Artillery types

India’s Kalyani Group wins $155m export order for artillery guns, a first for the country

New Delhi: In a first for the country, Indian private defense player Kalyani Strategic Systems has placed an export order worth $155 million (over 1,200 crore rupees) for one-pound artillery guns. country not specified.

In a regulatory filing, Bharat Forge, part of the Kalyani Group, said the order was for a “non-conflict zone”. The company also said the order for the 155mm artillery gun platform was to be fulfilled over a three-year period.

The company did not specify which artillery system was exported and how much. However, industry sources have indicated that the order could be for a nation in the Middle East.

It should be noted that Saudi Arabia had conducted trials of Bharat Forge’s Bharat 52, a towed 52-caliber 155 mm howitzer. Sources said the weapon underwent trials by the Saudi Army in 2020. It was the first artillery gun made by the defense company and has a range of around 41 km and is capable of fire six rounds in 50 seconds.

The Kalyani Group offers several variations of the 155mm artillery guns, including the Advanced Towed Artillery Gun (ATAGS) which was developed in partnership with the Defense Research and Development Organization.

The difference between the Bharat 52 and the ATAGS is that the latter has a higher firing range and rate of fire, in addition to mobility and other technical aspects. The ATAGS, which authorized the Indian Army shooting trial, is currently under metallurgical tests.

Besides the Bharat 52, the Bharat Forge has several 155mm gun systems, including the Mounted Gun and Ultralight Howitzers.

Second order for the Indian artillery system

The order received by Bharat Forge is the second for the Indian artillery system. Earlier this year, the country had bagged an order for Armenia’s Pinaka multi-barreled rocket system as part of the government-to-government pathway.

The Kalyani Group, however, has yet to receive an order from the Indian Army for its artillery systems.

The Indian Army is currently pursuing a Field Artillery Rationalization Program (FARP), envisioned in 1999. Under the FARP, the Army is supposed to haveby 2025-2027, a mix of around 3,000–3,600 155 mm guns but different types of towed, mounted and self-propelled (tracked and wheeled) howitzers.

This goal was to be achieved through a combination of direct imports, licensed manufacturing and local systems.

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