India has successfully tested its first indigenously-developed main battle tank (MBT).
The official Proof and Experimental Establishment (PXE) conducted trials of the Arjun and its state-of-the-art gun at Chandipuron, 15km from Balasore.
"The important test was functioning proof of Fin Stabilised Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (FSAPDS) ammunition for Arjun. Today's tests, aimed at demonstration, showed encouraging results in terms of accuracy, acceleration and ballistic performance," explained PXE director Anoop Malhotra.
According to Malhotra, the Arjun weapon system is capable of firing both kinetic energy and chemical energy projectiles. The MBT is also fitted with secondary armaments, including a 12.7mm air defence gun and 7.62mm co-axial machine gun.
"The 130mm gun system of Russian origin is a potent weapon which can fire and destroy targets up to a range of 27.5km. The 105mm Indian field gun is the mainstay of Indian artillery," added Malhotra.
FSAPDS ammunition with a muzzle velocity of 1,660m/s is capable of defeating armour of up to 450mm thickness at a distance of 2.5km.
Development of the Arjun has reportedly been plagued by a number of glitches, including low accuracy, frequent breakdown of power packs and gun barrel malfunctions. However, the MoD has now granted a green light for the deployment of the Arjun, allowing the fulfillment of an army order for 124 tanks.
As IT Examiner previously reported, the Indian MoD has launched a slew of new defence projects designed to reduce the country's dependence on foreign imports. For example, the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) is currently developing a new generation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) designed to deploy laser target designators (LTDs) deep inside enemy territory.
"We are planning to base LTDs on UAVs to cut down the risk of our troops getting caught inside enemy territory while illuminating targets for attack and save the cost of sending another aircraft for doing the task," explained a senior MoD official.
In addition, the Indian Air Force (IAF) recently tested an upgraded version of the Lakshya drone. The micro-light pilotless target aircraft was fitted with an advanced, digitally-controlled engine and successfully flown from the Integrated Test Range in Balasore. The indigenously-designed Lakshya was developed by the DRDO for the training of gun/missile crews and air defence pilots. X