|Dimensions and weight|
|Total weight in combat order||58.5 t|
|Overall length||10194 mm|
|Overall width||3847 mm|
|Overall height||2320 mm|
|Main gun||120-mm rifled gun|
|Machine guns||1 x 7.62-mm, 1 x 12.7-mm|
|Traverse range||360 degrees|
|Elevation range||- 9 to + 20 degrees|
|Maximum rate of fire||6 rounds/min|
|Main gun||39 rounds|
|Machine gun||3000 x 7.62-mm, 1000 x 12.7-mm cartridges|
|Engine power||1400 hp|
|Maximum road speed||72 km/h|
|Autonomy on roads||450 km|
|Ford unprepared||1.4 m|
In 1972 India's land force command formulated requirements for a new main battle tank, that will enter service in India's army. For that time India's industry had a solid experience building British "Vickers" Mk.1 ("Vilijanta") Medium Tank and the Soviet T-72M Main Battle Tank. The last mentioned was produced in India under license. Consequently in 1974 India decided to develop a new main battle tank on it's own and organize mass production of the new MBT in national plants. It's development project was named MBT-80 (Main Battle Tank of 80-ties).
Main Battle Tank's development process took lot of time and expenses. Only in 1984 it's first prototypes development was publicly announced and in 1985 first example of the new main battle tank was shown. In 1988 there were built some tanks for developers and polygon tests. And at last in 1996 India's government made decision to begin it's mass production on Avadi tank building plant. The new Main Battle Tank was officially named "Arjun". First industrial series in 100-200 tanks were planned to be built during 5 years and. It was a first test party and after "Arjun's" maintenance in the armored forces developers intended to notice disadvantages and correct them. Only after all there should begin it's full-scale production. Till the year 2000 there were planned to built 1 500 "Arjuns".
The "Arjun" Main Battle Tank has classical arrangement. It's design has some external similarity to the "Leopard 2" Main Battle Tank.
Hull and turret was welded from Indian "Kanhan" developed multi-layer armor which is most likely a variant of the British "Chobhem" armor. Frontal armor plate is placed with a great inclination providing additional defense. Hull boards and chassis are covered with steel anti-cumulative screens. Projecting the new Main Battle Tank designers considered to anthropometrical height of an ordinary Indian solider. This feature allowed to position optimally controllers and other internal devices.
"Arjun's" armament consists from 120-mm rifled gun stabilized in both planes. Main gun is fed by modular projectiles fitted with armor-piercing, cumulative, High-Explosion - armor piercing, and High-Explosion fragmentation warheads. The main gun aiming and turret rotation mechanisms are based on electro hydraulic. Gun is reloaded manually by loader what significantly decreases rate of fire, reaching 6 shots per minute. The gun has a maximum elevation range from -9º to +20º.
The Main Battle Tank has an integrated semi-automatic fire control system based on ballistic computer. It is provided by Spanish company "ENOSA". This system automatically considers such factors as external temperature, atmosphere pressure, wind speed and direction, projectile's temperature and other.
It is claimed that "Arjuns" fire control system provides high fire accuracy. Hit probability when tank is moving is approximately 90% what is a really impressive number.
"Arjun's" gunner uses day sight with stabilized viewing field, thermo vision device (common with tank commander), and a laser rangefinder. Commander uses panoramic battlefield observation sight.
Additional armament is similar to all Soviet/Russian made main battle tanks: the 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun, and 12.7-mm anti-aircraft machine gun, placed on the roof. Grenade launcher blocks are mounted from the both sides of the turret. They are intended for setting up smoke screens.
The main designers problem was to choose a suitable engine as far as India's western regions are desert type, while northern are mostly alpine regions. In desert regions day temperature passes over +50ºC, while tanks face engine ignition problem in alpine regions, where temperature is below 0ºC.
As far as Indian designers were unable to develop their own reliable engine suitable for the new Main Battle Tank it was completed with German "MTU" 838 KA 501 ten cylinder diesel engine. This diesel has a turbo charging system and liquid cooling. It reaches 1 400 h.p. and provides for almost 60-tone "Arjun" high h.p. to weight ratio in 24h.p./t.
Hydromechanic transmission including hydro transformer and "Renk" planetary gear box, is blocked with engine. The gear box is manual and provides four forward and two backward gears.
"Arjun's" suspension is hydro pneumatic. Seven bearing rolls and four supporting rolls are placed from the both sides of the hull. Tracks are made from steel with a rubber-metallic hinges and are fitted with rubber pads.
Main Battle Tank's ground pressure is quiet low (0.84 kg/cm²) what alongside with a powerful engine provides high maneuverability and cross-country performance. "Arjun" manages 2.43 m wide trench, fords 1.4 m water obstacle without preparation. It is fitted with a Nuclear, Biological, Chemical protection system, automatic fire extinguishing system and radio equipment.
"Arjun" Main Battle Tanks will replace "Vilijanta" and T-72M out-dated main battle tanks in India armed forces. Overall India's armed forces require approximately 2 000 new main battle tanks.