After receiving orders for 124 more Arjun main battle tanks, the DRDO has decided to supply an advanced version of the weapon system to meet the requirements of the Army.

“We will have the modifications (on Arjuns) that the Army is looking for,” Defence Research and Development Organisation chief V.K. Saraswat said here on Thursday.

He was asked if the DRDO had any plans of delivering a more advanced version of Arjun to the Army as part of the next order. The DRDO chief was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function to mark the golden jubilee of the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS).

Mr. Saraswat said the DRDO had already started working on the mark II version of the tank, which will incorporate a number of modifications that have been sought by the Army.

“We have to make certain modifications in the tank, which we call the Arjun mark II version. Development process on mark II is already in progress and our scientists and the Army are working together,” Mr. Saraswat said.

The DRDO chief said the decision by the Army to place orders for 124 more Arjuns will ensure that the assembly line of the tanks is “engaged.”

The Army has till date placed orders for 248 Arjun tanks of which 124 have already been delivered to it. The orders for additional 124 tanks were placed after the comparative trials in March and April this year.

The comparative trials between the Arjun and the Russian T-90 were carried out to decide the future of the tank in the Army, during which the indigenous tanks reportedly performed satisfactorily.

The DRDO wants the Army to place orders for at least 500 Arjuns to recover its investments before staring work on the futuristic main battle tank for the service.

Commenting on the role of INMAS during the recent Mayapuri radiation leak case here, Mr. Saraswat said, “INMAS also has the expertise of detecting nuclear radiation and we provided the fastest response to the casualties there. We were able to send our teams within four hours and we also found out the level of radiation.”