In a first Indian Army Inducted Two Types K9 Vajra & M777 Howitzer Guns Simultaneously. Demonstrates Fire Power of Both Guns At Deolali Artillery Centre.
National Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 11 November 2018
Indian Army inducted 10 K9 Vajra and 3 M777 howitzer guns at a ceremony attended by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at Deolali Artillery Centre in Maharshtra. The Army also demonstrated fire power of the inducted state of the art guns in presence of Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff and Dr Subhash Bhambre, MoS Defence on the occasion.
The Army will get a total of 100 K9 and 145 M777 guns in the next two years at a cost of Rs 4,366 Cr and Rs 5,000 Cr respectively.
The K9 Vajra tracked self-propelled gun is capable of firing three rounds in 30 seconds in the ‘burst’ mode, 15 rounds in three minutes in the ‘intense’ mode and 60 rounds in 60 minutes in the ‘sustained’ mode within a range of 28-38 km.
The first ten K9 Vajra 155mm/52 calibre guns have been imported from Hanwha Techwin of South Korea in Semi Knocked Down state and have been assemble by L&T in India. The balance 90 Guns will be largely manufactured in India with some major assemblies coming from South Korea. Its induction will give a huge fillip to the firepower capability of Indian Army on our western borders.
The first batch of 10 K9 guns will be delivered this month, the next batch of 40 guns will be delivered in November next year, and the last batch of 50 guns in November 2020.
The 155 mm gun is also capable of direct firing with a range of one kilometer. The army will have five regiments of K9 and the first regiment is expected be equipped by July 2019, he said.
The army will also raise seven regiments of M777 howitzers. Four of these guns have already been delivered while five guns will be delivered every month for the next 24 month starting August 2019.
The 155mm, 39 Calibre Ultra light Howitzers have been procured from USA under Government to Government Foreign Military Sales and will be assembled in India by BAE Systems in partnership with Mahindra Defence. The Gun System is versatile, light weight and can be heli lifted, thereby providing the much needed flexibility in employment in various terrains obtainable in the country. The Howitzer is in service in the US, Canadian, Australian and Some other armies of the world. It has proven its mettle in difficult going areas of Afghanistan and Iraq.
The 6×6 Field Artillery Tractor has been indigenously developed by Ashok Leyland and will provide the much awaited replacement for the ageing fleet of Artillery Gun Towing Vehicles. Dedication of these equipment to the Nation also give a major impetus to ‘Make In India’ initiative of the Government.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 17 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.