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Indian Army has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for the procurement of the 155/52 caliber towed howitzer but weight limits in the RFI could debar India’s indigenously developed Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) towed 155 mm/52 caliber howitzer because of the weight ridder that was in the RFI.

RFI says that a 55/52 caliber towed howitzer should be able to operate with existing Gun Towing Vehicles (GTV), hence weight of the gun systems preferably should be less than 15 tons. The 15-ton limit could mean that 18-ton ATAGS won’t clear even though it has completed most of the user trials and will clear the last few procedural trials in 2023.

Last week Indian Army has been issued Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the procurement of 252 Gun Towing Vehicles (GTV) that should be able to tow a 20-ton Gun. It seems new GTVs that can support and tow a 20-ton gun will be procured for the limited Scale production of ATAGS that has been planned after the clearing of trials from 2023.

Kalyani developed a 155 mm / 52 caliber MArG-ER Gun and Bharat-52 might be the only gun that will meet the 15-ton criteria set in the latest RFI but for a while, the Indian Army has been eyeing to procure 400 Elbit’s Autonomous Towed Howitzer Ordnance System (ATHOS) that was declared the lowest bidder (L1) in 2019 after exhaustive ‘Field Trial Cum Evaluation Process’ spread over several years which also meets weight criteria.

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