India gained its independence back in 1947, however, it took 75 years to break the clutches of slavery. The previous governments till recent times focused on what the British had left and no heed was paid towards India’s indigenous defence sector. However, this is no longer the norm as PM Modi’s arrival has changed the course of India and the Independence day celebration stands deposition for the same.
Howitzer Gun makes its debut
India celebrated 75 years of Independence with the grand ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi as usual hoisted the flag at the Red Fort. However, the event wasn’t planned as per tradition, the world saw a change in the ceremony as a testament to India’s growing capabilities.
Yesterday, as India celebrated its 76th Independence Day and for the first time in independent India, the Tiranga was hoisted amid a 21-gun salute by indigenous Howitzer gun, Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) prototype. Until last year, 7 vintage ‘25 Pounder’ British guns were used for the 21-gun salute. But yesterday, two howitzer guns were used alongside the ’25 pounders’.
What is ATAGS?
The indigenous Howitzer gun, ATAGS gave the ceremonial 21-Gun salute along with the traditional British guns. This indigenous gun has been designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) with its Pune-based facility Armament Research and Development Establishment being the nodal agency. It is produced by two firms Bharat Forge and TATA Advanced Systems Limited. This gun is the longest-range cannon in the world.
ATAGS is a 155mm calibre Gun system with a firing range of 48 km and 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 was customized, as its technical specifications were tweaked for the ceremony.
(Source: DRDO) pic.twitter.com/UmBMPPO6a7
— ANI (@ANI) August 15, 2022
Howitzer Gun: A symbol of India’s growing self-reliance
The indigenous gun that was fired among the British ones emerged as the symbol of India’s growing self-reliance. This was also acknowledged by the PM in his speech.
PM during his I-Day speech said, “My dear countrymen, for the first time, that is after 75 years, made-in-India Howitzer Gun, Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) prototype, was used for the ceremonial gun salute,…”
PM Modi further added, “After 75 years we have heard the proud sound of a Made-in-India weapon in the Independence Day gun salute. I salute the armed forces for this feat. The way they have borne the responsibility for my call for Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India),…”
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 15, 2022
This also showcases India’s strength in developing defence products indigenously and how India under PM Modi is cutting down its dependence on other nations. To note, the import of 310 defence products has been banned and India is aggressively progressing towards becoming self-reliant and an exporter of defence products. The $375 million export of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to the Philippines stands as an evidence.
India is inking defence deals with countries like Spain, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia among others based on its manufacturing capabilities developed due to Aatmanirbhar Abhiyaan. The home grown product that has gained the attention of whole world is Tejas. Even countries like US and Australia are also lined up to buy Tejas and all this has happened with PM Modi’s push for Make In India initiative. With self reliance (Aatmanirbharta), India is also turning into an export hub, and this will play a crucial role in India’s emergence as a global superpower.
PM Modi made mention of ‘Panch Pran’ (5 pledges) during his speech and the use of indigenous howitzer is the example of the second one ‘remove any trace of colonial mindset’ and with these 5 Prans India will progress on the world stage.
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