The Indian Army has successfully tested the made-in-India K-9 Vajra howitzers in high altitude locations in Eastern Ladakh and inducted a regiment of these guns in the sector, said Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Saturday. The gun was the first major Make in India project of the Narendra Modi government and 100 of these guns have been inducted into the force and plans are afoot to buy more of them.
The Indian Army chief in an exclusive interaction with ANI said the gun has further enhanced the firepower of the force in deployment along the Line of Actual Control with China. “The K9 was originally a self-propelled gun for our armoured formations in the plains of Punjab and Rajasthan. When the situation was developed in Ladakh and there was a requirement of more firepower. These guns were inducted with some modifications and conducive to operate in high altitude areas,” he said.
The Army chief stated that the field trials of the gun were extremely successful. “We have inducted entire regiment and it will certainly add to our firepower,” he stated. The Army chief had been monitoring the induction and operations of the howitzers produced in the Larsen and Toubro facility in Hazira near Surat in Gujarat.
The self-propelled guns have a range of 38 kilometres but they have been successfully hitting targets at 50 kilometres in the mountains up to 16,000 feet altitude in Eastern Ladakh. The gun has also been test firing along the Kargil sector, which shares boundary with Pakistan and can be very effective there also, Army officials said. With the induction of the K9 Vajras, Dhanush and M777 ultra-light Howitzers, the Army is obtaining new inductions in its inventory.