Last Updated: May 2023 (Tanks, Artillery and Guns)
Tanks, Artillery and Guns
This article deals with the ‘Tanks, Artillery and Guns.’ This is part of our series on ‘Science and Technology’ which is an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.
Tanks and Artillery
1. Arjun Main Battle Tank (MK-1)
- Arjun or MK-1A is an indigenously designed, developed and manufactured tank.
- Manufacturers: DRDO & CVRDE (Combat vehicle research & development establishment).
- The latest batch of Arjun tanks, delivered to the Indian Army in 2021, has ~55% indigenous content.
|1972||Arjun Main Battle Tank Project initiated by DRDO|
|1996||Mass production began|
|2004||The first batch of 16 Arjun tanks was delivered to the Indian Army.|
|2009||Arjun Regiment consisting of 45 tanks was made.|
|2011||The number of in-service Arjuns crossed 100.|
|2021||118 more Arjuns inducted into the Indian Army.|
Features of Arjun Tank
- All-terrain mobility.
- 120 mm calibre gun.
- Computer-controlled integrated fire control system with 360 degrees and day and night view.
- Machine gun and an anti-aircraft gun.
- Missile firing capability.
2. Bhishma (T-90)
- T-90 is the ‘third generation’ Russian main battle tank. Bhishma is the Indian version of Soviet T-90 tanks.
- India has 310 Bhishma tanks, of which almost half are Russian made, and half were manufactured in India.
- They are the improved version of T-72 and have been used by the Indian Army since 2001.
- Features of Bhishma tank
- 125 mm gun
- Range of 6 km
- Automatic loader
- Day and night sighting system
- Thermal imaging device.
3. Ajeya (T-72)
- Ajeya or T-72 are the Soviet main battle tanks.
- India has ~2,000 Ajeya Tanks in the Indian Army, and they are the backbone of the armoured division of the Indian Army.
- Initially, they were ordered from the Soviet Union, but since 1980, India has been manufacturing it at Avadi (Tamil Nadu).
- Pinaka is India’s indigenous multiple rocket launcher.
- It is developed by DRDO.
- It has a maximum range of 40 km and can launch 12 rockets in 44 seconds.
- It can be mounted on Tatra Truck for mobility.
- Pinaka rockets played a vital role in the Kargil war, where they successfully neutralized enemy positions on the mountain tops.
- Pinaka-Extended Range (Pinaka-ER), successfully tested in 2021, has a range of 70 km.
- India has started to export Pinaka. Armenia has placed the first export order for Pinaka.
5. Pinaka Mark – II
- The earlier version of Pinaka was an unguided rocket system. It has now been transformed into a guided version- Pinaka Mark-II, with a navigation, guidance and control kit.
- Pinaka-II has a range of more than 70 km (compared with Pinaka-I, which has a range of 40 km).
- It can fire 12 rockets within 40 seconds.
- It is a 155mm Howitzer gun.
- India has bought it from Sweden.
- Bofors has played an essential role in Indian victory during Kargil War.
- Note: Howitzers are important in hilly terrain because Tanks can’t be used there.
- It is an indigenous Howitzer of India with 81% local components. In 2019, Ordnance Factory Board made the first delivery of Dhanush to the Army.
- It is an upgraded version of Bofors with a maximum range of 38 km.
- It is also a 155 mm calibre gun.
- It can fire 15 rounds in 3 minutes.
- India has bought M-777 from the USA (Deal is for 145 guns. 25 will come from BAE Systems, and the rest will be assembled in India with Indian Partner).
- It is an ultra-light howitzer (ULH).
- Calibre = 155 mm
- M-777 can be easily transported to any battlefield using a helicopter-like Chinook.
9. K9 Vajra T
- It is a Korean made Howitzer.
- It was inducted into the Indian army in November 2018.
Rifles in Service in India
Following rifles are used by the Indian forces
- INSAS=Indian Small Arm System.
- It is a 5.56 mm Self Loading Rifle (SLR).
- It is the main rifle used by the Indian Army.
- It was designed and developed by DRDO.
- It has been decided that INSAS Rifle will be decommissioned shortly.
- Russian origin sniper rifle used by Indian forces.
- India is importing 70,000 AK 203 Assault Rifles from Russia. Later, these will also be manufactured indigenously at Korwa Defence Factory (UP) by a joint venture between India and Russia named Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited. The total requirement of the Indian Army is 7.7 lakh.
- These are very advanced versions of famed AK-47 or Kalashnikovs.
- AK 203 will replace INSAS Assault Rifles.
- Main Characteristics of AK 203
- Highly reliable, durable and easy to maintain.
- Weighs 3.8 Kg.
- Range: 800 m
- 30 round standard magazine.