India inches closer to K9 self-propelled howitzer deal

India inches closer to K9 self-propelled howitzer deal
K9 "Vajra" SPH

India is interested in finalizing a $660 deal to manufacture South Korean K9 self-propelled howitzers (SPH) locally. The howitzers will be produced by India’s Larsen & Toubro (L&T).

The Indian interest in the K9 SPH is part of the modernization program of the Indian Armed Forces which includes the purchase of new military equipment for artillery units.

According Bloomberg, a purchase contract for 100 K9 howitzers is in its final clearance stage and will soon go to the Indian Cabinet Committee on Security for approval.

As per the contract, the first 10 howitzers will be supplied by India’s L&T within 18 months of contract signature, and the remaining 90 units will be handed over within a timeframe of two years.

According to Indian sources, the fabrication and machining of the hull and turret structure and 14 sub-systems will be carried out in India.

In July 2016, the Indian defense ministry also approved the purchase of 145 M777A2 Ultra Lightweight Howitzers from BAE Systems at a cost of about $750 million.