The Indian Army will on Friday formally induct two state of the art gun systems – K9 Vajra and M777 Howitzer – at a ceremony in Devlali in Maharashtra. The event will be attended by Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat and Minister of State Subhash Bhamre, among others.
Tweeting about the same, the Union Defence Minister on Friday said, “State of the art Gun Systems being inducted today in the @adgpi - 155mm M777 A2 Ultra Light Howitzer. This medium gun can be heli-lifted even in mountainous areas.”
“K9 Vajra, a 155mm, 52 calibre, Tracked Self Propelled Gun also being inducted today in the @adgpi.”
The guns will help the forces target the enemy even in hilly regions. A contract has been inked with the United States of America for as many as 145 ultralight Howitzer M-777, of which 25 will be brought to India in combat-ready condition. The remaining 125 guns will be made in India with the help of Mahindra Defence. The supply of the guns is expected to begin March 2019.
According to news agency PTI, the Army will be getting 100 K9 and 145 M777 guns in all over the next two years at a total cost of Rs 4,366 crore and Rs 5,000 crore respectively.
The tracked, self-propelled K9 Vajra, with a maximum range of 28-38 km, is capable of firing three rounds in 30 seconds in the 'burst' mode, 15 rounds in three minutes in the 'intense' mode and 60 rounds in 60 minutes in the 'sustained' mode.
A Composite Gun Tractor to tow 130 MM and 155 MM artillery guns will also be inducted at the same ceremony. It is fitted with a crane that can handle ammunition weighing two tonnes. The maximum speed of the vehicle without a tow is 80 km per hour and 50 km per hour with a gun attached to it.