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Russia Launches Production of 3VBM17 Mango Ammunition in India.

The Russian state corporation Rostec, through its subsidiary Rosoboronexport, has launched the production of 3VBM17 Mango ammunition, equipped with armor-piercing sub-caliber projectiles, in India. These munitions, designed to target armored vehicles with advanced protection, are part of the Make In India program. This announcement was made by Rostec on July 4, 2024.
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The 125mm Mango rounds are compatible with T-72 and T-90 tanks in the Indian Army. (Picture source: Rostec)

The 125mm Mango rounds are compatible with T-72 and T-90 tanks, which are essential for the Indian Ground Forces. These Russian tanks are indeed present in large numbers in the Indian arsenal.

"Rostec has extensive experience in forming industrial partnerships with allied nations. Our projects frequently involve technology transfer and sharing of expertise, enabling the importing country to develop its own production capabilities. This is a competitive edge for Rostec, a leading supplier of defense solutions. We have executed numerous such projects in collaboration with India, including the licensed production of T-90 tanks and Mango ammunition with armor-piercing projectiles. Plans include establishing gunpowder production in India to maximize the localization of Mango shells," stated Sergey Chemezov, CEO of Rostec State Corporation.

The Mango rounds incorporate the fin-stabilized armor-piercing sub-caliber projectile 3BM42, capable of penetrating modern tanks equipped with composite armor.

The 3VBM17 ammunition, also known as 3BM42 or "Mango," is an APFSDS (Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot) projectile that entered service in 1986. Designed to penetrate non-explosive reactive armor (NERA) like Chobham armor, this projectile features a double tungsten alloy core, sheathed in a low melting point alloy and covered with steel, aiming to enhance its penetration capabilities.

Of Soviet origin, the Mango projectile measures 532 mm with a length-to-diameter ratio of 17:1. The total weight of the round is 20.4 kg, with the projectile itself weighing 4.85 kg and 7.05 kg including the sabot. The Mango is notable for its impressive initial velocity of 1700 m/s, generating a muzzle energy of 7.1 MJ.

In terms of penetration performance, the Mango round can penetrate 230 mm of standard steel at 2000 meters at a 60° angle, and 520 mm at the same distance but at a 0° angle. Although this munition has been widely used, it is gradually being replaced by newer models such as the 3BM59/60.

"Another significant milestone in Russian-Indian cooperation, aligned with the Make In India and Self-Sufficient India initiatives, has been achieved. Rosoboronexport has set up essential production facilities for Mango tank rounds at the Indian defense holding company. This enables the Indian side to adopt the transferred technology and commence production," said Alexander Mikheev, CEO of Rosoboronexport. "Our work in India exemplifies a comprehensive industrial partnership, developing joint projects for all branches of the armed forces with an unparalleled level of cooperation between enterprises from both countries in the global market."

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