New Delhi, May 15: The Indian Army is pushing hard to acquire new guns for its artillery regiments. The army is keen on procuring 814 guns of the ‘mounted gun system’. The entire project will cost around Rs 15,750 crore. According to a report published in The Economic Times, the army is trying to ‘re-validate’ the project and seek a new Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) from the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by the defence minister, Nirmala Sitharaman.
The AoN is the first step towards procuring equipment. The proposal for acquiring the 155mm/52 calibre mounted gun system for the army was cleared on November 22, 2014, by the DAC headed by the then defence minister Manohar Parrikar. The Indian Army has not acquired artillery guns in the almost three decades after the Bofors scam came to light in 1986. The guns once procured will be deployed along the western frontier with Pakistan and the eastern one with China.
According to officials, the Request for Proposal (RFP) was not issued within the validity period of the AoN given in 2014, so the AoN had lapsed. The officials said that the army would revalidate the case and seek a fresh AoN to restart the process. RPF enables vendors to make their offer according to the requirements of the force. As per the proposal cleared in 2014, the artillery guns would be procured as per the ‘Buy and Make’ procedure introduced in 2013, under which 100 such guns would be bought off the shelf while 714 would be made in India.
The government owned, Ordnance Factory Board, had exhibited its mounted gun system at the Defexpo 2018 held in Chennai last month. The gun is part of the Army’s Rs 50,000 crore Field Artillery Rationalisation Plan formulated in 1999. According to the report, the army has a plan to acquire 3000 artillery guns by 2027. To strengthen its artillery regiments, the Indian Army is also looking forward to procure towed guns, self-propelled guns and ultra light howitzers. K9 Vajra-T, the 155mm/52 calibre self-propelled gun system which is developed by Larsen and Toubro (L&T) Defence & Aerospace division will be delivered to the Indian Army by the first week of June.