The Army has given the thumbs-up to a heavy artillery gun, Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), being developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation, in collaboration with the private sector.
This is significant step in indigenisation as the Army and the DRDO had considerable differences on projects in the past.
“The gun has come up very well. The way the project is unfolding, if it continues that way, it will be one of the finest guns in its class in the world,” a senior Army officer told The Hindu.
ATAGS is a 155-mm, 52-calibre towed artillery gun being developed in mission mode for the Army’s artillery modernisation programme. It was designed by the DRDO’s Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) in Pune. Bharat Forge Ltd. of the Kalyani Group, Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division and Mahindra Defence Naval System from the private sector are involved in a big way, along with the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), in the project.
The officer said an Army team had been involved in the project since the conceptual stage.
Technical trials ::
Proof firing tests of the armament systems were carried out during technical trials in June and September and some initial integrated firing tests were successfully carried out in December. Officials said they were on track to have the first fully integrated gun system for user trials by the Army in the first half of 2017.
The government informed Parliament in November that the gun had several significant features such as an all-electric drive, high mobility, quick deployability, auxiliary power mode, advanced communication system, and automated command and control system. It also boasts a range of 45 km, depending on the type of ammunition used. The gun has to go through a rigorous integration and testing cycle before large-scale induction. Sources said that by the present sequence, it could tentatively be inducted in the Army between 2022-24.