According to Bharat Forge, one of the two Indian Army gun manufacturers, the final approval process followed by a formal ordering process for the indigenous Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) is expected to grow in the coming months.
The Pune-based auto parts maker is ready to supply 100 ATAGS in the first year before doubling capacity later, a senior Bharat Forge executive told analysts. Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) is the other manufacturing entity of this company. ATAGS are part of the list of weapons whose importation is prohibited. This was done to stimulate local manufacturing of these essential defense goods.
Amit Kalyani, Deputy Managing Director of Bharat Forge, said, “We expect this entire ordering process to ramp up and hopefully be completed during this fiscal year. In terms of capacity, I think in our first year we will have a capacity of around 100 guns. And after that, we will have an increase in our capacity to 200 per year.
Towards the end of April, the Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO) completed firing trials of the ATAGS in Pokhran, Rajasthan. Last year, the guns completed their high-altitude trials.
The towed artillery gun (155 mm x 52 caliber) has a firing range of over 48 km, making it one of the best in the world. Each of these weapons, which will become the mainstay of the Indian Army, is expected to cost ₹15-22 crore. While the initial order will be for 150 guns, subsequent orders of almost 1,600 represent a business opportunity of around ₹24,000 crore – ₹35,000 crore.
“The investment we have made so far has been around ₹250 crore. But this is only the investment for manufacturing the guns; machining, forging, heat treatment, steel industry, all of that was already in place, so we are leveraging the capabilities of the group,” Kalyani added.
May 26, 2022