Three bidders confirmed for Indian Army’s Air Defence Gun Contract

Three bidders have confirmed their participation for the Indian Army’s contract for the procurement of 220 nos. of Air Defence Guns (AD Guns).

Recently, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has announced a partnership with Italy’s Leonardo S.p.A (formerly Finmeccanica) for the supply of Air Defence Guns to the Indian Army.

Besides, Larsen & Toubro and Advanced Weapons & Equipment India Ltd (AWEIL) of Kanpur, are the other two contenders in the fray.

While, BHEL has partnered with a foreign vendor, the other two bidders are relying on in-house capabilities.

Noteworthy, that in October 2022 the Indian Army had issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for air defence guns.

The required quantity stipulated is for 220 air guns and 1.42 lakh rounds of ammunition (37,440 advanced and 1,04,136 standard rounds of ammunition).

These will be procured under Make portion of the contract with Buy quantity as zero.

The estimated contract value is approximately Rs 6,500 crore. 

Further, minimum of 50% IC is required on cost basis of the Make portion of the contract less taxes and duties.

The proposed AD gun is planned to replace the ‘in service’ Guns, currently held by Army AD.

The AD gun will be employed for providing terminal / close in AD to critical assets in all types of terrain to include HAA/ mountainous terrain /plains/ deserts / semi-deserts.

Also, the stipulated service life for these guns is 25 years, with the ammunition expected to have a minimum shelf life of 10 years.

In addition, the gun should have the capability to engage fighter aircraft, transport aircraft, helicopters (including hovering helicopters), all types of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) / Drones, Cruise missiles, PGMs, Micro light aircraft, Para motors, Para gliders and Aero models(Vendor Certification). 

Noteworthy, the need for Army Air Defence (AAD) is critical.

In fact, in an estimate 97% of the Indian Army’s air defence gun missile systems (ADGMS) were ‘obsolete’ and in need of being upgraded or replaced, or both.

The majority of the inventory of weapon systems in AAD are legacy guns controlled by radars, such as single-barrel towed Bofors 40mm L/70 automatic guns, Russian Zu-23-2B-23MM twin-barrel autocannon guns and self-propelled Schilka weapon systems.