Army gets more firepower with 2 gun systems
Ultralight howitzer, self-propelled gun and artillery tractor inducted
In a boost to the Army’s firepower and capability enhancement, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday inducted three major artillery gun systems, including the M777 A2 ultralight howitzers, K-9 Vajra self-propelled gun, and a ‘composite gun-towing vehicle’.
Speaking at the induction ceremony, at Maharashtra’s Deolali Field Firing Ranges, the Minister said many more such systems would be inducted into the Army in the next few years.
Howitzers from US
“These guns are being inducted almost 30 years after the Bofors guns were inducted,” Sitharaman said.
Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre, Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat and former Army chief General An M777 Howitzer fires during the formal induction of the gun system at the Deolali artillery centre in Maharashtra on Friday
Deepak Kapoor were present. The 155mm, 39 calibre ultralight howitzers have been procured from the US under Government-to- Government Foreign Military Sales and will be assembled in India by BAE Systems in partnership with Mahindra Defence.
The gun system is versatile, lightweight and can be heli-lifted,
thereby providing flexibility in deployment in various terrains. It is in service with the American, Canadian, and Australian armies and has proven its mettle in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Guns from South Korea
The first ten K9 Vajra 155mm/52 calibre guns have been imported
from Hanwha Techwin of South Korea in semi-knocked-down state and assembled by L&T in India.
The remaining 90 guns will be largely manufactured in India with some major assemblies coming from South Korea, the Minister said.
The 6x6 Field Artillery Tractor has been indigenously developed by Ashok Leyland and will replace the ageing fleet of artillery gun towing vehicles.
The procurement process for the equipment was initiated in 2006 during the Congress rule, but didn’t advance further, the Minister said.
An impressive display of equipment and a firepower demo by the guns of the Indian artillery was held on the occasion.
Indigenous gun systems/surveillance and target acquisition systems recently introduced in service were also on display.