The Indian Army is set to formally induct K9 Vajra and M777 howitzer guns at a ceremony to be attended by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at Deolali artillery centre in Maharshtra, a Defence spokesperson said on Thursday. The Army will be getting 100 K9 and 145 M777 guns in all over the next two years at a total cost of Rs 4,366 crore and Rs 5,000 crore respectively, Ministry spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand said.
The tracked, self-propelled K9 Vajra, with a maximum range of 28-38 km, is capable of firing three rounds in 30 seconds in the ‘burst’ mode, 15 rounds in three minutes in the ‘intense’ mode and 60 rounds in 60 minutes in the ‘sustained’ mode.
The first batch of 10 K9 guns will be delivered this month, the next batch of 40 guns will be delivered in November next year, and the last batch of 50 guns in November 2020, the official said.
The 155 mm gun is also capable of direct firing with a range of one kilometre.
The army would be having five regiments of K9 and the first regiment is expected be equipped by July 2019, he said.
The army is also going to raise seven regiments of M777 howitzers.
Four of these guns have already been delivered while five guns will be delivered every month for the next 24 month starting August 2019.
The first regiment will complete by October next year.
The gun, having a range of 30 km, can be moved to a desired location using helicopters and service aircraft.
A Composite Gun Tractor to tow 130 MM and 155 MM artillery guns will also be inducted at the same ceremony, Colonel Anand said. It is fitted with a crane that can handle ammunition weighing two tonnes.
The maximum speed of the vehicle without a tow is 80 km per hour and 50 km per hour with a gun attached to it.