The Arjun (Sanskrit: अर्जुन) is a third generation main battle tank developed by India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), for the Indian Army. The tank is named for Arjun, a character in the Indian epic Mahabharata. The Arjun features an 120 mm main rifled gun with indigenous-developed APFSDS ammunition, one 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, and a 12.7 mm machine gun. It is powered by a single MTU multi-fuel diesel engine rated at 1,400 hp, and can achieve a maximum speed of 70 km/h (43 mph) and a cross-country speed of 40 km/h (25 mph). It has a four-man crew: commander, gunner, loader and driver. Automatic fire detection and suppression and NBC protection systems are included. All-round anti-tank warhead protection by the newly developed Kanchan armour is claimed to be much higher than available in comparable third generation tanks. Although the development of the tank began in 1972 by the CVRDE, it was only in 1996 that the Indian government decided to mass-produce the tank at Indian Ordnance Factory's production facility in Avadi. When first accepted for service in the army, the Arjun relied heavily on foreign components and technology. Initially close to 50% of the tank's components were imported, which included the engine, transmission, gun barrel, tracks, and fire control system. However, several of these have since been replaced by indigenous systems or are being supplied by Indian companies. Recent comments from Army sources indicate that the Russian T-90S will form the mainstay of its future force, despite that tank’s performance issues in hot weather.
The Arjun project experienced serious budget overruns and repeated delays that resulted in a development time of over 37 years. A complicating factor was that advances in technology and the threat environment in the intervening years led to multiple revision of requirements by the Army. While the government sanctioned ₹155 million (US $2.3 million) for the initial design in May 1974, by 1995, DRDO had spent ₹3 billion (US $44.6 million) on development due to changing requirements and inflationary cost increases.
The Arjun's performance on the battlefield can be seen as a bit similar to the performance of the M1A2 Abrams and Type 99. Like these other two vehicles, the Arjun packs a big punch in her gun and has the highest statistical damage out of any of these three. But unlike the Abrams and Type 99, it has a great health pool with a value of over 1100. It is so large, that the Arjun actually has the most health out of any other main battle tank in the game. However, the vehicle is more similar to the Abrams and Type 99 when it comes to the armor. The Arjun's side armor is very thin, and the rear armor is even worse. The frontal armor is not bad, but the least protected when compared the other two. Using HEAT or APDS shells with this tank will prove to be effective against enemies, but the AP shell's performance on the Arjun is very noticeably underwhelming when compared to them. Because of this, other vehicles with rather weak passive armor but strong spaced armor will be harder to take down. The agility of the Arjun does not help against this very much either, as it is lackluster as well.
Pros and Cons
- Gargantuan health pool, the largest out of any main battle tank in the game
- Frontal armor is fairly effective
- Very powerful gun, penetration values are respectable (except AP ammo)
- Relatively low profile
- Side and rear armor are thin, tracks allow shells to go straight through
- AP ammo's performance is underwhelming, only has two tiers of upgrade for it
- Agility is lacking