India is planning to place an order for the delivery of 200 additional K9 self-propelled howitzers, which is likely to be signed in 2022. This order for the indigenously manufactured K9 Vajra will not only boost the domestic defence manufacturing base, but it will also act as a reactive measure against the growing Chinese military build-up at India’s northern border region, says GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s report on Global Artillery Systems Market to 2031, India is expected to invest about US$5.2 billion between 2021 and 2031 for acquiring various types of artillery systems. The K9 procurement is analysed to account for a quarter of this spending.

Sourabh Banik, Defence Analyst at GlobalData, said: “Although, the domestic industry team lead by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has already proved its capability by rapidly delivering 100 units of K9 Vajra ahead of schedule last year. However, the follow-on K9 units will be specifically focused on countering China, as they will have engines and associated electronics fine-tuned for operation in high-altitude and extreme weather conditions prevalent in border areas like Ladakh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.

“Besides K9s, other ongoing procurement of indigenously manufactured artilleries in India comprise the acquisition of M777 towed howitzers from Mahindra Defence Systems, Dhanush towed howitzers from Advanced Weapons and Equipment (AWE) and Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher (MRL) developed by DRDO. These procurements further highlights India’s commitment in boosting its domestic defence manufacturing base.”

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