Upgraded Arjun II undergoing trials

Arjun_Mk-2_Mark_II_main_battle_tank_India_Indian_defence_industry_military_technology_007The Times of India is reporting that the upgraded version of the series of Arjun Mark-II tanks are undergoing trial at the Indian Army core level excercise at Pokhran field firing range.  The article mentions two series of tests, the first to examine its missile firing ability, while the second one will look into tank’s automotive aspects.  A defence source said successful testing will pave way for the production of upgraded Arjun. In all, 124 tanks of the first series have been produced so far. Indian Army has two armored regiments, both deployed in western desert sector, which comprise of Arjun-I tanks.  The Arjun program has been beset with numerous delays and setbacks and it has been noted that the Indian army may actually prefer the Russian built T-90.  The article quotes a source who says:

“The major upgrades would be missile-firing capability against long-range targets, panoramic sight with night vision to engage targets effectively at night, containerization of the ammunition, enhanced main weapon penetration; additional ammunition types, explosive reactive armor, an advanced air-defense gun to engage helicopters; a mine plow, an advanced land navigation system and a warning system which can fire smoke grenades to confuse laser guidance. Other upgrades are an enhanced Auxiliary power unit providing 8.5 KW (from 4.5 KW) and an improved gun barrel, changes in the commander’s panoramic sight with eye safe LRF, night vision capability including for driver, digital control harness, new final drive, track and sprocket.”