K9-Vajra: In India we say, “भय बिनु होइ न प्रीति”. In English, it means that you can’t have friendship with someone who does not fear your backlash in enmity. India was late to use this strategy for China. But, it’s better late than never.
The Ministry of Defence has kickstarted the process of getting 100 more shotguns. In the nearest future, 100 more K9-Vajras will be available to the Indian Army. K9-Vajra is a howitzer tank with a self-propelled engine. A Defence Official quoted by The Hindu said, “The Defence Ministry issued the Request For Proposal to L&T in November. Once they respond to it, the contract negotiations will begin.”
While on the face of it, the procurement looks just like another upgrade of arms for the Indian Armed Forces. However, the way India has used it in the last few years, news about procurement is certain to give nightmares to the Chinese establishment.
It is deadly
K9-Vajra is not a made-in-India howitzer to begin with. The country of its origin is South Korea. After it gained fame, India decided to test it in the desert. The Korean tank fulfilled all the requirements of the Indian Army and outperformed the Russian 2S19 Msta-S. The deal was finalised in 2017 with Hanwha Techwin and Larsen & Toubro chosen as bidders to supply 100 K9-Vajra.
L&T was also slated to benefit from transfer of technology as the government aimed to develop it indigenously. Today, the indigenisation of K9 is as high as 80 per cent in work packages and 50 per cent in value terms. 1,000 MSMEs provide 13,000 different components for guns.
Its technical capability is something which is largely an undisputed fact. After all, beating a Made in Russia rival speaks volumes about its efficacy. K9-Vajra has an operational range of 480 km, which is more than required capacity for a tank mainly deployed in border areas. Its maximum speed is 67 km/hr.
K9 can fire shells every 5 seconds, each on different trajectories in MRSI mode (Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact). This feature comes handy in situations where the enemy is looking to encircle the defence lines. It can fire at targets within a radius of 50km, which makes it a long-range tank.
China killer in letter and substance
Initially, it was slated to be deployed in only hot and humid desert conditions. However, it became necessary to station them in cold regions like that of Ladakh and other areas along the Indo-China border. Necessitated by border tension with China in 2020, one regiment was deployed in Eastern Ladakh to boost the long-range firepower of forces.
It was only a trial for them since the guns were fitted with winterisation kits. The innovation enabled the howitzer to work in sub-zero temperature, the other end of the temperature spectrum they were designed to work in. It proved to be a success and talks of procuring 200 more such Vajras had begun.
They are lethal, but this is not the only cause of concern for China. It has its symbolic lethality too. The fact that its genetic route can be traced back to South Korea is one thing China must be resenting. If you look at the map, South Korea lies in proximity of China, along with Japan. These are the two countries that the USA, considered as a rival by China, is betting on to counter the hysterical rise of China.
Somehow, India got involved in US-China rivalry due to Jinping. Neither would Jinping have shown aggression on the border, nor would India need to retort back with ferocious intensity. After the Galwan clash, the US has been stating that it is on India’s side and even held military exercise near the China border. For China, the US, Japan, India and South Korea are on the same page. India using South Korean technology along the China border is akin to a military pact for overthinkers in the Chinese foreign policy establishment.
Pakistan being the biggest threat to India is becoming a thing of the past. The country is on the verge of breaking. By all accounts, it seems that Indian foreign policy makers are focused more towards countering Chinese presence. Icing on the cake is that the Modi government is using Made in India weapons for that.
Support us to strengthen the ‘Right’ ideology of cultural nationalism by purchasing the best quality garments from TFI-STORE.COM