With upgrades and modernization for its artillery systems long overdue, the Indian Ministry of Defense is likely to make heavy investments in this field in the coming years. Among the systems being replaced or fielded are towed guns, self propelled howitzers, mobile gun systems (truck mounted), self propelled guns carried by tank chassis, self propelled (trackd) guns and lighweight artillery supporting light, mountain and special forces. Traditionally, production of weapon systems Private sector, Both Tata Power, Larsen & Turbo and the Kaliani Group’s Bharat Forge units – all private sector companies owned by some of India’s largest commercial conglomerates. All these groups are vying for part of the Indian artillery pie and all have teamed with foreign companies to offer operationally proven designs. For the mobile gun system (MGS) the French Nexter unveiled here a lightweight variant of CAESAR, carried by a Super Stallion truck built by Ashok Leyland. Bharat Forge and Elbit Systems are also offering variants of the ATMOS, as part of the JV’s growing portfolio. Elbit Systems is the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the ATMOS. (Soltam, the original designer of ATMOS is currently part of Elbit Systems Land Systems division). ATMOS has also been deployed with a number of armies, including Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Uganda and, most recently Thailand, which has received a new low-profile version of the ATMOS. The Israel Defense Forces are also interested, but as happened with many armies in recent years, spending on artillery modernization has been delayed. ATMOS has been developed as an autonomous and open system that can be integrated on every suitable truck, a concept that was proven even in ‘limited editions’ comprising a small number of trucks.
GARUDA 105, an ultra light light weight mobile gun system was displayed by Bharat Forge, based on an indigenous design. At a gross weight of one ton (compared to three tons for other, average artillery pieces) the Indian Garuda 105 incorporates soft recoil technology that enables it to mount on standard tactical vehicles such as HMMWV or other prime movers.
Tata Power is also competing with a truck mounted G6 gun from Denel. Tata power is responsible for the design, development and manufacturing of the system; the understructure, hydraulics, fire control. The company will locally produce the barrel, breech system and muzzle break, gun, based on technology transfer provided by Denel. The gun system is fitted with an automatic rammer, feeding from a three-round magazine, and an integrated crane for ammunition loading. The laying and navigation system comprises of Ring Laser Gyro inertial sensor and weapon management system.