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Army tank fares poorly in latest trials

The Arjun tank project, beset by huge delays and cost overruns, has once again failed to meet the army’s requirements, reports Rahul Singh.
Hindustan Times | By Rahul Singh, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 17, 2008 01:16 AM IST

The Arjun tank is nowhere close to becoming India’s trump card on the battlefield. The Arjun tank project, beset by huge delays and cost overruns, has once again failed to meet the army’s requirements. Eight years after the force placed an indent for 124 tanks with the Ordnance Factory Board, the Arjun has performed “very poorly” in winter trials conducted by the army.

In a blistering indictment of the tank’s performance, the army has told a parliamentary panel that the Arjun requires several improvements before it can be declared battle worthy. The Standing Committee on Defence was “startled” to learn that the tank is miles away from meeting the army’s requirements and several parameters need to be fine-tuned.

The Arjun has been plagued with a mix of problems concerning its fire control system, suspension and poor mobility. The 29th report of the Committee, tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, quotes an army officer as saying, “We have carried out winter trials. The tanks have performed very poorly and there have been four engine failures. The tanks have done about 1,000 km each.”

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