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.
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.