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In a move to bolster its mobile firepower, particularly along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, the Indian Army issued a tender last year (November 27, 2023) for the acquisition of 200 new self-propelled howitzers equipped with 105mm guns. This initiative emphasizes the Indian government’s push for indigenous defence solutions.

The primary objective of this procurement is to equip the Indian Army with modern and mobile artillery systems for high-altitude border regions. These self-propelled howitzers will offer greater operational flexibility and firepower compared to traditional towed artillery, especially in challenging mountainous terrain.

Several Indian defence companies have expressed interest in the tender, showcasing their indigenous solutions.

  • Kalyani Strategic Systems Limited: This leading defence contractor has offered its “Garuda 105_v2” 105mm self-propelled howitzer, which reportedly underwent successful limited trials by the Army.
  • Tata Advanced Systems: Their offering is a 105mm Mounted Gun System mounted on the Light Armoured Multipurpose Vehicle (LAMV), a new 4×4 light patrol vehicle.
  • Mahindra Defence Systems: This company, known for its Armored Light Specialist Vehicle, is reportedly developing a 105mm Mounted Gun System for the tender.

The Indian Army has chosen a standardized 105mm gun solution, produced by the Gun Carriage Factory in Jabalpur since 1984. This ensures compatibility and simplifies logistics. Participating companies have the flexibility to integrate the gun into their self-propelled howitzer designs, allowing for some level of customization in each variant.

The Indian Army has already conducted limited trials of the Kalyani Garuda 105_v2, and it reportedly passed initial assessments. However, a more extensive evaluation process awaits all contenders under the tender. This comprehensive testing will ensure that the chosen howitzer design meets the Army’s stringent operational requirements.

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