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Army wants futuristic MBT, death knell for Arjun

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

"Army will no more place orders for Arjun beyond 124 that was already contracted. That is because Army is now looking 20 years ahead and wants a futuristic MBT," Lt Gen Dalip Bharadwaj, Army Director General (Mechanised Infantry), said here.

Though Bharadwaj discounted suggestions that it would mean the end of DRDO's Arjun project that began in 1972, he did point out induction of more 'Arjun' MBTs at this stage would only mean India lagging behind in the technological race in armoured fighting vehicles.

"Arjun is a contemporary tank and may be used in the next decade or so, but not for a technologically advanced, next generation warfare some two decades hence," Bhardwaj said on the sidelines of an interactive session with defence private industry at CII.

After 36 years into its design and development, Arjun had as recently as in December 2007 failed winter trials, as stated in a Parliamentary report. It is yet to go through crucial comparative trials with Russian tanks, a mandatory process before induction into Army.

First Published: Sat, July 05 2008. 15:43 IST