Saturday, April 3, 2010

Indian Trials For Towed Guns Expected Soon


Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Apr 02 , 2010 , p. 07
Neelam Mathews

India’s effort to purchase new towed guns for its army is heating up, with trials likely to begin this summer.

“We are still pending dates from the [defense ministry] for the trials,” says a spokesman for Singapore Technologies (ST) Kinetics, which is competing with BAE Systems to make the guns. “Our gun will be ready for the summer trials.”

Winter trials were delayed following an accident in which ST Kinetics’ 155mm .52-caliber towed howitzer rammed up against a truck in Singapore in February. “Accidents happen and this was beyond our control,” Patrick Choy, chief marketing officer for ST Kinetics, told Aerospace DAILY.

Since the parts for the gun had to be imported from Europe, winter trials will now be held in October. But Choy confirmed the gun would be ready for the summer trials.

The Indian government also has been pursuing an effort to buy 12 dozen ultra lightweight (ULW) M777 howitzers from BAE through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program (Aerospace DAILY, Jan. 29).

The Indian army has a $4 billion artillery modernization program aimed at inducting around 2,814 guns of different types.

ST Kinetics recently participated in trials for its SAR-21 assault rifles in response to a Home Ministry tender for around 40,000 guns.

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