Thursday, 9 June 2011

India To Build Its Own Howitzer

We all know what has happened to Indian artillery modernization program. After the Bofors fiasco Indian Army has had no new artillery gun for the past 30 years.Indian Army needs at least 400 new guns but the 20,000 crore modernization drive is not going anywhere.

Recently it tried to acquire artillery guns more than 3 times and each time the contract had to be scrapped..Many of the guns which were offered by foreign vendors are already blacklisted by Ministry of Defence due various ill-regulatories and allegations of corruption that includes some of the top companies like, Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK); Germany’s Rheinmetall; Israel Military Industries (IMI); and another Israeli company, Soltam. Denel, a South African company, had been blacklisted earlier. Now DRDO has started working on a new artillery gun for the Indian Army therefore it is official now that there will be no foreign gun in the near future except may light field artillery from America.

Indian army which has a requirement of more than 1400 of 155-mm Guns is now counting on ARDE to pull it out of this mess and deliver this guns for trails by 2013 at best, while ARDE with help from Private sector is confident to produce one by 2013 and give it for Army Trials.

Armament Research and Development Establishment, the DRDO's lab in Pune, has already started working on developing indigenous artillery guns for the armed forces, senior DRDO officials said.It plans on fielding not only BHIM the tracked self propelled artillery but also replacements for Bofors in the 152mm 52 caliber howitzers.