The Army has increased its firepower along the border with China by putting more rockets and artillery there. They also plan to buy more weapons, like 100 K9 Vajra howitzers and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to help them fight better.
The Indian Army already has K-9 Vajra Tracked Self-Propelled Howitzers, ultra-light M-777 howitzers, Pinaka rocket systems, and Dhanush gun systems in its artillery units.
Sources in the defense establishment said that the Army plans to give its artillery units along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) with a range of up to 90 km.
A source said, “We’re thinking about buying UAVs with a range of 15-20 km and the ability to do surveillance up to 80 km away for four hours.”
At the moment, the Army Aviation units are in charge of almost all of the UAVs that the Army has.
The Army is going to buy 100 more K9 Vajras howitzers, sources said. This is in addition to the 100 howitzers it bought in 2017.
“The plan to order 100 more K9 Vajras has been approved by the Defense Acquisition Council. Soon, the Request for Proposals (RFP) will go out, “said the source.
The K9 Vajras was originally bought to be used in deserts, but after the standoff in eastern Ladakh, the Army sent a lot of them to that high-altitude area.
Sources said that only small changes were made to the way the tracked howitzers were set up in eastern Ladakh.
“We are also getting winterization kits for the howitzers so they can work in temperatures below zero,” the source said, adding that the Vajra guns are roaring in high-altitude areas along the Northern borders.
Sources said that the Army is also buying the Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System, or ATAGS, and the Mounted Gun Systems (MGS).
They said that more advanced Pinaka weapon systems will soon be put into use. They also said that six more regiments of these systems are being bought, and their delivery will start soon.
Sources said that the new Pinaka regiments will have weapons that are both better in terms of electronics and mechanics and can fire a wider range of ammunition.
After a lot of testing, one regiment of Pinaka has been sent to the Northern border in a high-altitude area, they said, and the defense ministry has already given the go-ahead to buy guided rockets with a long-range for Pinaka.
“The rocket would be able to fire with a lot of accuracy from farther away,” the source said.
The Army is also in the process of buying a “Loitering Munition System,” which will improve its ability to keep an eye on things, find targets, and hit them accurately.
“We are also in the process of getting a loitering weapon system that was designed and made in India and has better strike capabilities,” the source said.
Sources say that tests are going well for the Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), which was made in India.
This gun system has a 25-liter chamber, a long-range, and the ability to fire quickly and continuously.
The sources said that the user trials for the gun systems had gone well and that there were only a few small issues that were being worked out.