India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has conducted trials of the indigenously developed 155 mm/52 calibre mounted gun system (MGS). The MGS equips a 155 mm/52 calibre Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) on an eight-wheeled high-mobility vehicle (HMV) developed by Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML). The Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) is a towed 155 mm/52 calibre howitzer that is being developed for the Indian Army by Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), Tata Advanced Systems and Kalyani Strategic Systems. Bharat Forge, Tata Power SED and Advanced Weapons and Equipment India are manufacturing partners.
It has successfully cleared testing in deserts and high altitude areas (HAA), displaying high accuracy and consistency. To protect the crew when the enemy brings down counter fire, there is an armoured cabin (currently armour steel, to be developed into composite material) in which they can take shelter. The mobility and performance trials of the MGS are completed. The standalone firing trials of the armoured cabin are also completed. The MGS is ready to undergo the strength of design trials.
The MGS is a truck-mounted artillery gun system, deployable in desert, mountainous, and high-altitude terrains. The gun consists of a barrel, breech mechanism, muzzle brake and recoil mechanism to fire 155 mm calibre ammunition with a firing range of 48 km and has a maximum speed of 80 km/h. The system’s burst rate of fire is three rounds in 30 seconds, with an intense rate of fire of 12 rounds in three minutes. The MGS weighs 15 tonnes and the Kolos Tatra eight-wheeled high-mobility vehicle (HMV) on which it is mounted weighs another 15 tonnes. The total weight of 30 tonnes can comfortably negotiate the 40 tonne bridges on most highways.
The elevation angle of the gun ranges from 0° to +72°. The system holds an ammunition-carrying capacity of 24 projectiles with an appropriate quantity of bi-modular charge system (BMCS). It is compatible with C3I systems like Artillery Combat Command and Control System (ACCCS) called Shakti for technical fire control, fire planning, deployment management, operational logistics management of the Indian Army. The DRDO’s MGS faces competition from firms such as Bharat Forge and Tata Aerospace and Defence (A&D), which have also developed their own MGS. However the DRDO is confident about the superiority of its MGS.