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PM hands over India-made battle tanks to boost Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign

India’s top commanders are expected to spend most of their quality time understanding how future wars are to be won given that tactics have to be shaped by huge advancements in military technology

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday handed over the indigenously developed and manufactured Arjun Main Battle Tank (MK-1A) to the Indian Army at a ceremony in Chennai.

The army will get 118 units of the Main Battle Tank, indigenously designed, developed and manufactured by the Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO) Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment at Avadi near Chennai. The Defence Ministry had recently cleared the induction of these 118 Arjun Mark 1A tanks into the Indian Army, costing around ₹ 8,400 crore.

The project aligns well with PM Modi's trademark Atmanirbhar Bharat doctrine, where India made products will not only cater for domestic demand but also look for exports.

The Arjun handover follows orders for 83 Made-in-India Tejas fighter jets for the Indian Air Force (IAF). During international air shows the Tejas has turned heads for its potential as an export item.


The Mk-1A version has 14 major upgrades on the earlier version. It is also supposed to have missile firing capability as per the design, but this feature will be added later as final testing of the capability is still on. However, the biggest achievement with the latest version is that the indigenous content has been enhanced to 54.3 per cent up from 41 per cent in the earlier model.

The Arjun will supplement the Russian T-90 tanks which can fire missiles on the move  are the core of India's armoured corps. Upgraded T-72 tanks are also part of India's military arsenal.


The Indian Army received the first batch of 16 tanks in 2004 and they were inducted as a squadron of the 43 Armoured Regiment. In 2009, the first Arjun regiment of the Indian Army had 45 tanks. By 2011, over 100 tanks had been delivered. In 2010, the Indian army ordered another 124 Arjun tanks.

The Arjun tanks stand out for their ‘Fin Stabilised Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (FSAPDS)’ ammunition and 120-mm calibre rifled gun.

It also has a computer-controlled integrated fire control system with stabilised sighting that works in all lighting conditions. The secondary weapons include a co-axial 7.62-mm machine gun for anti-personnel and a 12.7-mm machine gun for anti-aircraft and ground targets.


PM Modi arrived in Chennai to launch various government programmes in Tamil Nadu, where assembly election will be held this year.

The Prime Minister also launched a 9-km-long stretch of the Chennai Metro Rail, along with two other railway projects and laid the foundation stone of Discovery Campus of IIT, Madras that is expected to cost ₹ 1,000 crore. Later, he will lay the foundation stone for the renovation and modernisation of the grand Anaicut Canal.