Exercise Megh Prahar: Demonstration on river crossing Russia and India to develop new SPG
Ademonstration on capabilities of Mathura-based Strike 1 to seamlessly effect crossings on river obstacle was conducted on the banks of Yamuna River on July 14, 2016, along the stretch of river adjoining the cantonment. The exercise codenamed Megh Prahar was undertaken by formation of its spearhead Armoured Division and aptly showcased the variety of equipment, innovativeness of commanders, jointmanship, professional outlook and war-waging potential of the DOT Division.
Exercise Megh Prahar would help in testing the effectiveness of the ultra modern Tank T-90 & BMP-2 held with Indian Army in fighting across opposed river obstacle. This exercise also showcased the importance of incorporating the third dimension in bridging the gap of an obstacle and helping in capture of depth obstacle by a mechanised formation. The war preparation and effectiveness of Strike 1 was proved beyond doubt during the exercise.
The demonstration was witnessed by Lt General Shokin Chauhan, General Officer Commanding, Strike 1, and many other senior dignitaries of the Army. During interaction with media the General Officer dwelled upon the conduct of the exercise and reaffirmed the highest degree of operational preparedness of Strike 1 in all facets of war-fighting.
Moscow and New Delhi have concluded an agreement to develop a new self-propelled gun (SPG) intended for the Indian domestic market. The CEO of Uralvagonzavod, Oleg Siyenko, and the Executive Director of Bharat Forge (a subsidiary of Kalyani Group), Amit Kalyani signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the presence of Russia’s Minister for Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov and India’s Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman at the Innoprom 2016 industrial exhibition in Ekaterinburg. The MoU is aimed at the strengthening of technical cooperation between companies under the ‘Make in India’ programme and the promotion of the UVZ’s production in India. According to the official notification, “the memorandum drives for the deepening of industrial ties between two countries”.
As Siyenko pointed out, Russia and India were planning to develop a new SPG for Indian armed forces under the MoU. “The memorandum provides for the possibility of a new SPG joint development. The Uralvagonzavod Corporation is a traditional partner of New Delhi in the area of military-technical cooperation. India is the biggest foreign operator of military hardware produced by UVZ,” Siyenko pointed out.
“Our Indian partners have been collaborating with Russia’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) for a long period, while Uralvagonzavod is a leader in the area of SPG development. We are planning to transfer documentation under the ‘Make in India’ programme to produce the SPG on a joint basis,” the UVZ’s CEO said. He pointed out that the establishing of an assembly line in India would be the first stage of cooperation in the SPG production area. At present, Uraltransmash (a subsidiary of UVZ) is producing SPGs for Russia’s armed forces and potential foreign customers.
According to official data provided by Uralvagonzavod, 2S19M1155 has a combat weight of 43 t, a firing rate of 6-8 rds/min, a maximum firing range of 30 km using high-explosive fragmentation rounds, 41 km using rocket assisted projectiles and 25 km using guided projectiles, and an ammunition load of 45 rounds. The SPG can be based on either T-90 or T-72M1 main battle tanks (MBTs).