The bid by Israeli defence manufacturer Elbit Systems and its Indian partner Bharat Forge has emerged as the winner in the Indian Army’s 155 mm, 52 calibre towed artillery gun competition, reports SP’s Land Forces.
The firms’ ATHOS 2052 bid was substantially cheaper then the Trajan gun offered by the Nexter and Larsen & Toubro combine.
Interestingly, the price point at which the Elbit-Bharat Forge gun is being offered is even lower than the indigenously developed Dhanush 155 mm, 42 calibre gun, which is being manufactured by the Ordnance Factory Board. Six Dhanush artillery pieces have already been handed over by the Ordnance Factory Board to the Indian Army.
Now that Elbit has been declared as ‘L1’, the artillery acquisition process can move on to the stage of price negotiations. Although the Indian Army is looking to procure some 1,580 towed guns overall as part of its Field Artillery Rationalisation Programme (FARP), it is likely that the bulk of that demand will be met by the indigenous Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) developed by DRDO.
Thus, the contract which is eventually negotiated with Elbit-Bharat Forge may only be for 400 guns.
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