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The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is gearing up for the development of the Indian Army’s Futuristic Main Battle Tank (FMBT), the successor to the T-72 MBTs. In anticipation of the army’s requirements, DRDO is planning to initiate research and development (R&D) on a new 125mm smoothbore auto-loading main gun for the FMBT.

Unlike the 120mm rifled gun equipping the Arjun MBTs, the FMBT is expected to incorporate a new 125mm smoothbore auto-loading main gun. This shift in calibre aligns with the global trend towards smoothbore guns.

Smoothbore guns can fire a wider range of ammunition, including Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding-Sabot (APFSDS) rounds and laser-guided missiles.

Smoothbore designs potentially allow for greater propellant efficiency, translating to faster projectiles and improved armour penetration. Auto-loaders improve firing rates and crew safety by reducing the need for a human loader in the turret.

DRDO’s experience in developing the Arjun MBT’s main gun positions them well for this new project. The organization is likely to leverage this expertise while incorporating advancements in smoothbore technology.

The 125mm smoothbore gun could potentially fire laser-guided missiles, extending the FMBT’s engagement range and target destruction capabilities to up to 12 kilometres.

DRDO might also develop a new and improved variant of the SAMHO cannon-launched guided missile for the FMBT’s main gun. This would provide the tank with a potent option for engaging heavily Armoured targets at close to medium ranges.

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