In a boost to the Army's firepower and capability enhancement, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Friday inducted three major artillery gun systems, including the M777 A2 Ultra Light Howitzers, K-9 Vajra self-propelled gun and and a 'Composite Gun Towing Vehicle'.
"These guns are being inducted almost 30 years after the Bofors guns were inducted," Sitharaman said.
The 155mm, 39 calibre Ultra light Howitzers have been procured from USA under Government to Government Foreign Military Sales and will be assembled in India by BAE Systems in partnership with Mahindra Defence.
The gun system is versatile, light weight and can be heli-lifted, thereby providing the much needed flexibility in deployment in various terrains. It is in service in the US, Canadian, Australian and some other armies and has proven its mettle in difficult areas of Afghanistan and Iraq.
The remaining 90 guns will be largely manufactured in India with some major assemblies coming from South Korea, the minister said.
Their induction will give a "huge fillip" to the firepower capability of Indian Army on our western borders, she said.
The induction of the gun systems also gives a major impetus to Make In India initiative of the government, the minister said.
The procurement process for the equipment was initiated in 2006 during the Congress regime but didn't advance further, the minister said. "In contrast, our government shrunk the process in last four years not only initiated the procurement process but ensure induction," she added.
An impressive display of equipment and a firepower demo by the guns of the indian artillery was held on the occasion.
Indigenous gun systems/surveillance and target acquisition systems ecently introduced in service were also on display.
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