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Air Defence Gun System

India is one of the few large armies that lacks an indigenous self-propelled anti-aircraft gun system. Corps of Army Air Defence was formed as an independent techno-savvy combat arm of the Indian Army on 10 January 1994, and has long sought such a gun. Indian Army is desirous of procuring Self Propelled Air Defence Gun Missile System. Expression of Interests (EoIs) have been floated by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). Air Defence Gun for Indian Army EoI was issued for the selection of technology partner for participation in the forthcoming Request For Proposal (RFP)of the Army HQ. Offers received were under evaluation by OFB. EoI for AD Gun & Ammunition was floated for selection of technology partner for participation in the forthcoming Request For Proposal (RFP) for AD Gun & Ammunition of the Army HQ. The case was closed as no respondent could meet the required criteria.

Since the early 1990s there had been a requirement to fill this need with a number of manufacturers jumping at the chance to have their gun system tested and evaluated by the Army. By the turn of the century a high performance family of All Weather Towed and Self Propelled Air Defence Gun System was under development to complement the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) surface-to-air missile systems such as Trishul and Akash.

The new gun was to feature twin-gun cyclic rate of fire of 2000 rounds per minute aimed to engage and neutralise high speed aircraft, helicopters, remote-piloted combat air vehicles and stand-off weapons. The integrated gun system is expected to have all weather day-night operations with on-mount passive suiteof electro-optic sensors like laser range finders, forward looking infra-red (FLIR), thermal imaging systems and low-light level TV, for tracking and engaging fast flying targets by means of a high precision computerised digital servo control system. Defence Research and Development Organisation would source some components from the private sector. Production would be done at the Khamaria ordnance factory in Jabalpur. This being India, the project never materialised.

The SPAD-GMS will be replacing 1360 obsolete Bofors L 70 40mm single barrel and Soviet-era ZU-23-2 towed 23 mm twin-barrel weapon systems of the Indian Army. The Indian Army needs almost five regiments of the guns which can be deployed with the forces and can be relocated based on the threat perception.

Ministry of Defence, Government of India was desirous of procuring approximately 938 Air Defence Guns alongwith 5,05,920 Rounds [(3,42,720 (HE Rounds) &1,63,200 (Smart 3P Rounds)]of ammunition with the view to identify probable vendors who can undertake the said project, OEMs/Vendors are requested to forward information on the product which they can offer. Directorate General of Army Air Defence, General Staff Branch, Integrated HQ of MoD (Army) issued Requist for Information [RFI] 50065/GS/AAD-8 on 27 November 2018. Vendors are requested to confirm that they are willing for a demonstration of Air Defence Gun & Ammunition in India on a No Cost No Commitment (NCNC) basis.

The proposed gun is planned to replace the L-70 and ZU-23MM-2B Guns, currently held by Army AD. The Air Defence Gun will be employed for providing terminal AD to critical VAs/VPs in HAA/mountainous terrain/plains/deserts/semi-deserts. After signing of the contract, the required Air Defence Gun & Ammunition should be delivered commencing earliest but not later than 24 months and completing earliest but not later than 60 months (1st phase).

The gun should be able to engage air targets independently with the in service fire control rdr and EOFCS by day & night. (b) The gun should have the capability to engage fighter aircraft, transport aircraft, helicopters (including hovering helicopters), Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) / Drones, Cruise missiles, PGMs, RAM (Rocket, Arty & Mortar), Micro light aircraft, para motors, Para gliders and Aero models. It should be capable of min five or more effective engagements of continuous fire without barrel change.

The gun should be able to engage air targets both with and without in service fire control radar. The gun should be capable of being towed by an in Service gun towing vehicle for employment in mountainous terrain / HAA and should be vehicle mounted on an in service vehicle for employment in plains / semi-deserts / deserts. The gun should be able to engage air targets during day and night using in service fire control rdr as well as Electro Optical Fire Control Systems (EOFCS) independently. The Gun should also have the provision to engage air targets with in service fire control rdr at the time of evaluation. (e) The gun should be able to fire smart / advance ammunition in addition to standard ammunition.

Indias state-funded Ordnance Board Factory (OFB) which administers 42 armament and ammunition factories across the country has developed a high rate of fire gun to defend strategic assets in the border region. A high rate of fire gun for defence of vulnerable area/ point against incoming enemy aircraft/ missile. First prototype was developed and initial firing trial was done internally by OFB by 2018. Various varieties of its ammunition are already being manufactured by Ordnance Factories. Ordnance Factories are an integrated base for indigenous production of Defence equipment and ammunition and form the backbone of the countrys Defence production.

