The Indian Army is likely to soon issue a tender for acquiring 200 new mounted howitzers equipped with 105 mm guns.
The move is aimed at boosting Army's mobile firepower in high-altitude border areas like Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.
A tender is set to be issued soon to Indian firms for this 'Make in India' project to buy 200 new mounted howitzers equipped with 105 mm 37 calibre guns, news agency ANI reported citing defence sources.
This marks the inaugural introduction of 105 mm mounted howitzers to the Indian artillery, which is set to enhance the capability of units stationed in forward positions.
The Indian Army is upgrading its artillery using domestic resources by leveraging the abilities of local firms. The Indian industry has not only developed competencies in this area, but it has also started exporting these systems to overseas countries.
In addition to the 200 mounted howitzers, the Defence Ministry will soon be addressing the approval for the acquisition of 400 new towed guns under the Make in India initiative.
The planned acquisition of 400 towed artillery gun systems is expected to be a topic of discussion in the Defence Acquisition Council meeting, which is set for 30 November.
The Regiment of Artillery of the Indian Army is seeking to use the expertise of the Indian Industry to manufacture a 155 mm/52 calibre Towed Gun System. This system will be more lightweight, adaptable, and capable of incorporating future technological innovations.
The Indian Army has already issued the procurement process for 307 Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems (ATAGS), as well as a mounted gun system. These will serve its needs on the borders with China and Pakistan.
The howitzer, designed, developed, and manufactured in India, signifies its complete Indian origin. The military's preference is for these guns to be lighter and more conveniently deployable in high-altitude regions, similar to the older Bofors guns.
The process of acquisition is a component of the Army's Mediumisation strategy, which includes the use of indigenous guns and is expected to be completed by 2042.
Over the past ten years, four agreements for the acquisition of a 155 mm howitzer have been finalised. These Gun Systems have already been integrated, and additional Regiments are being outfitted with these firearms.
The gun systems encompass Dhanush, Sharang, Ultra Light Howitzer (ULH), and K-9 Vajra Self Propelled Guns. Dhanush Guns represent an electronic enhancement of Bofors Guns, and the Sharang Guns have undergone an upgrade from a 130mm to a 155mm calibre.
Seven regiments are already outfitted with Ultra Light Howitzers (ULHs), and five regiments have been equipped with self-propelled guns.
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