Greater range and accuracy.


What armies have always required for their artillery is greater range and increased accuracy--but today those two important elements that allow indirect fire to maintain its importance have to do so in scenarios where collateral damage has become a key issue of concern and where defining the whole area of responsibility is not always clear-cut. Time on target is another issue and, as volatile objectives have become the norm, the sensor-to-shooter cycle needs to be shortened as much as possible. In other words, the whole chain, from target designation to shell or warhead terminal effect, has tightened.

Although western armies have ended up reducing their artillery arsenals compared to what they had in inventory during the Cold War era, other armies are contemplating massive investments. A main potential customer for artillery manufacturers in the coming years is definitely India--if and when, it must be emphasised, this nation finally manages to complete its long-awaited acquisition process. In November 2014, following years of requests for proposals and cancellations, the Indian Ministry of Defence approved the procurement of one of the elements of the Field Artillery Rationalisation Plan (a plan that dates back to 1999). This included 100 selfpropelled tracked howitzers, 180 self-propelled wheeled howitzers (with an option for 120 more)...

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