NEW GUN SYS­TEMS ADD FIRE POWER

Army chief said three more sys­tems, de­vel­oped in col­lab­o­ra­tion with In­dian in­dus­tries, would be pro­cured next year

The New Indian Express - - FRONT PAGE -

An M777 How­itzer gun fires in the air to mark the for­mal in­duc­tion of the ar­tillery gun sys­tem dur­ing a cer­e­mony at the De­o­lali ar­tillery cen­tre, in Nashik district on Fri­day. The K-9 Va­jra, a self-pro­pelled ar­tillery gun and the Com­pos­ite Gun Tow­ing Ve­hi­cle, too, were in­ducted

THREE more gun sys­tems, in­clud­ing Dhanush, and two sys­tems be­ing de­vel­oped by De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO), in col­lab­o­ra­tion with In­dian in­dus­tries, would be in­ducted into the In­dian Army by next year, Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat has said. The an­nounce­ment came on the side­lines of the for­mal in­duc­tion of two state-of-the-art gun sys­tems by de­fence min­is­ter Nir­mala Sithara­man on Fri­day.

“Sev­eral new equip­ment are be­ing pro­cured. New as­sault ri­fles, other ri­fles, mis­siles and he­li­copters are be­ing pro­cured for the in­fantry. Sim­i­larly, three new gun sys­tems would be in­ducted into the ar­tillery next year,” Rawat said while in­ter­act­ing with the me­dia af­ter the cer­e­mony to ded­i­cate the 155mm, 39 Cal­i­bre Ul­tra light How­itzer and the 155mm 52 cal­i­bre K9 Va­jra self pro­pelled gun sys­tems to the na­tion.

Stress­ing that such a cer­e­mony to in­duct new weapon sys­tems into the In­dian ar­tillery was the first in 30 years, the de­fence min­is­ter said, “These in­duc­tions will her­ald the new ar­tillery of a ris­ing In­dia. The process of mod­erni­sa­tion is very long and ar­du­ous. But, I’m sure the In­dian Army shall rise to the oc­ca­sion and en­sure that this process goes through with­out any hic­cups.”

Sithara­man also praised the con­tri­bu­tion of In­dian in­dus­tries in the de­vel­op­ment of In­dia’s de­fence man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties and added that it im­mensely helps the MSME sec­tor.

While the Ul­tra light Howitzers have been pro­cured from USA, un­der For­eign Mil­i­tary Sales, would be as­sem­bled in In­dia by BAE Sys­tems, in part­ner­ship with Mahin­dra De­fence, the Va­jra self pro­pelled gun sys­tems have been im­ported from Han­wha Tech­win of South Korea and as­sem­bled by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) in In­dia. While the Ul­tra light How­itzer guns are be­ing pro­cured at a cost of USD 737 bn, the cost of 100 K9 Va­jra is Rs 4366 crore, the de­fence min­is­ter said.

Due to their ul­tra light weight, the How­itzer guns can even be air­lifted to dif­fi­cult ter­rains, while ma­neu­ver­abil­ity, speed and fire­power are some of the strengths of Va­jra. A 6x6 Field Ar­tillery Trac­tor in­dige­nously de­vel­oped by Ashok Ley­land, too, was in­te­grated into the ar­tillery on Fri­day.

“It’s a great ac­com­plish­ment for us, as ten K9 Va­jra guns as­sem­bled un­der the phase one pro­gramme, are be­ing in­ducted ahead of sched­ule. The 155 mm / 52 cal­i­bre tracked self-pro­pelled gun sys­tem hits the tar­get with great pre­ci­sion. Two more guns are be­ing read­ied at our fac­to­ries and we shall start de­liv­er­ing in a cou­ple of months,” Jayant Patil, di­rec­tor of L&T said.

PTI

K-9 Va­jra, a self-pro­pelled ar­tillery gun, at the for­mal in­duc­tion of the gun sys­tems,in­clud­ing the M777 How­itzer guns and Com­pos­ite Gun Tow­ing Ve­hi­cle, dur­ing a cer­e­mony at De­o­lali ar­tillery cen­tre in Nashik on Fri­day |

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