User Assistant Technical Trial (UATT) of ATAGS had been completed in Pokhran field firing range in Jaisalmer

JAISALMER: Bharat Forge CEO Rajinder Singh Bhatia has said the next phase of trials of the country’s first fully integrated Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) will be held in September, before the artillery gun is inducted into the army next year. 

Bharat Forge, part of the Kalyani Group – A $3 billion conglomerate with 10,000 global work force — is manufacturing the ATAGS, the first indigenously built 155 mm/52-calibre towed gun and one of the few in the world that has the six-round automated magazine that fires in 30 seconds.

The existing 155 mm/52-calibre guns have three round magazines which need to be reloaded manually, often resulting in casualties during the exercises due to maximum burst. 

During an exclusive interview with the TOI, Bhatia said the gun would strengthen the army’s firepower manifold. Bhatia said the User Assistant Technical Trial (UATT) of ATAGS had been completed in Pokhran field firing range in Jaisalmer and the next phase is scheduled in September. 

Bhatia claimed that ATAGS had an electronic system in place instead of hydraulics. Earlier, during summers and winters, the hydraulic system used to often get jammed. Bhatia said the company had also manufactured an ultra-light gun which could be taken to mountains without much effort. He added that the gun at 4.7 tons was much lighter than the American 777 howitzer which weighed 6.7 tons. He added that the gun was accurate and easy to handle. “Trials had been done earlier and it can be taken anywhere by a helicopter in two parts,” he said. 

On the 105 mm-37 calibre 900 kg Garuda gun, Bhatia said it contained a lot of features and could be towed by any 4x4 vehicle. He added the army had already carried out trials and many countries had shown interest in it. Currently, its trials are going on in the United States, he said. 

The Bharat Forge CEO said new technologies had been developed to make the defence sector self-dependent. Along with guns, the company had manufactured gas turbines, transmission lines and armed vehicles, which till now had to be imported.