Jodhpur: Pre-induction trials of the Mark II version of India's Main Battle Tank 'Arjun' have commenced in the desert conditions of the Pokhran test ranges in the border state of Rajasthan. The tests are intended to test the effectiveness of the technological upgrades planned for the tank.
The Mark II will undergo its summer and winter trials this year.
"Such trials will be undertaken quite frequently till the time it is handed over to the Army," said Col SD Goswami, defence spokesperson.
The Mark II version of the Arjun MBT weighs 62 tons, as against the 58.5 tons of the earlier Mark I version. The Indian Army has already received the first lot of 124 Mk I tanks and has ordered an additional lot of 124 to keep the production lines active till the Mk II is operationalized.
The 124 Mk I MBT's have been absorbed into two armoured regiments.
The Mk II is due for induction from 2013-14 onwards.