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Bharat Forge, a Pune-based company, has received approval from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for the procurement of 300 Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems (ATAGS), which it developed in collaboration with Tata Defence and Aerospace and state-owned DRDO. The contract for the guns is expected to be signed later this year, after the opening of commercial bids submitted by Bharat Forge and Tata Defence and Aerospace.

Under the agreement, Bharat Forge and Tata Defence and Aerospace will jointly manufacture the ATAGS at a 60-40% ratio, with the lowest bidder getting the opportunity to manufacture 60% of the guns. The second lowest bidder will have to supply the ATAGS at the same price as the lowest bidder to secure their share of the order.

The ATAGS has successfully passed all user-assisted trials and is seen as a crucial asset, especially given the ongoing border standoff with China, where the People’s Liberation Army has deployed 155mm/52 calibre howitzers in significant numbers. The ATAGS is considered to be a game-changer in terms of artillery capabilities and is expected to significantly enhance India’s defence capabilities.

The ATAGS has been in development for several years, with both Bharat Forge and Tata Defence and Aerospace investing heavily in its research and development. The ATAGS is a 155mm/52 calibre gun, with a range of over 40 km and a firing rate of 6-8 rounds per minute. It is equipped with state-of-the-art features such as automated ammunition handling, a digital fire control system, and a fully integrated communication system, making it one of the most advanced artillery guns in the world.

With the successful completion of user-assisted trials and the approval from the MOD, Bharat Forge and Tata Defence and Aerospace are poised to play a crucial role in enhancing India’s defence capabilities. The production of the ATAGS is also expected to provide a boost to India’s manufacturing sector, with the potential for job creation and the development of new skills and technologies.

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