DRDO Bhavan in New Delhi | Commons
DRDO Bhavan in New Delhi | Commons

Balaosre: Maintaining that the ATAGS howitzer is the best gun in the world with the capability to strike targets at the longest range of 48 kilometers, a top DRDO scientist said, the indigenous gun can meet Indian Army’s full requirement of 1800 artillery guns systems and there was no need for imports in this field.

Interacting with ANI during the field trials of the ATAGS which has already fired over 2,000 rounds in places like Sikkim near the China border and Pokharan near the Pakistan border, ATAGS project director and senior Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist Shailendra V Gade said the gun system is far better than the legendary Bofors in the Indian Army along with any other artillery gun in the world including the ATHOS gun offered by Israel.

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The Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) has been developed by the DRDO and produced by two firms Bharat Forge and Tata Advanced Systems Limited.

“The Indian Army’s requirement is for 1580 towed artillery guns and apart from that, they need 150 ATAGS and another 114 Dhanush guns. So, there is a requirement of a total of 1,800 guns. The way the ATAGS is performing and come up, I am sure that this entire requirement of 1,800 guns can be met by this gun only,” Gade told ANI. Explaining the edge which the Indian Army would get to vet adversaries like China in a war scenario, Gade said the DRDO-developed gun is the longest firing howitzer in the world with 48 km and this will help it to be safe during a strike against the enemy.

“The enemy won’t be able to counter you as they would not be able to reach you but you can reach them at 48 kilometers. You can be eight kilometers behind their strike range but still hit them,” he said.
Asked if the ATAGS was better than the guns available with China and Pakistan, Gade said, “in fact, this is the best gun in the world because no other country has been able to such a system built on this high-technology with a high rate of firing capability.”

Comparing the advancement of the ATAGS over the legendary Bofors and the rest of the guns in the world, Gade said the ATAGs can fire five rounds in a minute whereas the others can fire only three. “The range is also very high at 48 kilometers whereas the Bofors can fire at 32kms using the same type of round. The mobility is also very high. The gun will be very reliable, maintenance-free and robust,” he said.

The Indian Army is looking at the acquisition of around 1600 artillery guns and was looking at Israeli guns ATHOS as an option for quick induction of 400 pieces.

On being asked to compare the ATAGS with the ATHOS and French Nexter guns, Gade said, “If you look at the qualitative requirements of the ATHOS and Nexter guns, the requirements of the ATAGS are very stringent. So, definitely, the guns systems are not very contemporary. If we look at the future as 2027-2030, the ATAGS is the answer for those times for the Indian Army.”

On being asked whether there was a need for India to import any howitzer from abroad in view of the presence of howitzer, Gade said, “not at all. I feel India as a country, we have developed the core competence and technology is there to meet the country’s requirements for world-class guns.”

Also read: India working on next ‘Astra’ missile with 160 km range as Mk1 is integrated in IAF & Navy


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  1. “You can be eight kilometers behind their strike range but still hit them,” he said.” – After a long time, we are hearing DRDO talking about something interesting. But, why is ATAGS a towed gun. Why is it not a “shoot-and-scoot” howitzer like Bofors? Isn’t this an handicap in the battle field. Or is it made dowed gun because it can stay beyond the strike range of enemy howitzers. But, these days, one should think of attacks by drones on the position of these howitzers, as has happened between Azerbaizan and Armenia.

  2. The question is how long will the indian companies take to supply 1800 guns . If it take 20 years like tejas then we might as well forget them.the germans built the great Tiger tank but could not produce the quantities. Finally they were overrun by the inferior Soviet tanks . So making something fancy is ok for show not during real battle times. Our tea requirements are 80 to a hundred. We produce only 8 in a year. So it’s going to take 10 years by that time new technologies will make tejas flying coffins.

    • Boss..changes can be made only if given chances to drdo even after sucessfull completion. If u want to grow indigeous weapon you have to invest and trust them rathet than trusting a foreign vendor and asking to compete is nonsense wen we have not allowed economies of scale to compete with cost factor.


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