Ever since claiming independence in 1947, India has been involved in six major wars, including the First Indo-Pakistani War of 1947-48, Sino-Indian War 1962 with China, Second Indo-Pakistani War 1965, Third Indo-Pakistani War 1971, Operation Meghdoot 1984 with Pakistan and Kargil War 1999.
During these battles, the Indian Army played a vital role. With strength of 1,129,900 active troops and 960,000 reserve troops the army is the third largest standing armies in the world. And, to compliment the extraordinary size and power of the Indian army, artilleries play a significant role. The Indian army has the most modern, hi-tech and deadliest arsenals in the world.
So, let’s have a look at top seven deadliest weapons in the artillery of Indian Army.
Developed and manufactured by Bofors, 155mm Field Howitzer 77B is the exported version of a Swedish 155 mm howitzer. The gun was designed as a replacement oF the French Haubits F by the Swedish army and 410 FH77 B were exported to the Indian army out of which on 200 are presently left in service. The gun can fire 3 rounds in 8 seconds and 6 rounds in 25 seconds. With an imposing muzzle velocity of 300 to 770 m/s, the gun has an effective firing range of 21 km to a maximum of 27.4 km.
Designed and developed by USSR during the Cold War era, 180 mm gun S-23 is a Soviet heavy gun, which was designed by NII-58 and later exported to the Indian Army. Presently, there are nearly 100 180 mm gun S-23 in Indian arsenal and is one of the eleven towed artilleries with the army. The big gun has a length of 10.48 m (34 ft 5 in) with barrel and weighs approximately 21,450 kg. With the barrel length of 8.8m and a width of 2.99m, the gun uses HE, Nuclear-Capable shells and produces a striking muzzle velocity of 850m/s. the gun has an elevation of -2° to +50° and fire at a rate of 1 rpm maximum or 1 round every two minutes sustained in a effective range of 30.4 km to a maximum of 43.8 km.
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With almost 75 years of warfare service, 88mm 25 Pounder is a dual-purpose British field gun and howitzer that was introduced into service just before World War II. The pounder is a common artillery weapon among the Commonwealth Nations. The field gun weighs 1,633 kg and ahs a length of 4.6m with a barrel of 2.47m long and 1.16m wide. It uses high explosive anti-tank shells that can weigh up to 11.5 kg with fuse. Moreover, the gun has a caliber of 87.6mm and vertical sliding block breech with hydro-pneumatic recoil. The gun has a range of firing rates, from 6-8 rpm in gun fire to 4 rpm in rapid fire and 1 rpm in very slow fire. Producing a muzzle velocity of 198 – 532m/s the gun has a maximum firing range of 12,253 m.
Created in the late 1980s, Sprut anti-tank gun is one of the best in the field with an integrated engine that makes the gun movable through any terrain. The gun is self moving, self propelled and is capable to attack during night with its 1PN53-1 night vision sight. The gun weighs nearly 15000 lb and has a length of 7.12 m with a barrel of .925m and width of 2.66m. The gun has a caliber of 125 mm and hydro pneumatic recoil with a tripod carriage. With an elevation of -6° to 25° and traverse of 360°, the gun has an impressive firing rate of 6-8 rpm and speed of nearly 14km/h. the gun has an effective range of 2000m-5000m and an operational range of 50km.
Developed by the Russian army, 2S1 Gvozdika is designed to operate on snowy and swampy conditions. India presently has 110 units of 2S1 Gvozdika. A 2S1 Gvozdika weighs nearly 16 tonnes with 7.26 m in length, 2.85 m in width and 2.73 m in height and can carry a crew of four. 2S1 Gvozdika has 20 mm armor and uses separate loading cased charged shells with caliber of 122mm and semi automatic horizontal sliding wedge breech. Powered by YaMZ-238N diesel engine, 2S1 has a road speed of 60km/h and an operational range of 500 km. producing a muzzle velocity of 680m/s and a maximum firing rate of 5 rpm, 2S1 has a traverse of 360 degree and a maximum firing range of 21.9 km.
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Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization for the Indian Army, Pinaka MBRL is a multiple rocket launcher and is manufactured under Tata Power SED, Larsen & Toubro and Ordnance Factories Board. Presently India has more than 80 Pinaka MBRL and will be replacing the 122 mm BM-21. The rocket launcher was produced in 1998 and included in the 1999 Kargil war. Available in three diesel variants of 40k/hr, 60km/hr and120 km/hr (in development), and the rocket launcher has caliber of 214mm with 12 barrels totaling the warhead weight up to 250 kg. The rocket launcher fires 12 rockets in less than 44 seconds and has a maximum firing range of 60km.
Designed by the British Army, FV433 Abbot SPG is a self-propelled artillery variant of the British Army FV430 series. The vehicle is currently used only the British and Indian Army and there are presently near about 80 units with the Indian Army. The vehicle weighs 16.56 tonnes with 5.8 m in length, 2.6 m in width, and 2.5 mm in height and can carry a total of 6 crew members. Protected with a 12mm plate armor, the vehicle can carry 105 mm L13A1 gun (40 rounds), 7.62 mm L4A4 MG with 1,200 rounds and smoke dischargers. With Rolls-Royce K60 Mk 4G multi-fuel opposed piston engine, the vehicle produces a power of 240 bhp @ 3750 rpm and a speed of 47 km/h and an operational range of 480 km.