India's Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has signed a contract with Hanwha Techwin (HTW) of South Korea to supply 155mm/ 52-calibre tracked self-propelled (SP) gun systems for the Indian Army.

The contract follows after L&T qualified as the sole bidder, based on the performance of its K9 VAJRA-T gun, for the SP programme, which successfully completed user evaluation trials.

In 2011, the Indian Army issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for 100 155mm / 52-calibre SP gun programme.

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

“This also marks a giant step forward towards furthering the 'Make in India' vision of the Government of India."

It is claimed to provide deep fire support with its longer firing range, as well as a higher rate of fire, improved accuracy, and effective and reliable fire support, higher mobility and protection in all kinds of circumstances.

L&T heavy engineering board member and defence and aerospace head Jayant Patil said: “This contract marks an important milestone in L&T's Defence Business journey and in our relationship with Hanwha Techwin. It will create synergies not only for this programme but also for upcoming Indian and global programmes.

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“This also marks a giant step forward towards furthering the 'Make in India' vision of the Government of India.”

L&T plans to begin production of the weapon system at its Strategic Systems Complex at Talegaon near Pune in the Indian state of Maharashtra and deliver the first batch of ten guns.

The company is also setting up a greenfield manufacturing line in Hazira, Gujarat, to produce, test and qualify the K9 VAJRA-T guns.

In addition to producing K9 VAJRA-T in India using more than 50% indigenous content, L&T will provide through life support from the country.