The Ministry of Defence has received a proposal from Indian Army to buy 307 Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems, ATAGS Howitzers for deployment along the borders with China and Pakistan.
The proposal worth over 1 billion USD has been received from the Indian Army and is under discussion. It is expected to be cleared soon and sent for clearance by the Cabinet Committee on Security, defence officials told ANI.
This would be the first order for the indigenous howitzer which can strike targets at around 50 kms and is believed to be the best gun in its class, they said.
The forces have been conducting trials of the gun in different altitudes and terrain. They have been upgraded as per the suggestions made by the users, the officials said.
The technology and know-how of raw howitzer have been shared with two private firms Tata Advanced Systems and Bharat Forge group by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and they would be supplying the system to the forces including over 320 high mobility vehicles.
The trials of the 155mm/52 calibre Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) were completed at the Pokhran Field Firing Range (PFFR).
The ATAGS is an indigenous towed artillery gun system project undertaken by the DRDO as a part of the artillery modernisation programme of the Indian Army, the statement added.
Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) Pune is the nodal laboratory of the DRDO for the design & development of ATAGS, along with other DRDO laboratories.
The development has been done with two industry partners, Tata Advanced Systems Ltd and Bharat Forge Ltd, along with the active participation of other industries.
The reliability of both guns has been proven by firing multiple rounds in various zones, including burst, intense & sustained modes. High accuracy and consistency in range and line with maximum range have been established, the DRDO had said recently.