Army seeks mounted artillery weapons for straightforward mobility in high-altitude terrain

The nearly 17-month standoff with China in japanese Ladakh has prompted the Army to look extra intently for mounted artillery methods, which will likely be simpler to manoeuvre in high-terrain areas.

Director-General of Artillery Lt Gen TK Chawla Monday stated: “We are looking at mounted gun systems. Especially in mountain terrain, it will give advantage in getting in and out of action.”

In the case of towed weapons, he stated, “the train” to hold them “becomes very long”.

Mounted weapons may be deployed in a wide range of terrain — plains, mountains, high-altitude, desert and semi-desert areas. The Army had issued a Request for Information for greater than 800 such weapons earlier this yr.

India had additionally ordered 145 ultra-light M777 howitzer towed weapons for nearly $750 million in 2016.

Chawla instructed reporters that these weapons could be a part of seven regiments, and three of them are already operational. More than half of the ordered weapons have been delivered, he stated, including {that a} fourth regiment is being raised. The 155-mm artillery piece is being deployed alongside the Line of Actual Control.

“They give that extra advantage of mobility due to their weight,” Chawla stated. He additionally added that “the training is going on in moving guns from one sector to another with the Chinook helicopters”.

On the .45 caliber Dhanush howitzer, being manufactured by the Ordnance Factory Board, Chawla stated the Army has “already given an indent for 114 guns” in 2019. He stated: “There are few teething issues which they need to iron out. But it is good work in progress. As long as they are able to iron out those issues, we can go down to some confidence firing, that is what has been agreed to with OFB.”

He asserted that, “very recently had a very fruitful and constructive” discussions with OFB and talked about that “we as the user are looking forward to it fructifying sooner than later”.

Chawla stated that the DRDO-developed Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) had firing trials in July and August in Pokhran. While “some parameters were achieved, some needed further improvement”. DRDO is working with its growth companions, he stated, so as to achieve these firing and non-firing parameters.

“We have informed the DRDO and they have agreed to work on it. We are looking at a robust gun, reliable gun which can fire accurately, consistently and reliably. I am very optimistic in the case of ATAGS. The DRDO will work towards overcoming what could not be achieved at Pokhran.”

Chawla stated that in case of the artillery “a lot of handholding has been done by the Army, both for ATAGS and Dhanush”. He stated, “I had a detailed discussion last week with the OFB and ARDE (Armament Research and Development Establishment)” of the DRDO.

Speaking about one other indigenously designed system, the Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher, Chawla stated 4 regiments have already been operationalised, and 6 extra have been ordered.

A brand new model of the Akash Missile, Akash Prime, was efficiently flight examined Monday from the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, Odisha. The missile intercepted and destroyed an unmanned aerial goal mimicking enemy plane in its maiden flight take a look at after enhancements.

DRDO stated in an announcement that Akash Prime is provided with an indigenous energetic RF seeker for improved accuracy, and different enhancements guarantee extra dependable efficiency below low-temperature environments at increased altitudes.

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