Indian Army plans 20K Crore artillery overhaul
By siliconindia | Monday, 24 January 2011, 22:16 IST
Bangalore: The Indian Army is all set to modernise its arsenal and is investing 20,000 Crore for the same. The step ahead toward strengthening the artillery base will happen through several inter-governmental pacts and global tenders. In fact, the Army has recently issued a global tender for procurement of 400 towed artillery howitzers. This comes 25 years after the Bofors controversy. The controversy had for long been hindering the artillery modernisation process. The Army has not been able to procure any howitzer since the mid 80s and all the orders made in this regard were cancelled. However, with the latest proposal order, the Army is looking to induct over 400 guns from foreign vendors and over 1,000 guns via partnerships with chosen manufacturers. The last tender issued in this regard was cancelled when Defense Ministry blacklisted one of the two bidders, Singapore Technologies, as it was named in a CBI chargesheet in the Ordnance Factory scam. Since there was only one bidder left, BAE Systems, the tender had to be cancelled as according to Indian defence procurement rules, acquisition from a single vendor is not permitted. The Army is also in the process of obtaining ultra-light howitzers from U.S. this year via the foreign military sales route. The two countries are in the advanced stage of talks for procuring over 145 ultra-light howitzers, bought specially for use in the hilly areas. It was recently revealed that trials on various kinds of guns would take place this summer, leading to their induction by end of 2012.