K-9 VAJRA (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     31st May 2024        
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Context: Several key 'Made in India' defence projects, including proposals for acquiring more K-9 Vajra self-propelled howitzers and fighter aircraft engines, are awaiting final approval by the Centre after the elections.

K-9 Vajra

  • About: It is a 155 mm, 52-calibre tracked self-propelled howitzer developed in India.
  • Developed by: Larsen & Toubro (L&T), leveraging technology from South Korean defence major Hanwha Defense based on its K9 Thunder platform.
  • Hanwha Aerospace, a South Korean defence and aerospace conglomerate, entered India with its flagship self-propelled howitzer (SPH) K-9 Vajra, in partnership with L&T.
  • Capability: Capable of firing shells at great elevation angles to hit targets far away.

o Initially intended for desert operations, the K9 Vajra was deployed in mountainous regions following the India-China standoff. 

  • Aim: To ensure optimal performance in extreme cold, the Army procured winterisation kits for the deployed regiments.
  • Features:

o Main Weapon: Features a 155mm / 52 caliber gun.

o The gun weighs 50 tonnes and can fire 47kg bombs.

o Firepower: Boasts a burst rate of fire of three rounds per 15 seconds and a maximum rate of fire of six to eight rounds per minute for three minutes.

o Range: 50 kilometers.

o Mobility: Able to turn around at zero radius, essentially in the same place where it is stationed.

o Fire Control System: Utilizes a digital fire control system, enabling it to fire multiple rounds that can impact a given area simultaneously.

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