A Defence Ministry official informed a parliamentary panel that the trial of the OFB-developed air defence gun has already commenced. OFB is possibly developing these guns in conjunction with the Armament Research and Development (Pune) and will be a part of the government's Make in India in Defence under the Indigenously Designed and Developed category, said Rahul K. Bhonsle, retired army brigadier and defence analyst. Sources said this gun is being developed in response to the Indian Army's requirements of 938 air defence guns worth around $5 billion. These guns will replace the aging Swedish L-70 and Soviet-era ZU-23MM-2B guns currently in use by the army.

OFB is engaged in production of items for Indian Defence Forces and Security Forces. To keep pace with technological developments and enter into new business areas to align with core strength, OFB needs to acquire new and advanced technologies through Transfer of Technology (ToT), co-production or collaboration agreements with suitable technology partners.

In January 2020 Russia strongly protested the selection of a South Korean manufacturer and sought a re-evaluation, claiming it was unfairly disqualified. The Defence Acquisition Committee (DAC) was expected to look into the matter and decide on a way ahead for the critical purchase of self-propelled air defence gun missile system (SPAD-GMS). The Indian Army wanted five regiments of the guns that can be deployed with forward moving troops. After extensive trials in all terrains, including the deserts, two separate systems offered by Russia upgraded Tunguska M1 and Pantsir missile systems failed the tests, with the most critical being mobility trials where they could not perform as per the requirements. The only system to qualify for the 104 systems contract was the K-30 Biho developed by South Koreas Hanwha Defense. The Indian Army selected the Hanwha K-30 Biho deal would be worth $2.6 billion comprising 104 Biho, 97 Ammo Carriers, 39 Command Vehicles, accessories & ammunition for it.

Independent Monitors (IMs) set up within the MoD to monitor acquisition cases recommended that the Russians be given another chance to prove the system. This however, was found to be unfair by the acquisition wing that noted that a re-trial opportunity at this late stage would set a dangerous new precedent and would vitiate the principle of a level playing field.

The defence ministry cancelled the contract, preferring to go for Make in India. In a special meeting held on Tuesday, chaired by the Defence Secretary, it has been decided that plans to procure a program to import Self Propelled Air Defence systems from South Korea was scrapped. The meeting, which was also attended by Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, concluded that the contracts for the $ 3 billion Propelled Air Defence Gun Missile System (SPAD-GMS) would be placed under the Make in India initiative to give a boost to the domestic industry.

Lt Gen Vk Saxena, (Retd) argued in October 2020 that "this last line of defence is absolutely inevitable if unjammable and close air defence is to be provided to critical assets. In the last 15 years of seeking to field a successor to L-70 and ZU 23 guns, OFB and private sector giants like L&T, Tata, Mahindra Defence, Bharat Forge, and PunjLoyd had tied up with foreign OEMs in Russia, USA, Greece and Singapore to buy technology or transfer arrangements with Indian ownership for guns with calibres 30mm, 35mm, 57 mm etc. The expertise so gained must enable India to make its own Air Defence gun on the Buy and Make India route; self- reliance in this area is crucial because guns are the mainframe arsenal of GBAD accounting for some 60% of the total. Under prevailing drives for Make- in-India, any selected OEM will be more than willing to grab the opportunity."

Rate of Fire 300 rounds/min or more.
Effective Range against Air Targets 4000 m or more.
Effective Height against Air Targets 2500 m or more.
capable of engaging aerial targets Moving with speed 500 m/s and above.
capability to engage fighter aircraft, transport aircraft, helicopters (including hovering helicopters), Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) / Drones, Cruise missiles, PGMs, RAM (Rocket, Arty & Mortar), Micro light aircraft, para motors, Para gliders and Aero models.
Electro Mechanical Drives The gun should have Electro Mechanical drives or appropriate contemporary drives.
WeightNot more than 5000 Kg.
leveling system The gun should have power assisted leveling system with manual sys as back up.
h) Ammunition System
  • The gun must have an automatic ammunition loading / handling system.
  • It should be able to carry out an effective engagement (10 rounds or more in two seconds) without reloading.
  • The gun should be capable of firing the following types of ammunition:-
  • Programmable ammunition with self-destruct capability (3P/ AHEAD or similar ammunition & not Air Burst Ammunition or PFFC).
  • High Explosive (HE) rounds with self-destruction capability and tracers.
  • Appropriate quantity of dummy low cost contemporary training ammunition to be provided.
  • Adequate ammunition stowage for more than five effective engagements.
  • Stowage / reloading should be possible with two or less personnel.
  • The reloading is to be completed within 10 mins.
  • Ammunition should have shelf life of at least 10 years, which may be extendable after inspection by competent authority.
  • Hit Probabilityminimum 0.6 during one effective engagement cycle.
    Operational Altitude Minimum 4.5 Kms above Mean Sea Level.
    CrewShould not exceed four members.
    Into Action and Out of ActionInto action or out of action time with a trained crew should not exceed 10 min



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    Page last modified: 17-12-2020 20:09:58 ZULU