New K9 Vajra and M777A2 artillery systems enters the service in Indian army
- November 12, 2018
The Indian Army has received M777 American Ultra Light Howitzers, K9 Vajra during a ceremony conducted in Nashik, Maharashtra, India.
The K9 VAJRA-T 155mm/ 52 is a tracked self-propelled howitzer, which has its roots in the K9 Thunder, the mainstay of the South Korean Army. The Vajra offers a high rate of fire at a long range and is compatible with Indian and standard NATO ammunition.
The K9 Thunder platform is made of all-welded steel armour protection material. The design incorporates a Modular Azimuth Position System (MAPS), an automatic fire-control system (AFCS), a powered gun elevation / depression and a turret traverse system. The hydro-pneumatic suspension system provides high-ground clearance and mobility across different terrains.
The primary weapon of the K9 Thunder platform is the 155mm / 52 calibre gun. While the weapon platform has the ability to fire a standard M107 high-explosive (HE) projectile, no word is out about India specific changes, or if any have been made.
L&T, supported by South Korean technology partner Hanwha Tech Win (HTW), had bid for this ‘Buy Global’ acquisition programme of the defence ministry in 2011. It beat three others to emerge as the sole qualified bidder after a series of user trials and evaluations, based on the performance of the K9 Vajra self-propelled howitzer.
The first ten K9 Vajra guns have been imported from Hanwha Techwin of South Korea in Semi Knocked Down state and have been assemble by L&T in India. The balance 90 guns will be largely manufactured in the country.
Induction of 100 K9 Vajra at a cost of Rs 4,366 crore is to complete by November 2020. The first batch of 10 guns will be delivered this month. The next 40 guns will be delivered in November 2019, and another 50 in November 2020, Defence Ministry spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand said.