L&T, South Korean Firm Team up For Artillery Gun
File photo of an artillery gun (Reuters)
New Delhi: Indian engineering major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Hanwha Techwin (HTW) of South Korea on Friday signed a contract to provide the Indian Army with 155 mm mobile artillery guns.
After successful completion of the trials for 155mm/52 calibre Tracked Self-Propelled (SP) Gun programme by the Army, L&T was declared the sole qualified bidder based on the performance of its K9 VAJRA-T.
The gun is an enhanced version of HTW's K9 Thunder with modifications for desert operations.
Generally, artillery guns are towed by trucks but self-propelled guns are either mounted on a wheeled or tracked chasis, allowing them to move on their own.
Jayant Patil, Head of Defence and Aerospace, L&T, said: "This contract marks an important milestone in L&T's Defence Business journey and in our relationship with Hanwha Techwin.
"L&T plans to begin production of this vital weapon system at its Strategic Systems Complex at Talegaon near Pune and deliver the first batch of 10 guns.
"L&T also has initiated setting up of a greenfield manufacturing line at Hazira, Gujarat, integral with a state-of-the-art test track, to produce, test and qualify the K9 VAJRA-T guns," he added.
The Indian Army in 2011 came up with a Request for Proposal (RFP) under Buy (Global) category for 100 155mm/52 calibre Tracked Self Propelled (SP) Gun programme.
The contract is expected to cost Rs 4,500 crore to government.
Speaking on the indigenous content in the gun system, Patil said, "Most of the system of this gun will be done here. But there are some parts that we will not even attempt. Hundred gun is too small a scale to do something phenomenal."
"The basic armament, the barrel, the beach, the muzzle will always be imported for all the guns. L&T has the ability to make that through the massive forging plant that we have at our own nuclear programme."
The engine will be imported.
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