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).

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