An Indian army T-90 (Bhishma) tank is seen during an exercise in Pokhran proving grounds

The state-owned Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has claimed that it conducted a series of trials for at least 10 days, which were very much successful

New Delhi: India's state-owned Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO) has conducted a successful penetration trial of the critically important Fin Stabilized Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (FSAPDS) ammunition, designed and developed for the Indian Army's T-72 and T-90 main battle tanks.

"The trial results established the penetration capabilities of the indigenously designed FSAPDS ammunition, at par with NATO and Russian tank ammunition," a DRDO document reads.

The ammunition is developed by the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune, and the trial was conducted between November and December last year.

India, presently, imports FSAPDS for approximately 3,500 T-90 and T-72 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.

"With low cost, low wear and moderate chamber pressures, this ammunition is extremely safe and effective up to combat ranges. The successful trials would pave the way for overcoming the shortage of tank ammunition for T-72 and T-90 Indian Army Main Battle Tanks," DRDO said.

The Indian Army is facing a critical shortage of ammunition for its main battle tanks and plans to import a hundred thousand rounds to meet the immediate requirement, while promoting domestic manufacturing for future needs.