The first order of 307 Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems (ATAGS) for deployment along the borders with China and Pakistan will be placed before the end of the current financial year–FY 24, Defence Research and Development Organisation chairman Dr Samir V Kamat said on Thursday.

In an interview with news agency ANI, the chief of DRDO said that the ATAGS has already finished all trials. “ATAGS has already finished all trials. My estimate is that the order should be placed in this financial year, before March 31, for 307 guns,” Mr Kamat said.

He said that the indigenous 155 mm x 52 calibre howitzer gun was developed by DRDO with two private partners Tata Advanced Systems Ltd and Bharat Forge Ltd.

Speaking on the interest shown by private firms interested in developing DRDO products under its Development cum Production Partner (DcPP) concept, Mr Kamat said, “DRDO has always been supporting industry. During our development phase we worked with MSMEs, and smaller industries and now for the last seven to eight years, when we have started this DcPP concept, we are even working with them as system integrators, right from the design and development stage. Private and public sectors have equal chances of getting selected as DcPP.”

“We have now started a scheme called technology development fund, (through) which we can support the industry. This is mostly for the private sector. We don’t fund PSUs in this scheme. We give funding up to ? 50 crore if the private sector wants to develop on its own,” the top official added.

Earlier in March, last year, the Ministry of Defence received a proposal from the Indian Army to buy 307 Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems (ATAGS) for deployment along the borders with China and Pakistan.

The trials of the ATAGS were completed at the Pokhran Field Firing Range (PFFR) between April 26 and May 2, 2023.The ATAGS is an indigenous towed artillery gun system project undertaken in mission mode by the DRDO as a part of the artillery modernisation programme of the Indian Army, the statement added.
Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) Pune is the nodal laboratory of the DRDO for the design & development of ATAGS, along with other DRDO laboratories.