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Big Breakthrough For Indian Arms Industry, As Bharat Forge Bags $155 Mn Export Contract For 155 mm Truck-mounted Howitzers
Guns to be delivered to “non-conflict country” in three years under Government-to-Government deal
Photo Credit : Kalyani Strategic Systems Ltd
The Kalyani 155/39 truck-mounted howitzer
Bharat Forge subsidiary Kalyani Strategic Systems has announced a $155.5 Million export contract for its 155 mm, 39 calibre truck-mounted artillery guns.
This is first artillery export order for an Indian company, and the country’s second-largest export order for military equipment after the $375 Million BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles contract signed with the Philippines in February 2022. It comes amidst India’s drive to push up Defence exports to $5 Billion by 2025.
“We are pleased to inform that Kalyani Strategic Systems Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company (Bharat Forge Ltd), has been awarded an export order for a 155mm Artillery Gun platform to be executed over a 3-year timeframe.The total value of the order is USD 155.50 Million,” Bharat Forge announced on November 9.
“This order, to a non-conflict zone, is a great testament to the Government of India’s AatmaNirbhar Bharat agenda and its sustained push to promote exports of Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured (IDDM) advanced defence platforms from India,” the statement added.
The Bharat Forge statement did not specify the country which awarded Kalyani Strategic Systems the contract nor did it elaborate on the type of the 155 mm artillery gun platform ordered. But BW Businessworld has learnt from reliable sources that it is the truck-mounted 155 mm, 39 calibre gun which has been contracted by the unnamed country under a Government-to-Government deal with India.
Kalyani’s truck-mounted gun goes by the moniker MArG - the Multi-terrain Artillery Gun. It is also called the 155 – BR, which the Bharat Forge group claims is the world’s first truck-mounted 155/39 howitzer. The 18-ton gun is mounted on a 4x4 high-mobility vehicle. Earlier, the heaviest gun mounted on a truck was a 105 mm gun. A shoot-and-scoot weapon, the 155 – BR has the capability to operate in rugged mountainous terrain.
The mounted howitzer’s sustained rate of fire is 42 rounds in 60 minutes, an intense rate of 12 rounds in 3 minutes and a burst rate of 3 rounds in 30 seconds.
Bharat Forge is developing a range of artillery systems with the intention of becoming the world’s largest artillery gun manufacturer. Leveraging its competence in metallurgy, the group has made a foray into the Defence sector with indigenously designed and developed artillery guns, armoured fighting vehicles and protected vehicles as its marquee products.
Incidentally, the company is awaiting its first order by the Indian Army for artillery guns. Bharat Forge and Tata Power SED are the development and production partners for the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)’s Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), an indigenous 155 mm, 52 calibre howitzer with a firing range in excess of 48 km.