The Indian ministry of defense has begun procurement of 100 more K9-Vajra tracked, self-propelled howitzers.
Contract negotiations will begin once Larsen & Toubro (L&T) responds to the ministry’s request for proposals to manufacture the South Korean 155 mm gun domestically, The Hindu revealed.
The development comes nearly two years after L&T delivered the last 100 K9s to the Indian Army as part of a 2017 order.
200 Guns Required
The ministry reportedly wanted to procure 200 guns. However, the repeat order cannot be more than the original one, according to The Hindu.
The Mumbai-based multinational conglomerate domestically manufactured the Vajra after receiving a technology transfer from South Korea’s Hanwha Corporation.
India initially procured the Vajra for desert operations. However, the country’s border standoff with China prompted the Indian Army to deploy the gun in the mountains as well.
The 50-ton, 52-caliber gun is based on Hanwha’s K9 Thunder howitzer, capable of striking a target as far as 50 kilometers (31 miles) away.
The army has also procured winterization kits for the guns, ensuring smooth functioning in temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit).
The kit includes nine items, including batteries, oil, and lubricants, according to The Hindu.