'New' Arjuns to fire anti-tank missiles for Indian Army
An early order from the army would be crucial, says the DRDO, for continuity in the Arjun production line at the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) near Chennai. The current order of 124 Arjuns will occupy the production line until end-2011. For the next order of Arjuns to hit the production line then, the order would have to be placed now. That would allow 18 months for provisioning of components, such as armour sheets and sub-systems that are manufactured by ancillary suppliers. That period also caters for the purchase of foreign systems, eg the engine from MTU, Germany.
"Continuity is vital for quality control", explain officials from HVF Avadi. "We have instituted systems for quality control in the current order of Arjuns, which is why they performed so reliably during trials. These systems will wither away if the production line shuts down for lack of orders."
Since the Arjun's assembly takes 12-18 months, a fresh order of Arjuns will start being delivered 30-36 months after the order is placed. Thereafter, HVF will deliver 30 Arjuns per year if it operates with just one shift of workers; 50 tanks per year with two shifts.
Source: Business Standard