New Delhi [India]: In a bid to boost its mobile firepower in high-altitude border areas like Line of Actual Control with China the Indian Army is soon going to issue a tender for acquiring 200 new mounted howitzers equipped with 105 mm guns.
A tender is set to be issued soon to Indian firms for this 'Make in India' project to buy 200 new mounted howitzers equipped with 105 mm 37 calibre guns, defence sources told ANI.
This would be the first time that the Indian artillery would have these type of 105 mm mounted howitzers and would add to the strength of the formations deployed in forward positions, they said.
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.
Along with the 200 mounted howitzers, 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.
The Indian Army has already issued a tender for buying 307 Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems (ATAGS) along with one for finding a mounted gun system for its requirements along borders with China and Pakistan.
The Indian Designed, Developed and Manufactured howitzer would mean that it would be totally Indian in all ways. The Army wants the guns to be lighter in weight and easier to deploy in high-altitude areas like the older Bofors guns.
The procurement process is part of the Army plan for Mediumisation with indigenous guns and is likely to be completed by the year 2042. In the last decade, four contracts have been concluded for the procurement of a 155 mm howitzer. 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 (ULH) 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.