Monday, 8 July 2013

Rebirth of Catapult artillery system with Arjun Chassis

In unusual twist of events and as per latest media reports, Indian Army plans to bring back M46 howitzers mounted on Vijayanta tank chassis (originally the Vickers MBT) back to life. Indian army will soon place orders for 40 Arjun chassis to be used for mounting Soviet era M46 Howitzers.

‘Bhim’ self-propelled howitzer project which was supposed to replace Catapult system before it was shelved after supplier of 155mm / L52 howitzer guns by Denel of South Africa was blacklisted by Indian government . Project went cold and find for replacement Gun to be mounted on Arjun chassis not yet been successful, Bhim was successfully tested by Indian army and was cleared for Production before the project went cold due to blacklisting.

After success with M-46 guns in 1971 war with Pakistan , Indian army had used soviet union supplied towed 130 mm Field Gun M-46 and mounted it with Vijayanta tank chassis and was known has Catapult artillery system which served in Indian army till 2008 before it was put in reserve .

According to Military experts India had put into reserve around 100 Catapult artillery systems most of the guns will come from here, but before it is mounted on Arjun chassis, Guns will be upgraded to 155mm 52 calibre standard by OFB and then DRDO will integrate it with Arjun chassis.

Initial order of 40 can go up if Army is satisfied with the Final Product and Indian army can procure more of these guns from old soviet bloc countries, Indian army had a requirement of 200 mounted howitzers on Arjun chassis for the Bhim Project.

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