Indian made K9 Vajra Howitzer Experiences Technical Issues

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In May 2017, the Indian army placed an order of 100 units of 155mm K9 Vajra self-propelled howitzers from South Korea out of which, initial 10 units were delivered by Hanwha Industries and 90 were manufactured in India under the Make In India initiative. Following the completion of this initial order, the Indian Government decided to increase the quantity to 200 by acquiring an additional 100 units.

However, India’s indigenously produced K9 Vajra howitzer units are encountering technical problems during field firing, raising concerns about the quality of Indian defense manufacturing.

An incident involving a K9 Vajra from the 224th Medium Regiment occurred on 31 Mar 2022, and resulted in damage to the barrel and muzzle brake. A Joint Defect Investigation (JDI) was conducted, and a new barrel and muzzle brake were subsequently installed. However, it was not the first incident of its kind for the Indian army. The quality of Indian-made equipment and ammunition has been questioned previously following similar barrel explosion accidents during test firing.

This incident highlights potential shortcomings in India’s defense production capabilities, particularly in light of the country’s ambitions to export military equipment. The technical problems with the K9 Vajra could hinder India’s Make In India initiative and its efforts to promote the howitzer and ammunition for international sales.

Abdul Ahad
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Abdul Ahad is a graduate of National Defence University, Islamabad.

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Abdul Ahad
Abdul Ahad is a graduate of National Defence University, Islamabad.

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