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The sale of 90 Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems (ATAGS) to Armenia has not only bolstered India’s defense exports but has also shed light on the impressive cost-effectiveness of these guns. Armenia’s procurement of 90 ATAGS guns for a total cost of 1265 crores has revealed the per unit cost of each ATAGS gun to be approximately 14.05 crores. This places ATAGS among the most cost-effective 155mm/52-caliber artillery guns available in the market.

To provide a comparison, India’s domestically manufactured Dhanush 155mm/45-caliber towed artillery guns, produced by the Jabalpur-based Gun Carriage Factory, cost around ?14.50 crore per unit and offer a range of 38 km. In contrast, the M777 ultra-light howitzers imported from the United States come with a price tag of close to 40 crores per unit due to their extensive use of titanium to achieve the required lightweight for air transport by helicopters. The K9 Vajra-T guns cost more than 55 crores per unit.

Initially, the estimated cost of the ATAGS guns ranged from Rs 16 to Rs 18 crore, sparking discussions within India’s defense circles. Some advocated for procuring the Elbit Systems Autonomous Towed Howitzer Ordnance System (ATHOS) 155mm/52 caliber gun at a cost of 11 crores per gun under the Make in India initiative. However, the successful sale to Armenia has demonstrated ATAGS’ competitive pricing.

The Indian Army, with plans to procure nearly 1800 guns over the next 20 years, has taken steps to acquire 307 guns in a limited-scale production phase. With further cost-cutting measures, economies of scale, and competition arising from two production lines operated by Bharat Forge Limited and Tata Advanced Systems Limited, ATAGS is gaining traction. Its extended range of 48 km positions it as superior to other 155mm/52-caliber guns in its class.

With expectations of further price reductions, ATAGS is poised to become an export success, drawing interest from international markets. Its cost-effectiveness, combined with its advanced capabilities, positions it as a valuable asset for nations seeking modern artillery solutions. As India continues to strengthen its defense manufacturing and export capabilities, ATAGS serves as a shining example of its commitment to self-reliance and global competitiveness in the defense sector.

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