New Delhi: The Indian Army is all set issue a tender to Indian firms to buy 200 new mounted howitzers equipped with 105 mm 37 calibre guns, defence sources told a news agency. This acquisition will boost Indian Army’s mobile firepower in high-altitude border areas like the Line of Actual Control with China.
According to the defence sources, this would be the first time that the Indian artillery would have these types of 105 mm mounted howitzers and would add to the strength of the formations deployed in forward positions. The Indian Army is modernising the artillery through the indigenous route using the capabilities of the Indian firms as the Indian industry has developed capabilities in this field and is now even exporting these systems to foreign countries.
Additionally, the Defence Ministry is also soon going to take up the case of clearing procurement of 400 new towed guns under the Make in India route. The proposal for procuring 400 towed artillery gun systems is expected to come up for discussion in the Defence Acquisition Council meeting scheduled for November 30. Indian Army’s Regiment of Artillery is looking to use the expertise of Indian Industry to produce 155 mm/52 calibre Towed Gun System, which will be lighter, versatile and cater for future technological advancements.
A tender for buying 307 Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems along with one for finding a mounted gun system for its requirements along borders with China and Pakistan has already been issued by the Indian Army. The Indian Army wants the indigenously designed, developed and manufactured howitzer to be lighter in weight and easier to deploy in high-altitude areas. The procurement process is part of the Army plan for mediumisation with indigenous guns and is likely to be completed by the year 2042.
Four contracts have been concluded for the procurement of a 155 mm howitzer in the last decade. These gun systems have already been inducted and more Regiments are being equipped with these guns. These gun systems include Dhanush, Sharang, Ultra-Light Howitzer and K-9 Vajra Self-Propelled Guns. Dhanush guns are an electronic upgrade of Bofors guns, while the Sharang guns have been up-gunned from 130mm to 155mm calibre. Seven Regiments have already been equipped with ULHs while five have been equipped with self-propelled guns.