Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman witnessed the firing capability of 155 MM ATAGS (Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System) gun developed indigenously for the Indian Army that can hit a target at a long distance, on Saturday at Khetolai area in Pokhran field firing range in Jaisalmer.
Prior to this, she took feedback about the gun from DRDO and Kaveri group company. Army Chief General Vipin Rawat, senior scientists of DRDO and other officers were present on the occasion.
The minister also saw the firing capability of upgraded Arjun Mark 2 developed by DRDO.
Sitharaman and Army Chief General Vipin Rawat reached Jaisalmer airbase by special aircraft of Air Force at 8.35 am where they were extended a warm welcome by Konark Core Commander Lt General P S Rajeshwar, Jaisalmer Air Force station commander D Vedanjana, MLA Chotu Singh Bhati, collector K C Meena and SP Gaurav Yadav.
MLA Chotu Singh Bhati raised the issue of fencing at Shahgarh Bulj area adjoining Indo-Pak border. He said that due to shifting dunes fencing has been damaged at various places and got buried due to which there is a possibility of intrusion from Pakistan side. The MLA demanded to strengthen the security arrangements in the area.
Meanwhile, Sitharaman with Army Chief General Rawat and Core Commander Lt Rajeshwar left for Khetolai by helicopter and reached there at 9.15am.
Here, she saw the firing capability of 155mm ATAGS gun developed by DRDO, Pune, in a joint venture with Kaveri group. The army officials briefed her about the benefits of the gun. A DRDO scientist said that the gun has set a record by hitting the world’s longest target.
A few days ago, ATAGS 155-millimetre, 52-calibre gun-howitzer fired three shells to a world-record distance of 47.2 km from the gun position, thus, demonstrating its potential to be a world-beating system.
Later, the minister reached Lathi field firing range where they saw the firing capability of Arjun Mark 2. The firing range resonated with explosion. Sitharaman also met the jawans and officers and boosted their morale. She left for Jodhpur in the evening.
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