Indian defense company Bharat Forge Limited has sealed a substantial export agreement with Armenia, solidifying the burgeoning defense ties between the two nations. The deal entails the sale of MArG (Multi-terrain Artillery Gun) 155 wheeled self-propelled howitzers and ATAGS 155mm towed guns, marking a pivotal milestone in their collaborative defense efforts. This pivotal agreement comes in the wake of Armenian Defense Minister Suren Papikyan’s attendance at DefExpo-2022 in Gandhinagar, India, in October 2022. This recent arms deal is part of a series of defense contracts between India and Armenia. In a previous deal in September 2022, Armenia procured Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launchers, anti-tank rockets, and various types of ammunition from India in a contract worth $245 million. Prior to this, a significant agreement in 2020 saw Armenia acquire four Swathi mobile radar units from India valued at $40 million, a deal acknowledged by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
The MArG 155mm / 39 cal stands as a testament to cutting-edge artillery technology, blending power, accuracy, and mobility. Featuring a 155mm 39 caliber gun and a 4 x 4 wheeled chassis, its exceptional maneuverability across diverse terrains is noteworthy. The “shoot and scoot” capability and the ability to navigate gradients up to 30° render it a versatile and potent weapon in contemporary combat scenarios. Weighing 18 tons and compatible with a wide range of NATO standard and in-service ammunition, the MArG 155mm / 39 cal – BR showcases resilience and adaptability. With a capacity to carry 18 rounds with Zone 5, it ensures sustained firing operations without immediate resupply. Its swift deployment capability, taking merely 1.5 minutes during daylight and 2 minutes at night, is pivotal for rapid responses to dynamic battlefield requirements.
MArG 155 is advertised by Bharat Forge as “the world’s only 155mm 39 calibre artillery system mounted on a 4×4 vehicle”. The artillery part of the system, designated by the developer as TS-20, is based on the 155-mm / 39 light towed howitzer ULH (Ultra-Light Howitzer) developed by KSSL. On the MArG 155, an artillery unit was installed based on the steel version of the ULH, apparently the most mature one. The self-propelled unit with a 4×4 wheel formula is based on an Indian-made Ashok Leyland Mk 4 military truck and is equipped with an armoured cab for five people. The total combat weight of the self-propelled unit is 18 tons. The length of the self-propelled guns in the stowed position is 9.391 m, the width is 2.65 m, and the height is 3.16 m. The ammunition load is 18 shots with five charges for each projectile. The time to bring the ACS into combat position is 1.5 minutes during the day and 2 minutes at night.
Bharat Forge Limited (BFL), the Pune based Indian multinational is a technology driven global leader in metal forming having transcontinental presence across eight manufacturing locations, serving several sectors including automotive, power, oil and gas, construction & mining, locomotive, marine and aerospace. Part of Kalyani Group with 10000 plus global work forces; BFL today has the largest repository of metallurgical knowledge in the region and offer full service supply capability to its geographically dispersed marquee customers from concept to product design, engineering, manufacturing, testing and validation. The world’s largest forging company with manufacturing facilities spread across India, Germany and Sweden, Bharat Forge manufactures a wide range of high performance, critical and safety components for the automotive and non-automotive sector.