From Bofors to Ultra Light Howitzer: India deploys firepower along China border
India has been ramping up its firepower in a bid to match Chinese deployment of weapons and equipment along the Line of Actual Control. Asianet Newsable's Anish Kumar reports from Tawang
Image: Capt Sayari Abbasi, an Army Air Defence officer posted in Tawang sector
Giving impetus to its operational capability, the Indian Army has added more firepower in its eastern sector, bordering China with the induction of upgraded legacy guns, automated artillery systems like the Bofors gun and deployment of Ultra Light Howitzer M-777.
India has been ramping up its firepower in a bid to match Chinese deployment of weapons and equipment along the Line of Actual Control.
L-70 air defence system
Stating that the indigenously upgraded gun L-70 would help in countering the modern air threats, Capt Sayari Abbasi, an Army Air Defence officer posted in Tawang sector, said, "Quickfire 40mm L-70 air gun forms a mainstay gun system of Army air defence. This battle-proven gun has been upgraded indigenously in order to counter contemporary air threats."
She said this weapon has the potential to bring down all low-level air threats, including unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned combat vehicles, attack helicopters and modern aircraft with its automatic tracking capabilities.
Image: Quick-fire 40mm L-70 air gun is a mainstay gun system of Army air defence
Detailing about the features of the gun, Capt Abbasi said it has been incorporated with a high-resolution electro-optic sensor to include day and night television camera, thermal imaging camera and laser range finder.
"It is also equipped with muzzle velocity radar which increases the firing accuracy of the gun. The system management computer is provided in the gun that receives data from all major components and provide future target position to the firers," she said.
This air gun has an effective range of over 3km. This gun was procured from Sweden in 1960s and the defence PSU BEL has upgraded about 200 guns at a cost of Rs 575 crore.
Image: The M-777 is a 155-mm, 39-calibre towed artillery gun
Ultra-Light Howitzer M-777
The Army has also deployed its ULH M-777 in the eastern sector which gives an option to the force to move the defence system to any terrain. The case is not the same with other guns, including Bofors.
In 2016, India had entered into a pact with the US for procurement of 145 M-777 ULHs worth $737 million. 75 out of 145 M-777 have been inducted into the Indian Army's arsenal and deployed along the LAC.
Last month, Director General Artillery had said that so far three regiments have been raised and the process for the fourth one is in progress.
The M-777 is a 155-mm, 39-calibre towed artillery gun with weights of 4-tonne. This system can be easily and smoothly be transported under-slung from helicopters like Chinook.
Image: The Bofors gun has an effective range of over 40km
Bofors Gun Display Unit
Capt Prateek of Bofors Regiment said, "Gun display unit has been recently brought in the Army which has added speed and accuracy in providing the gun support to the infantry units deployed ahead on the LAC. The gun has an effective range of over 40km."
The Gun Display Unit computerises the entire artillery process. It has also enhanced the response time with reduced human error as earlier the data was being fed manually.