The Indian T-72 Ajeya Tank is a licence manufactured Russian T-72M1, which started in the late 1970’s. Its believed some 1700 have been delivered to the Indian Army. During the 1990’s, as the Arjun (Mk I) development dragged on, hundreds of T-72M1’s (named Ajeya) were in need overhauling and repairing, an opportunity normally capitalised upon to implement upgrades.
India has been working on a long term upgrade program of its Ajeya’s in stages. The first stage true upgrade has been called the “Combat Improved Ajeya”.
Combat Improved Ajeya
In 2002, India purchased 250 Polish SKO-1T Fire Control Systems as used on the PT-91 and has thermal imaging sight. Its reported that India was unable to secure the rights to manufacture the FCS under licence. CI Ajeya also has new ERA developed by DRDO (Defence Research & Development Organisation), fire detection & suppression system within the crew compartment, new 81mm smoke grenade launchers mounted on the side of the turret and GPS.
During a mid-2011 press release, India defence spokesman stated that 250 vehicles had so far been upgraded to the CI Ajeya.
During the time of the press release, further field trials, with the help of a team of Russian scientists, were being conducted at the Jaisalmer’s Lathi Field Firing Range on a T-72. No details of what was being tested were given.