Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System, the indigenous system will undergo user trails in the mid of the 2017 year. The gun will be integrated with the Auxiliary Power Unit during the trails. The system will be crucial for the artillery regiments of the Indian army. The Indian army has 264 artillery regiments and each regiment has 21 guns. The dearth of 155 mm guns has been a long time issue for the Indian army.
India hasn’t inducted any 155mm gun in its force after the procurement of Sweden made Bofors gun. The gun is known for its destruction and are deeply needed in Indian Army. The need of the guns was felt after the disturbance among the neighbouring nations and the further scenario led the Indian government to release the requirement to induct about 3000 155mm/ 52 calibre guns. But at present only 200 guns are in service. ATAGS will be an achievement for the Indian arms manufacturers.
Some important points about the gun system are:-
- It is indigenously developed by DRDO in partnership with TATA, Kalyani and Ordinance Factory Board (OFB).
- 155-mm, 52-calibre Gun.
- It can fire 5 shorts in short duration of 1 minute and can strike in 40 kms range as per the ammunition type.
- It is 12 kgs lighter than other guns of its category, giving it more mobility and can be deployed easily.
The gun is reported to be integrated with some more advanced machines to enhance the performance. The gun is reported to be integrated with 95kW Auxiliary Power Unit, which will increase its speed and make it more powerful than Bofors gun. Some allegations of integration of the system with Bhim self-propelled gun, installed over Arjun Main Battle Tank (MBT) have been raised. But the India government has passed the same project with K-9 Vajra guns taking the integration of ATAGS on back side.
Dhanush, 155mm 52 calibre gun, has been developed by Ordinance Factory Board, but is reported to have certain shortcomings. The major aim of production of ATAGS was to replace Dhanush 155mm/45 calibre gun, which is enhanced version of FH-77B 155 mm/39 calibre towed guns, a production of Bofors. Indian arms developers are working hard to develop the guns indigenously or procure them to overcome the need of the Indian army and ATAGS will be a step toward the vision aimed by the top brass of military.
India has favoured the procurement of 145 M777 guns from BAE systems of U.S., which will be a great deal for the Indian Army. Apart from this, 414 Dhanush systems of Indian Army will be upgraded by 2017 as per the requirement. The user trials of ATAGS will be conducted by 2017. Indian artillery is required to gear up and increase their tough presence on the border areas of China and Pakistan. The addition of mountain crops has also raised the requirement of such guns and their induction in Indian artillery will escalate more power to the Indian army.