The Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) is being developed by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO)

JAISALMER: India’s first high capacity indigenous long range 155mm gun and Dhanush’s supplement gun ATAGS (Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System) trials began on Saturday at Pokhran Field Firing Range in Jaisalmer district. These will go on for five days. The gun in its last trials in August 18 had fired up to 47.2 km distance.

The ATAGS is being developed by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) on two parallel tracks – one prototype in partnership with TATA Power (Strategic Engineering Division) and another with Kaveri Group (Bharat Forge). The prototype that broke the record was the TATA Power (SED) gun.

Defence sources said the indigenous 155 MM/52 calibre ATAGS gun is being used at the firing range in Jaisalmer and targets at various distances which are approximately 60 kilometres away. The firing capacity is being checked on different parameters and these guns are performing as per the expectations. The ammunition is also being checked. To strengthen the firing capacity of the Army, the ambitious gun is being checked and in the coming days, many senior officers of DRDO and Army have come to Jaisalmer. The gun has world’s longest hitting capacity,

Source said DRDO is developing 155 mm / 52 Cal Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) that will upgrade the 155 mm / 45 Cal Dhanush in the future. The ATAGS, India’s first indigenous 155mm/52-calibre towed artillery gun, will be a joint project of two private-sector corporations. This is a reversal of the usual practice of giving only state-owned companies these kinds of pricey orders.

Official said that a prototype with a new range of 50-60 kilometres, will also undergo trials, testing its abilities in different climates and terrain, along with range accuracy. The ATAGS is the world’s only gun with a six-round “automated magazine” that fires a six-round burst in just 30 seconds. Most other existing 155-millimetre, 52-calibre guns have three-round magazines, which must be reloaded after firing three rounds. Source said since most casualties are caused by artillery in the initial burst of fire, when enemy soldiers are caught in the open (and not after they dive into their trenches), a high “burst fire” capability is an important attribute. The ATAGS specifications also require it to fire 60 rounds in 60 minutes in the “sustained fire” mode.

Sources said after the gun successfully completes development and firing trials, the army is likely to procure at least 2,000 ATAGS.