The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister gave nod to the procurement of 150 indigenously designed and developed 155mm Advance Towed Artillery Gun Systems (ATAGS) for the Indian Army at an approximate cost of Rs. 3364.68 crores.
The DRDO Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System, a towed 155 mm/52 caliber howitzer being developed for the Indian Army, is going to be a joint project of two private-sector corporations. Indian army wishes to induct more than 2000 ATAGS in the coming decade to replace the old guns.
A DAC statement noted, “These guns have been indigenously designed and developed by the DRDO and will be manufactured by production agencies as nominated by the DRDO. They are likely to be the mainstay of artillery in the near future. A nod to these major schemes will provide a fillip to the ‘Make in India’ push by the government, help create self-reliance in defence manufacturing, and make the defence industry a major engine of India’s economic growth.”
ATAGS are to be manufactured by TATA and Bharat Forge. However, initially, 12 guns will be produced and depending upon the quality of this pre-production lot, Indian Army has planned for procurement of 2000 such guns in the long run. India Army has also planned to procure the upgraded Dhanush artillery which can hit target up to 42 km. Indian ordinance board factory is also upgrading the old 130 mm artillery into 155 mm artillery. This artillery can hit target up to a range of 38 km.
(Refer to the article below on future artillery of India)