K9 Vajra T Gun: Defence minister Rajnath Singh Thursday flagged off the 51st self-propelled howitzer K9 Vajra T Gun at defence manufacturer Larsen & Toubro’s Armoured System Complex in Hazira in Gujarat. Reaffirming the Modi government’s commitment to make the country a net exporter of defence systems, he called for active participation of private sector in defence manufacturing under the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship scheme Make in India in Defence.
While Rajnath Singh acknowledged the increasing participation of private Indian defence manufacturers in defence production, he stressed that a lot still needs to be done to make India a global defence manufacturing hub.
India’s private sector defence manufacturer Larsen & Toubro (L&T) was awarded the contract to manufacture 100 K9 Vajra T Gun in 2017 through a global competitive bidding. L&T Defence roped in South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Corporation under the strategic partnership model.
L&T had bid for the contract in 2011 but the contract was awarded to it 2017 under the strategic partnership model. Under the contract, L&T and its Korean technology partner Hanwha Tech Win (HTW) will supply 100 self-propelled tracked long range artillery guns K9 Vajra T to the Indian Army within 42 months from the date of signing of the contract. Valued at Rs 4,500 crore, it was the biggest contract awarded by the ministry of defence to a private defence manufacturer in the country.
Rajnath Singh termed K9 VAJRA-T Gun as the best example of ‘Make in India’ in Defence.
“I have been told that more than 75 per cent of K9 Vajra has been manufactured in India,” Rajnath Singh said while elaborating the greater indigenisation of crucial weapon system achieved by private Indian defence companies under the strategic partnership model.
According to an international think tank Stockholm International Center for Peace and Research (SIPRI) India is one of the biggest arms importer in the world and the country was the world’s largest arms importers for several years in a row in this decade.
Talking about the job creation potential of the government’s policy of encouraging domestic manufacturing in defence sector, Rajnath Singh said that over 5,000 people have got direct employment and more than 12,500 indirect employment through this complex.
“It is a matter of great pride,” said the defence minister.
He also congratulated the L&T for delivering 51 of the 100 orders it received for K9 Vajra ahead of schedule.
L&T Defence is currently executing the ‘K9 VAJRA-T’ Tracked, Self-Propelled Howitzer Guns program contract awarded to the company by the Ministry of Defence through global competitive bidding.