Citing the "India Today" information, the new order could be placed this year, with the beginning of production in 2023 and all the deliveries will be completed before 2028. Until last year, the Indian Army had planned to order only one more K-9 regiment

The Indian Army is planning to deploy indigenous K-9 Vajra howitzers in Uttarakhand and the North-Eastern states of the country that share a border with China.

"The plan is to acquire 200 more K-9 howitzers and deploy them in the LAC with China's central and eastern sectors," senior government sources said.

The decision was made after the howitzers were successfully tested in the Ladakh sector, where they began to be deployed last year.

To increase firepower along the Chinese border, the Army first deployed a few guns before deploying an entire regiment in the high-altitude area.

The gun is capable of hitting targets at more than 45 km in high-altitude areas and has strengthened the force's artillery corps, sources said.

The Vajra variant, developed by engineering conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T) with India specific features, emerged fully compliant to Indian Army's needs during the arduous and extended field trials, the statement said.

The howitzer is fitted with indigenous components including a fire control system, direct fire system, and ammunition handling systems developed and manufactured by the company L&T.

The K-9 Vajra is armed with a 155mm / 52 calibre gun which has a burst rate of fire of three rounds per 15 seconds and a maximum rate of fire of six to eight rounds a minute for three minutes. With HE (High Explosive) projectiles, it has a maximum firing range of 30 km but it can also fire K307 Base Bleed HE ammunition to reach a maximum firing range of 40 km.

The ‘K-9 VAJRA-T’ systems are being delivered with over 80 per cent indigenous work packages and above 50 per cent indigenisation (by value) at the program level, Larsen & Toubro said.

This entails local production of over 13,000 different types of components per gun system via a supply chain of about 1,000 industrial partners, mostly Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), with about 150 of them based in Gujarat, L&T added.

The company further said that it exceeded the indigenous manufacturing content by grooming a young team of engineers and specialising them in manufacturing automation and integration with the assistance of its in-house team of weapon system experts.