As part of its strategy to expand defence
business, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has signed a contract with South Korea’s Hanwha Techwin
(HTW) for execution of the 155mm/52 Cal tracked self-propelled (SP) gun program for the Indian Army.
was declared as the sole qualified bidder, post User Evaluation Trials, based on the performance of the K9 Vajra-T, a self-propelled howitzer appropriately customised and fielded by L&T
with HTW as the technology partner. The K9 Vajra-T gun is an enhanced version of HTW’s K9 Thunder, to suit specific requirements of the Indian Army
including desert operations.
“HTW’s K9 Thunder is one of the best performing self-propelled howitzers in the world with over 1,000 numbers already in service in Korea and few other countries. This program has set new benchmarks in co-development and co-production of defence
systems by Indian private sector defence
players and foreign majors,” said L&T
in a press statement.
The contract is a result of nearly a decade long close relationship and joint efforts of the two companies on this program, through extensive user evaluation and field trials followed by contract negotiations with the Ministry of Defence, Government of India.
Jayant Patil, head of defence
and aerospace and member of heavy engineering board at L&T, commented, “This contract marks an important milestone in L&T's defence
business journey and in our relationship with Hanwha Techwin.
It will create synergies not only for this program but also for upcoming Indian and global programs. This also marks a giant step forward towards furthering the Make in India vision of the Government of India.”
plans to begin production of this vital weapon system at its Strategic Systems Complex at Talegaon near Pune (Maharashtra) and deliver the first batch of 10 guns.
The company is also setting up of a greenfield manufacturing line at Hazira (Gujarat), integral with a test track, to produce, test and qualify the K9 Vajra-T guns.
will not only manufacture K9 Vajra-T in India, with over 50 percent indigenous content, but also provide through life support from India.
Hanwha Group, Hanwha Techwin’s parent company, is the largest private sector defence
conglomerate in South Korea.