India to Purchase of 100 Self-Propelled Howitzers With 50 Percent Localization
10:35 31.03.2017(updated 13:08 31.03.2017)
The Indian government has approved a $ 631 million self-propelled howitzer deal under the Make in India program. Indian firm L&T will make a variant of a South Korean howitzer locally.
New Delhi (Sputnik) The variant, named K9 VAJRA-T, is a 155mm/52-caliber Tracked Self-Propelled Howitzer. It is a variant of South Korea's Hanwha Techwin 155 mm/52-caliber K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer. The K9 Thunder currently serves as one of the main conventional deterrent weapons for a number of armies including the Korean Army.
"K9 Thunder has established its superiority through demonstrations and evaluation tests at various proving grounds in extreme weather conditions, jungles, barren deserts and severely cold areas. By demonstrating its ability to handle Indian as well as all NATO standard ammunition, K9 VAJRA-T has proven its excellent conformability to any field artillery unit," said L&T in a press release.
Sources told Sputnik that the delivery of the howitzer will be completed by 2020. Indigenous content in this tracked self-propelled howitzer would be approximately 50 percent. K9 is considered a highly mobile howitzer mounted on a tracked vehicle. Indian Army will deploy this on the western border.
Earlier this year, BAE Systems had received a $542 million contract from India to provide 145 M777 ultra-lightweight howitzers to the Indian Army through a foreign military sale between the US and Indian governments. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in June 2017.
The Indian Army needs to procure more than 1,300 guns of 155mm caliber by 2027.
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