Artillery: News & Discussion

hanumadu
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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby hanumadu » 14 Sep 2014 03:52

Newbie question, What does 155mm and 52 caliber stand for?

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Ankit Desai » 14 Sep 2014 05:41


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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby abhik » 14 Sep 2014 08:49

Santosh wrote:So we now have -
155mm/52 cal Bharat Forge gun which is basically an upgraded GHN/GC-45 design
155mm/52 cal upgraded Bofors design by OFB
155mm/52 cal truck mounted TATA/Denel design which is also likely based on GHN/GC-45 design
155mm/52 cal tracked L&T Samsung Vajra ased on K9 design

Technically, they can all win. The towed order can be split between Bharat Forge and OFB. Tata and L&T is lone runners in their respective categories.

Also, is the OFB 155mm/45 cal gun a done deal for IA?

I don't see any reason to buy guns whose IP we don't own (TATA, L&T etc) when we have our own guns from Bharat Forge and OFB.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Hobbes » 14 Sep 2014 09:58

abhik wrote:
Santosh wrote:So we now have -
155mm/52 cal Bharat Forge gun which is basically an upgraded GHN/GC-45 design
155mm/52 cal upgraded Bofors design by OFB
155mm/52 cal truck mounted TATA/Denel design which is also likely based on GHN/GC-45 design
155mm/52 cal tracked L&T Samsung Vajra ased on K9 design

Technically, they can all win. The towed order can be split between Bharat Forge and OFB. Tata and L&T is lone runners in their respective categories.

Also, is the OFB 155mm/45 cal gun a done deal for IA?

I don't see any reason to buy guns whose IP we don't own (TATA, L&T etc) when we have our own guns from Bharat Forge and OFB.


That is absolutely right. It makes much more sense for Tata, the indigenous prime mover expert, to tie up with Bharat Forge, the local gun expert, rather than having Tata import a gun or BF import a prime mover. Why import from Denel/ Samsung/ whoever when both parts to the solution are available indigenously from companies that are (a) in the same city (Pune); (b) have complementary and not competing product lines; and (c) each have expertise in one of the two components of a complete solution. I do not include the OFB in this because they do not play well with others, and their delivery capability is suspect.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Avinandan » 14 Sep 2014 11:00

Questions to Gurus:
Which design in your opinion is more versatile GHN/GC-45 design or the Bofors design ?

I looked at the Panter video below and was much impressed. It looked pretty easier to use. The firing position is much lower and hence it might not require lots of jumping as shown by IA Bofors video in earlier posts. The Bharat Forge 155mm/52 cal looks very similar to Panter. It crew team is of 6 members.

Bofors on the other hand has other advantages like speed of deployment, crane of handling the shells/ammo etc. Crew is of 8 members (not sure whether it will be less for OFB gun or not).

Panter Video


Bofors Video

hanumadu
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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby hanumadu » 14 Sep 2014 18:46

Ankit Desai wrote:155mm refers to the diameter of the barrel.

52 caliber refers to the length of the barrel.

http://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m198.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliber#Ca ... _of_length
https://answers.yahoo.com/question/inde ... 834AALur6M

-Ankit


Thanks Ankit.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby rohitvats » 14 Sep 2014 19:08

The Bofors looks a more compact design with much faster 'into' action station time. Panter has a larger foot-print. However, the APU on Panter looker more powerful and as per Wikipedia, allows for road speed of up to 18 Kmph. If not the speed, that engine power would be helpful to move the gun between different firing positions. Not to forget, the Panter weighs 18 ton as compared to Bofors at 12 ton. The FH77B05 with 155/52 caliber weighs around 13 ton. So, the more powerful APU and larger foot-print has its penalties.

