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Arjun tanks getting validated in simulated war for first time
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Arjun tanks getting validated in simulated war for first time

Arjun tanks, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), are for the first time taking part in a simulated war exercise in Rajasthan deserts.

By Sudhakar Jagdish

Jaitpur (Rajasthan), May 2 : Arjun tanks, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), are for the first time taking part in a simulated war exercise in Rajasthan deserts.

The validation of the tanks in a war exercise comes thirty-three years after the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi passed an order to the DRDO to develop an indigenous tank for the country.

As fifteen Arjun tanks take part in the war exercise code named 'Exercise Ashwamedha'' along with over 120 T-90 and T-72 Russian tanks, the Army is tight-lipped about the performance of the Arjun tanks, and said that it would not compromise on the standard of its weaponry.

"We will not compromise on the standards that we expect from war fighting machines, because the life of our soldiers are at stake," said Chief of Army Staff General J J Singh here today.

"We would like to have our weapons so that they should deliver in war," he added.

The tank developed by the DRDO has been upgraded periodically and its final version is taking part in the exercise.

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 exercise will give the Army results of the tests of Arjun tanks so that they could "address the concerns" and decide: "Where the tanks could be best exploited". s temperature soared to 48 degree Celsius in Rajasthan deserts, the Army considers it as the best time to validate the tank in war like situation, as the Army has raised questions over the tanks' fire control system above 40 degrees centigrade earlier.

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 where the productions of the tanks are going on a mass scale. 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.

Sources in the Army said that the final report on the success or the failure of the Arjun tanks in war like situation would come up only after May 5, two days after the five-day exercise to validate new weapons and war doctrine comes to an end.

ANI

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