Government gives nod to next generation Arjun tanksMay 13th, 2010 - 10:50 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 13 (IANS) The Indian government Thursday decided to go for the second generation of main battle tank Arjun and Akash surface-to-air missile to be developed by the premier Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Annoucing a slew of measures to revitalise the DRDO in form and substance, Defence Minister A.K. Antony also approved the continuation of Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) for design and development of combat aircraft and of the Kaveri aero-engine programme, defence spokesman Sitanshu Kar said.
“The decision also includes development of (main battle tank) MBT Arjun Mk-II and Akash Mk-II by the DRDO and selection of industry partners by DRDO through a transparent process by evolving a suitable mechanism,” Kar said in a statement.
The decision was taken after Arjun’s performance in the comparative trials with Russian T-90 tanks came in for praise as it proved to be a superior tank.
The army has placed orders for 124 Arjun tanks, of which about 50 tanks were finally handed over to it last year to form a regiment.
The government also announced the setting up of a new Defence Technology Commission to provide a major boost to research and development and decided the de-centralisation of DRDO management and making it a leaner organisation by merging some of its laboratories with other public-funded institutions.