India's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has contracted Larsen & Toubro (L&T) to deliver artillery guns for the Indian Army.

The Rs45bn ($701.2m) contract will see company supply 100 units of 155mm, 52-calibre tracked self-propelled gun systems.

The deal is said to be the largest of its type awarded by the MoD to a private Indian company to date.

L&T has qualified as the sole bidder based on the performance of its K9 VAJRA-T gun for the ‘Buy Global’ acquisition programme, which was announced by the MoD in 2011.

The company was selected out of a group of four bidders, following a series of user trials and evaluations.

L&T previously signed a contract with Hanwha Techwin (HTW) of South Korea in April for the production of K9 VAJRA-T guns.

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"L&T has qualified as the sole bidder based on the performance of its K9 VAJRA-T gun for the ‘Buy Global’ acquisition programme."

The K9 VAJRA-T gun is an enhanced version of HTW’s K9 Thunder, and L&T has stated it is expected to meet the requirements of the Indian Army, including desert operations.

It is claimed that the K9 VAJRA-T is able to provide deep fire support with its longer firing range, a higher rate of fire, improved accuracy and effective and reliable fire support, as well as achieving higher mobility and protection in all manner of circumstances.

Delivery of the 100 guns is scheduled to be completed in 42 months, in accordance with the agreement with India's MoD.

The arrangement also covers associated engineering support packages, in addition to maintenance and transfer of technology to support these Howitzer regiments throughout their serviceable life.

The K9 VAJRA-T is expected to be produced in India and more than 50% of the materials used will be locally sourced.