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Vijayanta Tank

Vijayanta Tank :

Vijayanta (en: "Victorious")[1] was a main battle tank built in India based on a licensed design of the Vickers Mk.1. The Vijayanta was the first indigenous tank of the Indian Army. The prototype was completed in 1963 and the tank entered service in 1965. The first 90 vehicles were built by Vickers in the UK.[2] Production continued at the Heavy Vehicles Factory in Avadi until 1983 with 2,200 being built (other sources give much lower numbers: 1,600-1,800[3]). A number of the tank hulls were converted to other uses such as self-propelled guns after being withdrawn from service.[4] The Vijayanta has been supplanted by the T-72M1 in Indian service.
70 Vijayanta Mark 1 tanks were later fitted with Marconi's SFCS 600 fire control system; an option for 70 additional systems was not exercised.[5] Under the "Bison" project there have been several attempts to upgrade the Vijayanta fleet with additional armour (the Kanchan advanced composite armour as found on the Arjun tank), a new engine (the T-72's V-84 of 780 hp), a new fire control system (the SUV-T55A), a land navigation system etc. It was planned to upgrade some 1,100 tanks but it appears that eventually only a small number was upgraded, only partially.[3][6] Known versions include the Vijayanta Mark 1A with the Bharat Electronics Tank Fire-Control System AL 4420 with improved sight mounts and muzzle reference system.[3][6] The Vijayanta Mark 1B was fitted with the AL 4421 system which incorporates a British Barr & Stroud Tank Laser Sight and a computer to increase first round hit probability. The Vijayanta Mark 1C and Vijayanta Mark 2 were the latest upgrades.

The Vijayanta was to be phased out by the Indian Army by 2008 (the decision to phase out 296 "pre Mark 1A tanks" was already taken in 1997[7]). In 1997 the plan to repower the Vijayanta was shelved.[6] The overhauling of the fleet was discontinued from the year 1999–2000 as the withdrawal from service of the Vijayanta had already been approved. Bulk production of Vijayanta spares ended in 1989.
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