Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday rode an Arjun tank as he spent his Diwali at the Longewala Post at the Western border. The message of vocal for local is loud and clear as the Arjun is the first indigenously developed battle tank of the India Army.
The Indian army will raise two more regiments of Arjun MK1A (Mark 1 Alpha), which will have 72 improvements over the Mark 1 tank, out of which 14 are major improvements and 58 are minor.
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The new regiments will be inducted in the next six months. “ The acceptance of necessity for the procurement of 118 Arjun MBT Mk1A is being progressed. We are expecting the indent in another three to four months,” a senior DRDO official said. Two regiments will have 59 tanks each.
With panoramic vision thermal imaging feature, the commander of the tank will be in control of the situation. It also has a remote control weapon system to deter low-flying objects like helicopters. It also has a mine-plough feature which can fig as deep as one feet. It can fire thermobaric ammunition and penetration-cum-blast ammunition.
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The Arjun entered the India Army Services in 2004. The army has, so far, inducted 124 Arjun tanks which are deployed along the border with Pakistan in Jaisalmer.
The defence sector is at the forefront when it comes to India’s push for ‘vocal for local’. The ministry recently came out with a list of 101 defence items, importing which are banned.
PM Modi’s message to Pakistan and China come at a significant time when Indian army is engaged in a faceoff with the PLA on the Line of Actual Control. On Friday, five jawans were killed in a Pakistani aggression along the Line of Control (LoC).
“Today, country’s Army is engaged in military exercises with other big countries. We are engaged in strategic partnerships to fight against terrorism,” the Prime Minister in Jaisalmer.
“Today the whole world is troubled by expansionist forces. Expansionism is, in a way, a mental disorder and reflects 18th-century thinking. India is also becoming a strong voice against this thinking,” PM Modi in a veiled dig at China.
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