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India completes validation trials of ATAGS gun system

India has completed validation trials of the 155 mm/52-calibre ATAGS system, developed by the DRDO and private industry. The gun is pictured above at the DefExpo 2018 exhibition in Chennai. (Janes/Guruprasad Gangaramaiah)

India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has concluded validation trials of the indigenously developed 155 mm/52-calibre Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) for the Indian Army.

Co-developer of the gun system, Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL), said in a tweet that ‘Preliminary Service Quality Requirements' (PSQR) evaluations of the ATAGS were conducted on 2 May.

The DRDO said the PSQR trials were held at its Pokhran field firing ranges in Rajasthan, northern India, from April 26 to May 2. According to both the DRDO and TASL, the trials were successful at proving the reliability and performance of the gun system.

An official from the DRDO was quoted by The Hindu newspaper as saying that further trials of the ATAGS are scheduled for May – for electromagnetic compatibility and for the Ministry of Defence's (MoD's) Directorate General of Quality Assurance – before possible issuance of a request for proposal (RFP) document later this year.

TASL said in its tweet that that the ATAGS programme is indicative of India's efforts to develop and produce military systems through partnerships between national public and private-sector enterprises. “Such a weapon system is highly strategic for India,” the company added.

In August 2018 the MoD's Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) sanctioned the procurement of 150 ATAGS for the Indian Army for INR33.65 billion (USD440 million).

The MoD, which described the gun system as the “future mainstay” of the Indian Army's artillery requirements, said the ATAGS would be procured under the ‘Indigenously Designed, Developed, and Manufactured' (IDDM) category of the 2016 defence procurement procedure.

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