L&T, supported by its South Korean technology partner Hanwha Tech Win (HTW), had bid for this ‘Buy Global’ acquisition program of MoD in 2011. Among 4 bidders to the program RFP, L&T emerged as the sole qualified bidder, after a series of User Trials and Evaluations, based on the performance of the K9 VAJRA-T self-propelled Howitzer. The K9 VAJRA-T gun is an enhanced version of HTW’s K9 Thunder – a world class self-propelled Howitzer, customised and co-developed by L&T & HTW to suit the specific requirements of the Indian Army including desert operations. HTW’s K9 Thunder self-propelled Howitzer is among the best in the world with over 1,000 units already in service in Korea and few other countries.
This contract embodies the Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. It envisages delivery of the 100 guns in 42 months with associated engineering support package and maintenance transfer of technology to support these Howitzer regiments throughout their life cycle. These guns will have over 50 per cent indigenous content and will be delivered from L&T’s manufacturing facilities, including a new Armoured Systems Complex at Hazira. This program sets new benchmarks in co-development and co-production of defence systems by any Indian defence company in collaboration with an international technology partner. (UNI)