DRDO to make indigenous Arjun tank hi-tech

February 25th, 2009 - 6:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Feb 25 (IANS) The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) will be developing around 12 futuristic systems in five years for incorporation into India’s first indigenously built Arjun main battle tank (MBT), an official said here Wednesday.”The futuristic technology systems include automatic target tracking, defensive aids, laser warning, tank simulator systems. We are looking at developing robotic vehicles that would work on tele-link,” R. Jayakumar, associate director of the DRDO’s Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), told reporters.

The organisation also plans to automate the tracking of targets.

“With the firing and mobility powers of the tank being satisfactory, the focus is now on making the vehicle invisible to the enemy through development of detection avoidance and laser warning systems,” said Jayakumar.

One of the labs under the DRDO, CVRDE is also in the process of developing tank simulators similar to flight simulators.

“After undergoing simulator training, a soldier can comfortably operate the vehicle,” said Jayakumar.

When asked about the status of the Indian Army’s order for 124 Arjun tanks, CVRDE director S. Sundaresh said: “The order will be completed this year. We are confident of getting more orders, which would enable us to have more local component content in the battle machine.”

Presently, the local content is around 50 percent. The engine and power train has been imported from Germany.

“We plan to source engines from Cummins India for future orders. If more orders come by, we can reduce the imported content to 25 percent,” Sundaresh added.

The research organisation has transferred the technology to the Heavy Vehicles Factory in Avadi town.

“More than 10,000 drawings running into around 2,000 pages have been passed on to the vehicle manufacturer,” Sundaresh said.

Asked about the delays in developing the tank, officials said the army froze its specifications only in November 1985.

“The tank was unveiled in 1995. It takes at least 10 years for any country to develop a battle tank from the scratch. The army put the pre-production tanks (15 units) to rigorous tests totalling more than 70,000 km and fired over 7,000 rounds. No other tank would have undergone such tests,” said Jayakumar.

Meanwhile to commemorate the DRDO’s golden jubilee, five of its labs - CVRDE, Vehicles Research and Development Establishment, Ahmednagar; Research and Development Establishment (Engineers), Dighi; Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment, Manali; and Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Bangalore - will hold a two day exhibition here starting Feb 28.

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