Bharat Forge from India conducts final trials of Bharat 52 Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System
According to a Tweet released by Indian Defense News on August 20, 2020, the Indian company Bharat Forge, part of Kalyani Group, has conducted final trials of its Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System Bharat 52 before the delivery to the Indian army.
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DRDO 155mm Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System. (Picture source Army Recognition)
The Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) project was started in 2013 by Indian DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) to replace older guns in service in the Indian Army with a modern 155mm artillery gun. DRDO laboratory Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) partnered with private players Bharat Forge Limited, Mahindra Defense Naval System, Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division and public sector unit Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) for this purpose.
In July 2016, DRDO has conducted the proof firing of armament for the 155/52 caliber Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System. During trials in 2017, ATAGS broke the world record for a 155 mm gun by firing the round to a distance of 47.2 kilometers. It again registered a maximum distance of 48.074 kilometers with high explosive–base bleed (HE–BB) ammunition, surpassing the maximum ranges fired by any artillery gun system in this category.
According to Indian military sources, in August 2018, Defence Acquisition Council approved the procurement of 150 ATAGS with an estimated cost of US$470 million.
Citing Indian defense magazine, the gun of the Bharat 52 consists of a barrel, breech mechanism, muzzle brake and recoil mechanism to fire 155 mm caliber ammunition with a firing range of 40 km. It has an all-electric drive to ensure reliability and minimum maintenance over a long period of time. It has advanced features like high mobility, quick deployability, auxiliary power mode, advanced communication system, automatic command and control system with night capability in direct fire mode. The gun is two-ton lighter than guns in the same category and is designed to provide better accuracy and range and is capable of firing five successive rounds in a short duration. It is also compatible with ACCCS-Shakti command and control network of the Indian Army.
The Bharat-52 can be easily deployed with a team of six crew members in one minute during day time and 1.5 minutes during night time. It has a total weight of 15 tons, elevation angle from -3° to +72° with a speed of 5° per second. The Bharat 52 is equipped with a fully Load Assist System (LAS) with a manual backup arrangement offering a burst rate of fire of 3 rounds in 30 seconds, 16 rounds in 3 minutes in the intense rate of fire, and 42 rounds in one hour in sustained rate of fire.