ST Kinetics confident of bagging Indian Army's howitzers contract

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New Delhi, Feb 18 (ANI): Singapore Technologies (ST) Kinetics, which is vying for India's order of 400 towed 155mm/52 calibre field howitzers, is looking for a long term association with the Indian Army and is confident of bagging the contract.

Artillery acquisition is central to the Indian Army's modernization programme. This tender involves outright purchase of 400 towed guns and transfer of technology for manufacture of another 1180 guns.

"Actually, we have a whole lot of products to offer Indian Army. Basically howitzers. We are participating in both howitzer categories and also couple of embodied system," said Ong Meng Hua Patrick, Director Regional Marketing of the ST Kinetics.

"At present our light weight assault rifle is under going trial rounds. We are happy and able to supply to the Indian Armed forces in the near future. We have 42 years of experience in engineering and defence products," he said on Thursday on the sidelines of the DEFEXPO 2010 held in New Delhi.

"Indian Army is a very good customer for howitzers and we are more competent than other people in the market. We have a 155 mm double barrel howitzer, and we are first in the world to produce it," said Patrick.

He said that ST Kinetics lightweight howitzer has got artillery power unit (APU), which enables it to load quickly by pressing a button rather than running round the chamber, and helps soldiers to use them in high altitude and cold weather a lot.

"ST Kinetics is partnering Punj Llyod group. We are confident that they will be able to furnish the requirement of our Indian customers," Patrick said when asked about fulfilling India's Offset clause in the defence contract.

ST Kinetics FH-2000 towed howitzer made by Singapore Technologies (ST), a government-held firm, will face-off with the Bae Land Systems (formerly Bofors) FH77B05.

Two more howitzers in the race were rejected following technical scrutiny of the tender bids, the Rheinmetall's RWG-52 and Israeli Soltam's Athos.

Indian Army bought the Bofors FH77B02 artillery guns more than 22 years back. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)

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