About: Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), Advanced features of ATAGS:

Army to test indigenous artillery system with 48-km strike range

In News:

  • The Army will soon begin testing an indigenously-developed artillery system (ATAGS) with 48-km strike range.

About: Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS)

  • Built by DRDO and partners, India’s ATAGS is a 155 mm/52 calibre towed howitzer artillery gun.
    • Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons (like modern day canons) built to launch munitions far beyond the range and power of normal firearms.
  • The new version has a 48-km strike range, higher than the 35-40 km range of other artillery gun systems in this category.
  • Range tests of this ATAGS system have been going on from 2017.

Development of indigenous ATAGS:

  • The development of ATAGS was started in 2013 as a part of artillery modernisation programme for Indian Army.
  • It is being jointly developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the private sector.
  • The DRDO’s Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) has partnered with Kalyani Group, Tata Power and Ordnance Factory Board etc for the development of ATAGS.

Advanced features of ATAGS:

  • It is configured with all-electric drive for the first time in the world to ensure maintenance free and reliable operation over a longer period of time.
  • It has advanced features like high mobility, advanced communication system, automatic command and control system with night firing capability in direct fire mode etc.
  • It has a five round magazine, compared to the standard three round magazines in similar foreign systems.


  • The Indian Army has not inducted any new artillery gun since the Bofors (155 mm howitzer) in the 1980s.
  • The Army has an estimated requirement is of about 1,800 artillery guns, including the regular and advanced systems.
  • It has also been inducting some 155 mm Dhanush artillery guns (an indigenously upgraded variant of the Bofors gun).
  • It has also been inducting some new artillery guns and equipment, including K9 Vajra (South Korean and Indian companies’ collaboration) and M777 howitzers (from the US).
  • It is also in the final stages to procure 400 Athos towed gun systems for Rs 5,147 crore from Israeli firm Elbit Systems.
  • While India has range-tested the ATAGS, the user-trials got delayed after the barrel of one of the guns burst (due to defective ammunition as per DRDO) during test-firing at the Pokhran field firing range in Rajasthan.

News Summary:

  • The Army will soon begin testing an indigenously-developed ATAGS artillery system.
  • It will first undergo “winter user trials” by the Army in Sikkim in January-February.
  • That will be followed by the “mobility trials” and then the “summer trials” in May-June.

Way ahead:

  • DRDO claims that this system is the best in its class in the world with a record-breaking strike range of 48 km.
  • If the big gun successfully passes the army trials, DRDO says this advanced system can fulfil the Army’s full requirement of 1500-1800 artillery guns.
  • In such a scenario, the Army will not need to import such guns from Israel or other countries.

 Defence & Security