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Army likely to get 77 Arjun tanks by March 2010: Pallam Raju

A File Photo of Pallam Raju, Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Army is likely to get 77 indigenously developed main battle tanks (MBTs) Arjun by March 2010, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju told the Lok Sabha today.

Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour, Raju said the Heavy Vehicles Factory, which manufactures Arjun tanks, was anticipating more orders after the completion of the conversion training of armymen to run the new tank.

"Orders for 124 Arjun tanks have so far been placed on the Heavy Vehicles Factory, Avadi, of which 47 tanks have been supplied," he said.

Army is now in the process of equipping the first regiment of Arjun tanks, he said.

Currently, Arjun tanks have 45 per cent indigenous component, Raju said adding that the sub-systems for the armoured vehicle were being imported.

He said government had decided in 2007 to import 347 T-90 tanks from Russia of which 124 will be fully formed and the balance would be semi-knocked down(SKD)/completely knocked-down (CKD) kits to be assembled at Heavy Vehicles Factory, Avadi.

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