Friday, 23 November 2012

DRDO to develop 155 mm field gun

Indian defence scientists have embarked on developing an indigenous 155 mm field gun. The project involves an investment of Rs 300-400 crore.

The ambitious project has been kick-started this year with the Armaments Research and Development Establishment as the nodal agency. The Ordnance Factories and private industry would be involved in the development and production, according to V.K. Saraswat, Director-General of the Defence Research and Development Organisation

The indigenous gun will have better firepower, higher penetration capabilities and autonomous features. It will take a couple of years to demonstrate the first prototype version. At present the development and production partners as well as automation requirements have been identified and work is in progress, he said.

In the last 25 years, India has not produced its own field gun. The last field gun, the Bofors Howitzer, bought from the Swedish firm in the mid-1980’s, raised a big controversy. While the gun performed well in the Kargil conflict in the late 1990’s, off the battlefield it took a heavy political toll. It also resulted in no import and indigenous effort.

Further, several global vendors were blacklisted for various reasons. There are just one or two options to buy, hence it is imperative to make our own gun argues V.K. Saraswat.

In the past the defence research organisation led by the armaments establishment designed and developed the 120 mm rifle bore guns for the MBT Arjun (tanks). The last gun developed was the 105 mm type till the Bofors gun was introduced.

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