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India launches bid to procure guided munitions from local industry

The Indian MoD has issued an expression of interest to procure terminally guided munitions for operation from its 155 mm artillery systems including its M777 ultra-light howitzers (pictured). (BAE Systems)

The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued an expression of interest (EoI) in support of its planned procurement, from local industry, of 1,966 rounds of 155 mm Terminally Guided Munitions (TGMs) for the Indian Army.

The EoI states that the TGMs will increase the capability of the army's artillery systems by facilitating “precision strikes and simultaneously reducing collateral damage”. It added that the Indian Army's artillery regiment has no TGM capability.

According to the EoI, the munitions will be procured through a procurement category known as Make-II. The category outlines the procurement of local-industry funded designs and developments and is intended to support India's import substitution drive. Make-II was introduced in 2016 and is part of India's current Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020.

The EoI stated, “The requirement of this ammunition will increase manifold as the majority of artillery regiments convert to 155 mm calibre [in line with] the upgrade of Indian artillery [capability]. Thus, sustenance of industry will be ensured due to continuous demand.”

While Indian Army inventories do not include TGMs, in October 2019 the service procured, from the United States, an initial batch of 1,200 GPS-guided M982 Excalibur rounds. The Indian Army operates the projectiles from its BAE Systems M777 155 mm/39-calibre ultra-light howitzers.

The Excalibur rounds were procured for use along India's disputed border in the northern Kashmir region, where the Indian Army frequently exchanges artillery fire with the Pakistan Army.

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