Thursday, May 13, 2010

Field trials to test the guns will commence in Rajasthan at end of this month


The shortage of artillery guns in the Army is to be a thing of the past. Field trials to test the guns of two of the worlds leading gun-makers will commence at the shooting ranges in Rajasthan at the end of this month. According to sources in the Defence Ministry, a 155-mm gun, which is the backbone of artillery, has to be purchased immediately.

One of the two guns, meeting the general staff qualitative requirement (GSQR), has to be selected and there will be no waiting. The selection system would be transparent, sources said. Since 2002, India has conducted trials for the 155-mm gun at least four times. However, each time the nation has shied away from purchasing the gun. The shadow of the AB Bofors gun deal done in late 1980’s loomed large and held back the bureaucracy and politicos from taking a decision, maintains a top source.

Trials will be conducted in deserts and mountains. The summer phase could start anytime between May 25 and 30. The maximum daytime temperature will play a major role in making that decision as the gun has to be tested for withstanding heat. The Army needs around 1,580 155-mm guns and is looking at a 52 calibre bore — that is heavier and fires longer than the 39 calibre being used now. The guns being considered for the purpose are IFH-2000, developed by Singapore Technologies Kinetics. The company has Punj Lloyd as its Indian partner. Its competitor is British company BAE Systems’ FH-77B-05. They have Mahindra and Mahindra as their Indian partner.................................Read More

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