DRDO MAY UNVEIL 130MM ARJUN CATAPULT AT DEFEXPO 2014
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.