The Indian Army is currently in the process of procuring another 100 K9 Vajra followed self-propelled howitzers. The purchase order has already been approved by the Ministry of Defence, reports Dinakar Peri in The Hindu. The Artillery Regiment is also in the process of introducing roving munitions while also considering procuring Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
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At the height of tensions with China in eastern Ladakh, the army deployed a regiment of K9 Vajra self-propelled howitzers there (Image source: Indian Army)
At the height of tensions in eastern Ladakh, the army deployed a regiment of K9 Vajra self-propelled howitzers there to boost its long-range firepower amid a massive Chinese buildup across the country. ALC, writes Dinakar Peri. On the strength of their performance, the army procured another 100 of these self-propelled howitzers.
“Dhanush Enthronement, K9 The ultra light Vajra and M777 (ULH) howitzers improved the range of artillery firepower on the northern borders. The operationalization of the Pinaka Multi-Rocket Launch System (MRLS) has added punch to the long-range capability of artillery firepower,” a defense source said as quoted by Dinakar Peri. The Artillery Regiment celebrated the 196th Artillery Day on September 28.
To ensure that these systems function optimally in extremely cold weather conditions, the Army purchased winterization kits for this regiment to enable them to operate in extreme weather conditions. “Batteries, oils and lubricants, etc. must be protected from the temperature. There are nine items, which don’t freeze at -20 degrees,” the source said on wintering kits. Changes have also been made to the fire control system, as different systems behave differently under different conditions. These kits are also purchased for other K9 pistols, officials said
Indian Army plans to convert all its medium range artillery regiments by converting all units to 155mm standard, Dinakar Peri reports. While the process is ongoing, the process of completing the “mediumization” process is expected to be completed around 2040.
Extended range guided rockets with a range of 75 km have also been developed and validated for the Pinaka and the Defense Acquisition Board (DAC) has also approved their acquisition. Currently, the army has 5 Graduate rocket regiments, 3 Smertch regiments and 4 Pinaka regiments. 6 other Pinaka regiments are in command. Eventually, the native Pinaka will become the mainstay of long-range rocket artillery, Dinakar Peri concludes.
The K9 Vajra self-propelled howitzer was unveiled at DefExpo India 2018 (Image source: Army Recognition)