The Indian Army has ordered a fresh batch of 155mm/ 52 calibre tracked self-propelled howitzer known as K9 Vajra-T. The force wants 100 K9 Vajra-T, which has a maximum range of 38 kilometres.
Designed by South Korea’s Hanwha Aerospace and built by India’s L&T with technology transfer based on the former’s K9 Thunder, the long-range artillery gun was tested successfully along the western front near Pakistan’s border in November 2022. The new K9 Vajra-T will be upgraded for high altitude area operation as India has a long mountainous border with both Pakistan and China.
The Indian Army already has inducted 100 K9 Vajra-Ts. While the first 10 K9 Vajra 155mm/52 calibre guns were imported from South Korea in a semi knocked down state and assembled by L&T in India, the remaining 90 artillery guns were manufactured indigenously.
Faced with an unpredictable Pakistan and China, which has been rapidly modernising its armed forces and has become increasingly belligerent along the almost 4,057-km long Line of Control along the Himalayan mountain range, India has been inducting advanced weapon systems at a rapid pace in the last few years.
K9 Vajra self-propelled artillery is a very effective weapon for action against enemy forces. It has a 155mm cannon, which can hit targets in ranges from 18-52 km. It has tracks like a tank so it can move on its own on the ground. Its powerful engine gives it a speed of 67 kilometres per hour. It consists of a crew of five soldiers, who are protected by strong armour. It has characteristics of both a tank and a cannon. Its armour like a tank keeps it completely safe from enemy fire and the track helps it to run fast in all kinds of fields.
The Indian Army has also inducted the M777 A2 155mm, 39 Calibre Ultra light howitzers from the United States of America under Government to Government Foreign Military Sales. The M777 A2 guns were assembled in India by BAE Systems in partnership with Mahindra Defence. The artillery gun is versatile, lightweight and can be lifted to forward areas and posts by helicopters, which provides massive flexibility to the army to deploy it in various terrains. The M777 is in service in the US, Canadian, Australian and some other armies of the world.