NEW DELHI - In the first Howitzer order to a domestic private sector company, the Indian Ministry of Defence signed a $700 million contract  defense company Larsen & Toubro (L&T). L&T will produce 100 155mm /52 caliber tracked Howitzer guns at Indian facilities for the Indian Army jointly with Hanwha Tech Win of South Korea. 

No official of the South Korean company would comment on the level of transfer of technology that will be given to domestic company to manufacture the tracked guns, but a senior official with the Indian Army said, "The South Korean company is unlikely to transfer technology fully in the K-9 gun with a low order of only 100 numbers."

"L&T could get additional orders ahead as there is a requirement of more tracked artillery guns," the source added.

The L&T- Samsung team with the K9 Vajra-T Howitzer gun beat the 2S19 MSTA howitzer from Rosoboroexport of Russia in response to a 2011 global tender. Defense News announced plans for the award in 2016.

An executive of L&T said: "More than 50 percent of the work share is with L&T, and HTW Samsung will supply the turret of the gun."

The guns will be made at L&T's newly set up Armoured Systems Complex at Hazira in the central Indian state of Gujarat.

As part of the Field Artillery Rationalization Plan, The Indian Army plans to replace all existing field artillery guns with a variety of 155mm/52 caliber artillery guns at a cost of over $6 billion. One piece of that buy will be a mix of around 3600 155mm/52 caliber artillery guns by 2025.

Vivek Raghuvanshi is the India correspondent for Defense News.

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