With DRDO test-firing its fully indigenous 155 mm x 52 calibre Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), the Indian Army is all set to get the much needed weapon for user trials by early 2017.
The successful test is also a shot in the arm for Modi government’s ‘Make in India’ drive for the defence sector. The test-firing took place during technical trials conducted recently at the Proof & Experimental Establishment (PXE) in Balasore.
The project is part of the artillery modernisation programme of the Indian Army. We take a look at 5 key facts about the new towed artillery gun:
1) With a firing range of 40 kms, the gun boasts of advanced features such as quick deployability, auxiliary power mode, high mobility, advanced communication system, automatic command and control system with night firing capability in direct fire mode.
2) ATAGS comprises of a breech mechanism, barrel, muzzle brake and recoil mechanism to fire 155 mm calibre ammunition. It has longer range, accuracy and precision and provides greater fire power, claims DRDO.
In pic: DRDO’s Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System test-fired successfully
3) The system is configured with an all electric drive. The idea is the manufacture the gun in a way that it is maintenance free and offers reliable operation over a longer period of time.
4) DRDO’s nodal laboratory Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune takes the credit for the design & development of ATAGS, along with other DRDO laboratories.
5) DRDO aims to develop the artillery gun system with participation of private industry. Establishing indigenous critical defence manufacturing technologies, is one of the key focus areas of the project.
Dhanush for Indian Army
Meanwhile, reports suggest that the Defence Ministry has approved bulk production of 18 Dhanush artillery guns. Dhanush, which has been developed by the Ordnance Factory Board, is a 155mm x 45 calibre howitzer. It has a range of 38 kms.
File image of Dhanush 155mm howitzer