India wants indigenous APFSDS rounds for its T-72A, T-90S MBTs

India is seeking to produce the primary ammunition for its Russian-made T-72A and T-90 tanks at local factories, Indian Defence News reports. Issuing an Expression of Interest (EoI) to local vendors, the Indian Army aims to purchase 85,000 rounds of 125 mm in a bid to expedite the supply of the ammunition that it has been importing from Russia.

India to get indigenous APFSDS rounds for its T 72 T 90 MBTs
T-90S Bhishma displayed at DefExpo India 2018 near Chennai (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The current T-72A and T-90S Bhishma tank barrels are incapable of firing high penetration APFSDS rounds due to a limitation of safety margins of 600 MegaPascals. Therefore, the Indian Army has put up a requirement to domestically develop ammunition with a minimum depth of penetration of 530 mm in order to enhance the lethality of the armament, within the existing “safety”, “consistency”, and “shelf life” criteria. The Indian Army expects the supply of the ammunition by the end of this year.

In September 2019, maintaining focus on the "Make in India" initiative, the defence acquisition council - the Indian defence ministry's apex procurement body - accorded approval for the domestic development and production of the main gun to provide more lethality to its armoured regiment. India imports such kinetic energy penetrators for approximately 3,500 T-90S and T-72A tanks, worth over $70 million annually. Since 2012, the Indian Army has been relying on Russia for such critical ammunition, following the blacklisting of the Israeli military Industry by the Indian government for alleged wrongdoing in military purchases.