In a step towards indigenisation of weapons for the defence forces, the Indian Army has moved a Rs 6,500 crore proposal to the Defence Ministry to purchase 400 howitzers from the country’s firms.
The Artillery Regiment of the Indian Army is aiming to use the expertise of Indian Industry to produce 155 mm/52 calibre Towed Gun System, which will be lighter and will cater to future technological advancements.
“A proposal for buying 400 155mm 52 calibre towed gun systems (TGS) along with towing vehicles from Indian firms under the Buy Indian-IDDM category has been moved to the Defence Ministry. The government is expected to soon take a decision on the TGS at a high-level meeting,” senior military officials said.
The Army has issued a tender to buy 307 Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems (ATAGS) along with the one for finding a mounted gun system for its deployment along the borders with Pakistan and China.
The Indian Designed, Developed and Manufactured howitzer will imply that it is indigenous in all ways.
The Army wants the guns to be lighter in weight and easier to deploy in high-altitude areas like the older Bofors guns.
The procurement process is part of the Army plan for Mediumisation with indigenous guns and is likely to be completed by the year 2042.
Four contracts have been concluded in the last decade for the procurement of 155 mm howitzer. The Gun Systems have already been inducted and more Regiments are being equipped with these guns.
The gun systems include Dhanush, Sharang, Ultra Light Howitzer (ULH) and K-9 Vajra Self Propelled Guns. Dhanush Guns are an electronic upgrade of Bofors Guns, while the Sharang Guns have been up-gunned from 130mm to 155mm calibre.
Seven Regiments have already been equipped with ULHs while five have been equipped with self-propelled guns.
(With ANI inputs)