Indian defence contractor Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has delivered 51 K9 Vajra-T 155mm / 52-calibre tracked self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) to the Indian Army.

The 51st Vajra-T, which is a variant of the Hanwha Defense K9 Thunder SPH, was handed over to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the company’s Armoured System Complex (ASC) located in the Indian state of Gujarat.

Spread over 40 acres within L&T’s 755-acre Hazira Manufacturing Complex, the ASC manufactures and integrates advanced armoured platforms such as self-propelled artillery howitzers, future infantry combat vehicles (ficv), future ready combat vehicles (frcv) or future main battle tanks.

It features high-end machinery and automation aids, feeder shops, and a full-fledged mobility test track for acceptance and qualification of armoured vehicles.

In May 2017, L&T secured a Rs45bn ($701.2m) contract from India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the delivery of artillery guns for the Indian Army. Under the contract, the company will supply 100 units of the self-propelled gun systems.

L&T Defence & Smart Technologies senior executive vice-president JD Patil said: “Building platform programmes like the K9 Vajra contribute to the economy with a large multiplier effect and have a significant role in building a national defence industrial base.

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“With the experience, track record, capability and infrastructure we have built at the Armoured Systems Complex, we are ready to take on development and build India’s future armoured platforms.”

L&T Defence is currently executing the ‘K9 VAJRA-T’ 155mm / 52-calibre Tracked, Self-Propelled Howitzer Guns programme, which involves the delivery of these systems in 42 months.

The contract also includes an associated engineering support package (ESP) that covers spares, documentation and training and maintenance transfer of technology to the Army Base Workshop.

L&T has developed 14 systems for the K9 Vajra-T gun, including its fire control, direct fire, and ammunition handling systems, as well as auxiliary power packs, air-conditioning, and nuclear, biological and chemical protection gear.