The country’s first fully integrated Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), being developed by the Defence Research and Developed Organisation (DRDO), has successfully completed user assisted technical trials for desert terrain at the Pokhran firing range in Rajasthan.
P K Mehta, DRDO’s director general for armament and combat engineering system, told TOI on Wednesday, “We have achieved the desired results in the user assisted trials and the gun is now poised for further trials (for other terrains) in the coming months.”
The trials in the deserts were carried out by DRDO scientists and the Indian Army’s director general for artillery from August 24 to September 7. A large number of extended range full bore artillery ammunitions were successfully fired from the gun during the trials.
Project director S V Gade of the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) in Pune, who anchored the trials, said, “The users (Indian Army) fired all type of ammunitions and achieved the desired range and consistency for the live ammunition. In fact, the gun successfully hit a target at 48km distance. No other contemporary artillery guns are able to achieve a range of more than 40km so far.” The ATAGS is capable of firing a Bi-Modular Charge System (BMCS) Zone 7 propellant, which no other country is able to fire as on date, he added.
Gade said, “We have also validated firing table in a limited way of the gun, which was very crucial task for us.”
The ATAGS has an all-electric drive which gives advantage over traditional hydraulic drives which exists in other towed guns. The electric drives of the ATAGS gives controls in handling ammunition, opening and closing the breech mech. and ramming the round into firing chamber, Gade added.
“The gun will undergo refinements and will be ready for high altitude trials which are likely to be conducted at Sikkim in December, depending on a confirmation from the army authorities,” Gade said. The gun is expected to be inducted in the Indian Army by 2020, sources in DRDO said.
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