PS: IIRC, there used to be minimum height requirement for Medium Regiments in the IA. I think it was 5'10"...anyone knows the current scenario? Those fellows in Bofors video look about this height.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby abhik » 14 Sep 2014 20:44

The Panter (and others guns which share the same layout) having higher moving speed on APU probably because the barrel assembly swivels back 180 degrees to between the spades and at low elevation which would put its center of gravity low and always between its sets of wheels. With the FH77 layout you would have a far greater chance of it tipping over or to the side, so you probably don't want to go very fast anyway.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby SanjayC » 14 Sep 2014 22:27

Modern artillery may give a boost to army’s firepower

After an almost 26-year wait, the Indian Army may finally lay its hands on what are being touted as modern artillery guns developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

The army will get 40 self-propelled guns (SPG), recently developed by the Chennai-based Central Vehicle Research and Development Establishment of DRDO, worth R820 crore to meet the force's requirements, sources said.

Though these 130-mm guns will not be a substitute to the aging Bofors received from Sweden in 1986, or the ultra-light Howitzers, they will help bolster the force's firepower.

The gun's system, called in artillery terminology a “catapult”, comprises a 130-mm gun mounted on a main battle tank (MBT) — in this case, the chassis of the DRDO-developed Arjun tank — allowing it to keep up with tank columns and provide them support in battle. “Catapult is mainly used to engage in indirect fire. Its targets are enemy artillery units, tanks, troops at their concentration areas, permanent defensive installations and other field fortifications,” said an officer. “The gun has an indirect firing range of 27.4 km, and direct firing range of 1.4 km. It can be fired at various angles of elevation as well. But, it is surely not a substitute to high-end artillery like Howitzers,” an officer said.

Sources said the army's 220 artillery regiments have received no new artillery since the 1980s, when the FH-77B, 155-mm/39-calibre Bofors were bought from Sweden. However, after allegations of kickbacks, only 400 Bofors guns were delivered and rest of the contract annulled.

But, the Ordnance Factory Board’s effort to build a 155-mm/45-calibre indigenous gun is facing trouble after the gun barrel was burst during its trials. The procurement of 145 M777 Ultra-Light Howitzers through the the US Government also stands cancelled due to cost issues and because the vendor's proposal is not fully compliant to the offset requirements, the defence ministry claims.

The defence ministry has already put in place a R35,000-crore plan to modernise artillery.

In the long run, the armed forces could provide orders worth over R1.5 lakh crore to domestic companies. Already, Tata Power Strategic Electronics Division, L&T and Bharat Forge are engaged in developing prototype of this gun so that they can get into production of these advanced guns after approval by the end-user, which is the army in this case. The Modi-led government has also cleared more support to the DRDO-developed Arjun tank by renewing a R6,600-crore clearance for 118 Arjun Mark II tanks. This will equip two army tank regiments, adding to an earlier order for 124 Arjun Mark I tanks.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby member_22539 » 15 Sep 2014 07:40

^Seems like defense reporting is getting more and more dumber, something I previously thought impossible, because they already seemed to have hit rock bottom.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Victor » 15 Sep 2014 10:37

Arun Menon wrote:^Seems like defense reporting is getting more and more dumber, something I previously thought impossible, because they already seemed to have hit rock bottom.

Army is getting the 130mm Catapult system from CVRDE and private companies are elbowing into the action with full force with state-of-the-art 155mm artillery. Win-win-win is what I read. What is dumber and dumber about it?

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Pratyush » 15 Sep 2014 11:07

I will keep my fingers crossed on the subject till such time the orders for the domestic gun are not completed.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby member_22539 » 15 Sep 2014 12:54

Victor wrote:
Arun Menon wrote:^Seems like defense reporting is getting more and more dumber, something I previously thought impossible, because they already seemed to have hit rock bottom.

Army is getting the 130mm Catapult system from CVRDE and private companies are elbowing into the action with full force with state-of-the-art 155mm artillery. Win-win-win is what I read. What is dumber and dumber about it?



I said defense reporting, do you have trouble reading? If you still have trouble understanding, please look into the 155/45 howitzer Dhanush's trials and results and how many orders have been placed and how many future orders are expected. Either the journo is a dumba$$ who has no idea about what he is writing about or he is a paid presstitute. Either way, defense reporting is becoming dumber.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Victor » 15 Sep 2014 20:00

Arun Menon wrote:I said defense reporting, do you have trouble reading? If you still have trouble understanding, please look into the 155/45 howitzer Dhanush's trials and results and how many orders have been placed and how many future orders are expected. Either the journo is a dumba$$ who has no idea about what he is writing about or he is a paid presstitute. Either way, defense reporting is becoming dumber.

