First batch of K9 Vajra-T 155mm self-propelled howitzers delivered to Indian army


By the end of May, the Indian army will receive a first batch of 25 K9 Vajra-T 155mm/ 52 calibre self-propelled howitzers developed and manufactured by Larsen and Toubro (L&T) Defence. The government awarded a 100-unit contract to L&T in May 2017. L&T, along with its South Korean technology partner Hanwha Tech Win (HTW), had bid for this ‘Boy Global’ acquisition programme of the MoD in 2011.


First batch of K9 Vajra T self propelled 155mm howitzers delivered to Indian army
The K9 remains considered among the best self-propelled howitzers in the world, with over 1,000 units already in service in South Korea and other countries. (Picture source: Youtube)


The K9 self-propelled howitzer is an upgraded version of Hanwha Tech Win’s K9 Thunder. It has been customised and co-developed by L&T to match the specific requirements of the Indian Army, including desert operations. So far, the K9 remains considered among the best in the world, with over 1,000 units already in service in South Korea and other countries.

Under the contract, L&T will deliver 100 howitzers (which will have over 50% indigenous components) in 42 months, from its manufacturing facilities, including a new Armoured Systems Complex built in Hazira (Gurajat).

The deal has not just boosted the Ministry of Defence’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ initiative, but it has also made South Korea a major defence partner for India. The technology to develop the K-9 Vajra-T guns was provided by the South Korean defence company, and out of the 100 that have been ordered, 90 will have been completely developed by L&T in their Strategic Systems Complex at Talegaon, near Pune in Maharashtra.


 

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