Sunday, January 16, 2011

Will India's Gun Jinx Be Broken This Year?

Since the Bofors scam of 1986, the Indian Army has been led by three chiefs from the Regiment of Artillery -- General SF Rodrigues, S Padmanabhan and, most recently, Deepak Kapoor. Not one of them was able to break the ludicrous, politicised embargo on inducting new heavy artillery into the Army. In effect, the Army hasn't added a single howitzer to its arsenal in 25 years. It has multiple competitions running, some of them meandering for much of the last decade, but the shortpoint stays -- the army hasn't added one single piece of heavy artillery in a quarter century. Which is why, current Chief of Army Staff, General Vijay Singh's assertion two days ago that new guns would definitely enter service with the army before the year is out, is thunderingly good news.

The only gun that can conceivably enter service with the Indian Army in that timeframe is the 155-mm/39-cal BAE Systems M777 ultra-light howitzer (ULH). While India has been looking at the gun since 2008, it was in early 2010 that it officially requested a foreign military sale of 145 M777s from the US government. Looks like that's going through.

Photo ©Canadian Army

19 comments :

Anonymous said...

Artillery guns by year-end : Indian Army

http://idrw.org/?p=2339

Anonymous said...

More thunderingly good news !!

C-130J aircraft from US to arrive this week

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_c-130j-aircraft-from-us-to-arrive-this-week_1495220

SSG said...

Shiv, what happened to the BEML assembled Zuzana SPGH ? It was under trial last year. Some people claimed that it is an upgraded Bofors with a Zuzana 155/52 barrel. Please investigate the matter.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

"In effect, the Army hasn't added a single howitzer to its arsenal in 25 years."---Not true. The Indian Army from the early till the mid-1990s acquired close to 1,200 surplus stock M-46H 130mm towed howitzers from both Russia and the Czech Republic. Of these, only 40 have to date been upgraded to 155mm/45-cal standard by the OFB and Soltam Systems.
The BAE Systems-built 155mm/39-cal ultra-lightweight howitzer's export designation is the LW155. The designation M777 is peculiar to only in-service howitzers deployed with the US armed forces.

Anonymous said...

IA needs to start thinking smart. It should get used to these scams and find out alternate way to get what it needs.

if full artillery pieces cannot be brought in "media glare", then a back door approach should be used.

let the ofb's import gun under "spare parts" requirement. given that bofors gun require spare parts, which could be a "whole gun in parts", i dont see the reason why this cannot be done.

pay the gun makers and he will send in painted pink if need be.

Anonymous said...

Indigenous AWACS to roll out in February

http://www.tehelka.com/story_main48.asp?filename=Ws110111DEFENCE.asp

Anonymous said...

After Vihang Netra, SMEs float first mini-UAV

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/after-vihang-netra-smes-float-first-miniuav/738371/0

Anonymous said...

This must be a stop gap measure before we complete the development of our own artillery gun in two more years time. Then the army must induct it and keep on improving with further versions.

Anonymous said...

OM NAMAH SHIV AROOR!!! Say this 108 times!!! your wish may be taken for consideration....I mean procurement of Guns!!!

Anonymous said...

I am quite amazed at the modern weapons available with the Singapore Army!!! i think Singapore is way ahead of India. Its natural Singapore calls India as stupid country as per wiki cable leaks!!! They must have come to this conclusion after ST tried to sell their 155mm Howitzer!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon @11:23,What has Singapore to worry about.When you have a country of 700 Sq.Kms, you can run it as a Kindergarten state or whatever else that you wish to run it for.
Singapore called India stupid because of India's stance on relations with ASEAN.Singapore was frustrated that India is not moving on certain things as PER THEIR INTERESTS.Lets remember how Nixon and Kissinger raved,ranted and swore against Indira Gandhi.That can be seen perhaps as the biggest compliment to her.I peole are complimentary or benign to you EVEN in private.Beware,you may be acting only to their benefit NOT YOURS.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.23AM: In which areas in particular is Singapore way ahead of India? And are you aware of the quantum of China-made components on the ST Kinetics-made FH-2000i and Pegasus howitzers? Let me refresh your memory--almost a decade ago there was a fatal accident in New Zealand when the barrel of a FH-2000 howitzer exploded. The subsequent Board of Inquiry had then clearly spelt out the QC-related problems of these China-origin components. I therefore would NEVER agree to India buying any kind of field artillery systems from Singapore.

Mr. Ra said...

All replacements etc as indicated by Prasun are surely indicative of somewhat good progress made under the given adverse circumstances.

The howitzer purchase from USA is a further consolation till the Indian gun really arrives.

Anonymous said...

In effect, the Army hasn't added a single howitzer to its arsenal in 25 years.

Thats stretching it - Army steadily acquired 130 mm guns in this time. Some of these were converted to 155 mm as well.

Anonymous said...

Prasun sahab,there were instances in India too ,loss of army personnel lives due to explosion of shells supplied by Russia.. if i am not wrong!!! ST might have gone in for a strategic partnership!!!! i know of one company in India,which received orders for development of power supplies for ST kinetics made equipment!!! what i would like to bring to your kind notice is that the arming of the Singaporean army appears to be systematic...right right from assault rifles to self propelled howitzers ..unlike ours indigenisation of one rifle here,import of another model there and procurement gaffe with knee jerk reactions and MOD goes on blacklisting spree...thats nothing but arming with out aiming... Sure!! you being close to singapore by being in Malaysia,you may be right and have better information!!!

Anonymous said...

Re: Prasun K. Sengupta

You do not know your facts regarding the FH-2000 explosion. I am plainly surprised at your ignorance or your agenda.

The barrel did not explode. The fuse on the round detonated prematurely.
FYI, the fuse was supposed to be supplied by a American company, who in turn, outsourced it to the Chinese without the Singaporean knowledge or approval!

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.03PM: Yes, I agree that equipping of the Singapore Army has been a systematic process, but so would India's had the Indian Army, like its Singaporean counterpart, had been confined to only four Divisions! Furthermore, Singapore, unlike India, is not obsessed with indigenisation and therefore Singapore has never felt the need to expend resources on creating sprawling military-industrial complexes.

To Anon@6.08PM: Did the round armed with the faulty fuze explode AFTER it had entered the barrel chamber, or was the round 'hanging around' near the FH-2000 when the mishap took place on March 9, 1997? FYI it was way back in October 1994 that the ST Kinetics subsidiary--Chartered Ammunition Industries (CAI) discovered that the fuzes were manufactured at the factory in China rather than in the US. However, CAI did not attempt to inform MINDEF Singapore of this discovery and MINDEF was not made aware that these fuzes were manufactured in China, according to the MINDEF's Committee of Inquiry. Therefore, for you to claim that the US vendor outsourced the fuzes from China without the approal or knowledge of either CAI or ST Kinetics, is totally untrue. Makes me wonder now what's your agenda in spreading disinformation.

Anonymous said...

ENOUGH of this WHINE FEST

India has ENOUGH TUBE artillerry for a two front war

We need more SMERCH PINAKA BRAHMOS and PRITHVIS

Anonymous said...

Years after Bofors, Army may finally induct howitzers in 2011

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Years-after-Bofors-Army-may-finally-induct-howitzers-in-2011/articleshow/7306120.cms