India Tests Newly Developed Thermobaric Ammunition

  • Our Bureau
  • 10:04 AM, January 7, 2016
  • 5215
India Tests Newly Developed Thermobaric Ammunition
Arjun MBT bump track testing (Image: Wikipedia)

India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has successfully conducted ‘mote firing’ of its newly developed ammunition from a tank targeting another tank.

DRDO carried out two firings of the ammunition from indigenously developed main Battle tank Arjun Wednesday at a defense test facility off Odisha coast, Indian Express news daily reported.

“High explosive ammunitions were fired from the indigenously developed main battle tank (MBT) Arjun against the decommissioned Russian T55 tank. The T55 tank was instrumented for the purpose and the ammunition successfully hit the tank,” the news daily quoted an unnamed defense official as saying.

New ammunitions like thermobaric and high explosives (HE) were fired against the T55. The Russian tank has been replaced by the Arjun main battle in the Indian Army. As tanks like T55 are with other countries, the trials were aimed at ascertaining the effect of the new ammunitions on such tanks.

“The test was conducted for that first time. Similar trials have also been planned on Thursday. Earlier, no instrumented tank was targeted by another tank during such trials though several tests of open firing from Arjun tank have been conducted in the Pokhran range of Rajasthan,” the official informed.

Arjun is a third generation main battle tank (MBT) developed by DRDO. It features a 120 mm main rifled gun with indigenously developed armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding-sabot ammunition, one PKT 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, and an NSVT 12.7 mm machine gun.

It is powered by a single MTU multi-fuel diesel engine rated at 1,400 hp, and can achieve a maximum speed of 67 km/h and a cross-country speed of 40 km/h. The tank has proved its worth under various circumstances. The Arjun was commissioned in the Army in 2004.

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