The era of high-tech warfare has been seen as the future of the base of strong armed forces. India, being the fifth largest expender on arms, is working hard to grab maximum technology and weapons from other nations to stay firm in front of swiftly emerging neighbor’s; China and Pakistan. The list of the weapons procured till now is very long and is extending regularly. Out of all, taking about the South Korean K9 howitzer will be interesting for all army lovers.
K9 Vajra T is a 155 mm 52 caliber self-propelled Howitzer parented by Samsung Techwin. Samsung Techwin has a joint venture with India’s Larsen and Turbo for producing K9 Howitzer for Indian Army. In 2015, Larsen and Turbo came out with the contract of $8800 million dollar contract to supply 100 self-propelled howitzer gun to the Indian Army and the variant was called K9 Vajra- T. It has a special design for operations in the bordering areas of Pakistan. It was a long time that India running behind for procuring any such weapon, while Pakistan has got self-propelled artillery weapon supplied to them by the United States in 2009.
Talking about specifications of the howitzer, it has 7047 tons of weight, having a length of 12m and 3.4 M width. It can carry 5 crew members which includes commander, driver, gunner and 2 loaders. It has 52 calibre main armament gun and 12.7 mm K6 Heavy Machine Gun as a secondary armament having the power ratio of about 21 horsepower per ton. It has an average speed of 67 km per hour.
The deal between Larsen and Turbo and Samsung Techwin was finalised for 100 guns and it was informed that the guns will be made at the Talegaon plant near Pune. There is an additional clause of a follow-up of 50 additional K9 Vajra T guns after this contract. as per the Contract first 10 guns are to be supplied by Larsen and Turbo to the Indian Army within a span of 18 months of signing the deal and the left 90 guns will be supplied in next 2 years. This will be the First howitzer to be inducted in Indian Army after the procurement of Bofors 155 mm gun inducted about 3 decades ago. As per the sources, about 50% of the gun will be framed by L&T indigenously in India, which will include fabrication and machining of the hull and turret structures and 14 indigenously developed the systems of it. Currently, nations like Poland and Turkey are using K9 Howitzer and its variants in the required form and India is expected to bring it to use in upcoming years.