Defence Minister flags off 51st K-9 Vajra at L&T

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday flagged off the 51st K-9 Vajra-T gun at the Larsen and Toubro Armoured Systems Complex in Surat. The gun weighs 50 tonnes and can fire 47kg bombs at 43-kilometre distant targets.

Crux of the Matter
  • The K9 Vajra contract will deliver 100 systems in 42 months.
  • Different manoeuvres of the K-9 Vajra-T, a tracked self-propelled howitzer were displayed. It can also turn around at zero radii.
  • L&T in 2017 had won the  ₹4,500-crore contract from the Ministry of Defence to supply 100 units of K9 Vajra-T 155 mm/52 calibre tracked self-propelled gun systems to the Indian Army under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, “the government has simplified the process of giving licences for defence manufacturing and created a defence investors cell at the Ministry of Defence. The government will try its level best to remove all roadblocks that are coming in the industry’s way of indigenous defence manufacturing.”

The K9 Thunder is a South Korean self-propelled 155 mm howitzer developed by Samsung Techwin for the Republic of Korea Armed Forces and now manufactured by Hanwha Defense. It was developed to supplement and then replace the K55 self-propelled howitzers in South Korean service. K9 is an indigenous system of an all-welded steel armour construction which is rated to withstand 14.5 mm armour piercing rounds, 152 mm shell fragments, and anti-personnel mines. The main armament consists of a 155 mm/52 calibre ordnance with a maximum firing range of 40 km. State-of-the-art mobility subsystems include a 1,000 horsepower (750 kW) engine with potential for growth and hydropneumatic suspension unit, a requirement for Korea’s rugged mountainous terrain. More Info