L&T and Han­wha Tech­win sign con­tract for ex­e­cut­ing tracked SP gun pro­gramme

SP's MAI - - MILITARY REPORT -

Larsen & Toubro, In­dia’s multi­na­tional en­gi­neer­ing con­glom­er­ate and pri­vate sec­tor de­fence ma­jor, and Han­wha Tech­win (HTW) of South Korea, on April 21, signed a con­tract for ex­e­cu­tion of the 155mm/52-cal­i­bre tracked self pro­pelled (SP) gun pro­gram for the In­dian Army.

L&T was de­clared as the sole qual­i­fied bid­der, post user eval­u­a­tion tri­als, based on the per­for­mance of the K9 Va­jra-T, a world class self-pro­pelled how­itzer ap­pro­pri­ately cus­tomised and fielded by L&T with HTW as the tech­nol­ogy part­ner. The K9 Va­jra-T gun is an en­hanced ver­sion of HTW’s K9 Thun­der, to suit spe­cific re­quire­ments of the In­dian Army in­clud­ing desert op­er­a­tions. HTW’s K9 Thun­der is one of the best per­form­ing self-pro­pelled how­itzers in the world with over 1,000 numbers al­ready in ser­vice in Korea and few other coun­tries. This pro­gramme has set new bench­marks in co-devel­op­ment and co-pro­duc­tion of de­fence sys­tems by In­dian pri­vate sec­tor de­fence play­ers and for­eign ma­jors.

The con­tract is a re­sult of nearly a decade-long close re­la­tion­ship and joint ef­forts of the two companies on this pro­gramme, through ex­ten­sive user eval­u­a­tion and field tri­als fol­lowed by con­tract ne­go­ti­a­tions with the In­dian Min­istry of De­fence.

Jayant Patil, Head of De­fence and Aero­space and Mem­ber of Heavy En­gi­neer­ing Board at L&T, said: “This con­tract marks an important mile­stone in L&T’s De­fence Busi­ness jour­ney and in our re­la­tion­ship with Han­wha Tech­win. It will cre­ate syn­er­gies not only for this pro­gramme but also for up­com­ing In­dian and global pro­grammes. This also marks a giant step for­ward to­wards fur­ther­ing the ‘Make in In­dia’ vision of the Govern­ment of In­dia. L&T plans to be­gin pro­duc­tion of this vi­tal weapon sys­tem at its Strate­gic Sys­tems Com­plex at Tale­gaon near Pune in Ma­ha­rash­tra and de­liver the first batch of 10 guns. L&T also has ini­ti­ated set­ting up of a green­field man­u­fac­tur­ing line at Hazira, Gu­jarat, in­te­gral with a state-of-the-art test track, to pro­duce, test and qual­ify the K9 Va­jra-T guns.”

Keep­ing the spirit of ‘Make in In­dia’, L&T shall not only man­u­fac­ture K9 Va­jra-T in In­dia, with over 50 per cent in­dige­nous con­tent, but also pro­vide through life sup­port from In­dia.

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