New Artillery RFI - Army to get new 155 mm/42 calibre guns

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by Sridhar, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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    Probe stalls upgrade, Army to get new guns

    BY: Indian Express

    The Indian Army is set to order new artillery guns worth approximately Rs 1,000 crore as plans to upgrade existing guns have been stalled after a probe was initiated against the Israeli firm Soltam which had been awarded the contract.

    The Army has issued a Request for Information, which will be followed by formal global tenders, to acquire new 155 mm/42 calibre towed guns to fill vital gaps in its artillery arsenal. The Army is planning to acquire close to 400 guns at the earliest.

    A contract for upgrading the older generation M46 guns to modern 155 mm/45 calibre standards had been signed with Soltam earlier. Soltam is partially owned by arms agent Sudhir Choudhary, wanted by the CBI in several arms procurement cases.

    While Soltam has already upgraded 180 Russian M46 guns, further orders have been stalled, forcing the Army to place orders for new guns.

    The Army’s artillery modernisation programme, which is years behind schedule with scandals hitting most defence vendors like Bofors, Denel and lately Singapore Technologies, envisages a force of more than 500 of the 155mm/45 cal towed guns. While the Army has not received even a single new gun in the past two decades since the Bofors scandal, there is a line of thought that the stringent requirements laid out for new guns has come in the way of purchases.

    As a result, all tenders floated by the Army in recent years to acquire new guns have come to a naught.

    IDRW.ORG Blog Archive Probe stalls upgrade, Army to get new guns
     
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  3. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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    Singaporean light howitzers enter India despite ban
    2009-06-24 16:31:00

    India recently received a consignment of 155 mm light howitzers from Singapore Technologies (ST) Kinetics despite a temporary ban on procurements from the company and six others on corruption charges, a leading defence journal says.

    The 35 cartons of 'cargo' that landed in Mumbai on May 29 were booked from Singapore by air charter service Chapman Freeborn, which confirmed the shipment, Aviation Week said.

    The air charter service is believed to have hired a Hercules C-130 from a Quebec charter company with ground handlers Freedom Air, which obtained permission from the Indian defence ministry and the Director General of Civil Aviation for the consignment, which was cleared by May 31.

    'It is not clear if the guns were sent for trials. However, if there was a ban on the company, one cannot fathom how the defense ministry allowed them in,' the magazine quoted a defence analyst here as saying.

    'This puts a cloak on the transparency talk of the government,' he added.

    Taking a proactive stance against corruption, Defence Minister A.K. Antony had ordered acquisitions from seven companies - including Singapore Technologies - named in a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) report on May 17 charging a former director general of the Ordance Factories Board with corruption 'to be put on hold until further notice'.

    In response to a request for proposals (RFPs), Singapore Technologies was the only vendor left to offer its lightweight 155mm howitzer - the Pegasus SLWH - which is self-propelled and is transportable by the C-130 and the CH-47 helicopter.

    However, it is not as light as competitor BAE Systems' M777, which pulled out of the bidding on grounds it had inadequate time to study the details within the three-month deadline.

    'We are keen to be in the competition, as we know we have the best weapon and the lightest in the world,' BAE spokesperson Guy Douglas said.

    The M777 weighs 3,745 kg. Two can fit inside a C-130, ready to operate on landing, which means the barrel does not have to be removed. It has been selected by the US Army and Marine Corps as their medium force weapon.

    Since BAE was unable to pursue the RFP route, it is likely to approach the government via the US Foreign Military Sales route once there is clarification on India's intentions over which guns it plans to purchase, one analyst told Aviation Week.

    Indian Army chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor said June 13 that the ban on Singapore Technologies would delay Indian plans to acquire light howitzers for modernising its artillery.

    The other six banned companies are Israeli Military Industries, BVT Poland and Media Architects of Singapore and three Indian companies - T.S. Kishan and Co., R.K. Machine Tools and HYT Engineering Co.

    Singaporean light howitzers enter India despite ban
     
  4. vijaytripoli

    vijaytripoli Regular Member

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  5. Dark Sorrow

    Dark Sorrow Respected Member Senior Member

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    Sridhar, r u sure it is 42 caliabre. As far as i know (i might be wrong) that artillary guns r commoly aviable in 3 calibres i.e. 39, 45 and 52. I never heard something like 155mm/42 calibre.
     

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