In addition to artillery upgrades, the Indian Army is moving forward with the acquisition of 100 K-9 Vajra self-propelled guns with a strike range of 28-38 km
The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war underscored the importance of long-range, high-volume firepower as a decisive factor in modern warfare, following which India is intensifying efforts to bolster its artillery and missile capabilities. The goal is to enhance precision-strike capabilities, deploy loiter munitions and swarm drones, and strengthen intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities for effective responses against potential adversaries.
India’s Army is currently executing a significant capability development plan for its artillery regiments. The procurement process is underway for approximately 300 indigenous Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems (ATAGS) and 300 Mounted Gun Systems (MGS). Requests for proposals (RFPs) have been initiated for these 155mm/52-calibre guns, marking a significant step in modernising India’s artillery capabilities.
ATAGS Contract Acceleration
One crucial takeaway from the Russia-Ukraine conflict is the need for enhanced force-survivability measures, emphasising techniques like shoot-and-scoot. Consequently, India is adjusting its artillery modernization plan to prioritise mounted and self-propelled guns that can rapidly change positions on the battlefield.
The contract for the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)-developed ATAGS, with a striking range of up to 48 km, is undergoing accelerated processing. Tata Advanced Systems and Bharat Forge will be responsible for production. The initial order for 300 ATAGS is expected to grow, as the Army plans to induct “more advanced versions” to meet its total requirement of 1,580 such guns.
Strengthening Missile Capabilities
India is also expanding its missile capabilities, including inducting additional regiments of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, which now boasts an extended striking range of 450 km, up from the original 290 km. Plans are in place for an 800-km variant of the BrahMos, along with the acquisition of the new Pralay conventional ballistic missiles, with an initial order for 100 such missiles.
To diversify its arsenal, the Indian Army is gradually inducting at least six more regiments of the indigenous Pinaka multi-launch artillery rocket systems, supplementing the existing four regiments. These rockets now possess an extended strike range of 75 km, with ongoing trials exploring ranges of up to 120 to 300 km.
Expanding Self-Propelled Capabilities
In addition to artillery upgrades, the Indian Army is moving forward with the acquisition of 100 K-9 Vajra self-propelled tracked guns, renowned for their striking range of 28-38 km. These acquisitions are facilitated through a joint venture between India’s Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and South Korea’s Hanwha Defence.