Indigenous Might

Kalyani Group facility to produce 250 ATAGS a year

Younis Ahmad Kaloo

At the recently concluded 10th edition of DefExpo, which witnessed the participation of 671 exhibitors, of which 517 were local, India’s defence manufacturers had on display their sophisticated weapon systems and offered them as solutions to modern-day needs of the Indian armed forces.

Kalyani Group’s stand

Kalyani Group, an Indian multinational showcased five-gun platforms, including the 155/39 calibre gun system called Ultra-Light Howitzer (ULH) which was launched at the exhibition. Termed the ‘futuristic artillery gun’, the ULH comes in two variants: the conventional Recoil ULH and Advance Hybrid Recoil ULH.

According to the company, Conventional Recoil ULH is a 155mm/39 calibre long range field artillery weapon system weighing less than 4.8 tonnes. While Advance Hybrid Recoil ULH is a variant of Conventional ULH which incorporates state-of-the-art advanced recoil system, thus further bringing down the weight of the gun to less than 4.5 tonnes.

The guns, as the company said, have been explicitly designed to meet the growing requirements for flexible and accurate artillery fire support capable of rapid re-deployment by the battlefield helicopters and also being towed by lightweight limber or utility vehicles. Moreover, the ordnance of both the guns was proof fired at P2 pressure March this year at CPE, Itarsi.

“Kalyani Group has always been at the forefront of technology and is today a one-stop solution for artillery platforms. The ULH is a complete game changer and puts us straight up on the world map. We have designed and developed these ULHs which are futuristic in outlook and use. This will ensure that the solution remains valid and in service for a very long time, thereby proving to be cost and effort effective solution. These guns are the perfect example of ‘Make in India’,” said Director of Kalyani Strategic Systems Ltd, Rajinder Singh Bhatia.

Chairman and managing director, Bharat Forge, Baba N. Kalyani while addressing a media gathering at the exhibition also spoke about the features of the gun and offered it as a solution to the Indian Army’s artillery requirements in tougher terrains.

“We have a tough job carrying artillery as compared to China, which has built four-lane roads at the top of the mountains. Our ULH can be lifted by a helicopter,” he said.

Kalyani Group’s other artillery products include Bharat 52, Bharat 45, Garuda 105 and Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), which it has developed in partnership with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The Group’s contribution to the making of the ATAGS involves gun structure, gun control and automation, barrel and breech and battery command post.

“We have been able to fire up to 48 kilometres in range, which is the highest ever range that a 155mm/52 calibre artillery gun has been able to achieve in normal ammunition. The consistency and accuracy of firing is extremely good. The gun is very stable and has fired more than a thousand rounds so far and has had no trouble,” said Kalyani at DefExpo-2018 in Chennai. “We a have plant ready which can produce roughly 250 guns a year,” he added.

Exhibition apart, Kalyani Group also made some announcements about forging relations with foreign companies and expanding the product profile. In one such announcement the company said that Kalyani Group and Technodinamika, the holding company in Russia, have decided to come together to form a strategic partnership for producing the undercarriage systems in India for all types of aircrafts. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also signed in this regard. In yet another announcement the company said that along with TR Research and Development Ltd. it is working to develop and provide diving support systems, unmanned underwater vehicles/ autonomous systems and batteries for Indian defence.

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