DefExpo 2018: BEML-TATRA 8X8 truck (representational image) has a cruising speed of 80 km/hr on road and more than 30 km/hr in cross-country and has a cruising range of 1000 km without refuelling. Image source: PTI
At the ongoing DefExpo 2018 in Chennai on Friday, Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and Bharat Earth Movers Ltd. (BEML) unveiled a 155mm 52 Cal Mounted Gun system in the presence of CMD, BEML, Deepak Kumar Hota and DGOF & Chairman OFB, SK Chourasia. The project was completely and independently designed and manufactured by the Ordnance Factory Board in association with BEML & BEL. The gun, which is a shining example of ‘Make in India’, is equipped with the state-of-the-art laying and sighting system such as GPS aided INS, muzzle velocity feeder data management, day and night firing, ballasting computer system capability, said a Ministry of Defence statement.
According to the statement, the base vehicle used for the gun system is the BEML-TATRA 8X8 truck with all differential lockable and a powerful 300 KW (402 HP) engine, which provides it a power to weight ratio of more than 10KW/ton. The high mobility vehicle with independent wheel suspension and swinging half axles aims to provide enhanced cross-country mobility. Further, the vehicle has a cruising speed of 80 km/hr on road and more than 30 km/hr in cross-country and has a cruising range of 1000 km without refuelling.
"The armament used in the 155 mm 52 Cal has a target destruction capability of approximately 42 kms. The Gun System combines with the advantage of high mobility performance of a truck with accurate long range fire power of a 155 mm 52 Cal gun and with its onboard ammunition storage capability of 18 rounds of HE shells as well as 18 BMCS and 2-6 chargers," the Ministry of Defence statement said. The Gun System, which can be automatically deployed in any terrain and can perform a mission independently, will serve as an all weather reinforcement for the infantry.
With its high strategic manoeuvrability in all types of terrain, it will also a force multiplier for the Indian artillery. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who on Thursday inaugurated the DefExpo 2018, stated that the government was keen to foster creative entrepreneurship in defence manufacturing. He also said that the government was committed to building a defence industrial complex that has room for public and private sectors and foreign firms.
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