a unique, indigenous design, it ranks with the new fighters announced by the Iranian Air Force. And the wiki article is probably sourced directly from DRDO. It left out all of the interesting bits in the development saga.


Posted by: J.M. Heinrichs [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 18, 2008 12:15 AM

It is extraordinarily gratifying to enjoy such an informed readership. And while I am delighted by India's expanding military prowess, I am somewhat pleased to learn they have yet to render Russian (or for that matter, German) tank design obsolete.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 18, 2008 08:02 AM