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The maxim “Artillery is the God of War,” attributed to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, highlights the enduring importance of these powerful weapons. While India has made strides in modernizing its artillery in recent years, significant gaps remain.

For decades, India’s artillery modernization efforts lagged. However, the last decade has witnessed a renewed focus on this crucial aspect of military preparedness. In 2016, a landmark acquisition of 145 ultra-light M777 howitzers from BAE Systems marked a positive step. These highly mobile guns, perfect for India’s mountainous terrain, offer increased flexibility and firepower. The recent purchase of 100 K-9 Vajra self-propelled tracked howitzers from South Korea further bolsters the modernization effort.

Despite these developments, the Indian Army still faces a significant shortfall in its artillery inventory. The goal is to standardize on 155mm caliber guns, but achieving this requires acquiring thousands of additional units.

The current orders for 155mm howitzers, including towed, mounted, and self-propelled variants, fall far short of the estimated requirement of 2000 units. Reliance on limited imports of M777s and K-9 Vajras is insufficient to bridge the gap.

Orders for 155mm/52 Caliber Advanced Towed Gun System, 155mm/ 52 Caliber Mounted Gun Systems (MGS) and 155mm /52 Caliber Towed Gun System are yet to take place. only token orders from imported 155 mm M777a and K-9 Vajra are not enough.

India needs a clear roadmap for artillery modernization. This roadmap should prioritize achieving the required number of 155mm guns while also exploring avenues for indigenous production to reduce dependence on foreign imports. Only through decisive action can India ensure its artillery remains a true “God of War” in the modern battlefield.

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