Having successfully deployed and tested the K9 Vajra self-propelled howitzers in the Ladakh sector, the Indian Army is now planning to deploy K9 Vajra howitzers in the high altitude mountains in the central and eastern sector of the line of actual control with China. The Indian Army had deployed the made-in-India guns in Ladakh in the March-April timeframe last year along with the Eastern Ladakh sector and are very effective in those areas where they can move at high speeds and reach the frontline areas quickly. The regiments in Ladakh have built special tents and facilities to operate the howitzers in extreme winters conditions.
The performance of the howitzer has been very good and fulfills the requirements of the Indian Army in high-altitude areas. The trials of the guns have been very successful and now the plan is to order 200 more of these howitzers and deploy them in the high altitude mountainous region in the central sector including Uttarakhand and eastern sector including Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in areas where armored vehicles can be moved swiftly. The guns acquired for deployment in deserts and plains were put in the modifications with some modifications given the. Conflict with China.
On 29 March 2012 at DEFEXPO, Samsung Techwin and Larsen & Toubro announced their partnership to produce the K9 Thunder in India. As per the agreement, Samsung Techwin will transfer key technologies, and the vehicle will be manufactured under license in India using 50 percent of the domestic content such as FCS and communication systems. Two units of K9 and competed against Russian 2S19. Operated by Indian military personnel, the K9 fired 587 Indian ammunitions including NUB round, and drove a total distance of 1,000 km. K9 Thunder achieved all ROC set by the Indian military while the Russian counterpart failed to do so.
In September 2015, the Indian Ministry of Defense selected Hanwha Techwin (previously Samsung Techwin) and Larsen & Toubro as preferred bidders to supply 100 K9 Vajra-T. K9 Vajra-T consists of 14 major Indian manufactured systems, 50 % of the component by value, which include NUB ammunition capable FCS and its storage, communication system, and environment control and NBC protection system. Additional systems were installed such as GPS for direct firing capability, and South African APU, which was proven for desert operation—Korean APU was under development phase during Indian trial. The 100th vehicle was delivered to the Indian Army on 18 February 2021.