Indian Army set to be provided a fillip with the ATAGS, said to be among the best in its class. The Advance Towed Artillery Guns System (ATAGS), a light-weight long-range automated gun being developed by DRDO with private participation, will be ready for production by 2019 after undergoing six years of development and testing. The ATAGS, which was sanctioned in 2012, has about 6,000 different components.

“The 155MM/52 calibre is going to be one of the best artillery guns in the world in its category,” said Anil Datar, noted scientist and Director General (Armament and Combat Engineering Cluster).

Extolling the virtues of ATAGS further, Datar said it will take over guns in this category in the future. “Its long range, light-weight and automation features will help it immensely. Loading ammunition will be fully automatic, and it will be compatible with various kinds of ammo as well. Private players like Tata, Larsen and Tubro, Bharat Forge have all been roped in to complete the project,” Datar said.

The DRDO scientist further added that the ATAGS concept design is ready. “It will weigh 12 tonnes — two tonnes lighter than other guns of its category. It will also be capable of shooting off five successive rounds in short duration. Total development will take three years and testing will last for another three. It’s different from Bofors in kind and calibre, and I can say it will be the best of its kind once inducted into our force.”

K N Rajan, Director, Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), said making of this gun is under mission mode, meaning it’s made as per the specific requirements of the Indian Army, which was going through a post-Bofors lull regarding artillery guns. “The Army tried to acquire it from the international market but couldn’t, due to delays and unfair means of getting contracts, due to which the ministry of defence approved the ATAGS project,” he said.

Rajan further added that DRDO scientists have been sent to Cranfield University in the UK to get more information on the principles of gun designing.

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