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India clears acquisition of mounted gun system

India's Defence Acquisition Council has approved the procurement of MGS, the example of which is pictured above, for the Indian Army. (Janes/Kapil Kajal)

India's Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, has approved the procurement of the mounted gun system (MGS) for the Indian Army.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement that the procurement, approved through the provision of an ‘Acceptance of Necessity' (AoN) status under the ‘Buy (Indian)' category, includes 155 mm/52 calibre MGS.

The MoD added that the system should have a maximum weight of 30 tonnes. The maximum firing range of the system should be more than 38 km, and the gun must fire all in-service 155 mm ammunition.

The Indian Army's Field Artillery Rationalisation Plan seeks the procurement of around 3,000 towed and self-propelled howitzers, including at least 814 mounted on 6×6 and 8×8 wheeled platforms.

The Indian Army has been trying to procure the MGS for the last two decades. The first request for proposal (RFP) for the system was issued to five foreign manufacturers in February 2002.

The RFP recipients included SWS Defence (formerly Bofors AB) with its FH-77BD; Denel/LIW with its G6 and the T-5 Mk2000 Condor; GIAT Industries with its CAESAR; Karmetal of Slovakia with its Zuzana; and Soltam Systems with its ATMOS.

In July 2005, India's price negotiation committee suspended the RFP owing to bribery allegations. In February 2008, another RFP was issued for 180 MGSs. However, in November 2011, the MoD cancelled the tender following several technical complaints in the system during the trials.

In September 2012, another RFP was released. The MoD cancelled the RFP within a week, citing unspecified issues.

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