Combat Tanks of Indian Army

By Dhruv Kumar|Updated : May 4th, 2022

One of the most important factors of any military power is the might and strength of its tanks. History taught us the importance of tanks in the wars. In World War II tanks were used extensively and played an important role in any battle. Because of the use of its Tiger tanks Hitler’s army cut through France like a knife through butter.


Role of MBT

The main battle tank fulfils the role the British had once called the "universal tank", filling almost all battlefield roles.  

Reconnaissance by MBTs is performed in high-intensity conflicts where reconnaissance by light vehicles would be insufficient due to the necessity to "fight" for information.

In asymmetric warfare, main battle tanks are deployed in small, highly concentrated units. MBTs fire only at targets at close range and instead rely on external support such as unmanned aircraft for long-range combat.

The MBT has a positive morale effect on the infantry it accompanies. It also instils fear in the opposing force who can often hear and even feel their arrival.

MBT’s of India

India and Pakistan have also used these tanks in wars of 1965 and 1971. Indian Army has approximately 3,250 battle tanks as compared to 2,496 tanks of the Pakistan Army. Now, look at the power of tanks of the Indian Army.

Arjun MBT (Main Battle Tank)

1. MK 1 

  1. Third Generation Tank developed by DRDO.
  2. Origin: India
  3. Quantity: 124
  4. Arjun MK 1 is in service.
  5. It has a 120 mm main gun with armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding ammunition.
  6. It also has one PKT 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun and 12.7mm machine gun.
  7. It has a single MTU multi-fuel diesel engine which gives out around 1400 BHP and can achieve max. Speed of 67 kmph.
  8. It has a capacity of 4 Crew members - commander, Gunner, Loader and Driver.

2. MK 1A

  1. Origin: India
  2. Quantity: 118 ordered after clearing trials in February 2015.
  3. It is the upgraded version of MK1.


Image Source: Tribune India

T-90S “Bhishma” (Main Battle Tank)

  1. Origin: Russia-India
  2. Quantity: 2078
  3. In service
  4. It is the upgraded version of T 72 tanks, produced by India domestically.
  5. It is equipped with French Thales-built Catherine-FC thermal sight and utilises Russian-5 K-5 explosive reactive armor plates.
  6. It consists of an 1130 HP engine and a top speed of 60 Kmph.
  7. It has a powerful 125 smoothbore gun and 12.7mm heavy machine gun.


T-72 Ajeya (Main Battle Tank)

  1. Origin: Soviet Union-Poland-India
  2. Quantity: 968
  3. In service
  4. In 1978 500 T-72 tanks were purchased by India from Russia.
  5. It has a main gun of 125mm


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