New Delhi: A made-in-India gun was used for the first time in 75 years for the ceremonial 21-shot salute to the tricolour at the historic Red Fort on Independence Day. So far, British guns have been used for the ceremonial salute. Also, for the first time, MI-17 helicopters showered flowers at the Red Fort during Independence Day celebrations.
“The sound that we always wanted to hear, we are hearing it after 75 years. It is after 75 years that the tricolour has got the ceremonial salute at the Red Fort for the first time from a made-in-India gun,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
He said all Indians will get inspired and feel empowered on hearing this made-in-India gun roar. The indigenous howitzer gun that was used for the ceremonial salute on Monday has been designed by the Centre-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
For the first time in history, the Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), a prototype developed under the government’s Make In India concept, fired two rounds from the Red Fort during practice firing.
The firing took place on 2nd August 2022, as part of their practice firing, alongside the Ceremonial 25 Pounder Guns. These practice firings which constitute the famous 21 Gun salute were part of rehearsals for Independence Day celebrations 2022.
The DRDO team of Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) led by a serving Lieutenant Colonel was responsible for getting these firing practices conducted.
ATAGS has already proved its mettle in the recently conducted summer trials at Pokhran in May 2022 and are currently undergoing DGQA evaluation.
The project started in 2013 by DRDO to replace older guns in service in the Indian Army with a modern 155mm artillery gun. DRDO laboratory Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) has partnered with Bharat Forge Limited and Tata Advanced Systems Limited for the manufacturing of this specialised gun.
ATAGS, the 155mm caliber Gun has a firing range of 48 kms. With advanced features like high mobility, quick deployability, auxiliary power mode, advanced communication system, automatic command and control system with night capability in direct-fire mode, the gun is a world class system which fires in Bi-modular charge system in Zone 7. It is noteworthy that no other Gun in the world is known to have that capability yet.
According to the information received from highly placed DRDO officials, the gun is designed to provide one of the best accuracy and consistency in gun systems around the world.
The specialised Gun System is compatible with C3I systems like the Artillery Combat Command and Control System (ACCCS) called Shakti for technical fire control, fire planning, deployment management and operational logistics management of the Indian Army.
In his speech, Prime Minister Modi also commended the armed forces personnel for adopting his vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) and taking steps towards realising it.
“I want to salute the soldiers of this country from my heart. The manner in which my vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat has been collectively adopted by the soldiers and officers of the armed forces, I can not salute them enough.”
It is not a small resolution when a soldier decided to list 300 items that it will not import from other countries, Modi said. He was referring to the Defence Ministry’s decision to issue multiple “positive indigenisation lists” that lists 300 plus items which will not be imported after a certain period of time.
“I can see the seeds of Atmanirbhar Bharat in that resolution that will lead to the birth of a big tree,” Modi added.
(With PTI Inputs)