Three decades after the Bofors scandal, the Indian Army is set to induct heavy artillery guns into its arsenal. The induction, scheduled for September, will be the first since the Bofors scandal in the late 1980s, The Hindu has reported.
The Army will induct two different guns - the K9 Vajra-T tracked self-propelled artillery and the M777 ultra-light howitzers.
India has contracted for 100 K9s and 145 M777s.
While the first 10 K9s will be manufactured in South Korea, the remaining 90 will be built in India by Larsen & Toubro and Hanwa Techwin. The deal for the K9s was signed in 2017 and all the guns will be delivered by November 2020.
Seen in final Indian Army skin for the 1st time, an L&T-Hanwha Techwin K9 Vajra-T 155mm gun. First 10 ready for delivery soon. Seen here during final integration at L&T Hazira, Gujarat facility. (Our full report last year: https://t.co/XFLMLghkSY) pic.twitter.com/meUko2EwEv— Livefist (@livefist) April 9, 2018
Of the 145 M777s, BAE Systems will manufacture the first 25 guns in the US and the remaining 120 will be assembled in India by Mahindra. The $737 million contract has a 30 per cent offset clause worth around $200 million.
The M777 ultra-light howitzer is being purchased primarily to deploy on mountains on the border with China. It has a maximum range of 30 km.
The K9s, with a range of 40 km, will be used in desert conditions.
The delivery of these guns, first addition to the Indian artillery strength in 30 years, brings an end to what is termed as the 'Bofors jinx'.