SOURCE: TUSHKAR SHIRODKAR / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG.
Indian Army recently issued Request for Information (RFI) to procure 350 Light Tanks on urgent bases to bring in additional firepower on the Line of Actual Control ( LAC) against the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which has been fortifying the border areas with India with the movement of heavy firepower in last one year, that included light tanks. Another critical element of the PLA’s increased heavy firepower in the region that has been the deployment are the Truck-Mounted Gun System (MGS) that will ensure mobility and will come in handy in destroying Indian forward positions.
Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has developed a Dhanush 155x52mm howitzer that was truck-mounted and dubbed Mounted Gun System (MGS) that has gone internal firing trials at the Proof Establishment in Balasore which has validated the gun and the integration work carried out on the 8×8 Tatra vehicle on which it is mounted. MGS has a range of over 40 km and has been offered to the Army for user trials after several rounds of internal trials by OFB, but not much has happened on that front yet.
Earlier this year the Indian Army had issued a fresh request for information (RFI) to acquire the Mounted Gun System (MGS) for its artillery units, which would supplement and improvise their shoot-and-scoot and rapid-fire capabilities. For the last two decades, the Indian Army has been trying to procure 800 units of Truck-mounted Gun System (MGS) but has failed to make any headway in this direction due to various issues. It was also reported that ATAGS based Truck-mounted Gun System (MGS) was also on offer to the Indian Army that has been jointly developed by the DRDO with its partners Kalyani and Tata groups but not much seems to have happened in this direction nor any prototype of the ATAGS based MGS was developed.
Unlike towed artillery that has to be hauled into the battlefield by multi-wheeled trucks, MGS mounted on a high-mobility truck can be brought into battle much faster especially in difficult terrain seen near the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and will play a crucial addition to the firepower to blunt any possible future Chinese aggression in the areas. Indian Army needs to give Indigenous Truck-Mounted Gun System (MGS) a chance to not only compete but also the time required to develop them. It’s important that easy emergency purchase deals to procure MGS from aboard for that it has been fully onboard Indigenous Truck-Mounted Gun System (MGS) program or associate itself with local developers that meet Indian Army’s requirements.
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