MUMBAI/NEW DELHI. Marking a major milestone towards capacity building and capability enhancement of the Indian Army, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on November 9 dedicated the globally combat proven M777 A2 Ultra Light Howitzers, K-9 Vajra-Tracked Self Propelled Guns and 6×6 Filed Artillery Tractors to the service of the nation.
Ceremony to dedicate the ammunition was held at Devlali Field Firing Ranges in Maharashtra and was attended by Minister of State for Defence Dr Subhash Ram Rao Bhamre, Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, senior serving officers of the Indian Army & Ministry of Defence, representative of manufacturing industries as also dignitaries from the governments of United States and South Korea.
The 155mm, 39 Calibre Ultra Light Howitzers have been procured from the US under government to government foreign military sales and would be assembled in India by BAE Systems in partnership with Mahindra Defense.
The gun system is versatile, light weight and can be heli-lifted, thereby providing much needed flexibility in employment in various terrains obtainable in the country.
The first 10 K9 Vajra 155mm/52 calibre guns have been imported from Hanwha Techwin of South Korea in semi knocked down state and have been assembled by Larsen & Toubro (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 enhance firepower capabilities.
An indigenously developed 6×6 field artillery tractor by Ashok Leyland was also formally inducted to provide the much awaited replacement for the ageing fleet of Artillery Gun Towing Vehicles.
The event included an impressive display of equipment and firepower by the guns of Indian Artillery. Also on display were indigenous gun systems/ surveillance & target acquisition systems that have been recently introduced in service.