Hold up the mirror--it seems "what I read" in my post escaped your reading capability. About the Dhanush, papa MoD may place orders but the Army will not use a gun that had a barrel burst/fall off until the trials conclusively prove that the gun is more dangerous to the enemy than the user. That has yet to happen and future orders are vaporware in the meantime. The Catapult is a rare success and something the army can use, even if it is strictly a back-room jugaad product. And the very fact that Tata and others are coming in spells the end of OFB, which IMO is the biggest win of all. The reporter was on the dot, hence the question. If you check around, you will find that abusive language is a characteristic of internet pakis who resort to name-calling when facts don't suit them.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby member_22539 » 16 Sep 2014 07:03

^The barrel burst was due to faulty (expired) ammunition and that fact has been "conclusively proven" by investigations into the incident. The army is well aware of that and is fully on board on this procurement. Who told you the army was resisting this purchase?

Given that 155/52 procurement is still a question, they are happy to get a functioning 155/45 howitzer that is free from corruption scandals. It is also in the final phases of its trials, which are conducted by the army itself. So where does it state that they are not going to use it?

Maybe you should not focus on just negative news reports about indigenous defense efforts.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Desi-Bofors-howitzer-undergoes-final-trials-in-major-boost-to-indigenization/articleshow/36856813.cms

Desi Bofors howitzer undergoes final trials in major boost to indigenization

Both the Army and OFB, in fact, are "quite excited" about Dhanush


Now does that sound like what you are trying to imply?
Last edited by member_22539 on 16 Sep 2014 07:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby srai » 16 Sep 2014 07:12

Marten wrote:...
Same applies to production values. OFB manuactures 18 guns a year. EIGHTEEN! To expect 200 guns/year from a private firm where firm orders are expected to be around 400 is unrealistic. ...



Desi Bofors howitzer undergoes final trials in major boost to indigenization
Jun 20, 2014
...

The Army hopes to plug at least some of its operational gaps in long-range, high-volume firepower through the initial induction of 414 Dhanush guns. The OFB has already been given an order of over Rs 1,260 crore to make 114 howitzers.

"Dhanush is around 80% indigenous now. It costs just about Rs 14 crore apiece. Only its APU (auxiliary power unit), electronic dial sights and a few other small items are imported. As per the plan, OFB will manufacture 18 howitzers in this financial year, followed by 50 in the next, and 100 per year thereafter," said the official.
...


Based on the current production plan, it will take around 6 years (2020) to produce all 414 Dhanush guns.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby P Chitkara » 16 Sep 2014 10:55

6 years for 414 guns :shock: :shock:

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby srai » 16 Sep 2014 11:24

P Chitkara wrote:6 years for 414 guns :shock: :shock:


It is not just about production rates. Overall firm quantities ordered (114 + potential 300) and number of units that can be raised in a given year by the IA dictate the pace of production. Initially, the IA would need to build its support infrastructure and ammunition stockpile along with training for the new Dhunush guns. First year is set at 18 guns - enough for one IA artillery regiment (3 batteries each with 6 guns). Then two regiments plus reserves second year. Followed by 5 regiments per year for the next 4 years.

You will likely see similar production and induction rates for other 155mm/52 calibre guns in the near future. The whole 2700-3600 guns of 155mm/52 calibre replacement program will take close to two decade (if not longer) once winners are selected and production begins.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Pratyush » 16 Sep 2014 11:43

Or is the numbers to be built a function of the available budget for the specific item. So if the budget sypport x numbers then only those numbers will be built.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby P Chitkara » 16 Sep 2014 12:14

My shock/surprise is as much around the production rate as the numbers (114 + 300 potential).

