Army gets precision ammunition

Purchase and induction were expedited after Balakot air strikes.

October 17, 2019 11:00 pm | Updated October 18, 2019 02:09 am IST - NEW DELHI

Representational image. File

Representational image. File

After the Balakot air strikes in February, the Army fast-tracked procurement of 155-mm Excalibur precision-guided ammunition from the U.S., and it has recently been inducted. The ammunition gives the artillery guns extended range and the ability to hit targets with very high accuracy, sources said.

“The need for precision-guided munitions was always felt. The 155-mm Excalibur ammunition has recently arrived from the U.S. It can be fired over extended ranges,” an Army source said.

The proposal and acquisition were fast-tracked, thanks to the delegation of financial powers to the Service Headquarters and of emergency powers to the Vice-Chiefs of the Service Headquarters, the source said.

The ammunition will be used in all 155-mm artillery guns with the Army, the sources said. The Excalibur projectile is developed by Raytheon and BAE Systems Bofors. According to information on Raytheon’s website, the Excalibur provides accurate “first-round effects” at all ranges in all weather conditions and “extends the reach of .39-calibre artillery to 40 km and .52-calibre artillery to more than 50 km”.

After a gap of three decades, the Army inducted its first modern artillery guns in November last year: M-777 Ultra Light Howitzers (ULHs) from the U.S. and K9 Vajra-T self-propelled guns from South Korea. The Army has the older battle- proven Bofors 155-mm guns in service, and is inducting the 155-mm Dhanush towed gun.

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