The 91st K9 VAJRA-T Gun from L&T’s Armoured System Complex (ASC) was on Monday flagged off ahead of contractual delivery date by the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani. In this big project of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the private sector company L&T has been maintaining the track record of ahead-of-time deliveries. K9 VAJRA-T’ 155mm/52 calibre Tracked, Self-Propelled Howitzer Guns
The company L&T had won this contract through a global bidding and is currently producing this gun in its facility located in Gujarat.
The project involves the delivery of 100 systems with associated Engineering Support Package (ESP) which covers the Spares, Documentation & Training. And, also Maintenance Transfer of Technology (MToT) to the Army Base Workshop to support the Howitzer regiments throughout their operational life cycle.
Under `Make in India’ initiative, the L&T has established a green-field manufacturing cum integration cum testing facility, the ‘Armoured Systems Complex’ (ASC) at Hazira near Surat.
According to JD Patil, Whole-time Director & Senior Executive Vice President (Defence & Smart Technologies), L&T, “The production of Armoured Platforms like the K9 VAJRA contributes to the Indian economy with a large multiplier effect. It plays a significant role in building the Defence Industrial base in India and also creates new job opportunities.”
The infrastructure that L&T has built at the Armoured Systems Complex in the state of Gujarat, according to Mr Patil, is “Ready to develop, qualify and build India’s future armoured platforms for our Armed Forces.”
The company in its official statement claims to have created an industry benchmark by once again delivering the only in-service, 155mm/52 calibre Artillery Gun, ahead of schedule.
Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat policies of the Central Government, the L&T complex is expected to remain fully engaged in providing sustenance to the supply chain for building Armoured Platforms indigenously. The Whole-time Director & Senior Executive Vice President expressed hope that “the State of Gujarat will continue to encourage and support the high technology Defence and Aerospace Production units in service of the Nation”.
More about K-9 VAJRA –T
These are being delivered with more than 80 per cent indigenous work packages and above 50 per cent indigenisation (by value) at the Program level.
This means, the involvement of local production of over 13,000 types of components per gun system through a supply chain of about 1000 industrial partners. These industrial partners are mainly MSMEs. And around 150 of them are from the state of Gujarat.
The K-9 VAJRA is the indigenized version of the basic K9 Thunder from the South Korean partner Hanwha Systems. L&T has indigenously developed and produced fourteen critical systems. These include the Fire Control System, Direct Fire System, Ammunition Handling System and other environmental control and safety systems, which suit Indian operating conditions and requirements.
The gun is developed with India specific features and is fully compliant to Indian Army’s needs and has exceeded the indigenous manufacturing content.
A young team of engineers has been created who specialize in manufacturing automation and integration. This team has had training at the Hanwha facilities in South Korea as well trained by the in-house weapons systems experts.
More about the facility
It is a state-of-the-art facility spread over 40 acres and created to manufacture and integrate advanced armoured platforms. These include Self-Propelled Artillery Howitzers, Future Infantry Combat Vehicles (FICV), Future Ready Combat Vehicles (FRCV) or Future Main Battle Tanks.