What I don't understand is, does the IA intend creating an inventory of n types complicating the logistics chain? When we need the artillery pieces well in excess of 414, what is the IA waiting for?

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby mody » 16 Sep 2014 12:39

OFB will most likely not get an order greater then 414 guns for Dhanush. Dhanush is an interim solution, till the latest 155/52 guns with all the bells and whistles, either from DRDO or Kalyani in partnership with DRDO comes about.
OFB will likely take atleast 7 years to complete the order for the 414 guns and after that might get follow on work to upgrade the existing Bofors guns to Dhanush standard and perhaps upgrade of the around 400 off M46 guns to 155mm/45 caliber standard.

JMT.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Yagnasri » 16 Sep 2014 15:28

Interim solution taking six years? I think it is the small quantity of the orders that is killing the local production. I think the need projected by IA is quite huge. But now place a big order if the system is to your liking and if it is not do not place any order. It is exactly what they are doing for Arjun and LCA. Small size orders and doing all kinds of complaints on delay and small levels of production. If they want something with all bells and whistles then test what private sector is offering and find out if they measure up or not. Then a large order can be place. Further even if OFB gun does not have all the things IA wants it is still needed as IA needs all the firepower it can get in the north side.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 16 Sep 2014 15:55

considering the fh77b towing trucks had to delicately move the piece around some corners of NH1 Srinagar to Kargil and such tricks not even attempted on the dreaded rohtang pass route(?), how ejatly is the longer 52cal barrel , heavier chassis going to affect the ops?

hope the development and user trials involve good amt of road trials as well.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Pratyush » 16 Sep 2014 16:06

For the Bharat Forge gun. In traveling position the gun is quite compact. (The gun barrel is stowed over the spade arms.)This issue of length comes up for guns that don't have a traveling position.

Such a Fh 77. Or the M 198.

The GHN 45 or its PRC derivatives or the G 5-45. Or the Singapore Fh 2000. Or the TIG 200. All have a traveling position.

However, no amount of traveling position will help when the road is MLC 10. Or the bridge is MLC 10.

I guess this is where the M 777 mated to a stallion truck comes into play. But the cost did it in.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Victor » 16 Sep 2014 20:54

It is because of the infra handicap that the army urgently needs an air-portable ULH with 25+ km range. If the roads in the Kargil sector are bad, those in the NE are practically unusable, largely by design. Hopefully Modi will be able to cut through the M777 mess while he is in the US but regardless, the Kalyani ULH should be top priority as it uses a technology that is not dependent on expensive metallurgy alone. We should be jumping all over the Garuda-105 to replace or supplement our 105mm mountain guns because they can be transported on and fired from a light truck and also be towed if needed. The current guns are towed only and then manually wrestled into prepared firing positions.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 16 Sep 2014 21:02

roads are needed. looking at ammo consumption, air supply is not feasible for large numbers of guns.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby koti » 16 Sep 2014 22:25

Ammo should be much simpler to transport if the ULH's are in place.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby abhik » 17 Sep 2014 08:32

koti wrote:Ammo should be much simpler to transport if the ULH's are in place.

How so?

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Pratyush » 17 Sep 2014 09:08

The Kalyani light 155 MM should be the priority & not the M 777. Having said so. The infrastructure for the Border areas needs to be improved, without any delay.

Recently I made a trip to Nathula. My second in 3 years. The roads were in an atrocious state, beyond Gangtok.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Eric Leiderman » 17 Sep 2014 09:41

The logistics of using rotary winged aircraft for sustained artillary fire is not sustainable.
It has to be by road mechanised or mule.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 17 Sep 2014 11:31

and thats where the chinook lifting the M777 to isolated firebases to dominate large swathes of territory vision/tale falls well short of reality. a dog is only as good as its bite and frequency of biting.

in a fluid war situation there will be no scope to even fall back on using prepared positions and shells tucked inside caves and stockpiled over the summers.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby koti » 17 Sep 2014 19:36

Maybe it is so.

But wont a 3 tonne piece be more easily towable then a 12 tonne piece? And to more remote locations then?

