The Indian Army has deployed a regiment of K9 Vajra self-propelled howitzers in eastern Ladakh, along the Line of Actual Control with China, to counter China’s aggression.
Amid tensions with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army on Saturday said that it has deployed its first K-9 Vajra self-propelled howitzer regiment in forward areas. This comes after Army chief General MM Naravane warned that PLA has deployed its troops in “considerable numbers” across eastern Ladakh.
“These guns can also work in high-altitude areas, field trials were extremely successful. We have now added an entire regiment, this will be really helpful,” Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane was quoted as saying by news agency ANI on the performance of K-9 VAJRA self-propelled artillery.
India and China have been involved in a border standoff since May last year following a violent clash in the Pangong lake area. Both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.
“Chinese have deployed in considerable numbers all across Eastern Ladakh and Northern front right up to our Eastern command. Definitely, there has been an increase in their deployment in the forward areas which remains a matter of concern for us,” said the Army chief.
Earlier Economic Times quoted news on Tuesday More than 100 Chinese troops transgressed into Indian territory on August 30 through the border point at Barahoti ridge in Uttarakhand, citing unidentified government and security officials.
They entered more than 5 kilometers into the Indian territory by crossing the Tun Jun La in the area, the report said. The government is yet to give an official statement on the matter. It shows the aggression of the PLA army, seems like the Chinese don’t want peace.
K-9 Vajra, a self-propelled howitzer
K-9 Vajra or K-9 Thunder is a 155 mm self-propelled howitzer that has been designed by South Korean firms Agency for Defense Development and Samsung Aerospace Industries. It has a length, width and height of 12 m, 3.4 m and 2.73 m respectively and is operated by 5 people — commander, driver, gunner and two loaders.
The K-9 Vajra is equipped with POSCO MIL-12560H armour and can fire up to 40 km using K307 base bleed ammunition. The developers of K-9 Vajra claim that the howitzer can fire three rounds in 15 seconds in burst mode. It can also fire six to eight rounds per minute in sustain fire mode.
It is also equipped with other India specific modifications for desert conditions such as auxiliary power packs, air-conditioning systems, fire fighting systems, and NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) protection systems.
How India got K-9 Vajra self-propelled howitzer?
India had signed a Rs 4,500-crore contract with L&T Defence, supported by its South Korean technology partner Hanwha Tech Win (HTW), to produce 100 units of K9 Vajra-T 155 mm/52 calibre tracked self-propelled gun systems for the Indian Army in 2017. Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had said that more than 75 per cent of howitzer will be manufactured in India.
“I see this complex has a new and astonishing achievement… There were many sectors in India where private sector’s participation was almost nil. Defence sector was one such example,” Rajnath was quoted as saying by LiveMint.
“Today, when I saw the K-9 Vajra-T gun, I could see strong gun, but more than that, I could see a strong India… In defence, this is a brilliant example of Make in India,” he added.
At the same time, the Indian Army also deployment of the M-777 ultralight howitzer system near the border with China. It is reported that India purchased 145 sets of M-777 ultra-light howitzer system from the United States in 2016. This type of equipment is light in weight and can be quickly maneuvered by helicopter. It is mainly used in conjunction with general-purpose helicopters equipped by the Indian Army in the highlands of the Sino-Indian border. Flexible and mobile deployment operations.
The Indian Army’s purchase of this type of American-made equipment is entirely for the PLA. So far, more than half of the entire order has been delivered and deployed to the three regiments of the Indian Army on the Sino-Indian border.
In fact, after several border conflicts with China, the main deployment direction of the Indian army has now shifted from the direction of Kashmir to the disputed area on the Sino-Indian border with Ladakh as the core. New equipment is deployed near this area.
While Chinese media quoted on this and said “After Biden supported India’s “entry into the permanent residence”, New Delhi floated again and deployed a large number of artillery to the Sino-Indian border”