India seduced by Nexter Munitions

“Make in India” concerns all the equipment needed by the Indian Army from vehicles to helmets via, above all, munitions.  A vast market on which some of Nexter Group’s subsidiaries are well positioned. At last week’s Defexpo 2016 in Goa, Nexter Munitions unveiled a new 125mm arrowhead shell that meets India’s requirement for a better quality munition than what is currently offered by Russian industry.

 

New Delhi’s priority is to buy a new Armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS) shell for its T-72 and T-90 tanks. Approached by the Indian military, Nexter Munitions today can “propose a solution which offers better technical characteristics than  India currently has,” ABG told us last week.

 

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At last week’s Defexpo show, Nexter Munitions unveiled the first prototype of a 125mm arrowhead shell aimed notably at the Indian market. Photo credit: Nathan Gain

 

Nexter Munitions based its solution on the 120mm APFSDS it developed for the French Leclerc main battle tank. According to ABG management: “Nexter Munitions is aiming to combine its know-how in the 120mm APFSDS sector with the competence and expertise of the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation, India’s procurement agency) and with a local industrial partnership to jointly develop an improved 125mm APFSDS.

 

The great advantages of this new munition? “High quality powder which is extremely stable even in India’s capricious climate and penetrating power of up to 600mm,” ABG told us. A prototype is currently near finalisation.

 

Apart from Nexter Munitions, MECAR, also part of Nexter Group and based in Belgium, has also engaged in the “Make in India” adventure and is currently working on an improved 120mm munition for the Indian Army’s Arjun Mk1 and Mk2 main battle tanks. MECAR is one of the rare companies able to offer striped munition in this calibre. The company also plans to offer a new 30mm munition for the 1,500 BMP-1s and 2s of the Indian Army.