NASHIK: The Indian Army on Thursday inducted new artillery guns and equipment, including three K9 Vajra, ten M777 howitzers and Common Gun Towers artillery tractors, at Deolali artillery centre in Maharashtra.

The induction ceremony was attended by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Army Chief General Bipin Rawat.

Taking to Twitter, the Defence Minister shared, “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.”

“The K9 Vajra, 155mm 52 Calibre Tracked Gun is procured from S. Korea. Not a hybrid between a tank & a gun barrel but designed as a Self Propelled Gun. Ten guns assembled in India and ninety will be manufactured here. ”

K9 Vajra is the first-ever artillery gun to be manufactured by the Indian private sector. The gun has a maximum range of 28-38 km. It is capable of burst firing three rounds in 30 seconds, intense firing of 15 rounds in three minutes and sustained firing of 60 rounds in 60 minutes, reported PTI.

The Army will induct 100 of these guns at a cost of Rs 4,366 crore by November 2020. The first batch of 10 guns will be delivered this month, Defence Ministry spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand told reporters on Thursday.

The next 40 guns will be delivered in November 2019, and another 50 in November 2020, he said. The first regiment of K9 Vajra is expected to complete by July 2019.

“The 155 mm M777 Ultra Light Howitzers are procured from the Govt of USA. 25 guns are coming in while 120 being assembled & integrated in India. Can be air-lifted to areas devoid of roads & tracks. Negotiations started in 2006, gathered steam in the last 3 years,” added the Defence Minister.


The Army is also going to raise seven regiments of 145 M777 howitzers.

Five guns each will be delivered to the Army beginning August 2019 and the entire process will complete in the following 24 months. The first regiment will complete by October next year, the spokesperson said.

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.

The Army also inducted the Common Gun Tower, a 6×6 vehicle with cross-country capability, manufactured by Ashok Leyland.

“A third equipment is also being inducted today- the Common Gun Tower, a 6×6 vehicle with cross country capability. Required to tow the medium guns. These Common Gun Towers are made by the Indian Company Ashok Leyland,” tweeted Sitharaman.

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. It is fitted with a crane that can handle ammunition weighing two tonnes.

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