To win future battles, modernisation of Indian artillery is essential
 
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Weapon for all Seasons

To win future battles, modernisation of Indian artillery is essential
 

Lt Gen. Vijay Narula (retd) Lt Gen. Vijay Narula (retd)

In order to successfully counter current and future threats and challenges, any army needs to keep itself abreast of the latest technology and upgrade its combat potential regularly.

As the future wars will be fought in the nuclear backdrop, weapon and equipment should be so defined to ensure a short and swift decision-making conflict. Artillery needs should be so articulated, keeping in mind the calibre and bore to ensure use of all types of tactical munitions.

Any artillery is the principal component of fire power, with ranges and reach to display the ethos of a manoeuvre arm. Sophisticated and advanced surveillance systems now permit an accurate and effective deep strike capability exploitation with an extended reach. Artillery gun systems with advanced fire control systems and long range secure communications, allow a very wide application of its fire envelope almost instantaneously.

Instant Scenario
No army of the world can always afford most of its equipment of modern status. The aspiration of every organisation is based on the 30: 40: 30 concept, meaning thereby that 30 per cent equipment would be modern, 40 per cent contemporary and balance 30 per cent would be vintage. Indian artillery has for three decades not been able to acquire or upgrade any major modern gun systems.

Last acquisition was 400 guns of FH 77B Bofors gun in 1985. Indian artillery has always been on the priority for procurement with all the governments, but somehow failed to achieve modernisation in terms of any new major equipment. Present situation now seems to show a positive response and an array of modernisation plan are likely to fructify in the near future.

The 105 mm Indian Field Gun (IFG), manufactured by Indian Ordinance Factory, has been the bedrock of Indian artillery for over three decades. The guns are robust, sturdy, accurate and consistent, with ranges up to 17 km. In the present scenario, the expectancy of ranges to be achieved by any gun system would be much higher in the region of 30 km. M 46 130 mm gun, which have been the workhorse as a medium artillery, now requires an immediate upgrade to higher standard bore and calibre. FH 77B 155mm/39 calibre Bofors gun has always been the highlight of all the battles, for the last 30 years.

Weapon for all Seasons

 
 
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