On 9th November 2022, Bharat Forge Limited, a company located in Pune, said that it has received a $155.50 million export order for one of its 155mm artillery gun platforms. The contract had been received by its subsidiary Kalyani Strategic Systems Limited, and it would be completed in three years.
The Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative by the government of India and the Make in India policy has brought a significant change in the defence manufacturing sector of India, and it is one of the examples of the success of the initiative.
The company communicated with the Bombay Stock Exchange in a notification that said, “We are pleased to inform that Kalyani Strategic Systems Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, has been awarded an export order for a 155mm Artillery Gun platform to be executed over a 3-year time frame. The total value of the order is $155.50 million.”
However, the company didn’t mention the country which has placed the order for the artillery guns but mentioned that it is a non-conflict zone, which means that the country is currently not involved in any war. The company said, “This order, to a non-conflict zone, is a great testament to the Government of India’s AatmaNirbhar Bharat agenda and its sustained push to promote exports of Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured (IDDM) advanced defence platforms from India.”
The company also didn’t specify the exact artillery being exported, as Kalyani Strategic Systems makes multiple models of 155mm gun, which are MArG (Multi-terrain Artillery Gun), Bharat ULH (Ultra-Light Howitzer), Bharat 52 and Bharat 45.
The purchaser country could be Saudi Arabia and the selected gun could be Bharat 52, as it was reported in 2020 that Saudi Arabia was evaluating two guns sent by Kalyani Group, Bharat 52 and Garuda V2. As Garuda V2 is a 105mm gun, it is not the gun in question. Bharat-52 gun is a 155mm, 52 calibre towed howitzer, and it is also being considered by the Indian Army.
A variety of goods, including a variety of artillery weapons, have been manufactured by Bharat Forge, which has recently extensively diversified into the production of defence equipment. While it has supplied the Indian Army with 60 Kalyani-M4 armoured vehicles and has orders for 30 more, it has not yet received a domestic order for its artillery cannons.
The defence ministry has been gradually banning the import of a number of weapons since 2021 in an effort to boost manufacturing and export. Bharat Forge’s shares reached a 52-week high of Rs. 890 on the BSE after the announcement, before dropping to Rs. 878.7 on Wednesday.
It is notable that this is the second such big incident in which an Indian defence manufacturer has received an order for exports. In September 2022, India received an order to export missiles, rockets, and ammunition to Armenia. India is also going to export the indigenous Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launchers to Armenia to aid the nation in its war against Azerbaijan. It will be the first export of the Pinaka rocket launchers.
India has signed a $250 million (over Rs 2000 crore) deal to export anti-tank rockets and other ammunition to Armenia, apart from the rocket launchers. India will be supplying the weapons in the coming months via a government-to-government channel.