Modernization of the Indian Army’s artillery has gained momentum with several major projects underway. And Indian-made weapons are now operational in high-altitude areas along the northern borders and along the Line of Control.
This whole process has been geared towards indigenization under the Make in India initiative, which means that all gun systems used by the Indian Army over the past five years have been designed and developed in the country, except for the ultralight howitzer.
What is artillery?
According to defense establishment sources, the artillery consists of missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), guns and rockets. UAVs have the ability to launch munitions well beyond the power and range of infantry guns.
In 2019, the Indian army had signed an agreement for the purchase of 114 Dhanush towed howitzers of 155 mm / 45 caliber. These guns which have a striking range of 38 km have already been inducted into the Indian army which has them 18 to date. These weapons which were manufactured at the former Gun Carriage Factory (GCF) based in Jabalpur, at a cost of Rs 14.50 crore, and each shell at Rs 1 lakh, are already active along the borders of China and Pakistan .
And, according to the source cited above, by March 2023 the army should enthrone the second regiment of this gun.
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With this weapon, the firepower of the Indian army was increased and paved the way for the development of the private firearm manufacturing industry in India. The factory already has a Bulk Production Authorization (BPC) for the production of 114 Dhanush, the country’s first indigenous 155mm x 45 caliber artillery gun.
Prior to induction, the gun had undergone trials and tests under extreme conditions in different phases in terrains like Leh, Sikkim, Balasore, Odisha and Babina in Jhansi.
So far, the indigenous material of this weapon is about 90% and the private sector as well as the public sector have been part of this project and these include: SAIL, BEL and OFB. Indian Army, Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and DGQA are all part of this project.
This gun has been upgraded mechanically and electronically based on the first phase of the Technology Transfer (ToT) agreement under the 1980s Bofors contract.
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Amid the ongoing border standoff between Indian and Chinese army troops since May 2020 in eastern Ladakh, the K9-Vajra self-propelled howitzer which weighs around 50 tons has been deployed by the Indian army. These guns capable of firing 47 kg of bombs at higher altitudes were deployed to help the army reinforce its position against the enemy.
According to the source, so far 100 K9 Vajra gun systems have been introduced and recently the DAC headed by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has already given approval for the purchase of 100 more K9 Vajra. And the process is started and the request for proposal will be sent out soon.
Since these weapons are already inducted into the army, there will be no more trials, the seller only has to submit the commercial offer and on this basis the cost negotiations will take place.
These guns are deployed in desert areas, now the army intends to deploy them in extremely cold temperatures and for this, the seller will be asked to install winterization kits which include: lubricants, oil and battery protection, among other things against freezing in the basement. – zero temperature.
These 155mm/52 caliber guns which have a 50 km strike capacity were manufactured at the Larsen and Toubro (L&T) Armored Systems Complex located in Gujarat. It is part of the “Make in India” initiative at a cost of Rs 4,500 crore.
This 130mm gun system with improved durability and technology has better accuracy, range and consistency supporting the native defense capability.
The army is preparing to obtain the 4e Regiment. The total volume required is 300 and this should be completed within a year. The source added that 15 regiments are to be equipped with Sharangs. And, “there is a need to increase our capabilities and capabilities, whether it’s OFB, DPSU, or any other.”
Pinaka weapon system
More advanced indigenous Pinaka weapons systems are in sight, the source said and informed that a contract for six additional regiments has been signed by the military and delivery will begin soon. And these six regiments are going to be equipped with mechanically and electronically upgraded weapon systems capable of firing different ammunition over longer distances.
When will the military be independent from importing rocket systems?
“We depend on Grad Multi Barrel Rocket launchers. Currently we have five regiments and Smerch which was purchased from Russia. But, the native Pinaka was a great success, not only in terms of launchers but also in ammo bouquet.
Soon there will be trials for an extended range of the Pinaka and the plan is to increase its range. With the help of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), the army is studying the possibility of extending the range to 100-125 km.
In response to the Chinese positioning of its artillery, the Indian Army deployed a Pinaka Rocket System regiment along the Line of Actual Control at the northern borders. Financial Express Online has previously reported that DAC has given approval for long-range guided rockets for Pinaka.
Stray munitions have proven their deadly effects in various conflicts around the world.
For the Indian Army, this will be through emergency supply. Last year, the army signed a contract and the delivery should take place shortly. In addition, the indigenous manufacturing process is ongoing. And Indian companies are working on it and some are working with OEMs and they will soon master the technologies involved.
Once floating munitions are introduced, they will help increase the army’s target acquisition and precision strike capability and surveillance.
These are in advanced stages of testing. And were designed and developed through a partnership between DRDO and national industry. This system has many firsts under its belt, the source said. It has a 25 liter chamber, long range, and sustained, fast rates of fire. So far, user testing has been satisfactory and few procedural issues are being resolved.
M777 Ultralight Howitzers
These have already been validated in the regions of Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. So far, there are no plans to procure more of these ultralight howitzers. So far, India has procured 145 ULHs at US$750 million from the United States to meet specific operational requirements in specific sectors, especially in high altitude areas of northern borders and other terrains. difficult. These 155 mm/39 caliber M777 howitzers have a range of up to 30 km. And they are capable of carrying out strikes at ranges of over 40 km in some areas.