Government of India has given the go-ahead for acquisition of 100 K9 155mm howitzers 10304172

Defense & Security News - India
 
Government of India has given the go-ahead for acquisition of 100 K9 155mm howitzers.
Following a negotiating period began in December 2015, the Indian government has given the go-ahead for an acquisition of 100 K-9 "Vajra" (Thunderbolt) 155mm self-propelled howitzers (SPHs). The guns, based on Samsun Techwin K-9 Thunder platform, will be produced by local Indian firm Larsen and Toubro (L&T) in collaboration with the South Korean partner.
     
Following a negotiating period began in December 2015, the Indian government has given the go-ahead for an acquisition of 100 K-9 "Vajra " (Thunderbolt) self-propelled howitzers (SPHs). The guns, based on Samsun Techwin K-9 Thunder platform, will be produced by local Indian firm Larsen and Toubro (L&T) in collaboration with the South Korean partner.
K9 155mm self-propelled howitzer at DefExpo 2016 defense exhibition in India.
     
After clearing Indian Army trials conducted in 2013 and 2014, the K-9 was down-selected in September 2015 from a field of competitors under a 155mm/52-caliber self-propelled tracked howitzer competition. The meandering process saw two earlier attempts to move the project forward in 2006 and 2007 frustrated by corruption charges (against Denel in the initial bid) and the blacklisting from the Indian market of potential vendors. The third tender, issued in 2011, ultimately pitted the K-9 against the Russian 2S19 MSTA-S mounted on a T-72 tank chassis offered by state arms export agency Rosoboronexport.

The Larsen and Toubro-Samsun Techwin partnership ensures that L&T performs in-country work on up to 50 percent of each K-9 howitzer platform, including the fire control system, ammunition handling system, muzzle velocity radar, and nuclear-biological-chemical (NBC) system. In addition, L&T - which formed its partnership with Samsung Techwin in 2007 - will receive additional work share through maintenance, repair and overhaul of the guns through their 30-40-year service lives.

The Indian Army requirement for the K-9 Vajra is ultimately expected to grow beyond the initial 100 guns to a total of 250+ systems. It will fill but one niche in the Indian Army's vast Field Artillery Rationalization Plan (FARP) drawn up in 1999 following the short-lived Kargil War. That conflict exposed gaps in the Indian Army's firepower capabilities, particularly concerning ultralight howitzers that can operate in high altitudes. The FARP calls for the acquisition of some 3,000-3,600 155mm howitzers in two calibers (39 and 52) that will arrive in towed, mounted and self-propelled (both wheeled and tracked) forms.

The K9 Thunder is a South Korean self-propelled 155 mm howitzer developed by Samsung Techwin. The development program of this 155 mm/52-caliber self-propelled howitzer has been underway since 1989. In 1996 the first prototype of this new artillery system was tested.

The main armament of the K9 consists of a 155 mm/52 caliber ordnance with a maximum firing range of 40 km. The K9 Thunder has a maximum rate of fire of 6 rounds per minute and is capable of multiple-round simultaneous-impact firing. It is able to fire three rounds in 15 seconds, each in different trajectories, so that all of the shells arrive on target at the same time
 

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