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Trials for new version of Arjun MBT on

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NEW DELHI (PTI): The second round of field trials of the advanced version of the Arjun Main Battle Tank has begun in Rajasthan's Pokhran ranges.

The Mark-II version of the Arjun MBT includes advancements in areas of missile firing capability, lasers to detect anti-tank mines, improved armour, power generation system, automatic tracking and navigation systems.

"The trials started last week and would continue for sometime. It is basically aimed at incorporating the specific technological advancements needed by the Army," Defence Spokesperson from Jodhpur, Colonel S D Goswami told PTI.

Designed by Defence Research and Development Organisation's Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), Chennai, the Mark-II versions of the tanks would have more than 90 modifications in its systems.

Special attention is being paid to the chassis of the tanks to give it speed and extra manoeuvrability over all the terrains.

Compared to the Mark-I variant, the tanks would have an enhanced Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) with a capacity of 8.5 kilowatt, digital control harness, Advanced Land Navigation Systems (ALNS) and Advanced Commander Panaromic Sight (ACPS).

Besides CVRDE, several other DRDO agencies like Pune based High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Instruments Research & Development Establishment (IRDE) Dehradun, Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory, Hyderabad are involved in developing the Arjun Mark-II.

The first batch of Mark-II versions of the tank is expected to roll out by the end of 2014.

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