Army set to induct kamikaze drones, deploys more ‘winterised’ howitzers on China front | India News

NEW DELHI: Army will soon conduct ‘loitering bombs’ amid continued military confrontation with China east of Ladakh, while it also increases long-range firepower in large numbers with ‘ no asterisk’ howitzers and advanced missiles supported by drones and radars locating weapons along the northern border.
The delivery of precision strike munitions, which are relatively smaller and cheaper explosive-equipped kamikaze drones, wait to pick up high-value enemy targets and then crash them, are set to commence under the emergency procurement contract signed with the Israel-India private joint venture last year.
“The military is also in the process of procuring advanced indigenously developed loitering weapons system with enhanced attack ability. Indian companies have received an enthusiastic response in the production of such systems,” defense agency sources said on Tuesday.
After the Azerbaijan-Armenian conflict, the deadly impact of carrying bombs or self-propelled missiles was reinforced by the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war. The Ukrainians used US-supplied Switchblade 300 and Phoenix Ghost defensive weapons as well as locally assembled weapons to thwart Russian advances.
The 29-month standoff with China also saw the Army deploying a barrage of large artillery batteries along the 3,488 km Line of Actual Control, which stretches from eastern Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh. These range from old 105mm rifles and Bofors cannons to ‘upgraded’ Dhanush and Sharang gun, Ultra-light howling machine M-777 and the K-9 Vajra self-propelled howitzer.
The military is currently looking to acquire another 100 K-9 Vajra guns, with a range of 28-38 km, from a joint venture between L&T and South Korea’s Hanwha Defense. A K-9 regiment with ‘winter kits’ was deployed east of Ladakh from 100 such 155mm/52mm cannons introduced earlier for Rs 4,366.
“The K-9 was originally purchased for the deserts. But after the Chinese invasion in May 2020, they were modified to ensure their batteries, oils, lubricants and other systems don’t freeze in temperatures below 0.100 K guns The next -9 will come with asterisk kits,” another source said.
Equipping the native Pinaka multiple launch rocket systems, with a range of 38 km, has also added muscle along the border. With DRDO developing a variety of ammunition for Pinaka, including missiles with an extended range of more than 45 km and a guided range of 75 km, six more Pinaka regiments at a price of Rs 2,580 crore will be transferred to the Mainland. troops to add to the four existing regiments. Of course, this force also has 3 regiments of Smerch missiles and 5 regiments of Grad missiles of Russian origin.
As for the M-777 tank gun, which could be quickly transported by Chinook helicopter to the forward areas, most of the 145 guns ordered for over Rs 5,000 from the US were also introduced along the LAC. . Sources say that the seventh regiment of these artillery machines, with an attack range of 30 km, has also been commissioned.
Then there is the domestic advanced 155mm / 52 caliber towed artillery system (ATAGS), with a maximum attack range of 48 km, jointly developed by DRDO. Tata Advanced System and Bharat Forge.
After successful winter and summer firing tests, ATAGS is currently undergoing environmental and maintainability tests that are expected to be completed in two months. After that, trade negotiations will take place on an initial order for 150 guns at an estimated cost of Rs 3,365 crore to be split between Tata and Bharat Forge.
The source said: “ATAGS is a powerful native system. Orders for ATAGS will only increase because the Army has a long-term requirement for 1,580 such guns, as TOI previously reported.

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