Why MBT Arjun Isn't Part Of The Army's Current Wargame

There's a good deal of curiosity out there (and some speculation) about why India's indigenous Arjun main battle tank was kept out of the current corps-level exercise Vijayee Bhava that's on in 2,400 sq-km of territory not far from where the Arjuns recently entered operational service. Well for an official word (cue, conspiracy theorists), I put the question on Thursday afternoon to the Army's Western Commander Lt Gen Shankar Ghosh, under whose command (HQ: Chandimandir) the exercise is being conducted. He said, "It's very simple. I don't have any Arjuns at Western Command. I cannot use what I do not have under me."

The Arjun regiment (75th Armoured) comes under the Army's Southern Command, headquartered in Pune, a theatre formation that apparently had nothing to do with the current exercise in terms of asset contributions. The Vijayee Bhava exercise currently deploys a large number of T-90 and T-72 tanks from regiments under the Western Command.

There's extensive coverage on Livefist of the Arjun saga, its trials against the T-90 and its final acceptance by a reputedly reluctant Army. Just realised I hadn't posted about the Arjun for almost a year. I was dodging Grad rockets in Libya the day the tanks entered operational service. Oh well.

Photo ©The Hindu

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