The Arjun MBT Mark 2 is a advanced third generation Main battle tank developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organization, for the Indian Army. The Arjun Mk2 is an improved version of the original Arjun main battle tank. It was developed in cooperation with Israeli defense companies. A total of 13 major improvements were made. After prolonged development the original Arjun Mk1 entered service with the Indian Army in 2004. However the original MBT failed to impress the Army and improvements were required in order to make it combat-worthy. The new Arjun Mk2 has improved protection, firepower and mobility over its predecessor. Trials of the Arjun Mk2 began in 2012.
The Arjun Mk. II has some design similarities with the German Leopard 2A5 main battle tank. The new tank weights a whooping 68 tonnes. Which makes it the heaviest tank in the world. It is even heavier than the American M1A2 Abrams or British Challenger 2. Hull and turret of the Arjun Mk.2 were redesigned. Its Length is 10.64 m, Width is 3.95 m and Height 2.8 m
Sources close to Defense ministry confirms that Army set to receive the first lot of 40 Arjun Mark 2 Tanks soon. Arjun almost finished all trails and set to enter the pre deployment plans. The First batch of ordered 40 Tanks will be deployed along the Punjab and Rajastan Borders. Arjun meets the Army’s fire power requirement, defensive systems and the required speed performance. The three main elements of the battle tank. Forty of the new Mark 2 tanks will form a new Tank regiment.
Indian Army plans to induct more numbers of Arjun Mark 2 Tanks. the Mark 1 version is an limited deployment due to low numbers. Indian Army operates 124 Mark 1 Arjun Tanks. and Plans to induct more mark 2 version. The mark 2 has 93 new improvements include 13 major structural modifications. The improved 120mm rifled gun can fire anti tank rounds and missiles. The Mark 2 also equipped with remote controlled weapon station for anti personnel use.
During the army’s extensive trails Arjun mark 2 outperformed the T 90 MS. the T 90 Bhishma is an third generation main battle tank. while the Arjun mark 2 is an advanced third generation tank, which incorporates many advanced features for defensive and offensive roles. The Battle tanks are designed to combat against the tanks. However modern tanks packs more punch, which can provide close fire support during an invasion.
Arjun not only designed to perform missions in desert lands. Arjun can perform missions in all over India in any circumstance. Compared to the Mark 1 the Mark 2 has an important upgrade of firing anti tank missile through it’s rifled gun. the Indo Israeli missile LAHAT uses the laser guidance to hit targets beyond the non line of sight. This makes the new Arjun tanks can hit enemy targets far beyond the line of sight.
The missile firing also improves the Arjun’s fire power range. Currently the Lahat is the only anti tank missile that can hit enemy targets at long range and in high precision. The Lahat has the effective range of upto 8 kilometers. The Arjun’s fire control mechanism and battlefield survivability is designed with the help of Israeli’s. much of the modern fir control systems and countermeasure system derived from the Israeli Merkava tanks
The Tank isn’t built with the steel or iron. Most part of the Tanks’ structure made by the Kanchan armor. The Plates are designed and developed by the defense metallurgical research laboratory. The composite of the material remain classified. The kanchan being used in the Arjun tanks only. During the trails the Kanchan able to withstand from an 107mm recoilless shell. the trails followed by firing High explosive and armor piercing warheads. Those shells are used in the most Tanks who has no missile firing capabilities. The Kanchan withstands from those shells fired by the T 72 within the point blank range.
LAHAT Anti Tank Missile
The Arjun MK 2 not only comes with the Kanchan armor, same like other main battle tanks, the Arjun’s too comes with explosive reactive armor as secondary armor. The ERA gives an additional armor protection to the Tank. however the ERA will not be placed all over the Tank. It will be fitted in the weak points of the Tank such as gun point and sides. With the support from Elbit Israel. Arjun has very less weak points in front side and gun points, makes the Arjun tank best battle tanks which can withstand from enemy direct fire.
Arjun MK 1 is more mobile compared to the Mark 2 variant. Mark 2 has a over weight of some 10 tons compared to the 55 tons of Arjun Mark 1. The future tanks must come with light in weight which gives the tanks shoot and scoot capabilities. However the Mark 2 can attain 40 kmph in cross country. Arjun does have the capability of fire on the move. The Arjun hold the world record of heaviest tank in service. The overweight is an disadvantage to the Mark 2, The overweight makes difficult in quick deployment. Due to the heavy weight the IAF’s C 17 is the only air lifter which can air lift the mark 2 Tank.
The Arjun’s fire control systems allows the tank to engage both stationary and moving targets even in non line of sight. The fire control system allows the missile autonomously select targets and engage in high accuracy. The accuracy can be expanded with the help of Tank’s target acquisition system and nearby flying UAV’s. Arjun is combat capable in all rough weather conditions, day and night missions.
Once the Army deployed the first batch of 40 Mark 2 tanks. The Heavy vehicle factory planned to produce 300 more in coming years for the Indian Army. However the Arjun Tank is not available for export. Since Latin American countries shown interest in the Arjun Tank.
Arjun Mark 2 ShortFall’s
The Arjun Mark IIs high ground pressure and fuel-inefficiency will work against it. India would be wise to retain one or two regiments of T-90s or lighter tanks to give the Army some degree of additional flexibility.
Also, Below-average operating range (450 km). India uses Arjuns as cheaper versions of the Abrams–to punch holes. India’s tanks are not designed to operate in extended tank duels or cover ground; they are built to rapidly dismantle fixed defensive lines and open gaps for other units to cross. Indian tanks are given limited operating range not because the Indian Army has great logistics but because Pakistan is a small country.
What is it suited for? Invading Pakistan in a short, swift campaign. It outguns all Pakistani armor, but lacks the range to invade any country larger than Pakistan without lots of refuelling capacity; capacity which the Indian Army currently lacks.
Also, they are heavy, hence it lacks good mobility and needs good infrastructure like roads, bridges, etc. However, since their main job is crossing a desert between India and Pakistan, collapsing a bridge or two it may not really be a problem.