New Delhi, Sept 8: India’s indigenously built howitzer created a record, firing three shells out to an unprecedented distance of approximately 47.2 kilometres in comparison to 40-45 kilometres by other such artillery gun systems currently operational in the world. The advanced towed artillery gun system (ATAGS) created the record during a user trial conducted at Pokhran Rajasthan on Wednesday. The distance (approximately 47.2 kilometres) is perceived as the longest distance covered by an artillery gun system.
According to a report of Sputnik, which quoted Defence sources, the 155-millimeter 52-calibre howitzer fired three shells at more than 47 kilometres using special, long-range ammunition called high explosive base bleed. The ATAGS is indigenously developed by state-owned Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factory Board, and two private defence firms Tata-SED and Bharat for the Indian Army.
The ATAGS project was started in 2013 to replace older guns in service in the Indian Army with a modern 155mm artillery gun. It took four years to build the artillery gun and conducted a successful user trial. The howitzer was first publicly showcased at 68th Republic Day parade on 26 January 2017. The first proof firing of the armament was conducted on 14 July 2016. The test was successful.
The ATAGS howitzer is equipped with advanced features like high mobility, quick deployability, auxiliary power mode, advanced communication system, automatic command and control system with night capability in direct fire mode. The artillery gun consists of a barrel, breech mechanism, muzzle brake and recoil mechanism to fire 155 mm calibre ammunitions.