I am only trying to limit my view to 105mm. Wherever 105mm is being used now, the ULH can be used there too.
Is anyone suggesting this is not possible either?

The cost benefit is something I am not qualified to analyze.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Kakkaji » 18 Sep 2014 05:42

The reports of 'final' Dhanush trials are dated June 20, when the trials started. After that date, no reports of whether the trials were successful or not. So all this talk of induction and production rate is pure speculation a this time IMHO.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Victor » 18 Sep 2014 07:25

koti wrote:Wherever 105mm is being used now, the ULH can be used there too.

That's the point. The enemy is also expected to locate 105mm guns in inaccessible mountain areas by helicopter but not 155mm guns. Having the latter will give us a huge range and firepower advantage.

The mountain strike corps firing positions will be very fluid most of the time since they are by definition highly mobile. Their ULHs will not be required to maintain sustained fire for long from any given position, though they are capable of doing so. The idea is to shoot and scoot, ie. attack, not dig in.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Pratyush » 18 Sep 2014 07:30

We should be concerned with the accuracy of our fire. As opposed to the size of stone to be thrown at t enemy

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby prabhug » 18 Sep 2014 09:58

Can we not improve the accuracy and range of 105mm by upgrading the electronics and ammunition ?

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Pratyush » 18 Sep 2014 10:17

The same argument will apply to the guided 155 as well. At the same time we will need to improve on our observation capability and the data integration ?? between the observer and the shooter.

So all things being equal, I would say that a guided 155 MM is better then a guided 105. However, you are quickly reaching the situation where a single guided shot will be more expensive when compared to 20 or 30 conventional round.

The user will have to decide, what is preferable in a given situation. Based on the available logistical bandwidth.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Thakur_B » 21 Sep 2014 21:35

P Chitkara wrote:6 years for 414 guns :shock: :shock:


It will take time to ramp up the production rate, to train the manpower, to set up raw material lines, all the while doing it on a sustainable basis both for the OFB and it's vendors.

First year (8 months & next 4 months): 6 guns and 12 guns @ 18 guns/year.
Second year: 36 guns @36 guns/year.
Third year: 60 guns @ 60 guns/year.

This is a pretty damn good production rate, which can be further scaled up. If everything goes right, the line might be converted into ATAGS manufacturing line by the 5th or 6th year.

The production line being set up by OFB is top notch, and good to go even for 52 caliber guns. The radial forging unit in the manufacturing line set up by OFB allows forging of one 45 calibre hollow barrel every hour.

Kakkaji wrote:The reports of 'final' Dhanush trials are dated June 20, when the trials started. After that date, no reports of whether the trials were successful or not. So all this talk of induction and production rate is pure speculation a this time IMHO.


As per Saurav Jha, Summer trials have been a success. The formal orders are expected in the month of October.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby P Chitkara » 22 Sep 2014 15:05

This is a pretty damn good production rate, which can be further scaled up..


Since you seem to have access to some data points, please enlighten me in understanding, if say, IA placed an order of 1000 guns, will the OFB able to scale up and finish off the run in say, 10 years? (@100 guns/year)

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Thakur_B » 22 Sep 2014 16:37

P Chitkara wrote:
This is a pretty damn good production rate, which can be further scaled up..


Since you seem to have access to some data points, please enlighten me in understanding, if say, IA placed an order of 1000 guns, will the OFB able to scale up and finish off the run in say, 10 years? (@100 guns/year)


Making any predictions with regards to OFB is an exercise in futility :), although OFB seems to be gearing up to meet large production rates for artillery guns, but whatever the production rate, IA will be facing a net artillery deficit for the next decade and half to meet it's requirement of 3000 artillery guns to arm 200 regiments. Today the Army will take anything over the current status of 200 working Bofors guns. It's a good thing that ARDE has brought L&T, Tata, Bharat Forge etc on board for the ATAGS project. Hopefully we will see 2-3 production lines from 2-3 organisations for ATAGS ( ie apart from M-46 upgrades, wheeled, tracked and ultra light howitzer).


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