Moscow and New Delhi have concluded an agreement to develop a new self-propelled gun (SPG) intended for Indian domestic market. The CEO of Uralvagonzavod, Oleg Siyenko and the Director Executive of Bharat Forge (a subsidiary of the Kalyani Group), Amid Kalyani signed the related Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the presence of Russia’s Minister for Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov and India’s Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sithamaran at the Innoprom 2016 industrial exhibition in Ekaterinburg.

The MoU is aimed at the strengthening of technical cooperation between companies under the Make in India program and the promotion of the UVZ’s production in India. According to the official notification, “the Memorandum drives for the deepening of industrial ties between two countries”.

As Siyenko pointed out, Russia and India were planning to develop a new SPG for Indian Armed Forces under the MoU. “The Memorandum provides for the possibility of a new SPG joint development. The Uralvagonzavod Corporation is a traditional partner of New Delhi in the area of military-technical cooperation. India is the biggest foreign operator of military hardware produced by UVZ,” Siyenko pointed out.

“Our Indian partners have been collaborating with Russia’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) for a long period, while Uralvagonzavod is a leader in the area of SPG development. We are planning to transfer documentation under the Make in India program to produce the SPG on a joint basis,” the UVZ’s CEO said. He pointed out that the establishing of an assembly line in India would be the first stage of cooperation in the SPG production area. At present, Uraltransmash (a subsidiary of UVZ) is producing SPGs for Russia’s Armed Forces and potential foreign customers.

Previously, UVZ offered the upgraded 2S19M1-155 (Msta-SM1) SPG armed with a 155mm L/52 howitzer to India`s Armed Forces. However, New Delhi declined the proposal and preferred to acquire K9 Thunder SPG developed by Republic of Korea`s (ROK) Samsung Techwin company. The MoU signed between UVZ and Bharat Forge may revive 2S19M1-155 program.

According to official data provided by Uralvagonzavod, 2S19M1-155 has a combat weight of 43 t, a firing rate of 6-8 rds/min, a maximum firing range of 30 km using high-explosive fragmentation rounds, 41 km using rocket assisted projectiles and 25 km using guided projectiles, and an ammunition load of 45 rounds. The SPG can be based on either T-90 or T-72M1 main battle tanks (MBT).