SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK
Four Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) are at the advanced stage of user-assisted trials of the gun and the Army has begun finalizing the Preliminary Specifications Qualitative Requirements (PSQR) of the 155mm, 52 caliber gun which will clear decks for production of 150 guns in the bulk production clearance order which will be split between Kalyani Group and Tata Power who have developed two guns each at the developmental stage.
The Estimated INR 36.65 billion (USD524 million) order will be won by the company depending on the performance of the gun and commercial bids and the lowest bidder who will be L1, will be awarded a contract to build 107 of the 150 ATAGSs while the runner-up will be allowed to manufacture the remaining 43 guns of the same model.
Kalyani Group developed ATAGS variant had briefly set a new world record in range by hitting targets at a distance of 48 km. TATA Power developed gun uses the same barrel manufactured by the Kalyani Group and the company already has invested in the production facility which will make them likely winner after commercial bids are opened.
Kalyani Group already has announced that it can manufacture nearly 250 ATAGS Guns at its facility per year and since Indian Army has requirement of nearly 2000 ATAGS guns over 800 Dhanush 155 mm x 45 calibre long-range artillery gun, both companies will be sharing a 30,000 crore in business for the production of the ATAGS eco-system, but also in process benefiting a large number of smaller private defense firms.
ATAGS gun currently weighs about 18 tonnes while the ideal weight for the army would be 14-15 tonne. It will all depend if the Indian Army’s PSQR has relaxed weight parameters and focuses on accuracy and firing parameters in user-assisted trials of the gun. ATAGS Guns has a large chamber of 25 litres when compared to 23 litres in most 155-millimeter guns in production world over. A larger chamber packs in the more higher explosive propellant, which shoots out the warhead further but to cater for this higher shock of firing, Gun needs to be heavier.
Kalyani Group has promised to look into weight issue if Indian Army insists on weight reduction and have already come up with plans to use of special alloys along with titanium components to further reduce the weight of the gun, but use of special metals will mean that it is likely to shoot up the unit cost of each gun further. Indian Army is yet to officially comment on the weight of the ATAGS Guns but it is likely will decide on it pretty soon most likely by end of this year.
NOTE : Article cannot be reproduced without written permission of idrw.org in any form