Monday, May 4, 2015

Army Plans to Replace the L 70 and Zu 23 AAA Systems

Army Plans to Replace the L 70 and Zu 23 AAA Systems

Army L 70 40mm AAA gun

        Indian Army is planning to replace the aging Anti Aircraft gun systems, currently the army operates over thousands of Swedish L 70 AAA gun which is a 40mm single barrel gun system. These Swedish guns received their last update in 1995 by an local firm which upgraded the fire control system and helped the guns enjoy a extended shelf life of around 30 years and is now planned to be retired by 2030, the army more than 3000 of these guns.

          The other AAA system serving under the Indian Army is the Zu 23 AAA guns and the army operates nearly 800 such systems, the Zu 23 is a twin barrel 23 mm gun and received its last upgrade in early 2000 which has promised uninterrupted service for at least another 25 years.

        These guns have been effectively used by the Army's Air defence units, clubbed with these AAA batteries, the MANPAD’s have helped the army achieve an unmatched superiority in the battle field against any enemy airborne targets.

         The primary mission of these AAA systems is to protect the soldiers from enemy wings, ranging from enemy helicopters, fixed wing low flying aircraft's to reconnaissance UAV's. Even though these AAA perform the basic function of a CIWS on board a ship it mainly differs in the operational procedure since these AAA systems are always armed unlike the ship’s CIWS.

         The L 70 is a highly capable piece of machinery and can fire up to 150 rounds per minute and enjoys a range of up to 10 kilometres. The Zu 23 system enjoys a very high rate of fire but the range of these systems are limited to around 2.5 kilometre and is capable of firing up to 400 rounds per minute. The AAA systems are a bi booster for the forces in the battle field against an aerial threat since these systems are manually activated and can be fired at the target without any major issues and setup’s unlike the SAM systems which need to be provided with pre-designated information.

         The systems cannot only be used against aerial but can also be used for shelling enemy hide outs, these guns aren’t operated with a usual bullet but have artillery. The Army have used it to strike against Pakistani intruders and some Pakistani soldiers too, middle of the last year army almost managed to demolish some three plus Pakistani bunkers and outposts with the L 70 cannon, which proves it's a good system in peacetime.

          With the battlefield evolving the Army needs an advanced system to fight in the modern battlefield, unlike other tenders, the MoD hasn’t announced the tender, they have acknowledging the delays in procurement, have moved ahead to RFI, and slated to announce the winning bid in a coming few months. Being a $2 billion program it is sure to be classified under the Make in India campaign and will attract lot of competitions.

            An Indian company will be allowed to buy the technology from a foreign company and will be required to reproduce it in India, sketchy details have emerged linking Indian giants Punj Lloyd and Kalyani groups to the program. In a span of two years, MoD will select the winner and may start the manufacturing process before 2020.

        As per some details the Rehinmettal Mantis systems and a land based CIWS model were the leading machines incorporating with the Indian private players to win the huge orders.
Editor Karthik Kakoor 

Land Based CIWS model by Phlanx 

Sky Shield Model

Indian Army Air defence Zu 23 23mm AAA

Rehinmettal 30mm Mantis CRAM

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