The Bangalore-based defencepublic sector undertaking is ready with the wheeled gun and fieldtrials have already started at its testing tracks in the Kolar GoldFields (KGF), Karnataka.
This development comes in the backdrop of the fact that the artilleryhas not purchased a long-range gun in about 20 years following theBofors gun controversy. The Government recently gave the nod toinviting global tenders for the 155mm guns and the proposed contractfor over 1000 guns, besides other range of artillery guns includingHowitzers, worth over Rs. 20,000 crore.
BEML chairman and managing director VRS Natarajan said they were thenodal processing agency for this gun, which would enhance the lethalityof the defence forces. The gun is part of a technology transfer betweena Slovakian company, DMD, and BEML to produce this high-precision gunfor the Indian armed forces.
Natarajan said, "We have already been made a nodal processing agencyfor the 155mm, 52-caliber gun which is a state-of-the-art weapon to beinducted by India. We will produce and supply this to the defenceforces. It’s a technology transfer; India wants to go for a veryupgraded tank which is faster, lighter and able to have a greater firepower with lethality."
He also said, "For the wheeled gun project, we have tied up with aSlovakian company, DMD, for a defence offset and the vehicle hasalready been made available for trial. The time frame is about threeyears from the date of order by the defence forces. We expect it tocommence in the current year or at most the next year."
According to the BEML chief, the company was also looking at thetracked version of the same gun, which will give better fire power. "Wehave already set up a state-of-the-art, world-class test track. We havea firing range too," Natarajan said, adding that the PSU was also inthe process of setting up infrastructure for the overhauling of T72 andT90 tanks.