New Delhi: Two of the most serving artillery systems – 130 mm self-propelled M-46 launcher cannon and 160 mm Tampella mortars were relieved of service in the Mahajan field firing range.
The cannon was finally fired at the ceremony. Director General Gunnery, Lieutenant General K Ravi Prasad and senior officers were present at the function.
The 130 mm projectile cannon has a range of over 27 km and was a successful merger of the two existing weapon systems – the Vijayant tanks and the 130 mm M-46 cannon. This hybrid platform was in need of a mobile artillery gun system to support strike formations along the western borders after the 1965 and 1971 wars. These guns were inducted into the army in 1981 and were successfully deployed during several operations.
The 160 mm Tampella mortar has a range of 9.6 km and was incorporated after the 1962 battle with China to meet the need for an arms system to unleash the high peaks of the northern borders. Originally imported from Israel’s defense forces, this mortar was successfully deployed along the Line of Control in the Lipa Valley and Hajipir bowl and played an important role in maintaining the sanctity of the Line of Control. Mortars also played an important role in the Kargil War of 1991.
These weapon systems have been in the Indian Army for 60 years and have been retired to bring new equipment with latest technology.