First since Bofors: Army inducts M-777 howitzers, K-9 Vajra

NEW DELHI: The large weapons are in the end booming in India once more. The Army on Friday officially inducted its first complicated 155mm howitzers for high-volume firepower after a gap of 3 many years, in the end exorcising the Bofors ghost that stymied all its artillery modernization plans since the late-1980s.

Three M-777 ultra-light howitzers from the United States and ten Okay-Nine Vajra tracked self-propelled weapons from South Korea were symbolically passed over to the Army, after in depth trying out and “compilation of firing tables” spread over some months, on the Deolali box firing ranges in Maharashtra on Friday.

The rite, attended by way of defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, her junior minister Dr Subhash Bhamre and Army chief General Bipin Rawat, among others, additionally witnessed the induction of 6x6 box artillery tractors developed by way of Ashok Leyland to switch the getting old fleet of gun-towing vehicles.

“These state of the art gun systems are being inducted almost 30 years after the Bofors weapons were inducted. The Army gets many more such systems over the next few years,” stated Sitharaman. While the M-777 howitzers have a strike range of 30-km, the Okay-Nine weapons can target enemy positions 28-38-km away.


India had inked the $737 million (over Rs five,000 crore) contract for acquisition of 145 M-777 howitzers from the United States in a government-to-government deal after it was cleared by way of the Cabinet Committee on Security in November 2016, as was first reported by way of TOI + .

All 145 of these air-mobile 155m/39-calibre howitzers are slated for induction by way of August 2021, with 5 weapons to be delivered every month from August 2019 onwards. While the first 25 weapons will likely be imported, the remainder 120 will likely be assembled in India with artillery-manufacturer BAE Systems settling on Mahindra Defence as its trade spouse here.

The Rs Four,366 crore deal for the 100 155mm/52-calibre Okay-Nine weapons, in flip, was signed with Larsen & Toubro and its South Korean spouse Hanwha Tech Win remaining year. Ninety of the weapons will likely be largely manufactured in India, with some primary assemblies coming from South Korea, with the first 40 slated for supply by way of November 2019 and the remainder 50 by way of November 2020.


The 13-lakh strong Army may now not induct a single 155mm artillery gun since the Bofors scandal brought down the Rajiv Gandhi government, and derailed all plans for generation switch and indigenous manufacture.


Subsequent scandals revolving round other international artillery manufacturers, like South African Denel in 2005 and Singapore Technology Kinetic's in 2009, further derailed the Army’s artillery modernization plans. Interestingly, the original Swedish Bofors corporate is now owned by way of BAE Systems.


The Army has been hard ultra-light howitzers like the M-777s for over 15 years as a part of the plan to build tough typical deterrence in opposition to China. Weighing simply over Four-tonne because of using titanium, the M-777 can hastily be airlifted by way of helicopters and airplane to high-altitudes spaces as much as 16,000-feet in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh along the Four,057-km Line of Actual Control with China.


First since Bofors: Army inducts M-777 howitzers, K-9 Vajra First since Bofors: Army inducts M-777 howitzers, K-9 Vajra Reviewed by kailash soni on November 09, 2018 Rating: 5
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