Final firing tests of the indigenously developed Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) have begun from Friday at Pokhran field firing range of Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer district. Defence Research and Defence Organisation (DRDO) and senior army officers were present at the trials.

The ATAGS is a 155 mm/52 calibre gun with a theoretical firing range of 40 km. The gun currently weighs about 18 tonnes, while the ideal weight for the army would be 14-15 tonnes. The Indian Army has begun finalising the preliminary specifications qualitative requirements (PSQR) which should be completed by July 2019. In the earlier trials which were conducted in December 2018, the gun had fired on targets distant of 47.2 km as per a DRDO communique.

155mm/52 cal. Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) displayed at DefExpo India 2018

According to the report, on Friday, May 24, the gun had fired 48 rounds. On Saturday, 12 rounds were fired. The trials are going on for four more days. The Defence ministry has already approved the in-principle purchase of 150 of these guns. However, so far, the DRDO has sanctioned funds for the production of 10 guns only.

The guns will be produced by the DRDO in two separate contracts – one with TATA Power and another with Kaveri Group (Bharat Forge). According to the report, the lowest bidder will get a larger order.