L&T, South Korean firm team up for artillery gun

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New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) Indian engineering major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Hanwha Techwin (HTW) of South Korea on Friday signed a contract to provide the Indian Army with a mobile artilley gun.

After succesful completion of the trails for 155mm/52 caliber Tracked Self-Propelled (SP) Gun programme by the Army, L&T was declared the sole qualified bidder based on the performance of its K9 VAJRA-T.

The gun is an enhanced version of HTW’s K9 Thunder with modifications for desert operations.

Generally, artillery guns are towed by trucks but self-propelled guns are either mounted on a wheeled or tracked chasis, allowing them to move on their own.

Jayant Patil, Head of Defence and Aerospace, L&T, said: “This contract marks an important milestone in L&T’s Defence Business journey and in our relationship with Hanwha Techwin.

“L&T plans to begin production of this vital weapon system at its Strategic Systems Complex at Talegaon near Pune and deliver the first batch of 10 guns.

“L&T also has initiated setting up of a greenfield manufacturing line at Hazira, Gujarat, integral with a state-of-the-art test track, to produce, test and qualify the K9 VAJRA-T guns,” he added.

The Indian Army in 2011 came up with a Request for Proposal (RFP) under Buy (Global)category for 100 155mm/52 caliber Tracked Self Propelled (SP) Gun programme.

In 2013, field trials for the guns were conducted at Pokhran. In September 2015, L&T was declared the only company to qualify in trials.

The contract between the Indian Army and L&T is expected to be signed in a day or two. The gun has 50 per cent Indian content.

–IANS

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