Indian Government’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has placed an order for 118 Arjun Mk-1A Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) for the Indian Army.

The $1.02bn (Rs75.23bn) order comes several months after the Indian Army initiated the procurement process in a bid to boost its firepower.

The Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) in Avadi, Chennai, India, will manufacture the MBTs.

The Arjun Mk-1A is the new variant of Arjun Tank developed by the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) and other Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratories.

The tank is equipped with 72 new features and incorporates numerous upgrades on Arjun MBT, the current in-service main battle tank with the Indian Army.

Additionally, the Mk-1A can operate in all types of terrains, as well as engage targets during the night.

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In a statement, the MoD said: “The MK-1A is equipped with accurate and superior firepower, all-terrain mobility and invincible multi-layered protection provided by an array of advanced technology systems.

“It can take on the enemy during day and night conditions and in both static and dynamic modes. By virtue of these capabilities, this indigenous MBT proves to be at par with any contemporary in its class across the globe.

“This tank is particularly configured and designed for Indian conditions and hence it is suitable for deployment to protect the frontiers in an effective manner.”

The order is expected to open manufacturing opportunities for 200 Indian vendors, including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

Last month, the Indian Army received the first batch of locally manufactured Multi-Mode Hand Grenades (MMHG). These grenades can be used in both defensive (fragmentation) and offensive (stun) modes.