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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