New Delhi: An Indian private company is for the first time in direct competition with a foreign vendor to supply 100 self-propelled howitzers to the Army in a deal expected to be worth over Rs 2,000 crore.
India's Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Russia's Rosobornexport are in a straight contest to supply the 100 self-propelled tracked howitzers to the Army and the trials of the two guns are slated to begin in June-July this year, defence ministry sources told PTI.
The guns are being procured by the Army as part of its more than Rs 20,000-crore artillery modernisation programme, which has been stuck after the Bofors gun deal scandal, they said.
Not a single new artillery gun has been inducted ever since the infamous Bofors contract for 410 field howitzers became a political issue in 1986.
The gun being offered by the Indian firm is learnt to have been built and developed in collaboration with South Korea's Samsung Techwin and is based on its "K9 Thunder" self- propelled howitzer.