New Delhi: The indigenous Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) jointly with the private industry crossed a milestone by successfully completing the validation trials towards meeting the specifications of the Army. The week-long Preliminary Service Quality Requirements (PSQR) validation retrials were conducted at the Pokhran field firing ranges from April 26 to May 2.
“Reliability of the guns were proven by conducting two second line of firing successfully. Accuracy and consistency were achieved, burst and intense timed series were also successfully evaluated during the trials,” a DRDO official said.
“Following this, there are trials for Electromagnetic Interference/ Electromagnetic Compatibility ( EMI/ EMC) and Director General Quality Assurance (DGQA) which are scheduled in May. The Request For Proposal (RFP) will be issued after that. We expect it by June,” the official said.
Stating that there are very stringent specifications for accuracy consistency, the officials said the performance during trials were well within the specifications. “Guns of both companies performed well. The successful re-validation trials paves the way for induction of the ATAGS into service,” the official stated.
The ATAGS is a 155mm, 52-calibre heavy artillery gun jointly developed by Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), the Pune-based laboratory of DRDO, in partnership with Bharat Forge and TATA Group.
“The 155/52 mm ATAGS jointly developed by DRDO (ARDE) and TASL successfully completed PSQR firing trials today. A true example of Public-Private Partnership leading to a world class weapon system fully designed and developed in India. Such a weapon system is highly strategic for India,” TATA Advanced Systems Limited posted on Twitter on May 2.
In August, 2018 the Defence Acquisition Council had accorded approval for the purchase of 150 of these guns at an approximate cost of Rs 3,365 crore which would be split between the two companies. The deal will be split in 60:40 ratio between the lowest bidder (L1) and L2. The Army has a requirement of 1,580 artillery guns in this category.
Earlier in the past, the Army had flagged the issue of overweight compared with its requirements which officials said has been addressed. The Army wanted the weight to be around 18 tonnes so that it can be carried in the mountains and that it is now by and large in that range.
The ATAGS has demonstrated a range of over 45 km, and an official termed it as the “most consistent and accurate gun in the world”. It boasts of the shortest minimum range at high angle and fast mobility in desert and mountain terrain in addition to autonomous mode firing capability and wireless communication, officials said. It has been designed to fire all in-service ammunitions with a fully automatic ammunition handling system with all electronic drives, the official added.