The Indian Army chief of staff General VK Singh at the last Army Day press conference expressed optimism that the delay in the procurement of artillery guns would soon be over. He said, “We hope to procure some artillery guns this year.” He did not elaborate when asked the type or make of artillery weapons he saw hope for procuring.
Much has happened in the months following. BAE Systems, one of the favorites for the towed gun tender, which was floated again this year, chose not to bid, citing ‘watered-down’ parameters or GSQRs (General Staff Qualitative Requirements). Another contender, Singapore Technologies Kinetics, was not invited to bid, probably in light of its ongoing struggle with allegations of involvement in the corruption accusation that have been directed at the former chairman of the Ordinance Factory Board, Sudipta Ghosh.
These two companies have also been possible contenders for supplying light artillery. While the tender route has gone cold with the Singapore Technologies Kinetics’ Pegasus howitzer not even being tried before getting into the above wrangle, the proposed direct government-to-government sale of BAE Systems’ M777 howitzer from the US also seems likely to face difficulties.
Read the full article at the website of the Centre for Land Warfare Studies.