New Delhi: Giving a boost to PM Narendra Modi’s Make in India call, indigenous company Larsen and Toubro has bagged a $750-million (about Rs. 5000 crore) contract to supply Indian army 100 self-propelled artillery guns.
The mobile artillery guns will reverse a longheld Pakistani battlefield edge on artillery guns. The Pakistani army is currently armed with at least 115 of the modern M 109A5 cannons supplied by US as a reward for fighting terror in Afghan border.
The Army had then accelerated its plans to procure a similar system, but the process dragged on for many years, with the defence ministry finally taking a call on the winner last week. Sources told that the K9 VAJRA-T howitzer, pitched by L&T in partnership with Samsung, has been shortlisted for the contract.
Once signed — the final process could take another six months — the Vajra could be the first new artillery gun to be produced in India since the 1980s when the Bofors was acquired. A parallel effort to procure M777 ultra-light howitzers from the US is under progress.
The Vajra will be produced at L&T’s Pune facility and could be considered for exports in the future, along with an expected followon order for more guns for the Army.
The victory is especially sweet for L&T as it was competing in the global category, which was open to all arms vendors around the world.