DRDO MAY UN­VEIL 130MM AR­JUN CAT­A­PULT AT DE­F­EXPO 2014

SP's LandForces - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES / NEWS IN BRIEF -

Af­ter suc­cess­fully demon­strat­ing the first pro­to­type of the Ar­jun Cat­a­pult sys­tem to the In­dian Army dur­ing au­to­mo­tive and fir­ing tri­als in 2012, the De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO) is now all set to un­veil the sys­tem for the first time at De­f­expo 2014. In­te­grated by the Com­bat Ve­hi­cles R&D Es­tab­lish­ment (CVRDE) at Avadi near Chen­nai, the Ar­jun Cat­a­pult was de­vel­oped by in­te­grat­ing a Rus­sian-ori­gin M-46 130mm ‘Cat­a­pult’ gun to a mod­i­fied Ar­jun chas­sis and au­to­mo­tive sys­tem.

DRDO sources say, “The prod­uct is ready for its de­but at De­f­expo, but fur­ther im­prove­ments are un­der in­cor­po­ra­tion to firm-up the con­fig­u­ra­tion for pro­duc­tion and re­lease to the user, which may take a few more months and fi­nal tri­als.” While the sys­tem is not, by any stretch, a long-term so­lu­tion, it is be­ing pitched by DRDO as an in­terim gap-filler, to take care of the self-pro­pelled short- range ar­tillery re­quire­ments of at least three reg­i­ments while the larger ac­qui­si­tion plan picks up pace for 155mm self-pro­pelled and towed ar­tillery. The Ar­jun chas­sis was ear­lier the ba­sis for the Bhim self-pro­pelled how­itzer, based on the Denel T-6 tur­ret. Ef­forts to re­place the gun have yielded no re­sult so far, with an ear­lier en­deav­our re­sult­ing in a sin­gle-ven­dor sit­u­a­tion with the Sam­sung Tech­win K9 tur­ret.

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