These final user trials will eventually pave the way for the 155mm/52 caliber ATAGS, which is billed as best in class with a maximum strike range of 48 km, to be inducted into the military, have said DRDO officials. Monday.
DRDO hopes to complete the “few remaining tests for non-firing parameters” of ATAGS within about a month, after which the RFP (RFP) or RFP will be issued to TASL and Bharat Forge.
The initial order of 150 ATAGS at an estimated cost of Rs 3,365 crore will be split between Tata and Bharat Forge. With the Ministry of Defense gradually banning foreign imports, orders for ATAGS will increase as the military needs 1,580 such weapons in the long term.
Winter trials of the ATAGS were successfully completed in high altitude areas of Sikkim in February 2021, but the military says the towed guns failed to meet “certain parameters” in the last round of tests. summer trials.
This time the summer trials were more successful. “The reliability of both guns has been proven by firing multiple rounds in various areas, including burst, intense and sustained modes. High accuracy and consistency in scope has been established,” a DRDO official said.
The ATAGS has “excellent” accuracy, consistency, mobility, reliability, and automation, and can fire five-round bursts compared to the three-round bursts of other contemporary foreign weapons.
ATAGS also features “all-electric drive technology” to ensure maintenance-free and reliable operations over longer periods of time. “In the long term, there will also be a huge export market for the ATAGS,” another official said.
The army has been plagued with recurring scandals in artillery procurement projects, from Sweden’s Bofors in the mid-1980s to South Africa’s Denel in 2005 and Singapore Technology Kinetics in 2009.
It wasn’t until 2018 that the military succeeded in exorcising the Bofors ghost. Firstly, the force began inducting 145 M-777 ultra-light howitzers (155m/39 caliber with a range of 30 km) from the United States at a cost of over Rs 5,000 crore.
And secondly, the induction of 100 K-9 Vajra self-propelled tracked guns (155 mm/52 caliber with a range of 28-38 km) produced by a joint venture between South Korea’s Hanwha Defense and L&T for Rs 4,366 crore.
With these two guns being forward deployed along the Line of Actual Control with China in the ongoing two-year standoff in eastern Ladakh, the military plans to order another 200 K-9 “Vajra” guns, as reported earlier by TOI.