India boosts its artillery power with 600 105mm and 155mm guns

In an effort to enhance its capabilities in strategic border regions like the Line of Actual Control with China, the Indian Army is on track to submit a request for proposal [RFP] for 200 new mounted howitzers outfitted with 105 mm guns. 

100 K9 Vajra self-propelled howitzers to be acquired by India
Photo credit: Wikipedia

As per sources within the defense sector, an imminent RFP will be extended to Indian companies as part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative, seeking procurement of 200 new 105 mm 37 caliber gun-equipped mounted howitzers. 

This marks a first for Indian artillery to be fortified with this specific type of 105 mm mounted howitzers, a significant reinforcement to the forces stationed in front-line areas. 

Part of the Indian Army’s modernization strategy involves tapping into the prowess of Indian firms. The industry has demonstrated its capabilities in this arena, even exporting these systems globally. 

Alongside the procurement of 200 mounted howitzers, the Defence Ministry plans to expedite the acquisition of 400 new towed guns under the ‘Make in India’ framework. 

The proposal to secure 400 towed artillery gun systems is slated for review during the Defence Acquisition Council meeting, scheduled for November 30. 

Indian Army’s Regiment of Artillery aims to leverage the proficiency of the Indian industry to manufacture a 155 mm/52 caliber Towed Gun System, which should be lighter, more versatile, and incorporate future technological advancements. 

Furthermore, the Indian Army has tendered 307 Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems [ATAGS] and is in the process of identifying a suitable mounted gun system for its requirements along the borders with China and Pakistan. 

As for the proposed howitzer, it is designed, developed, and manufactured in India, suggesting a wholly Indian pedigree. The Army seeks guns that are lighter and more easily deployed in high-altitude regions, akin to the older Bofors guns. 

This procurement strategy aligns with the Army plan for Mediumisation using indigenous guns, expected to conclude by 2042. Over the past decade, four contracts have been signed for the procurement of a 155 mm howitzer. These Gun Systems have already been introduced, with several more Regiments preparing for its introduction. 

Included in these gun systems are the Dhanush, Sharang, Ultra Light Howitzer [ULH], and K-9 Vajra Self self-propelled guns. The Dhanush guns represent an electronic upgrade of the Bofors Guns, whereas the Sharang Guns have up-scaled from 130 mm to 155 mm caliber. 

Seven Regiments have already been equipped with ULHs, while five have been outfitted with self-propelled guns.

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