India’s first private-sector Howitzer gun-manufacturing plant comes up in Surat
On 19th January, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the India’first Armoured Systems Complex (ASC) built by a private company – Larsen & Toubro (L&T) – at Hazira in Surat, Gujarat. This is the India’s first private facility where the K9 Vajra self-propelled Howitzer guns will be manufactured. Spread over 40 acres within L&T’s 755-acre Hazira Manufacturing Complex, the ASC is executing the K9 Vajra guns programme. The K9 Vajra contract involves delivery of 100 such systems in 42 months, which is the largest contract awarded to a private company by the Ministry of Defence. L&T had signed a transfer of technology contract for guns with South Korean company Hanwha Corporation. The gun weighs 50 tonnes and can fire 47kg bombs at a 43-kilometre distance target. It can turn around at zero radius. The ASC is a state-of-the-art facility to manufacture and integrate advanced armoured platforms such as self-propelled artillery Howitzers, future infantry combat vehicles (FICV), future ready combat vehicles (FRCV) or future main battle tanks.