Monday 26 August 2019, 06:15 AM
Focus on Made in India guns
By Sushil Sharma | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 1/23/2019 1:59:25 PM
Focus on Made in India guns

After the induction of foreign-origin artillery guns, the next focus is on guns that are totally made in India – means the  Dhanush made at Ordnance Factory Board and the Advance Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and manufactured by Tata and Bharat Forge.Both have been tested in all conditions and production orders will be given anytime now. The idea is that even if the locally made 155 mm artillery gun meets 90 per cent of requirements, accept it and improve on it. 

In case of Dhanush, user trials were completed on June 7 this year. It’s being evaluated at the Army headquarters before a bulk production clearance (BPC) is okayed. For the ATAGS, Army will start using it before suggesting any changes. The Army has given its go-ahead after seeing the performance of the weapon. Any additions or improvements to the gun can be incorporated in later versions. This will include auto-loading of ammunition and certain other specifics like reduction of the weight of this 155 mm, 52-calibre gun.

Two new types of artillery guns have been inducted into the Indian Army and these are expected to change how India prepares for a war. Since 1987, when 410 pieces of Bofors was purchased for Rs 1437 crore, the Army has not inducted any new 155 MM artillery guns making the latest induction important and the first such move in 31 years.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman did the induction at Deolali in  Maharashtra The first gun is the M777 ultra-light howitzer (145 guns) produced by the BAE systems and purchased for US for  $ 737 million  through the foreign military sales (FMS) route. Five of these guns have arrived. From June next year starts the next batch arrives and then on in phases. The induction rate is expected to be five guns per month till complete consignment is received by mid 2021.

Made of titanium, each gun weighs 4,000 kg making its transportable by CH-47 Chinook helicopters, C-17 Globemaster and the C-130 Hercules aircraft or on trucks with ease to provide increased mobility in the mountains.The second is the self-propelled tracked gun Vajra K-9-T costing nearly Rs 4,500 crore. Ten pieces of the 155 MM guns are available now. It will have up to 50 percent local content under a joint venture between Larsen and Tourbo and South Korea’s Hanwha Techwin. 

The induction of 100 K9 Vajra at a cost of Rs 4,366 crore is to complete by November 2020. The first batch of 10 guns will be delivered this month. The next 40 guns will be delivered by November 2019, and another 50 by November 2020.

The first regiment of K9 Vajra, first-ever artillery gun manufactured by the Indian private sector, is expected to complete by July 2019.The gun has a maximum range of 28-38 km. It is capable of burst firing three rounds in 30 seconds, intense firing of 15 rounds in three minutes and sustained firing of 60 rounds in 60 minutes, he said. 

 

Tags:

induction,Dhanush,ATAGS,Research,DRDO,K9 Vajra,

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