The Indian Army has initiated the process to procure 118 Arjun Mk-1A Main Battle Tanks (MBT) for nearly Rs89.57bn ($1.22bn).
The Deputy Chief of Army Staff will soon forward the file for procurement to the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) to put up the case, The Hindu reported quoting sources familiar with the development.
The case is expected to be placed before the Defence Procurement Board (DPB) and the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) next month, the report further added.
The Arjun Mk-1A features 14 major upgrades over the earlier Mk1 variant. Limited user validation trials were conducted to test all the upgrades.
Additionally, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has established an Arjun hub in Jaisalmer to provide spare parts and associated support services.
The DRDO is also working to set up an obsolescence management of Arjun tanks for replacing antiquated electronics on existing vehicles. The move will also address indigenisation of assemblies and sub-assemblies.
Notably, the Indian Army inducted two regiments of Arjun Mk1 tanks between 2005 and 2010.
After DAC approves the case, the Indian Army will proceed to place the order with the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF), Avadi.
Subsequently, HVF will manufacture five tanks, which will undergo General Service Quality Requirement (GSQR) evaluation. If the Arjun Mk-1A variant secures the Bulk Production Clearance (BPC), the general production of the tanks will begin.
Recently, the DRDO handed over the Border Surveillance System (BOSS), an all-weather electronic surveillance system, to the Indian Army.