SOURCE: VISHAL KARPE / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
DRDO’s 155 mm x 52 calibre ATAGS (Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System) fully integrated gun system with on-mount auxiliary power unit (APU) will be ready by mid of 2017 for user (Indian Army) trials said latest media reports.
ATAGS soon will be integrated with 95kW Auxiliary power unit (APU), which gives the gun a top speed of 12 km/h, which is much faster than 7km/h offered by APU system installed on FH77 Bofors thus allowing ATAGS faster manoeuvrability and relocation capacity.
ATAGS which weigh 12 tonnes, is two tonnes lighter than other guns of its category, which also makes a perfect case to be used to develop a next-generation self-propelled artillery system mounted on a modified 6×6 or 8×8 trucks for operational and tactical mobility.
DRDO was also interested in reconfiguring Bhim self-propelled howitzer with ATAGS mounted on Arjun MBT chassis but due to orders been already been placed for K9 Vajra-T artillery gun co-developed by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Samsung Techwin for 100 guns, DRDO hopes Indian Army does not go for follow-up option clause of 50 additional K9 Vajra-T guns and gives BHIM another chance .
Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) also has developed Dhanush 155mm/52 calibre Prototype, which has completed Internal developmental trials including firing and road trials but is still waiting for user trials which he was hopeful will start soon.