ATAGS: The Futuristic Indian Artillery
Indigenously developed artillery gun ATAGS (Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System) prototype developed under the government’s Make in India initiative, has long been undergoing field trials. In the recently concluded satisfactory trials at Pokhran, this highly advanced weapon system has been accepted by the Indian Army which has been key stakeholder in the Design & Development.
It has taken almost 8 yrs by DRDO to develop this weapon system on the Specifications forwarded by the Indian Army. The developmental effort has been multidisciplinary by multiple DRDO Laboratories. The advanced system has been developed primarily by Armament Research Development Establishment ARDE Pune along with sub-systems contributed by Instruments Research and Development Establishment (IRDE) Dehradun, Vehicle Research and Development Establishment (VRDE) Avdi, Proof and Experimental Establishment (PXE) Balasore, Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR) Bangalore, and Defence Electronics Applications Laboratory (DEAL) Dehradun. The ARDE has manufacturing collaboration with Bharat Forge Limited and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd for the manufacturing of this specialised gun system. It is a 155mm caliber Gun System with a firing range in the vicinity of 50 Km (48-55 km). If installed at higher peaks, the range can be further augmented.
It fires the long range guided munitions with high precision. It is electrically operated with advanced features like high mobility, quick deployability, auxiliary power mode, advanced communication system, automatic command and control system with night firing capability in direct-fire mode. This world-class system fires the Bimodular charge system in Zone 7 with none other Gun in the world is known to have that capability as yet. It is compatible with C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and intelligence) systems like the Artillery Combat Command and Control System (ACCCS) called Shakti for technical fire control, fire planning, deployment management, and operational logistics management of the Indian Army.
It can fire three rounds in 15 seconds in burst mode and as many as 60 rounds in 60 minutes in sustained mode. With a weight of 18 tons, that could further be trimmed by another two tons, the gun is the lightest in the category. It requires a small crew of 6 to 8 personnel to operate it. It will be at work for dummy munition firing on 15 August 2022 at the Red Fort.
Indian Army urgently needs nearly 1500 of this advanced Guns and it also has a huge export potential. With the system being indigenous, many upgradations and value additions are possible. The ATAGS will prove to be the greatest of artillery weapon in the Indian inventory as shown in the comparison below:-
The comparison of the two most efficient artillery guns of Indian Army shows neck to neck performance. ATAGS being an indigenous development has the added benefit of value additions, upgradations in addition to having capability to fire greater calibre ammunition further away. This is a fully electrical system with power back-up hence, having lesser mechanical wear and tear. It is an excellent development in a relatively shorter time. Indian Army will be proud of it.