Frequent design modification is delaying induction of Arjun tanks in army: AntonyNovember 28th, 2007 - 9:41 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, Nov 28 (ANI): Union Defence Minister A K Antony today said that frequent design modification and the time required to procure some major assemblies are the reasons for delay in induction of Arjun tank in the army.
“The necessary steps have been taken to ensure timely availability of all critical aggregates,” Antony told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
He further said that production of the Main Battle Tank Arjun is being regularly monitored through Working Group Meeting held under the chairmanship of Director General Mechanised Forces and Steering Committee under the Co-Chairmanship of Secretary (Defence Production) and Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister.
The tank developed by the DRDO has been upgraded periodically and its final version took part in a military exercise in April this year. The DRDO’s project to develop the indigenous Arjun tank, which was to be completed by 1984, took another 16 years to get completed. Weighing at 58.5 tons, the tank has been criticised about its failure to function at high temperatures, since “it gets overheated”.
The Army was asked by the Government to purchase 124 Arjun tanks in 2004, which will be delivered to the former by 2008. At present, the Army has received close to 30 Arjun tanks from Chennai factory. The field trials of the tanks were conducted last year but the Army was not satisfied with it and its problem in fire control system (FCS) and gunner’s main sight were also mentioned in the Parliamentary Committee report on Defence.
The project for development of Arjun was completed with a total expenditure of Rs.305.60 crore, and with delivery of 12 prototypes and 15 pre-production series.
“A few minor defects were noticed during field evaluation of production tanks, which were analysed jointly by DRDO and Army. These production defects were rectified by DRDO and clearance for production of MBT Arjun has been given by Army,” Antony had told Parliament in September this year. .
Answering to a question raised in the Rajya Sabha with regard to allegation of corruption in defence deals, Antony said, “At present there are six cased at regular case and five at preliminary enquiry stage with CBI.”
The Defence Minister denied divulging the details of procurement of arms, ammunitions, equipments, for the Armed Forces saying, “It will not be in the interest of National Security.”
“The government has laid down elaborate procedures for procurement of defence equipments, weapons and stores. In addition, the guidelines prescribed by Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) are also followed. These procedures are also reviewed periodically,” Antony stated in his reply. (ANI)
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