The Indian Army has assured the DRDO an order for over 140 howitzers canons, but only after the research agency proves it’s artillery guns on the field. DRDO’s Pune based research and development centre is developing a 155mm 52 calibre indigenous howitzer gun for the Army.
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The DRDO was recently told by the Indian Army that it will place an order of over 140 howitzer guns if the guns being developed by DRDO are proven in field trials which will be conducted by the Indian Army.
The proposal made by the Indian Army was also a part of the presentation made to Defence Minister Mr. A. K. Antony while he was reviewing the preparedness of the Army’s Corp of Artillery. The Indian army has not inducted a single artillery gun for over 25 years after the Bofors scandal which broke out in the 1980’s.
The defence minister was given a brief about the progress made by DRDO in further development of the gun which is being produced by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).
The trial of the artillery gun was recently done at the Pokhran firing ranges in the presence of senior army officials. The army has already placed an order for 100 of these long range guns.
Apart from inducting the Bofors guns, the Indian Army has also approved the procurement of 145 Ultra Light Howitzers from the United States under a Foreign Military Sales route. The American artillery guns will be deployed in high altitude areas bordering China. The Ultra Light Howitzers will be the first guns to be inducted by the Indian Army in over two decades.
A deal for these guns is expected to be signed by the end of this fiscal.
DRDO had earlier developed the 105 mm field artillery guns for the Army and is still in operational service.
The DRDO has also started working on the development of the ‘Bhim’ self-propelled howitzers about a decade back but the project was virtually scrapped after the South African firm Denel was blacklisted by the Ministry of Defence.
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