Deal for 155mm truck-mounted artillery guns is largest export order after India’s $375m BrahMos missile contract with the Philippines in February
New Delhi,UPDATED: November 10, 2022 6:05 PM IST
The contract to supply artillery guns marks a change from India’s status as an arms importer; (Representative image)
By Pradip R. Sagar: From decades of reliance on foreign suppliers to securing an export contract, Indian artillery has indeed come a long way. Kalyani Strategic Systems, a subsidiary of Bharat Forge Limited, has announced that it has placed an order worth $155.5 million (approximately Rs 1,270 crore) for the export of its 155 truck-mounted artillery guns. mm and 39 caliber.
The deal is seen as an important step towards India achieving its defense export target of $5 billion (Rs 40,792 crore) by 2025. Recently, Ministry of Defense officials have said that India had recorded exports of defense articles and technologies worth Rs 13,000 crore in 2021-22, which is expected to increase to Rs 17,000 crore in 2022-23. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that under the NDA government, defense exports worth more than Rs 30,000 crore had been secured since 2014.
The export order for 155mm artillery guns is the largest after the $375 million (Rs 3,059 crore) BrahMos supersonic cruise missile contract India signed with the Philippines in February. The country is also considering orders for BrahMos from Indonesia and other third world countries. Armenia, which is locked in a fierce battle with neighboring Azerbaijan, has placed orders worth Rs 300 crore for the indigenous Pinaka rocket, manufactured by the Nagupur-based solar group.
Bharat Forge, which recently supplied the Kalyani M4 armored vehicle to the Indian Army for its UN peacekeeping missions, said the export order for 155mm artillery guns would be fulfilled on a three-year period. Although the company has not revealed which country is buying the weapons, it is believed to be a government-to-government deal. “This order, in a non-conflict zone, is a great testament to the Indian government’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat program and its sustained efforts to promote exports of locally designed and manufactured advanced defense platforms,” Bharat Forge said in a statement.
The Indian Army has not yet purchased artillery guns from Bharat Forge. The company and Tata Power SED are co-developing with DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) an advanced towed artillery gun system. It is a native 155 mm 52 caliber howitzer with a firing range of over 48 km. The Union government had, in September 2012, approved the development of two prototypes of these weapons.
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