The Indian Army will soon issue a tender for acquiring 200 new mounted howitzers equipped with 105mm guns. The move is aimed at boosting the firepower of the Indian Army in high-altitude areas like the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with the People’s Republic of China
Artillery Projects Under Make in India
A tender will soon be issued to Indian Firms for this Make In India project to buy 200 mounted howitzers equipped with 105mm, 37 calibre guns, a distinguished media agency reported, citing defence sources. This also marks the inaugural introduction of 105mm mounted howitzers to the Indian Artillery, which is set to enhance the capability of the 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 developed its competencies in this area and 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 (DAC), which is set for November 30, 2023.
Indigenous Artillery Systems
The Regiment of Artillery of the Indian Army is seeking to use the expertise of the industry to manufacture a 155mm and 52 calibre towed Gun System. This system will be more lightweight, adaptable, and capable of incorporating future technology innovations.
The Indian Army has already issued the procurement process for 307mm Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems (ATAGS) as well as a mounted gun system. These will serve its needs on India’s frontiers and borders with the People’s Republic of China and Pakistan. The howitzer was designed, developed, and manufactured in Indian origin.
The military 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 155mm howitzer have been finalized. These gun systems have already been integrated, and additional regiments are being outfitted with these firearms.
The gun systems include Dhanush, Sharang, Ultra-Light-Howitzer and K-9 Vajra Self Propelled Guns. The Dhanush guns represent an electronic enhancement of the Bofors Guns, and the Sharang Guns have undergone an upgrade from 130 mm to 155 mm calibre. Seven Ultra-Light Howitzers (ULH) and five regiments have been equipped with self-propelled guns.