The Arjun Mk.2 Main Battle Tank (MBT) is a multi-laboratory programme of DRDO with CVRDE as the lead Laboratory for the Indian Army. The tank is named after Arjun, the main protagonist, an archer prince of the Indian epic Mahabharata. It is a state-of-the-art tank with superior fire power, high mobility, and excellent protection. Twelve Mk 1 prototypes of MBT Arjun have been manufactured and their performance tests have provided satisfactory results. Some of the breakthroughs achieved by CVRDE during the development of MBT Arjun are in Engine, Transmission, Hydropneumatic Suspension, Hull and Turret, and Gun Control System.
The superior armour defeating capability of the indigenously developed Fin Stabilized Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (FSAPDS) ammunition and 120 mm calibre rifled gun give MBT ARJUN an edge over contemporary world tanks. A computer-controlled integrated fire control system incorporating day-cum-night stabilized sighting system guarantees a very high first round hit probability and reduced reaction time to bring effective fire on targets.
The stabilization system for the main armament, slaved to the sighting equipment in elevation and azimuth, with a high and accurate laying speed, allows fire on the move.
The superior fire power of MBT is based on:
Accurate and fast target acquisition capability during day and night and in all types of weather .
Shortest possible reaction time during combat engagements .
Ability to accurately engage targets on move .
Capability to destroy all possible enemy armour at maximum battle ranges
Excellent first hit probability
The rifled 120 mm ARJUN gun together with the newly developed super velocity ammunition, can defeat any contemporary armour used in tanks. The electro-slag refined gun steel tube is autofrettaged to withstand higher gas pressures. A thermal jacket prevents irregular temperature distribution on to the tube due to the weather influences. A co-axial 7.62 mm machine gun for anti-personnel and a 12.7 mm machine gun for anti-aircraft and ground targets are provided as secondary weapons.
Gunner’s Main Sight consists of a day-sight, thermal sight, a laser range finder and a stabilized head common to all the three channels. The common sighting head mirror is stabilized in elevation and azimuth. The day- sight provides dual magnification. The thermal imager provides night vision facility to the gunner and the commander to observe and engage target in total darkness and in the presence of smoke, dust, haze and light camouflage. Integral with the main sight is the laser range finder by which targets can be ranged accurately. Commander’s panoramic sight enables the commander to effect an all round surveillance in the battlefield without removing his eyes from the sight and without being disturbed by the turret motion. The field of view is stabilized with the help of a two axes rate gyro-mounted on the platform of the head mirror. The sight offers dual magnification.
Two types of ammunition, viz, FSAPDS and HESH have been developed for this armament. The highly lethal FSAPDS ammunition which is the main battle ammunition of the tank has accounted itself admirably during the trails. In addition, the anti-helicopter round to combat the air threat to armour is also under development.
Low ground pressure, high power-to-weight ratio and new design concepts in transmission suspension and running gear result in highly mobile and agile weapon platform. The remarkable mobility of MBT which also adds to its protection is the result of:
High performance engine
Robust and effective transmission system particularly flexible hydropneumatic suspension .
Optimized running gear with its high shock energy absorption.
Due to the high power-to-weight ratio and low specific ground pressure, MBT is fast, highly manoeuvrable and extremely mobile to cross the most difficult terrain with ease. High acceleration rapid braking capabilities with excellent steering characteristics make MBT agile in the battlefield. Adequate fuel storage capacity and relatively low fuel consumption allow for an optimal operational range.
An important criterion for the mobility of any AFV is the effective performance of the driver. Excellent vision systems both for day and night provide most effective means of observation in all battlefield conditions. The need to keep the crew’s fatigue including that of driver at the minimum level over long periods of continuous operation, have been taken care of.
All round protection from anti-tank ammunition is achieved by t~e newly developed KANCHAN armour to a degree much higher than available in present generation tanks. The high degree of immunity is achieved by.
The computerised design and simulation .
A fabricated turret housing lightweight compact KANCHAN armour.
Careful dimensioning of wall through optimal slopes and angles .
A low silhouette.