On Friday, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) cleared the Rs 4,500-crore acquisition of 100 tracked, self-propelled guns that will be manufactured in India by Larsen & Toubro (L&T), in partnership with South Korea’s Hanwa Techwin.
This acquisition proposal, which the army regards as crucial for equipping its strike corps with tracked guns that can keep pace with fast armoured spearheads, had already come up before the CCS on Wednesday. However, the matter was postponed because of a lack of quorum -— the minimum required five ministers were not present at the meeting.
Now, with the CCS sanction accorded on Friday, L&T executives told Business Standard they expect the contract to be signed within a fortnight.
L&T and Hanwa Techwin will gain approximately 50 per cent each of the contract. The guns are required to be delivered in 42 months from the contract, which includes an options clause for an additional 50 guns.
To build the guns, L&T plans to set up a new manufacturing line at its major unit in Hazira. However, until that gears up for production, the L&T facility at Talegaon, outside Pune, will build the gun.
The K-9 Vajra, as the gun is called, consists of a 155-millimetre, 52 calibre gun, mounted on a tracked vehicle.