The Indian Army has deployed its first indigenous main battle tank (MBT), Arjun, with the army’s 75 Regiment at Jaisalmer, India.

Indian Army southern command general officer Lieutenant-General AK Singh said the deployment of the new tanks would strengthen the army’s desert operations capabilities.

The Arjun features a 120mm main gun with indigenously developed munitions that can penetrate superiour armour, as well as a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and a 12.7mm machine gun.

The tank, powered by a single multifuel diesel engine, will officially replace the existing Russian-made T55 main battle tanks.

An advanced variant of the Arjun main battle tank, Arjun mkII, will begin serial production in 2014 having undergone 90 upgrades.