The Army is likely to soon place a repeat order for 124 indigenous 'Arjun' Main Battle Tanks from DRDO as troops have expressed satisfaction over the armoured vehicle's performance in desert terrain in Rajasthan.
"A repeat order of another 124 Arjuns is expected from the Army soon, as it is satisfied with the tanks' performance," a senior DRDO official said in New Delhi on Saturday.
The new order would be a follow-on to the 124 Arjuns ordered by the Army in 2004, of which the Avadi-based Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) has already supplied 45 to comprise an armoured regiment.
The regiment has now taken out the tanks to the desert in Rajasthan for conversion trials and reports from the troops reaching the Army headquarters say the combat vehicles were doing extremely well, the official said.
"The repeat order is necessary to keep the production lines in Avadi running. We will soon deliver all the 124 tanks to the Army from the 2004 order. But we have a production line which will go idle if there are no follow-on orders," he said.
The HVF had completed delivery of the first Arjun regiment of the Army last May when 16 tanks were handed over.
The Army is also readying itself to put the Arjuns to comparative trials alongside the Russian-origin T-90 tanks later this year to arrive at a conclusion on their respective capabilities and advantages to determine deployment strategy.