New Delhi: In a mega push to promote indigenously designed and developed weapon systems, the Indian Army has moved a proposal to the Defence Ministry to buy 400 howitzers from Indian firms.

Indian Army’s Regiment of Artillery is looking to use the expertise of Indian Industry to produce 155 mm/52 calibre Towed Gun System, which will be lighter, versatile and cater for future technological advancements.

“A proposal for buying 400 155mm 52 calibre towed gun systems (TGS) along with towing vehicles from Indian firms under the Buy Indian-IDDM category has been moved to the Defence Ministry. The government is expected to soon take a decision on the TGS at a high-level meeting,” senior military officials told ANI.

The Indian Army has already issued a tender for buying 307 Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems (ATAGS) along with one for finding a mounted gun system for its requirements along borders with China and Pakistan.

The Indian Designed, Developed and Manufactured howitzer would mean that it would be totally Indian in all ways.

The Army wants the guns to be lighter in weight and easier to deploy in high-altitude areas like the older bofors guns.

The procurement process is part of the Army plan for Mediumisation with indigenous guns and is likely to be completed by the year 2042

In the last decade, four contracts have been concluded for the procurement of 155 mm howitzer. These Gun Systems have already been inducted and more number of Regiments are being equipped with these guns.

These gun systems include Dhanush, Sharang, Ultra Light Howitzer (ULH) and K-9 Vajra Self Propelled Guns.

Dhanush Guns are an electronic upgrade of Bofors Guns, while the Sharang Guns have been up-gunned from 130mm to 155mm calibre.

Seven Regiments have already been equipped with ULHs while five have been equipped with self-propelled guns.