The Indian Army is going to place orders for 307 Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) howitzers, which will be manufactured by two private firms in India. The proposal, worth over Rs 8,000 crore, has been floated by the Indian Army and is expected to be cleared soon, top government officials told India Today.

During trials in 2017, ATAGS broke the then-world record for a 155 mm/52 calibre gun by firing the round to a distance of 47.2 kilometers

The Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) project was started in 2013 by DRDO to replace older guns in service in the Indian Army with a modern 155mm artillery gun. DRDO laboratory Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) partnered with private players Bharat Forge, Mahindra Defence Naval System, TATA Power SED and public sector unit Advanced Weapons and Equipment India for this purpose. With ARDE as the nodal laboratory, development is being assisted by Instruments Research and Development Establishment (IRDE), Vehicle Research and Development Establishment (VRDE), Proof and Experimental Establishment (PXE), Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), and Defence Electronics Applications Laboratory (DEAL). It was part of the Development cum Production Partner Program (DCPP) of DRDO.

The development of the gun took about 4 years and was expected to be complete by March 2017. The delay in the completion of the project was attributed to the realization of the ordnance and recoil system and supply issues with the manufacturing of sub-systems.

It was first publicly showcased at the 68th Republic Day parade on 26 January 2017. For the first time, an indigenously developed howitzer gun, the ATAGS, was included in the 21-gun salute alongside the British-origin 25-pounder as part of the 76th Independence day celebrations. The gun ten started user trials. It was displayed indoors at DefExpo India 2018 in Chennai. Its serial production started in 2019.

The Indian Army further conducted trials of the gun in different altitudes and terrains, leading to improvements as per the suggestions made by the users. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has shared the technological know-how of the howitzer with TATA and Bharat Forge. The two private firms will be supplying the system to the Army, including over 320 high-mobility vehicles. The trials of the 155mm/52 calibre ATAGS howitzers were completed at the Pokhran Field Firing Range (PFFR) between April 26 and May 2 last year. The Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE) Pune is the nodal laboratory of the DRDO for the design and development of ATAGS, along with other DRDO laboratories.


The gun consists of a barrel, breech mechanism, muzzle brake and recoil mechanism to fire 155 mm calibre ammunition with a firing range of 48 km. It has an all-electric drive to ensure reliability and minimum maintenance over a long period of time. It has advanced features like high mobility, quick deployability, auxiliary power mode, an advanced communication system, an automatic command and control system with night capability in direct-fire mode. The gun is two tons lighter than guns in the same category and is designed to provide better accuracy and range and is capable of firing five successive rounds in a short duration. It is compatible with C3I systems like Artillery Combat Command and Control System (ACCCS) called Shakti for technical fire control, fire planning, deployment management, and operational logistics management of the Indian Army.

Ramjet-Propelled Artillery Shell For Extended Range

IIT-Madras along with IIT Kanpur, ARDE and Research Centre Imarat (RCI) are working on redesigning an existing 155 mm shell using ramjet propulsion that can cover 60 km+ range. It will be made compatible with ATAGS. The shell will use a precision guidance kit for trajectory correction. IIT Madras will ensure that Munitions India can manufacture the shells.


DRDO conducted the proof firing of armament for the 155/52 caliber Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System on 14 July 2016. The test was successful. Fully integrated, 155-millimeter artillery gun fired its first rounds of live ammunition at the Proof and Experimental Establishment (PXE) in Balasore, Odisha on 14 December 2016.

During trials in 2017, ATAGS broke the then-world record for a 155 mm/52 caliber gun by firing the round to a distance of 47.2 kilometers. It again registered a maximum distance of 48.074 kilometers with high explosive–base bleed (HE–BB) ammunition, surpassing the maximum ranges fired by any artillery gun system in this category. This has since been surpassed by M777 and later M1299 under US Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) program using 58 caliber long barrel, and XM1113 rocket-assisted artillery shell.

The gun successfully completed trials, opening the way to the manufacturing of the first lot of 40 guns. The gun underwent user trials in September 2020 and suffered a major setback with a barrel burst injuring four personnel. Investigations are on to ascertain and solve the problem and in November 2020, after an investigation, the gun was cleared for further trials. In June 2021, ATAGS successfully completed trials at 15,000 feet (4,600 m) altitude. On May 2, 2022, the ATAGS successfully completed all field trials, paving the way for induction into the Army. And indeed, ATAGS was being fast-tracked by the Indian Army for induction as of 27 September 2022.


• DRDO ATAGAS - Towed by a High Mobility Vehicle (HMV)
• DRDO MGS - It equips ATAGS on an 8-wheeled HMV developed by Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML)